Simulation-based training tools for JIT capacity building

Organisation: MiiHealth Ltd

Partners: The MENTOR Initiative

Location: Freetown, Siera Leone

Type of grant: Core – recognition

Status: Ongoing

  • Telegraph article on ebuddi

  • Frontline training - is there a better way

  • Augmenting practical training

  • At the start of the outbreak cases of Ebola were doubling every 4 weeks far outstripping the capacity of traditional approaches to train up frontline health workers so they could keep themselves safe and keep serving their communities

  • ebuddi - building on insights from the learning sciences

  • ebuddi provided a much more 'adaptive' approach to training so that it had the potential to be context sensitive and personalised

  • Critical steps identified by frontline workers could be highlighted as shown in this illustration

  • By March 2017, over 10 million Cardboard viewers had shipped with over 160 million Cardboard app downloads

  • Devices such as Google cardboard could make immersive pre-deployment or induction training both accessible and cost effective enough to transform our conventional view of training

  • The proliferation of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), Booby Traps and mines in countries like Iraq and Syria means awareness training needs to be constantly updated as new kinds of threats are found

  • The legacy of the scorched earth policy of combatants in Iraq

  • Explosive Hazard clearance is a costly, labour intensive and dangerous process; the cost of removal is estimated at US$300-US$1000 per Explosive Hazard

  • The well documented case of nurse Pauline Cafferkey becoming infected during the Ebola crisis is a reminder of the challenges of ensuring frontline humanitarian workers - be they local or international - have the relevant training to keep themselves and the communities in which they are working, safe; and that the necessary competences are well managed as part of the humanitarian response

  • Andre Chowon co-founder of Touch Surgery challenged complacency about surgical training, creating a company to raise the standards of surgical care globally, utilizing cutting edge, affordable, and accessible technology

  • We have built on insights from other sectors using simulation to augment training and operational performance from the Oil and Gas industry to safety training in the aviation sector

  • One of the great challenges is to combine a highly detailed, personal and adaptive response to training with scale

  • TechChange believe they are the first e-learning platform to combine data-driven and adaptive learning approaches with soft-skills development, directly impacting how learners engage with one another and with course content.

  • The Tech Change approach employs a variety of communications technology tools.

  • This HIF supported project can provide a snapshot to help re-imagine the humanitarian agency of the future

  • Many humanitarian agencies are going through an existential crisis. Short term they may face safeguarding issues, but longer term they have an even greater challenge - how to ensure they are fit for purpose in a digital future. This OCHA review captures this existential crisis and it even more acute today than when this exercise was carried out in 2013.

  • If you are interested in learning more about these challenges and the solutions health workers are devising for them, check out the newest TechChange course, The Future of Digital Health, beginning on February 26, 2018

  • The initiative started off by exploring ways we could augment traditional training using simulation based training material on laptops and then on tablets we were even more intuitive to use

  • We drew ideas from projects being developed by the likes of Samsung, Oculus & NASA; and the solutions they have developed for capturing and experiencing immersive environments

  • Tool kits exists for quickly and easily sharing the essential principles and tools for palliative care with health workers to community volunteers

Co-creation of simulation based training through an agile approach to development enabling Just in Time (JIT) high impact training which is cultural and context specific and ensures a sustainable legacy, with the potential to transform the international humanitarian response.

What is the humanitarian need?

Three challenges raised in emergencies include:

  1. How to give local people the knowledge, confidence and competence to help themselves and support one another with less reliance on international support
  2. How to empower frontline health workers so they can keep safe and keep serve their communities?
  3. How to improve quality, speed, scale and coherence of local capacity building?

Examples include: Strengthening outbreak response from pandemics and anti-microbial resistance; improving effectiveness and efficiency of IPC training; improving quality assurance and making M&E occur in real time; and reducing dependence on English language and literacy.

What is the innovative solution?

The solution is innovative in its approach to development, its outcomes and its potential to build on more widely. This tool will

  • build on advances in simulation training
  • enable the use of voice-overs in local language
  • allow agile development facilitating co-creation with frontline teams
  • be intuitive in overcoming barriers of literacy and language
  • ensure the availability of human resources with the appropriate mix of competencies, including knowledge and skills in the event of an outbreak
  • improve compliance with International Health Regulations
  • and could be applied to other competencies

What are the expected outcomes?

  • Understanding of barriers to innovation in the crisis
  • Appreciation that there are alternatives to current focus on English based MOOCs with well defined, practical model for training in local language
  • Illustration of how analytics can be used to drive a virtuous circle of improvement at the level of the individual, institution and programme
  • Cost effectiveness compared to traditional training formats
  • Development proposal for pilot in an affected country with sites and partners identified


Elrha is a registered charity in England and Wales (1177110).

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