by Wallace Mawire
Development Reality Institute (DRI) in partnership with the Ministry of Economic Planning and Implementation Programme, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) haved launched Zimbabwe’s first ever virtual learning platform on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for the country.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are 8 goals ranging from halving extreme poverty to stopping the spread of HIV and AIDS and providing primary education to all. The MDGs were agreed to by 189 world leaders at the United Nations in 2000 aiming to create a safer and better world.
Due to the economic crisis Zimbabwe experienced between 2000 and 2008, the country fell behind in its progress towards achieving the MDGs. There are therefore a number of challenges that need to be met in order for us to reach the MDGs as a nation by 2015.
Against this background, the online facility offers a platform to learn, share resources and lessons, discussions and other interactive facilities to help development workers and interested participants to connect and advance MDGs.
The initial course is free, one simply registers on the site and is enrolled. On completing this initial basic course one is able to enroll in future courses and kept informed on the developments on MDGs in the different sectors involved in work on the MDGs.
“We are excited to be launching this online platform to advocate for MDGs. It’s the first of its kind in Zimbabwe, and probably in Africa. It’s an attempt to address the knowledge and information gap in development processes,” said Verengai Mabika, DRI Director.
Mabika said the Millennium Development Goals Virtual Learning Centre (VLC) is an innovative way to enhance awareness on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Zimbabwe among various stakeholders including development practitioners, government officials, academics, students and the general public.
The interactive facility aims at building capacity, raising awareness and encouraging the sharing of high quality information on the Millennium Development Goals and related issues.
“The MDGs VLC will offer dynamic and interactive short-term online courses on the MDGs and related issues. The platform will also support an online community of knowledge sharing in development issues,” said Mabika.
The development of the MDGs Virtual Learning Centre project is a component of the Towards 2015: Strengthening Medium Term Plan (MTP) Implementation and Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Achievement in Zimbabwe project under the leadership of the Government of Zimbabwe and supported by the United Nations Development Programme. The platform is designed and managed by Development Reality Institute; a youth-oriented NGO with strong competences and experience in managing virtual platforms. (Website: www.driafrica.org)