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Lab office series, episode 3: Dare to experiment!

June 29, 2017 Natalie Frei Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.0 out of 5

quadraticAfter the last two episodes, we know how to design and furnish a lab office and which doors to knock at for advice. The last episode of this trilogy focuses on how to become operational and how to develop your lab’s full potential. Most importantly, we will explore how to make a lab office a real innovative lab space.

By Natalie Frei, SDC
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Lab office series, episode 2: The Google Effect

June 22, 2017 Natalie Frei Change Stories, Learning Elsewhere

Rating: 4.0 out of 5

quadraticLab offices and coworking spaces are popping up like mushrooms. After the last episode, in which SDC’s Knowledge-Learning-Culture division visited different labs in the international cooperation field, this episode tries to get behind the global lab hype with a focus on philosophy and interior design. As you might have guessed, Google is at the forefront of this trend.

By Natalie Frei, SDC (more…)

Lab office series, episode 1: Discovery Tour

June 13, 2017 Natalie Frei Change Stories, Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

quadraticIn May, a delegation of SDC’s Knowledge-Learning-Culture division went on an expedition to discover new forms of office design and collaboration. Excited about the prospect of reorganizing our division, we set out to seek inspiration in the global lab trend. We visited five organizations with laboratory aspects in the international cooperation field and took notes.

By Natalie Frei, SDC

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Value-creation stories for monitoring the value of networks

November 01, 2016 Leonie Pock Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.3 out of 5

Beverly Wenger-TraynerIn SDC learning is taking place in the networks – learning about approaches, about experiences and about good practices. The networks meet regularly in f2f-events in order to engage in this learning. But does it have an effect? What is the outcome of these events? By Beverly Wenger-Trayner, co-author of the Value Creation Framework

 

 

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Kanban – an amazing technique to get a grip on your work

April 26, 2016 Leonie Pock Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.8 out of 5

nadjaschnetzler_1321302641_63Kanban is a Japanese word which signifies «visual signal». In the industry, for instance in car production kanbans are used to singnalize important information in the workflow: When do I need to reorder materials, for instance. The idea of kanban has spread to other industries in the last 15 years. Two pioneers of kanban in knowledge work are David Anderson and Jim Benson. They started using kanban to optimize the flow of work for individuals, teams or whole organisations. If you are interested in their work, you can read «Personal Kanban» by Jim Benson and Tonianne de Maria Barry or «Kanban – successful evolutionary change for your organisaton» by David Anderson. Using kanban for your own individual work is fairly straightforward and easy. What is demanding is to keep using it and evolving with it. 

By Nadja Schnetzler

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Are you preparing social reporting for your next face-to-face meeting? Here are 6 points to remember

March 09, 2016 Leonie Pock Methods & Tools, SDC Networks

Rating: 4.8 out of 5

Nadia von HolzenThe idea behind social reporting during a learning event is not only to jointly produce a report and reach out to a wider audience. The beauty of social reporting is that it adds an additional layer of reflection to the workshop conversation. This blog post gives some tips how to include participants and how to make the task of the social reporting team doable and meaningful. The most important of the 6 tips is: Prepare what you can prepare and be flexible at the workshop.

Nadia von Holzen, SDC

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Playing the Cupid’s Role: Creating Connections for Collaboration

February 18, 2016 Leonie Pock SDC Experiences, SDC Networks

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Alfonso Team LAlfonso Flores is a networker. He definitely has a networked mindset when he has the idea to connect his Latin America team with the Learning & Networking team based in Switzerland. After having participated in the digital storytelling workshop organized by the Learning & Networking team, his aim is to bring not only the idea of short digital stories back to his colleagues, he also wants to connect them with the Swiss team. To do so he asks the Learning & Networking team members to explain their services in short video statements. And what he shares back to the Swiss team is this blog post.

