SDC Experiences

Social reporting from the Gender Network face-2-face: in the role of the social reporter

July 01, 2014 Blog-Admin1 SDC Experiences, SDC Networks

Rating: 4.0 out of 5

photo SRSocial reporting from network events is commonly used in the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC). Yet every social reporting process is unique and tied to its context; it is like embarking on a new learning adventure. In this blog post we would like to share the story of the social reporting team at the face-2-face meeting 2014 of the Gender Network.

Isabelle Jost & Danielle Rosset SDC


Beneficiary Assessment Revisited: where does it fit?

February 05, 2014 Blog-Admin1 Methods & Tools, SDC Experiences

Rating: none

Riff FullanIt sounds wonderful: gaining real insight into the impact of a project from the point of view of intended beneficiaries! But can it satisfy the needs of development organisations to assess and report on the work they support? The answer is yes. A Beneficiary Assessment  isn’t always going to be the right thing to do, but it can provide valuable evidence relating to project outcomes and impact.

By Riff Fullan, Helvetas


Why we blog

January 08, 2014 Carmen Eckert Let's Talk Visual, Methods & Tools, SDC Experiences

Rating: none

NadiaIn January 2013 we blogged: “A blog is conversation.“  And that’s what we had: conversation. 32 bloggers – guests, SDC colleagues and team members – contributed their thoughts and observations the whole year through. We jointly wrote 42 blog posts. And 60% of our posts received comments from you dear readers. Thank you! Also in 2014 we blog for being in conversation with you. For us bloggers, each blog post is a learning moment. Blog writing is digestion time. Reflection is vital.
Nadia von Holzen, SDC (more…)

Cooperation Offices and Networks: From Skepticism to Dedication

December 11, 2013 Blog-Admin1 SDC Experiences, SDC Networks

Rating: none
IbrahimFor the SCO Macedonia the networks of SDC are an important tool for learning and sharing. The exchange with peers and the joint reflection of practices is stimulating, instructive and rewarding. Even as lurkers – as the time constraints limit sometimes proactive participation – the benefit is high. And the networks are shaped and co-owned by its members; this makes them so valuable.

Ibrahim Mehmeti with contributions from the SCO Macedonia team (more…)

Twitter & Co. for Social Reporting?

November 06, 2013 Blog-Admin1 Methods & Tools, SDC Experiences

Rating: none


How can you enhance reflection and learning in workshops by using social media? Hook Touravanh from the Swiss Cooperation Office in Lao was animating a social reporting process during a training workshop in Thailand. Social reporting is a tool to help people digest what they learned.

Hook Touravanh, SCO Lao

Remark: This post is summarizing Hook Touravanh’s key points what it means to do social reporting. You can read the full length of his story on the Mekong blog.

hashtag pcm


Efficient networking is the engine for capacity development among different stakeholders fighting poverty

October 23, 2013 Blog-Admin1 SDC Experiences, SDC Networks

Rating: none

Portrait Markus Glatz

In the eye of the Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) in Bolivia SDCs thematic networks are an important pillar for strengthening both the capacity of a great number of development actors and the sustainability of their projects. The level of their effort justifies the ‘raison d’être’ of the networks and the results they produce. Therefore we dare the prognosis: “Without networking – less development!”

By Markus Glatz and the SCO Team, La Paz


Ideas for a more agile practice of learning lessons

October 02, 2013 bit-wartung Learning Elsewhere, SDC Experiences

Rating: 4.3 out of 5

The KM4dev discussion: Lessons Learned – The Loch Ness Monster of KM made us think about our own practice of drawing and using lessons learnt. Our conclusion: We need a more agile practice of drawing and using lessons learnt.

