How to recreate the face-to-face magic every day?

December 18, 2013 Blog-Admin1 Let's Talk Visual, Methods & Tools, SDC Networks

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Face to face meetings are magic moments in a network’s life, full of life, interaction and social weaving. How can networks hold this vibrancy after the face to face meetings? “By creating a virtual face to face ambience,” says Hynek Bures. “With the Internet and today’s social media your colleague actually sits next door.”

By Hynek Bureš, dubbed perceptions


How I fell in love with next Dgroups

September 19, 2012 Blog-Admin1 Methods & Tools

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Carsten Schulz

Dgroups is used as a communication tool within most of SDC’s thematic networks, allowing both the channel of information through newsletters as well as e-discussions among network members. Carsten Schulz from AGRIDEA reflects on his own experience with Dgroups as a tool and his evolution from a sceptical and critical reviewer to an “aficionado” of the newly designed next.Dgroups platform. (more…)

E-collaboration at the FDFA

April 10, 2012 LND Learning Elsewhere, Methods & Tools

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Andreas SchoeneAfter Riff Fullan’s comprehensive contribution on e-collaboration and on its prerequisites, in this blog post Andreas Schöne concentrates on more general terms of information management and on the e-collaboration infrastructure to be expected in the near future for FDFA employees and external partners. (more…)

The Joy and the Pain of E-Collaboration

March 28, 2012 LND Methods & Tools, SDC Experiences

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Riff FullanE-collaboration has been around since computer networks were invented, but of course our increasing interconnectedness presents more opportunities for us to do it, and to do so with a greater variety of tools. What is e-collaboration? A brief way to describe it is working together to produce something (a document, a position, a decision) using electronic media. It is easy to get lost among the tools, but successful e-collaboration is much more about the people who are involved and how their interaction is facilitated, than it is about the technologies used. (more…)

Good Practice – E-facilitation and Linking Face-to-Face Events and Online Dialogues at SDC

February 21, 2012 LND Methods & Tools

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Nara WeigelThis blog post explores the guides on e-facilitation and on linking f2f events and online dialogues in more detail. The guides are part of a set of interlinked guidelines available on the website of the SDC Learning and Networking Division. Two users of the guides on these closely related issues share their first reactions, personal reflections and further lessons from their daily work. (more…)

Uh oh, I’m a Technology Steward — Part 2: Four Technology Stewardship Implementation Practices

December 20, 2011 LND Methods & Tools

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By Nancy White

nancy_whiteIn our first part on accidental technology stewardship we focused on the technology acquisition and design issues. In today’s post we’ll look at what I think is the really fun stuff: how we build useful practices USING technology together. (more…)

Uh oh, I’m a Technology Steward — Part 1: Four Technology Stewardship Design Principles

November 22, 2011 LND Methods & Tools

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By Nancy White

nancy_whiteHow many times have you been faced with coordinating work, knowledge sharing or learning with a colleague who is not close by?  Of course, we have the magic of the internet, right? Which knits us across countries and contexts, right? Well, it could, but most of us lack the magic wand to make this happen flawlessly. There is a useful practice to picking and using technology in service of groups called technology stewardship. Let’s take a peek into tech stewardship together. We will focus here on definition and some design principles, and look at implementation practices in a second blog post. (more…)

A Treasure of SDC Experiences in Managing and Supporting Networks: 7 Guides to Make it your Own

November 08, 2011 LND Methods & Tools, SDC Networks

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By Nara Weigel, Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation

NaraWhy Good Practice Guides on Managing and Supporting Networks?

Three years after thematic networks were created within SDC, the Learning and Networking team felt it was a good moment to capitalise the organisation’s experience in supporting networks and make collective learning available to a broader audience. This was done in form of seven interlinked mini guides (illustrated below) on e-facilitation, nurturing networks, roles and responsibilities within networks, managing membership, linking face to face (f2f) events and online dialogues, social reporting on f2f events and planning f2f events. The choice of issues shows that the guides are not only relevant for network Focal Points and Steering Group members, but also for other people working at or with SDC. The guides can be viewed online or downloaded as pdf files from the website of the Learning and Networking Division. (more…)

Experience documentation on e-discussion campaigns with consolidated replies: A dlgn learning project on donor support for local government finances

August 02, 2011 Adrian Gnägi Methods & Tools

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Bertha Camacho for sdclanAdrian picture for sdclan

by Bertha Camacho and Adrian Gnägi

Solution Exchange pioneered a structured way to conduct e-discussions, called “e-discussion campaigns with consolidated replies”. The structure of those e-discussions looks like this:

  • A query is posted on the e-forum of a network and experience carriers are invited to post replies within a pre-determined time frame. Frequently, the moderator supports members with the wording of the query, making sure the query is short, easy to understand and appealing to be answered.
  • Moderators lobby experienced network members to post replies in the e-forum. This lobbying is worked mostly over the phone. According to Solution Exchange, it is the major time investment of the e-moderator.
  • When the discussion campaign is over, the e-moderator sums up the discussion in a “consolidated reply”. The e-moderator condenses the main messages into an easy-to-understand analytical summary and includes all individual contributions in full into the document.

This post reflects on the first “e-discussion campaign with consolidated replies” conducted by SDC’s “decentralization and local governance” network (dlgn) (more…)

Applying Knowledge Management Tools at Work – SDC staff share their experiences (1)

July 19, 2011 bit-wartung Methods & Tools, SDC Networks

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by Corinne Sprecher, AGRIDEA / Team International Corinne-Sprecher

In 2007 and 2008 SDC’s former Knowledge and Research Team collected and documented tools and methods for planning and reflection of own activities, for drawing lessons and for sharing insights and applying them. This work resulted in the publication of the SDC Knowledge Management Toolkit on the Learning & Networking website and in print. However, km-tools are only of use if applied consciously. And they are only applied if they promise to better reach a certain goal. They must be well applied to be effective.  We have been looking for champions who consciously apply tools in their work and who find them helpful. In this post, they share with us some of their experiences and their lessons – practical examples for illustrating the toolkit. Use it as inspiration to try them out by yourself! (more…)

E-facilitation – Facilitation gone online. How to smite the bite! Part 2

July 05, 2011 bit-wartung Learning Elsewhere

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Olivia Hartmann II swIn the first part of this blog I looked at e-faciliation and how it compares to face to face facilitation. For this second part I asked myself, what are the strengths and weaknesses of the online situation and what would be the content of a twenty minutes crash-course on “the specifics of online facilitaiton”. And as a round-up of both blog posts on e-facilitaiton I share my thoughts on the future prospects of facilitation in cyberspace. (more…)

E-facilitation – Facilitation gone online. How to smite the bite!

June 08, 2011 Manuel Flury Methods & Tools

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Olivia Hartmann II swBy Olivia Hartmann, AGRIDEA
The e-factor is omnipresent in the West and increasingly also in other parts of the world. It has become difficult to imagine a life without it.
BUT – the e-factor in facilitation
is actually a rather recent development.
A look at a young skill and how to skillfully use it for learning and exchange – Part I. 


Looking at the history of the development of communication means I came to realize what a recent development the internet and with that e-facilitation actually is! E-Facilitation  – the art of sucessfully planning and guiding online interactions of various kinds and with a wide variety of purposes – has existed for barely 15 years. (more…)