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A Case Study - Traning for Nurses in Mongolia and Indonesia

I would like to add to some of the points made in an earlier post by Colin, regarding the power of modern knowledge management tools and methods for capacity development, through a current example; A capacity building program on Mother and Child Health Education for Mongolian Youth, and Disaster Nusing Training Course for Indonesian and Timor Leste nurses.

The program aimed to nurture specialists in mother and child health care. Material and expertise were sourced from Japan, where professional contacts with the professional body for Nursing in  Mongolia had already been established. Such opportunities for continuing education for nurses are scarce in Mongolia, so this program was designed specifically for convenient access, by taking advantage of video-conferencing. Five locations within Mongolia and Japan were connected by video-conference. Knowledge was shared with minimal time and financial burden on participating nurses and lecturers. This training course held on April 2008 saw a turnout of 440 young women at five venues connected by the videoconferencing. The participants could not only access the latest knowledge, but were also able to build an informal peer-network among themselves. The cost advantages of the video-conferencing format made it relatively easy to obtain funding for repeat programs, and second session is planned to be held in March 2009, with approximately 400 nurses.

The course also generated demand from elsewhere. Approximately 790 nurses, front-line health providers in Indonesia and Timor Leste will also gather in late February 2009 for a video-conference enabled program on nursing in disaster situations, dealing with disaster preparedness, response, and rehabilitation. The response from Indonesia has been very enthusiastic. This program is also expected to generate interest in effective methods of knowledge sharing among different countries and locations, by taking advantage of modern knowledge management tools and methods.

To reach this many people, with uniform high quality training and access to expertise, would have been logistically and financially impractical, through conventional methods. Many of those who received training would normally not have the opportunity to attend those capacity building programs due to distance, cost and even position within their respective organizations. The programs demonstrated how modern knowledge management tools and methods have the power to reach many different sectors of the population, even those normally “unreached” with the best available expertise, at a fraction of the cost (per person) of conventional methods.