Rescue Academy: The International Rescue Committee’s New Intranet Learning Site

27 July 2020
Deirdre McCormick

by Deirdre McCormick

Accountability Program Manager, IRC

After going through the CHS self-assessment process, CHS Alliance member IRC share their work towards meeting Commitments 7 and 8 of the CHS; Humanitarian actors continually learn and improve, with staff being supported to do their job effectively…

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) has committed to investing in staff learning and improvement. Over the years, we have partnered with various e-learning organisations to provide IRC staff with access to sector specific courses. As our organization continued to grow, it became increasingly important for us to develop our own online e-learning courses to increase technical excellence, orient staff to policies and procedures and provide a free platform to all IRC staff to access courses for self-improvement. Thus, the IRC launched a new intranet learning site, Rescue Academy, organisation wide in April 2018.

Rescue Academy

Rescue Academy is a one-stop shop for IRC employees to access talent management-led learning and development initiatives, including (1) online e-learning content, (2) quizzes and assessments, (3) webinars and massive open online courses, (4) videos, documents and other resources, (5) discussion forums, and (6) information and registration for in-person workshops. As of December 2019, we have about 7,500 IRC staff signed up on the platform. IRC has partnered with the Humanitarian Leadership Academy, as well as eCornell, 2U and Get Smarter university programs, to provide quality -learning opportunities for all IRC staff.

Internal E-learning

Our partnership with the Humanitarian Leadership Academy provides us with a new learning portal for IRC staff on our global learning platform, Kaya. Within the IRC Kaya portal IRC staff can access content that is specific to the IRC, as well as access the full Kaya catalogue of 400+ free courses. Kaya is designed to be accessed from mobiles, tablets, laptops and PCs, so IRC staff can use it whenever and wherever they are. Staff also have the option to access the platform in English, French or Arabic; with courses available in many other languages. A sample of IRC courses on Kaya include:

  • A micro learning video about quality 1:1 discussions can also be found on Kaya created to guide managers as IRC streamlines the annual staff Performance Management Evaluation process and develop opportunities for more impactful and employee driven feedback conversations as the key opportunity for staff to have clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities.
  • A library of introductory e-learnings to help staff become more familiar with IRC’s Good & Great Standards. These standards guide IRC by defining what integrated program quality looks like. Current course topics include Client Responsiveness, Context Appropriate and Gender Equality at the IRC.
  • A course of Accountability in Emergencies that provides step-by-step guidance on how to use IRC’s accountability framework. This course walks staff through the following emergency toolkits: Needs Assessments, Strategy, Feedback in Emergencies, Monitoring, and Real Time Evaluations.

External E-learning

Additional partnerships with eCornell, 2U and Get Smarter university programs grant IRC staff access to a wide range of humanitarian and technical specific academic courses.

We are excited to cover this large variety of learnings to IRC staff through Rescue Academy and look forward to seeing the platform continue expanding its course offerings.

The Humanitarian Accountability Report (HAR) 2020 will highlight more ways to learn from those applying the CHS, as well as providing an evidence-based overview of how accountable the aid sector is today. To attend the virtual HAR 2020 launch event and be one of the first to access the report’s results, sign up to the free virtual Global CHS Exchange, 6-8 October 2020.