COL’s social impact is achieved through projects that can be scaled to a national, regional and international level. By developing prototypes that can be used by any nation, institution or organisation, COL is able to achieve local impact on a global scale. COL’s reach is further strengthened by a network of partners and stakeholders who help to ensure programs and initiatives are aligned with the needs and priorities of the developing countries.

Learning for International Organisations

COL helps international organisations build capacity for responding to humanitarian challenges by providing eLearning opportunities for field staff. COL’s eLearning for International Organisations programme delivers affordable, award-winning eLearning courses for international organisations such as the United Nations Refugee Agency, UNICEF and World Health Organisation.

Learning through Interactive Voice Educational System (LIVES)

Low literacy rates present tremendous barriers to traditional forms of learning. To help address this challenge, COL partnered with the University of British Columbia (UBC) to develop LIVES, a mobile phone-based learning management system. Working with local communities, graduate students at the Network and Internet Computing Laboratory at UBC developed learning materials tailored to the needs of communities. This approach to learning is showing that technology, when combined with distance learning systems that involve local communities, can play a major role in improving lives and livelihoods.

Technical and Vocational Skills Development

COL’s Technical and Vocational Skills Development (TVSD) programme seeks to address inadequate quality in, and low access to, technical and vocational education and training. In collaboration with partners such as the Dhaka Ahsania Mission in Bangladesh, the Human Employment and Resources Training Trust National Training Agency in Jamaica, the Department of Education in Papua New Guinea, and 13 partner institutions from seven countries through INVEST Africa, COL works to expand access to quality vocational education and skills development, particularly informal training that supports the inclusion of girls and women and promotes gender equity.

Lifelong Learning for Farmers

Inadequate human resource development among millions of farm families has been one of the major causes of livelihood insecurity. COL’s Lifelong Learning for Farmers (L3F) initiative links capacity building in farming communities with social and financial capital through open and distance learning. The local L3F approach can be scaled to regional, national and international levels.

In India, a study found that every $1 invested in L3F yields $9 worth of social returns to the farming communities.

Monitoring and evaluation

COL has a robust system of monitoring and evaluation that supports the capturing, collecting and analysing of data to assess its results. COL is particularly interested in analysing the relationship between costs, outputs, intended outcomes and impact to demonstrate value for money.