By Manuel Etter and Nadia von Holzen, SDC

Lessons Learnt


Network meetings 2012 – the members’ impressions one year later

July 31, 2013 bit-wartung SDC Experiences, SDC Networks

Rating: none

This blog entry looks back to the face-to-face meetings held in 2012.
14 members of 5 SDC networks remember them one year later as inspiring moments for networking and new thinking. Concrete action steps resulted from these gatherings. (more…)

Cooperation Offices and Networks – Valuable networking: between gaining information and taming the information beast

July 24, 2013 bit-wartung SDC Experiences, SDC Networks

Rating: none

The crew of the Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) Moldova is member in several networks of the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC). They are engaged and sometimes busy absorbing the wealth of information coming from networks. The team has expectations but also a few ideas how to tame the information beast and how to make networking time more valuable. (more…)

Farmers, town planners and architects jointly build a town. A real life learning experience

July 03, 2013 bit-wartung SDC Experiences

Rating: none

Manuel FluryThe model town BuraNEST in Ethiopia is a learning project involving inhabitants, local masons, carpenters, female soil workers, and the planners and architects from Addis Ababa and Zurich. The blog post from Manuel Flury demonstrates that learning happens “on the job” “while doing” and that joint reflection and celebrating are important rituals in learning. (more…)

Cooperation Offices and Networks – SCO Gaza and Westbank has all its senses in alert when it comes to Networks!

June 12, 2013 bit-wartung SDC Experiences, SDC Networks

Rating: none

The Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) Gaza and West Bank welcomes the SDC networks as back-up place to air ideas and think afresh. At the same time it asks for a win-win formula between the members’ concerns and demands and the networks’ predefined agendas. In the end, sharing and learning in networks is meant to increase the relevance of its work for the benefit of others.


Participatory Project Assessment: Strengthening the Stakeholder Link

June 05, 2013 bit-wartung Methods & Tools, SDC Experiences

Rating: none

Participatory project assessment (also known as Beneficiary Assessment) holds the promise of moving evaluation closer to primary stakeholders: the individuals, communities and organisations in the local project context. Is it an effective tool to do this? (more…)

Two good examples how networks support the result orientation of development programmes

May 29, 2013 bit-wartung SDC Experiences, SDC Networks

Rating: none

Networks and result orientation of development programmes? Yes! While the network members are busy with result monitoring and reporting the networks are well positioned to gain an overview and to support this task. Two networks developed reference indicators in their domain of expertise. Result reporting is a great entry point to feed the networks’ learning back into the operations. (more…)

Cooperation Offices and Networks – Networking in the far reaches of Mongolia

May 15, 2013 bit-wartung SDC Experiences, SDC Networks

Rating: none
The Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) Mongolia has witnessed a clear transformation from scepticism about the networks’ usefulness towards a supportive environment for knowledge management. This change is so far one of attitude only, however, with little direct impact on operations in the field. (more…)

Cooperation Offices and Networks – The Pretoria Story

April 24, 2013 bit-wartung SDC Experiences, SDC Networks

Rating: none

In the perspective of the Swiss Cooperation Office Southern Africa the networks did arrive. Reto Wieser, Director of Cooperation summarizes how networks make a difference for his team. And he points out some suggestions how networked learning and collaboration can be further strengthened trough the active implication of the Directors of Cooperation and the members. (more…)

Joint Learning Journeys: with your travel agent GIZ!

April 03, 2013 bit-wartung Methods & Tools, SDC Experiences

Rating: none

A recent lunch event at SDC in Bern sparked some interesting thinking. It featured guest speaker Kerstin Kude-Osman from the Academy for International Cooperation, a part of the German development agency GIZ. Kerstin told us about the recently developed Joint Learning Journey (JLJ) method, which is a way to bring small groups of people involved and interested in a particular set of issues together, to come up with effective and innovative ways of doing things better. (more…)

Blogging from Malawi – How we used a blog to report from a workshop on rural development

March 20, 2013 bit-wartung Methods & Tools, SDC Experiences, SDC Networks

Rating: none

We were blogging from the Workshop on Rural Development organized by the SDC Eastern & Southern Africa Division in Lilongwe Malawi. (more…)

Why is „Manejo Integrado de Plagas” the number one download from SDC Websites

January 23, 2013 bit-wartung Learning Elsewhere, SDC Experiences

Rating: none

The importance of knowledge brokers for learning in SDC or why “Manejo Integrado de Plagas” (in engl. Integrated Pest Management) was the most downloaded document of SDC websites. (more…)

