Taking It Online: UNODC Strengthen Capacity of Kazakh Training Centre for Prison Staff to Deliver Online Training

Previously, a training opportunity for prison staff was few and far between due to limited space, distances, and the number of instructors. However, the advancement of technology made it easier for prison staff to refresh their skills and knowledge through webinars and blended learnings. With the ravage of COVID-19, what was previously used as an option to accommodate more training participants has become the new norm as no prison officer could travel to participate in any training. Yet, the transition from delivering training through in-person or blended learning format to a fully web-based one has been hard for everyone, including Kazakh Interior Ministry's Kostanay Police Academy.

As part of the global programme implemented by UNODC and the UN Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT), in close partnership with the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (UNCTED), UNODC and Kazakh Interior Ministry's Kostanay Police Academy delivered online-training-of-trainers for the instructors and lecturers of the Academy's Prison Staff Training Centre on Countering Extremist Ideology. The Centre for Communicative Development (NIKA) led the two-week long capacity development training.

The ToT highlighted the peculiarities in providing online training, including participant engagement, task assignment, group work through virtual break rooms, and evaluation method to assess training effectiveness. The training also provided information on cloud-based programs to create and manage groups of trainees online during webinars. "During the pandemic, we have not been able to communicate personally with students and had to adjust to the online platform to make them as effective and attractive as possible. UNODC responded to our need just in time with this webinar on effective online training. Today, I can confidently say that the knowledge I acquired has already brought results. Over the last week, I had the opportunity to deliver several online training sessions, where I was able to use the skills and tools I received to conduct online training," says Ms. Yelena Fedotova, Major of Police, the head of the centre for training psychologists and conducting sociological research at the Interior Ministry's Kostanay Police Academy, . The event was made possible through the generous financial support from the European Union, the Government of the Netherlands and UNCCT as part of the joint UN (UNODC-UNOCT-UNCTED) Global Programme "Supporting the Management of Violent Extremist Prisoners and the Prevention of Radicalization to Violence in Prisons".


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