Strengthening the Skills of Aid Workers in Syria

December 13, 2016 Tina Bolding

“The resources available in the ISHA learning program are critical in helping develop our performance, improve our planning processes, and operate in a more organized way.”  - ISHA local partner working on the front-lines of humanitarian response in a besieged Syrian community for the past three years.

The ongoing conflict in Syria has resulted in one of the most dire humanitarian crises of all time. According to the U.N., more than 11 million Syrians have been displaced from their homes and 13.5 million are still in need of humanitarian assistance.

DisasterReady is partnering with Mercy Corps and the International Rescue Committee to support capacity development of local Syrian humanitarian organizations in order to strengthen their ability to respond to emergency needs throughout the country. 

The program is called Investing in Syrian Humanitarian Action (ISHA) and has two key objectives:

  • To strengthen Syrian partner organizations’ operational, technical, management, and programmatic skills
  • To support Syrian civil society organizations in responding to humanitarian and emergency needs throughout Syria through the delivery of humanitarian aid projects

One of the key elements of the ISHA program is a new technology-based learning program in DisasterReady that will provide learning options to aid workers in the whole of Syria. Thanks to the support of specialists, NGOs, and subject matter experts from across the sector, this free online learning resource provides targeted “learning pathways” to aid workers in and around Syria on topics including:

  • Humanitarian Essentials
  • Project Management
  • Financial Management
  • Leading Teams
  • Communicating Effectively
  • English Language Skills

We are proud to announce that the ISHA Online Learning Program is now live in DisasterReady. The ISHA learning program has online courses and resources in both Arabic and English.  In the near future, we will roll out new learning pathways on critical topics such as:

  • Protection Mainstreaming
  • Child Protection
  • Technical Sectors 

Are you new to Click here to sign up for DisasterReady. You will then be taken to the welcome page where you can click “Learn More" under "DisasterReady Programs” and then click “Learn More" under "Investing in Syrian Humanitarian Action".

Are you already a DisasterReady user? Click here to check out the new ISHA Online Learning Program. 

We welcome your feedback on and support of this important initiative.


About the Author

Tina Bolding is the Director of and is responsible for the strategy, development and outreach for this effort to support the critical and demanding training needs of the global humanitarian community. Before joining the Foundation, Tina served as chief human resources officer at Food for the Hungry, an international relief and development organization, where she built a global HR department and implemented support services to assist HR operations across 22 countries. Tina holds a BA in Organizational Communication and Psychology from the University of Tulsa.


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