Learn, Prepare, Collaborate: DisasterReady.org

April 18, 2013Julie Brandt

In 2010, heavy monsoon rains resulted in massive flooding throughout Pakistan, leaving much of the population stranded with little or no access to food and susceptible to water-borne diseases. As this devastating disaster unfolded, we witnessed the tremendous challenge facing relief organizations, including many of the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) supported by the Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation, as they struggled to mobilize people and supplies to address this severe crisis. The enormous human toll of this tragedy, combined with the testimonials from many of the aid agencies we work with, underscored the importance of getting well-trained staff and volunteers on the ground as soon as possible after a disaster strikes.

Humanitarian action is only getting more complex. With its rapidly changing compliance standards, new partnership models and the need to scale operations rapidly, training is key to ensuring a successful relief mission. The reality is that most organizations don’t have the resources or bandwidth to provide intensive and consistent training to current staff and volunteers. And since the number of people affected by humanitarian crises is expected to rise to 375 million by 2015—a jump of 125 million people from 2011—the need for real-time, responsive training will only continue to grow.

Given the Foundation’s focus in the area of disaster response and our work supporting relief organizations, we began to see how we could leverage Cornerstone OnDemand’s learning software and expertise in training and development to be a conduit for change among humanitarian workers. Teaming up with the world’s leading humanitarian aid organizations, we developed DisasterReady.org

The DisasterReady.org Initiative

Powered by Cornerstone OnDemand’s learning software, DisasterReady.org is a free, easy-to-use online training resource that provides eLearning courses created to help prepare humanitarian aid workers for the challenges and demands they face in the field. Designed by experts in staff development and humanitarian action, DisasterReady.org is the result of a collaborative nonprofit effort between the Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation and prominent aid agencies, including Save the Children, Oxfam America, InsideNGO, Mercy Corps, Samaritan’s Purse, Project HOPE, AmeriCares and many more.

The goal of DisasterReady.org is simple: to increase the preparedness and effectiveness of humanitarian aid workers around the world by providing accessible, affordable, high-quality training. If you have an Internet connection, you can benefit from DisasterReady.org—course topics range from international law, staff wellness and security, to water sanitation and communications, leadership, team building skills and more. Users can take several courses at a time, view completed courses and access course materials as often as they would like. Leveraging the DisasterReady.org portal, the humanitarian community can also participate in training webinars and share best practices and resources.

This is Where You Come In

While disasters are difficult to prevent, preparedness is the key to minimizing the societal and economic effects of these all too common global emergencies. Stay tuned in the coming months for more information on how we’re developing the program to be the most adaptable, responsive and accessible resource for humanitarian aid workers around the world. What could this program look like in five, even ten years? We’re keen to find out—and invite you to be part of the DisasterReady.org community and join us in the process of ensuring our content reflects the priorities and challenges on the ground.

To get started with DisasterReady.org, visit www.disasterready.org. Have a resource or Web site you’d like to include in the DisasterReady.org Resources section? Contact us at info@disasterready.org.

About Julie Brandt

As Executive Director of the Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation, Julie Brandt is responsible for developing and driving the growth, reach, and sustainability of the Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, Ms. Brandt advised companies and individuals on their... more


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