Empowering Humanitarian Professionals in Managing the Venezuelan Migrant Crisis through Effective Information Management Trainings

iMMAP Colombia's Humanitarian Information Management program enables professionals to address the Venezuelan migrant crisis through effective training. This helps improve the humanitarian response on the ground and fosters a sustainable ecosystem of knowledge transfer.

In response to the significant migration of people from Venezuela, the need for highly trained humanitarian professionals has reached a critical point.

Focusing on vital information management skills, the Humanitarian Information Management program aims to foster a self-perpetuating ecosystem of knowledge transfer, enhancing the quality of the humanitarian response. Rising to this challenge, iMMAP Colombia developed the Humanitarian Information Management program to bolster the capacity of NGOs responding to the crisis. This program was first piloted in October 2022 in partnership with Javeriana University, one of Colombia's oldest and most respected educational institutions. Nearly a thousand participants, hailed from more than 100 organizations involved in the Migrant and Refugee Response Plan, have enrolled. They accessed this program from various locations in Columbia and Latin America. 

Sebastian Gallego, from the International Rescue Committee, acknowledging the transformative power of training and its essential role in empowering individuals to navigate internal processes and external challenges. He stated that “the training provides an important theoretical content and practical tools”, as well as highlights the crucial element of knowledge appropriation. According to him, being able to respond to the real-world situations is as important as to acquiring a new knowledge. 

Cover of the Introduction of Geographic Information Management module

Marcela Guerrero, from iMMAP Colombia, noted how she has witnessed the profound transformations that occur when strengthening the capacities of humanitarian workers in Colombia and the wider región. This empowerment enables organizations to make informed decisions, analyze complex situations, and efficiently coordinate resources, leading to improved response efforts.  

“As a trainer of trainers in humanitarian information management, I have witnessed the transformative impact of strengthening the capacities of humanitarian workers in Colombia and the region. This empowers the organizations to make informed decisions, analyze complex situations, and coordinate resources efficiently, improving their response efforts. By investing in training and professional development is fostering a sustainable ecosystem, capable of adapting to evolving contexts and addressing multifaceted challenges"Marcela Guerrero – Training Expert, iMMAP

Participants who successfully complete the program earn accolades from the Javeriana University and from an international organization called the Network on Humanitarian Action (NOHA). A recognition by NOHA means that the participant's training and skills are of a standard accepted by a respected international association, adding to their credibility and standing in the humanitarian community. 

The Humanitarian Information Management program provides self-guided, self-paced trainings with 18 modules currently online and a few more to be added soon. These modules are all available on Moodle, allowing asynchronous time management, and to accommodate the participant’s diverse schedules and their quality of internet connections.  

Jesús Umaña, representing the International Organization for Migration, emphasizes the value of these modules in providing a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter.  

"The modules contribute to understanding the context from the global perspective, understanding the content in a holistic way, which can be implemented regardless of the organization" Jesús Umaña - International Organization for Migration

The modules are categorized into different themes, adapted to participant’s level of knowledge -- basic, intermediate, and advanced. Training for Trainers modules are designed to enhance their proficiency in crucial information management skills, while fostering sustainable knowledge transfer within the realm of humanitarian response.  Axel Rodriguez from Social Pastoral attests to the positive outcomes generated by these trainings, highlighting their ability to optimize organizational workflows and promote transparency and collaboration among team members. 

“Currently these trainings have been disseminated to all the personnel of my organization, I am a pioneer in taking them and each time they are implemented in a more general way, impacting the agility of the processes, generating information for all the areas and members of the same, harmoniously managing the information to know what is being done.” Axel Rodriguez - Social Pastoral

Leveraging insights from the success of the program’s pilot phase, iMMAP is now refining the program through another partnership with the Universidad del Rosario. Founded in 1653, Universidad del Rosario is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Colombia and Latin America, known for its significant contributions to social sciences. The second batch of the program, currently taking place, is set to certify an additional 21 humanitarian workers, highlighting iMMAP's ongoing commitment to nurturing a robust knowledge-transfer ecosystem, a crucial tool in equipping humanitarian workers to better serve vulnerable populations in Colombia and beyond.