IT and communication tools are essential to every international development field program. But tools are not enough. Field workers need the skills to use the tools. NetHope’s work in Field Capacity Building targets the development of skills with IT professionals, program workers and unemployed youth.
From September 2005 to March 2006, the ECB conducted a survey regarding the use of ICT in emergency response that concluded response efforts were not as strong as they could be, due to a general lack of ICT skills in field locations.
In response, NetHope partnered with ECB to develop and pilot a training program to address these challenges. The NetHope ICT Skills Building Program was launched in October 2006. A trial period in Africa was successfully conducted from June to December 2007 with help from Microsoft Learning.
In early 2010, NetHope saw an opportunity to utilize its experience from the ICT Skills Building Program for training students in Haiti. The NetHope Academy created an intern program focused on preparing computer science students for jobs with humanitarian organizations and corporations operating in Haiti. Courses in the curriculum include those to strengthen communications skills, strengthen team management skills and improve proficiency in productivity software. Other courses are focused on assessing ICT skills, creating custom training plans and quality training in networking, technical support, telecommunications/satellite technology, IT project management and business skills.
Future plans for the NetHope Academy include scale implementation in Africa, as well as plans for an implementation in Asia.