International NGO Safety Organisation

INSO launches new online learning and training platform

As Coronavirus brought in-person activities to a halt around the globe, INSO’s training team were determined to adapt their work to enable them to continue to deliver their vital safety trainings for NGO workers throughout the pandemic.

Quickly, they switched all their existing trainings to virtual trainings, trialing different delivery platforms.


“We really wanted to create a space where participants felt strongly engaged with the training being delivered, where we could build that same connection and dynamic that you feel when you’re sitting together in a room for four days,” says Felicie Chevallier, INSO’s global training lead.


After assessing the many different solutions for digital learning, the team settled on developing a bespoke a ‘Small Private Online Course’ (SPOC) focused on the essentials of NGO safety and security management, which would sit alongside other online trainings offered by INSO during the pandemic.


The SPOC is built on a unique platform that allows participants to engage more deeply with the material, ask questions of the trainers and each other and to drive their own learning.



INSO's SPOC training.

INSO’s SPOC training.

“When compared to other online courses, the SPOC is an advanced technological and pedagogical approach that engages with each participant individually while allowing them to share and exchange with their peers in a safe space,” Felicie explains. “That safe space is key for learning, especially when we are dealing with such sensitive subjects.”


“Participants have to take responsibility for their own active learning, with the trainer there to guide and support them as they need. There’s no way that you can pass the course without proactively participating through completing exercises and sharing your opinions.”


The SPOC includes many interactive and dynamic elements such as quizzes, online and offline group and individual exercises, and forums that bring the material to life and ensure that participants gain a deep understanding of the subject matter and how it relates to their work.


Felicie adds: “What’s very important about the SPOC is that it’s still facilitated by a locally based trainer, and this means that, like all other INSO trainings, its highly adapted to the context.”


“We use local examples of common threats, incidents and issues that participants are likely face, and also use locally appropriate solutions. This makes the training much more useful for the participants.”

Pilot phase

After bringing together colleagues from across the organisation to design a comprehensive safety and security training, the team conducted the pilot in Iraq in November and December 2020.


Nicoletta Roccabianca, Premiere Urgence International’s Area Coordinator for Central and South Iraq, who took part in the pilot, shared her experience: “This was actually my first formal training on security, so I was quite excited to participate.”


Alongside 21 participants who completed the course – Nicoletta spent around six hours a week on the training for four consecutive weeks.


“The training gives you the tools and understanding of key concepts around safety and security management that really help you to take decisions, and to handle situations that might arise in your work,” explains Nicoletta.


“I really liked how the course was structured with chapters and steps, where you have to complete one in order to move on. I liked having to complete the quizzes and other exercises. It keeps the training interesting and also means that you have to have some level of discipline and time management, which can be a bit harder when you’re online rather than in person.”


“I think most interesting part was exchanging with others and sharing experiences. This really helped me to understand that others are facing exactly the same challenges and that you’re not alone. I found this a very enriching opportunity.”

According to a post-training survey, over 90% of participants were happy to have participated in the training. 100% of participants said that the training would be useful for their colleagues.

Global Roll-Out

In 2021, INSO’s Training Managers will be rolling out the course across our country offices and hope to run more than 20 courses this year in either French or English. Each of these will, like all INSO trainings, be free to access.


“We’re really excited to be able to offer this training to hundreds of participants this year, giving people a chance to deepen their safety management skills, even during a pandemic,” concludes Felicie.


If you are interested in participating in a future training and work with an NGO registered with INSO, get in touch with your local INSO contact.