New e-learning course on remote coaching and facilitation — open to all

July 29, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Results for Development (R4D) and its partners have launched a new, free interactive e-course on Remote Coaching. The Coaching Approach is a movement to transform how technical assistance (TA) is delivered. The approach draws mainly on country and regional experts to support country change processes.

Unlike traditional consulting and TA, coaches and mentors serve more as facilitators — supporting a country-led change process, serving as a sounding board, asking tough questions and sharing insights based on their own knowledge and experiences. The Remote Coaching e-module shares good practices and tips for adapting the coaching approach when the coach cannot be physically present. This is the fourth module in a series, The Coaching Approach: Building Capacity for Sustainable Systems Change.

The Remote Coaching e-course reflects on The Coaching Approach principles discussed in previous modules, covers when to use remote coaching and what kind of skills, competencies and types of technology can contribute to success in remote coaching. It focuses on virtual facilitation, communication and relationship management. 

Coaching has typically been a blend of in-person and some virtual engagements. Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic and an increasingly interconnected world, we are leaning more into virtual engagements — which can be equally effective while keeping travel costs down and allowing more people to connect from around the world.

“After the COVID pandemic, when more in-person coaching is possible again, remote coaching skills can still be helpful when you design and implement a blended — in-person and virtual — coaching engagement,” said Agnes Munyua, a senior program officer at R4D and a technical facilitator for the Strategic Purchasing Africa Resource Center and the Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage. 

Agnes Munyua and Dr. Kéfilath Bello, a research fellow with Centre de Recherche en Reproduction Humaine et en Démographie (CERRHUD) in Benin — both experienced coaches — serve as the guides in this course, covering four key topics in approximately 30-40 minutes: 

  1. What is remote coaching? 
  2. How can you adapt the coaching approach to remote support situations?
  3. Tips for remote coaching
  4. Effective use of technology 

The Coaching Approach e-learning modules are part of a broader initiative to put country expertise at the center of health system strengthening efforts in low- and middle-income countries. It does so by working to elevate the profiles of experts in countries requesting technical support — through the Experts Database. And, through The Coaching Approach learning modules, it works to prepare experts who are interested in serving as coaches and mentors by sharing principles, approaches and tips for playing these roles effectively and exchanging lessons learned. The Approach also works to facilitate collaborative learning among this community of coaches and mentors; this collaborative learning process is currently taking shape regionally through a group known as “The Force, a community of practice and body of knowledge for health systems strengthening experts in Africa. 

To access The Coaching Approach training modules, visit: https://coaching-approach.learnworlds.com.

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This Coaching Approach is an initiative of Results for Development in partnership with the Strategic Purchasing Africa Resource Center with support from the USAID African Collaborative for Health Financing Solutions and the USAID Health Systems Strengthening Accelerator. For more information on the coaching approach, visit r4d.org/thecoachingapproach.

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