 Alfonso Flores Bermúdez, SDC Nicaragua (more…)

The power to share, learn and cooperate in networks – el poder de trabajar en red

February 03, 2016 Blog-Admin1 SDC Experiences, SDC Networks

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

MariCarmen AlarconIn 2008 Maria del Carmen Alarcón Lizón started working as communication specialist with the SDC Cooperation Office in Bolivia. Over these years the communication approach within SDC Latin America has evolved from diffusion of information to a more integrative and participatory approach putting communication in the service of programmes and projects. An essential factor in this shift to communication for development (C4D) was sharing and learning among the communication practioners in SDC, for example in the communication network Redcolatina. A manual named “Comunicación para el Desarrollo – Una guía práctica” is the tangible result of this cooperation. 

Maria del Carmen Alarcón Lizón, SDC Bolivia (more…)

Documenting the process: The long road to a good story

December 23, 2015 Blog-Admin1 Let's Talk Visual, Methods & Tools, SDC Experiences, SDC Networks

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

Hynek X-masThis post tells the story of documenting a learning process. The initiative to systematize experiences in the area of pastoralism was launched in collaboration with the Agriculture and Food Security network. The Learning & Networking team decided to document exactly this process. Two ‘reporters’, Charlotte Nager and Hynek Bures, joined the workshop in Kenia, where around 20 people gathered to learn from each others’ experiences in the field of pastoralism. While the participants were involved in thematic thinking the two ‘reporters’ added an additional layer of reflection. This challenging endeavor will hopefully inspire future stories about learning.

By Hynek Bures, dubbed perceptions (more…)

Iglus and caravans for more sharing and learning across teams and departments

August 18, 2015 Blog-Admin1 Learning Elsewhere

Rating: 4.7 out of 5

Like many other organisations working in International Development Cooperation DFID has the challenge to enhance the cooperation and sharing between teams and to break the “silos”, to ensure the transparency about what is going on, to strengthen the sharing of experiences and the learning from each other. Always with the aim of becoming more effective and making the best use of the resources and to create – where possible – synergies.

By Charlotte Nager, SDC

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Successful convening – planning the surprising elements

November 05, 2014 Blog-Admin1 Learning Elsewhere, Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.3 out of 5

Dorothee Lötscher

Coming home from an exciting meeting with a brain full of new ideas and useful contacts is a good feeling. So is organising an attractive event. The guidebook “Gather. The Art and Science of Effective Convening” by the Monitor Institute is an easily readable document with the right level of detail, in which you can find inspiration for planning an event or that can serve as checklist. Its focus is on co-creation: exchange and joint learning that leads to open-ended outcomes and creates surprises and excitement. What means co-creation practically? Find some thoughts below. 

By Dorothee Lötscher,  EDA

Surprise bags for convenings

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A joint face-to-face is well worth the effort

July 16, 2014 Blog-Admin1 SDC Experiences, SDC Networks

Rating: 4.0 out of 5

 Portrait FMFThe Gender Equality Network as well as the Agriculture and Food Security Network decided to organize their face-to-face (f2f) events in the same week June 2nd to 6th and to have a joint program during three of the five f2f days. The joint days were especially important to demonstrate with practical examples how gender equity in a natural way is always part of any social reality. Felix Fellmann, SDC Agriculture & Food Security Focalpoint

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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

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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…)

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

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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…)

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.

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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…)

Meta Evaluations as Key Moments to Promote Organisational Learning

May 22, 2013 bit-wartung Methods & Tools

Rating: none

In this blog post Nara Weigel reflects on how evaluations can promote learning. More specifically, she shares her experience with designing and conducting a learning-oriented evaluation process for organisational learning. (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…)

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…)

Social Reporting – Behind the Scenes

September 11, 2012 LND Methods & Tools

Rating: none

CarmenRiffNadiaNaraSocial Reporting on and from face-to-face meetings of SDC’s networks became a trendy practice. This blog post looks behind the scenes and reflects on three questions: What is actually Social Reporting? What makes it social? And is it worth the effort? (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…)