Going with the flow: surface water management training

Organisation: Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC), School of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University

Location: UK

Type of grant: Core – implementation

Status: Ongoing

  • Effects of poor surface water drainage. Photo by V Hammond


Using the development of a training course to support practitioners decide between emergency drainage options, as a case study. This project engages users in the development of curriculum options to reduce the cost of ELearning production.

What is the humanitarian need?

Information about existing drainage solutions is scattered across a number of guidelines and manuals. However, these guidelines offer little contextual information about the effectiveness of solutions across different humanitarian settings. ELearning provides great opportunities for scattered specialist humanitarian workers to gain knowledge on topics such as drainage, but as development costs are high ensuring that the curriculum and delivery methods meet users’ needs is important.

What is the innovative solution?

By testing innovative curriculum development techniques, this project aims to make ELearning more efficient and effective. With a scattered, diverse and mobile workforce, training can be difficult to deliver, especially for specialist topics, so ELearning has significant potential. However, the lack of dialogue between teacher and student makes feedback on the course content and delivery difficult. By using an iterative process with the first cohort of learners, the course development may take longer but should match user requirements more closely than a supply-driven approach. This consultation will cover both what is covered but also learning styles and delivery methods (e.g. using mobile phones) Drainage has been chosen as the case study, as there is a clear demand for information and identifiable recipients of the training and well as a demonstrated absence of accessible training material.

What are the expected outcomes?

The output of the project will be a simple training course on surface water management in humanitarian conditions that will be accessible via mobile phones. The longer-term outcome however is a method of designing training courses for dispersed cohorts of participants in a more effective manner, leading to better capacity building and hopefully the resulting impacts on more appropriate infrastructure solutions.


Elrha is hosted by Save the Children, a registered charity in England and Wales (213890) and Scotland (SC039570).

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