Drawing on over 50 years of experience in international development, the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) is proud to launch The Learning Hub, a free online platform aimed at strengthening practitioners and empowering communities. The Learning Hub is home to a plethora of learning content developed by AKF and more than 30 of its partner organisations. It can be accessed anytime, anywhere, completely free of charge.
The Learning Hub captures the Foundation’s best practices and lessons learned in international development. These have been condensed into more than 100 video-based and blended learning courses and over 70 instructional videos, as well as numerous webinars, guides and toolkits. Learners will find practical, easily applicable and locally relevant resources available in over 20 languages, including Portuguese, English, Arabic, Gujarati and Swahili. Through this new digital platform, AKF aims to significantly increase the number of people who can access the knowledge to lift up their communities and improve the quality of life.
AKF is one of the world’s leading international development organisations operating in 18 countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Its new Learning Hub enables development actors and the communities they work with to access quality learning content that combines global best practice with local knowledge. Its content is produced by local community-based teams, embodying the Foundation’s ethical imperative that “the person of knowledge and wisdom carries the greater obligation of sharing it”.
The model for The Learning Hub’s video-based learning content emerged from a human-centred design process conducted in 2014 with civil society organisations (CSOs) in Mozambique, co-funded by La Caixa Foundation. Facing a lack of affordable and engaging training opportunities adapted to local needs, the CSOs prototyped a blended learning course that emphasised cost-effectiveness, active learning, and local relevance. This model was later expanded to other geographies including Egypt, India, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to enable local development actors to create their own courses with AKF’s support. Today, this content forms the basis of The Learning Hub.
“The Learning Hub is designed by practitioners, for practitioners,” says Ana Barfield, AKF’s Global Practice Manager, “it’s for everyone, from teachers and entrepreneurs to civil society staff and government officials. Crucially, the resources are drawn from AKF’s and its partners’ longstanding experience in diverse and often remote, challenging environments. Learners can rest assured that the tools, approaches and methods shared through the resources have been successfully tried and tested in the field.”
“Crucially, the resources are drawn from AKF’s and its partners’ longstanding experience in diverse and often remote, challenging environments. Learners can rest assured that the tools, approaches and methods shared through the resources have been successfully tried and tested in the field.”
Ana Barfield, Global Practice Manager, AKF
Content on The Learning Hub is focused on addressing the most critical areas of development today including agriculture and food security, civil society strengthening, climate resilience, early childhood development, education, health and nutrition, and work and enterprise. This content contributes to 15 of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
To access the Learning Hub’s resources, users simply need to search for a development area they are interested in – for example, ‘inclusive classrooms’ – and select the relevant course in their local language. Content can then be easily shared across social networks.
“I am able to train myself and others! I have worked on some proposals and my presentation skills have improved a lot. It has transformed me professionally,” said a CSO member in Mozambique, who has used courses now available on The Learning Hub to develop their skills.
“I am able to train myself and others! I have worked on some proposals and my presentation skills have improved a lot. It has transformed me professionally.”
CSO member and Learning Hub learner, Mozambique
By continuing to work closely with communities, governments, and other partners, AKF will enrich The Learning Hub over time, adding fresh content that is relevant, effective and engaging for its learners. The platform aims to contribute towards a more collaborative and locally led development sector by providing a global platform for grassroots knowledge and expertise.