The Horizontal Learning Program is like Real Life Facebook

October 16, 2012 bit-wartung SDC Experiences

Rating: none

Tommaso TabetHorizontal learning enables communities to share best practices within and across communities. In this blog post Tommaso Tabet, SDC agency in Dhaka, in collaboration with engaged HLP Friends, explain that it is a tool for sharing good practices, replicating and liking them, and therefore has much in common with the world’s most popular social media. (more…)

Make your network mystically attractive like the Cube of Murten

September 26, 2012 bit-wartung Learning Elsewhere, SDC Experiences

Rating: none

Ernst BolligerThe SDC’s Learning and Networking section could inspire itself from the monolith set in the lake of Murten during Expo’02. Ernst Bolliger from AGRIDEA extracts the symbolic weight of this landart installation and further reflects it on the values and work of networks. (more…)

Learning in Brunnen – Some Reflections from the Seminar of Coordinators

August 29, 2012 LND SDC Experiences

Rating: none

Manuel FluryManuel Flury reflects the Seminar of the Coordinators from a learning perspective and comes to the conclusion that the Seminar was not a learning event and had no learning agenda; nevertheless important learning happened as the most important side event. (more…)

Learning on the job with Rana Warrad Sandouka

July 10, 2012 LND SDC Experiences

Rating: none

Rana Warrad Sandouka As with many things knowledge management starts with ourselves. Today’s interviewee Rana Warrad Sandouka talks about her personal strategies, about knowledge sources and networks supporting her in daily work.  Rana Warrad Sandouka has been working with the Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) Gaza and West Bank based in Jerusalem since August 2005 in the position of a National Program Officer. Rana’s background is in International Relations and Diplomacy. Her previous working experience was characterised by assignments with the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Palestinian Ministry of Labour (MoL), the Palestinian Ministry of Planning & International Cooperation and Birzeit University in West Bank. Being member of the Employment and Income Portfolio team at the SCO Gaza and West Bank, she is developing, monitoring and supervising a number of development cooperation programs related to economic issues in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. (more…)

Open Doors and Joint Reflection – The Knowledge Management Practice at SCO Chisinau, Moldova

May 30, 2012 LND SDC Experiences

Rating: none

Team ChisinauInvolved in a rethinking process on its institutional learning mechanisms the Swiss Cooperation Office in Chisinau made use of the Knowledge Management workshop for SDC field staff and local partners. This training on demand offered by the SDC Knowledge and Learning Processes Division aims at sharing and raising awareness for SDC’s Knowledge Management practices. In today’s blog post the staff of the SCO Chisinau offers insights gained in this two-day training. (more…)

Touch Ground – the Value Added of a Field Visit in a Face to Face Meeting

April 25, 2012 Blog-Admin1 SDC Experiences

Rating: none

Nadia von Holzen Barbara_Affolter Ursula_Koenig
During the 2nd day of its face to face the SDC network Migration and Development left the meeting room to visit activities in relation to migration in Dhaka. This blog post outlines why and how the “dive” into the context and confrontation with different perspectives can accelerate and nurture the network’s conversation (deliberations, dialogue). (more…)

Visualization in Development Cooperation – On Photo Contests and Info Graphics

April 03, 2012 LND Methods & Tools, SDC Experiences

Rating: none

Nadia Lanfranchi

Today knowledge exchange is based to a great extent on written communication. Sometimes it seems that the ability to visualize ideas, to tell stories through pictures has been lost. Simultaneously we are exposed more than ever to non-verbal modes of communication, especially through photography and film. This post takes the tension between a widespread availability of easy-to-handle visualization tools and their comparatively poor integration into daily work processes as a starting point. In a video interview Anandsaikhan Nyamdavaa, National Programme Officer for SDC in Mongolia, shares with us experiences made by the Cooperation Office when trying to incorporate visual methods into different steps of the project cycle – from the kick-off event through to the report writing. (more…)