An online training platform created by technology company DTS to impart life-saving skills to humanitarian aid workers has this week been rolled out in Syria.
The Syrian conflict has created the worst humanitarian crisis of our time; the U.N estimates that 6.3 million people are internally displaced and in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. Although the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), one of the world’s leading NGOs, has attempted to employ remote management techniques, contact with partner staff is impossible in many locations.
With the war not expected to end any time soon, the need to find an alternative way to reach aid workers in the field with critical skills and knowledge grew ever more urgent – DTS’ ‘Frontline Humanitarian Toolbox’ has provided a solution.
The NRC hopes that the platform will help save many more lives by imparting crucial skills.
The ‘Frontline Humanitarian Toolbox’ builds on DTS’ previous work within this space, with the ‘Mission Ready’ platform developed last year for another leading NGO, RedR UK, plus its own hostile environment training platform, Hostile World, which was produced in partnership with the UK’s International Search and Rescue team. Each incorporates DTS’ own trademarked Near-Life immersive technology. Mike Todd was invited to the World Humanitarian Summit last year to discuss how innovative training methods such as the Frontline Humanitarian Toolbox and Mission Ready can keep humanitarian aid workers safe. The conference was attended by 65 Heads of State and Government.
Mike Todd, co-founder of DTS, said: “We’re really pleased to be able to use our technology to support the Norwegian Refugee Council and its partners. Our Near-Life technology and approach allows realistic training online in a way that simply wasn’t possible in the past. It will improve knowledge and awareness regarding some of the key challenges humanitarian aid workers are likely to face, and will teach the skills they need to stay safe and continue their vital work in the field.”
Christine Chamoun, Access and Partnership Advisor for the Syrian Response Office of the NRC, said: “Communities inside Syria are constantly on the move, fleeing dangers created by changing front lines. Shifting pockets of access creates barriers to people in need of emergency aid, and besieged and hard-to-reach areas are nearly impossible to access. This online training is a way for us to continue to impart crucial skills that will help to save lives and keep aid workers safe in an extremely dangerous environment.”
Using local actors filmed on location in Jordan, the interactive scenarios give aid workers insight into the security situations they will be likely to encounter. Consequently, when confronted with comparable situations in the real world, they will intuitively lean toward the most suitable, safest decision.
The Frontline Humanitarian Toolbox is expected to result in the improvement of outcomes in the field, saving of many more lives in Syria.