I have just had a conversation with someone, who asked, “Why is so much of your stuff free”? In other words, why aren’t you charging for e-learning etc. I was quite taken aback, I mean, if you believe in the power of learning to transform people, organisations and communities, why wouldn’t you try to make as much as possible available for as little as possible? So I thought it would be worth exploring this a bit.
There is actually quite a lot on LINGOs that is free – in fact the whole Last Mile Learning programme was developed to provide free access to world class e-learning! We thought, however, that this was not enough. It requires a lot of planning and discipline to study entirely at your own pace. We know that development workers are often overworked and in difficult locations etc. etc. So we develop the PMD Pro 1 Self-Study Site provides you with a structured approach to learning by yourself. It gives you a schedule to follow and includes a structured approach to reading the PMD Pro Guide and combines this with the e-learning modules. In LINGOs, we are all hopeful that this resource helps more people to access the PMD Pro Guide.
So – even more free resource…why? Well, in short, because we believe in it. We believe strongly that improving our sector’s ability to manage projects can make a major difference in reducing poverty and suffering. Imagine if you could get just a 5% increase in effectiveness or efficiency. Multiply this across projects and you are talking about freeing up millions of dollars – we all want more resources – well maybe we already have some of them – if we can just access them!
In LINGOs, we have always felt that the PMD Pro initiative was something for the whole sector – not just large NGOs with big budgets. After all, it is actually local partners that do 95% of actual project implementation anyway! This is why the Guide is free. It is why we are making it accessible in as many languages as we can (Arabic, Dari, Mandarin, Russian and Italian are all coming soon). It is why the e-learning and the self-study site are free. When it can’t be free, we make it as cheap as we can – so the rate to do the exam – for local NGOs is US$20. The more we can do to spread the word, the more we all benefit. We start to move towards a simple set of project management standards that we all share and understand. Win, win, win – and hopefully – the project beneficiaries receive an increased amount of the resources invested in the projects.
So – a task for you all. Spread the word! Share the self-study site with as many people as you can!!