With global mobile technology growing exponentially, the opportunities for resource- and infrastructure-poor countries to rapidly expand learning are huge. Two projects managed by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)—mNutrition and Index-Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI)—have seized this opportunity and developed mobile technology solutions to challenges they encountered.
For more information on the challenges and oppotunities of mobile-driven learning, see ILRI capacity development brief 3, Mobile technology-driven capacity development: Lessons from the mNutrition and IBLI projects.
Both projects deliver complex content through a combination of low-tech online content and face-to-face classroom teaching. mNutrition delivers nutrition services to at least three million people in 13 African countries. IBLI works closely with public, private and non-profit sector partners to design, develop and implement market-mediated index-based insurance to protect livestock keepers from drought-related asset losses, particularly those living in arid and semi-arid lands.
mNutrition and IBLI rely on ‘go-betweens’ to deliver their final products to the target groups. Thus, the projects’ success depends on effectively training the ‘go-betweens’. The two projects initially used traditional classroom training that proved ineffective due to low knowledge retention by the learners. Resource constraints prohibited refresher training due to the large numbers of learners involved and the vast distances to be covered. Blended learning was, therefore, adopted where the learners would first take lessons in traditional ‘brick and mortar’ classrooms, and complete e-learning activities, using computers and mobile phones. This resulted in better training outcomes for learners who were also able to control the time, place and pace of the courses.
For more information on the challenges faced by ILRI staff and opportunities offered by mobile-driven learning, see ILRI capacity development brief 3, Mobile technology-driven capacity development: Lessons from the mNutrition and IBLI projects.
This brief was published as part of an internal ‘capacity development’ week at ILRI in December 2015.