OpenSesame Partners with LINGOs to Bring eLearning Resources to Non Governmental Organizations

OpenSesame Partners with LINGOs to Bring eLearning Resources to Non Governmental Organizations

Wouldn’t you love to make a difference in the world? OpenSesame makes it really easy for you to use your instructional design and development skills to make a meaningful difference promoting international development, humanitarian relief, social justice and protecting the environment around the world. 

OpenSesame is proud to partner with LINGOs (Learning in Non Governmental Organizations), a not-for-profit consortium of international NGOs. LINGOs helps groups such as CARE, Save the Children, Habitat for Humanity, The Nature Conservancy, Islamic Relief, Catholic Relief Services, Transparency International, World Vision, the World Wildlife Federation and many others do their good work even better.

These groups are all not-for-profit NGOs whose greatest asset is their global staff, yet because they rely on contributions of generous donors (individuals, foundations and government foreign aid),who require the vast majority of funding put directly into programs in the field, they don’t have a lot of resources to invest in the professional development of their people, especially their global staff. That’s where LINGOs, OpenSesame and YOU come in.

LINGOs is a small and effective organization that uses the principles of social entrepreneurship to help member NGOs leverage the power of eLearning to build the capacity of their global staff. LINGOs provides its members with the latest in learning technologies including LMS, web classroom, authoring tools, commercially-developed self-paced courses, a growing number of sector-specific courses and most importantly, a community of like minded people. LINGOs is able to do this because the eLearning community is incredibly generous. The community has contributed its best resources – its learning products and services.

LINGOs operates a Learning Management System loaded with over 500 courses on management, leadership, human resources management, financial administration, software (for IT professionals and end users), a variety of sector-specific topics including safety and security, managing traumatic stress for humanitarian workers, programming PDAs for health surveys, food security, financial guidelines for spending US Government funds and more. For not much more than the cost of one or two international trips per year, member agencies are able to provide their entire global staff access to world-class learning without them having to leave their home offices.

This is especially important for the staff based in offices in the developing world – in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This staff rarely have the learning opportunities afforded to headquarter and developed world staff based in the US, UK and Europe. eLearning gives these front-line staff members the opportunity to engage in world-class learning opportunities rarely afforded to personnel based in the field, as travel to face to face courses is so expensive.

LINGOs member agency ACDI/VOCA rapidly deployed their LMS (named Aspire), as well as many of the other learning resources. “Our field staff, spread over 45 countries, is hungry for learning and career development opportunities,” said John Leary, ACDI/VOCA’s director of training. “They have dedicated their lives to helping others less fortunate, and so it is particularly satisfying for me to be able to provide them with the best distance education resources available.”

In its partnership with LINGOs, OpenSesame will co-sponsor the third eLearning Global Giveback competition with LINGOs and the eLearning Guild. “The eLearning Global Giveback is a cross between the Academy Awards and the Nobel Peace Prize,” said the eLearning Guild’s co-founder Heidi Fisk, last year in announcing the winners of the first Global Giveback. She was only half joking! eLearning volunteers partnered with LINGOs member agencies and over the past two years have developed over 50 courses for LINGOs member agencies. Some are proprietary courses, but others are being shared with the LINGOs community and others are made available to programmatic beneficiaries.


“Working with LINGOs to access elearning resources helps us provide learning and development opportunities for our staff at all levels in the organization, and almost anywhere in the world,” says Janell Lee, Mercy Corps eLearning Specialist. “We appreciate the elearning community’s contributions that make LINGOs’ work possible.”

Additionally, OpenSesame sellers will be able to check a box providing free access to their courses to the staff of LINGOs member agencies. In a very real way, eLearning developers will be able to contribute to making the world a better place. When the programmatic staff of groups such as Plan International, Heifer International, International Crisis Group, Mercy Corps, Oxfam, and World Relief have and use the additional skills and knowledge to accomplish their life-changing and life-saving jobs even more effectively, with greater satisfaction, or increased efficiency because of what they learned and applied in your course, then you’ve made the magic words “OpenSesame” come true for millions around the world.

Marian Abernathy is the Director of Member Services and Communications at LINGOs, where she serves as the liaison between LINGOs member organizations and LINGOs staff, representing the needs and concerns of LINGOs members. Marian began her career in international development in the mid 1980s as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Honduras. She has a masters in public health and has worked for over 20 years on issues related to women’s reproductive health, with a focus on training.

Photo credit: L. Lartigue, USAID