Hybrid MOOC strengthens capacity of government officials across Africa


Hybrid MOOC strengthens capacity of government officials across Africa

sportanddev, the Commonwealth and the African Union partnered to deliver the first hybrid global online course on Sport for Sustainable Development to government officials.

Our massive open online course (MOOC) - Sport for Sustainable Development: Designing effective policies and programmes - has been a major success since its launch in July 2020.

Over 7,000 learners from191 countries, across all six continents have joined the English course since its launch in July 2020, with positive feedback from learners and other stakeholders.

Following the success of the English course and responding to an identified need for more sport and development resources in other languages and for underrepresented regions, we launched the course in three additional United Nations official languages – French, Spanish & Arabic.

The course is open access and free of charge and is designed to build capacity for individuals and organisations using sport for sustainable development in their policies and programmes.

The course is developed and managed by the International Platform on Sport and Development (sportanddev), the Australian Government and Commonwealth Secretariat to maximise the contribution sport can make to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other priorities.

Hybrid MOOC launched in partnership with African Union

The 8-week course has been available online since its inception in 2020. There has been growing demand for a hybrid version to combine online learning with tailored workshops.

Responding to this demand, sportanddev and the Commonwealth Secretariat partnered with the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) to develop and deliver the first hybrid MOOC.

Gret interest was expressed from across Africa, with over 75 registrations. 42 persons from 17 countries were selected for the hybrid MOOC. In addition to the expert content and activities in the regular 8-week course, the hybrid MOOC included dedicated online workshops for senior government officials run by expert academics and thought leaders in sport and development.

Finally, an in-person workshop at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa took place from 18-20 June 2024. 21 officials from 12 African countries met in Ethiopia to network and share learnings and further build their capacity to maximise sport for development in their respective countries. Experts from the Commonwealth, sportanddev and AUSC created and delivered the workshop.

Feedback from senior government officials indicated that the hybrid MOOC was a success:

- Over 90% of officials said the hybrid MOOC fully met their expectations

- Over 95% of officials said they were very or fully satisfied with the hybrid MOOC[BS1] 

- 100% of officials have applied, or will apply, the course in their workplace

- Over 95% of officials said the in-person workshop added value to the online elements

Officials reflected that they would apply the course learnings in many ways, with the overall goal to better design, deliver, measure and advocate for sport for development policies and programmes to make a greater impact in their respective contexts. Specific areas included:

  1. Policy design and implementation

“I will apply [the] knowledge gained in designing and implementing sport policies as well as in monitoring and evaluation.”

“We are busy with the review of our sport policy, and this information will be of assistance.”

  1. Engaging and informing stakeholders

“[It will help with] engaging with the relevant authorities and stakeholders on the learnings.”

“Engaging the Minister is the top priority and then share with the colleagues.”

  1. Aligning with broader goals

“[It will help] by aligning activities with the SDGs.”

  1. Application in daily work and capacity building

“I am especially keen on applying the Logic and/or Theory of Change models.”

  1. Specific actions and review processes

“[It will help to] review my policy and see content, purposes, and M&E set up; find linkages with the SDGs and review associated programs. This will go with informing colleagues about what was learnt and considerations to improve our implementation.”

Next steps

This hybrid MOOC is the first of its kind and officials will remain connected as they return to their countries to put the learnings into practice. The findings from this pilot will be presented at the 11th Commonwealth Sport Ministers’ Meeting (CSMM) ahead of the Paris Olympics.

Demand has been expressed from other regions, and the partners will roll the hybrid MOOC out to other regions (resources dependent) and welcome the support of other stakeholders.

In the meantime, anyone can sign up for the regular MOOC which remains open access.

Register today: English course | French course |Spanish course |Arabic course

For further information on the MOOC and/or the hybrid version you can contact:
- The Commonwealth Secretariat: sdp@commonwealth.int
- sportanddev. Dr Ben Sanders (Course Director): ben.sanders@sportanddev.org[BS2] 
- The African Union Sport Council: Dr Decius Chpande: ChipandeD@africa-union.org

 [BS1]Based on the number of officials who selected 4 and/or 5 when asked how satisfied they were

 [BS2]Not sure if we should have a contact here. I am happy to list myself but not sure what ComSec and/or AUSC think?