The Platform Coordination Unit of the IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI) today received audio-visual production equipment worth USD 15,365.83. The equipment was procured by GIZ with the support of the BMZ and will be used by IGAD to produce and roll-out its virtual learning platform.
In 2020 the sudden outbreak and rapid spread of Covid-19 resulted to its declaration as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. The scramble to put in place measures to curb its spread led to region-wide lockdowns, and with it, restrictions on movement, face-to-face interactions and overall interruption of operations. For IGAD, this period has resulted in a disruption of activities, many of which involve training and technical support to Member States. The organisation rapidly transitioned to the use of virtual platforms such as Zoom and Teams for these types of activities, but had yet to establish a structured virtual learning programme.
In 2021, IGAD proposed and received support from BMZ through GIZ, to pilot the use of Atingi as a standard tool for virtual learning courses that will increase understanding of, and improve implementation of the IDDRSI PIAs. Atingi is a digital learning platform that enables free access to high-quality digital learning content anytime and anywhere. Atingi is developed by a team of digital experts as part of the GIZ global project “Africa Cloud” and works closely with Smart Africa, a digital initiative of 30 African digital ministries. In addition, tech companies, civil society and science support the project implementation as strategic partners.
The overall goal of implementing this action was to improve IGAD’s ability to promote drought resilience in the region through improved utilisation of knowledge for drought resilience in Member States. The longer-term perspective was to make Atingi available for other virtual learning and capacity building needs within all IGAD thematic areas, and eventually to fully integrate it within IGAD’s architecture as the virtual learning platform.
GIZ contracted the services of Futuristic Ltd. After evaluating the requirements, a decision was made to set up and configure the virtual learning platform using the Moodle framework. The platform conforms to IGAD branding guidelines and allows configuration of all the functionalities of the platform and features according to IGAD’s needs. Futuristic Ltd trained IGAD staff to develop course content and use the platform. Whereas the platform has been customised for IGAD, courses deemed to be open for the public will also be pushed to the Atingi platform.