The Pilot Phase – 2012 to 2013
Starting in August, a number of online courses were piloted. All in all, 121 online learners from the labour movement completed courses such as “Building Democratic Trade Unions”, “Communication for Advocacy”, “Basic Information and Communication Skills for Collective Bargaining”, “Climate Change and Transport Workers” and “Youth Globalisation Awareness Programme”. The courses reached countries such as Peru, South Africa, Uganda, Philippines, Pakistan, Great Britain, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Kenya, Mauritius, Malawi and India.
Organisations participating during this phase included Labour Research Services (LRS) – South Africa, the Labour Education and Research Network (LEARN) – Philippines, the International Transport Federation (ITF) – global federation, Programa Laboral de Desarrolla (PLADES) – Peru and the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) – India.
The aim was to deliver courses over a 3 month period with 100 participants targeted across the regions where IFWEA affiliates work. The organisations aimed to deliver 6 courses to selected trade unions, and leaders of their memberships. The course activities were done online, and combined with face-to-face workshops.
In India, SEWA did the same course with four tutors in four villages at the same time using online and group participation methodologies. Learners could also see groups in the other areas. Upon completion, learners were already focussed and gave feedback about what they wanted to learn next.
By the end of 2012:
- the transfer of skills from the labour support organizations to the trade unions had taken place in four countries and in two international organisations,
- participants from four countries were trained in collective bargaining, and the participants of eight countries were trained on climate change;
- participants of four countries were trained in the subjects of representing and advocating the needs of women working in informalised forms of work,
- and tutors from four countries, two international organisations and the IFWEA Secretariat were trained in distance learning,
At this point six IFWEA member organisations and the IFWEA Secretariat offered online education. In total, 102 trade union learners participated in 7 courses in the year 2012.
In February of 2013, the pilot phase experience was evaluated. At that meeting the participating organisations agreed that a second workshop of tutor training was necessary. Two other organisations, CLASS Nepal and CENAC Bolivia joined OLA at this point. It was agreed that this tutor training would seek to capture the experiences of the tutors so far, and strengthen their knowledge, skills and abilities to effectively manage online courses implemented by their organisations.