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Why learn at IDS

We are expert in online and self-guided learning

We deliver a range of successful online and self-guided courses, from trade policy to social protection, and impact evaluation to sustainable development.

Online learning for everyone, everywhere

Even before Covid-19 prompted an increase in online teaching and training, IDS was already exploring the potential for broadening access for a wider range of participants through online learning.

Launched in June 2020, ‘Social Protection: A Primer’ was a timely short course offered to professionals – and has become a core part of our building leadership work in this field.

Aimed at practitioners and policymakers in social protection, the free-to-access course was developed by IDS and supported by Irish Aid as part of our partnership with them. More than 2000 people from around the world took the course in its first year.

Feedback has been extremely positive, with several participants sharing how the course has helped to build individual and team capacity. Senior staff in World Vision and UNICEF Lebanon recommended it to their staff for capacity-building and development of their approach to social protection. Team managers in Terre des Hommes Bangladesh included it in training for all their social workers and community mobilisers to build stronger links between their work and social protection. One participant described the course as ‘extremely detailed, but also not filled with overly-technical and complicated terms’, adding: ‘I have acquired valuable knowledge on social protection, and better understand the need for the protection of vulnerable communities.’ Another spoke of learning ‘so much about social protection and the role it could play towards ending poverty’.

Other successful online and self-guided courses include: Pastoralism and Uncertainty; Shaping Policy with Evidence; Making Trade Policy Inclusive; Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation for Learning; and our online MSc in Sustainable Development (delivered in collaboration with the University of Sussex).