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The first stage of Design Thinking: creating empathy

March 05, 2020 Elin Fredriksson Change Stories, Design Thinking, Innovation, Methods & Tools, Problem-solving, SDC Experiences

Rating: 4.0 out of 5

Loraine DingFaivre_Jérôme

At cinfo, we use this approach more and more often to tackle different projects. Without being experts, we share our enthusiasm with you – and hope you will give it a try yourself!

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Reading recommendations for facilitators

August 02, 2017 Blog Admin Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.7 out of 5

NadiaThere is no shortcut in learning to facilitate. The best teacher is practice followed by observation and reflection through peer exchange, trainings and reading. Facilitation is creative work. Every workshop is an invitation to build anew the reflection and conversation space for participants to explore, learn and understand. This blog post presents three books for facilitators, beginners as well as experienced facilitators; they provide insights and ideas for planning and designing successful workshops

Nadia von Holzen, Learning Moments (more…)

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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Joint Learning on Pastoralism – a process of experience capitalization among SDC Programme Officers

March 03, 2016 Leonie Pock Methods & Tools, SDC Experiences

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Manuel Flury SDC Programme Officers of West Africa and the Horn of Africa engaged in a joint learning process on pastoralism. In a series of meetings they collected, synthesized and exchanged experiences in eight key topics of this area. Manuel Flury and Charlotte Nager take a step back and reflect about the added value and the limitations of such an experience capitalization process.

By Manuel Flury, SDC, Addis Ababa and Charlotte Nager, SDC, Berne

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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…)

Spaghetti Tower, an experiment to observe learning patterns in teams and networks

November 20, 2013 Blog-Admin1 Learning Elsewhere, Methods & Tools

Rating: none

Ernst Bolliger

You definitely participated once in your live in a team building exercise: Several teams compete with each other. The lessons learned are about the organization of the team. In a recent similar experiment the question was: “What is the knowledge interaction among teams in a competing situation and how do the knowledge patterns change with changing competition rules?”

Ernst Bolliger, Agridea (more…)

Blog reading? Reasons to read our sdclan Blog

August 22, 2012 LND Methods & Tools

Rating: none

Nadia von HolzenNadia LanfranchiThis blog post asks about the motivation of reading our sdclan Blog. We are curious to know why you – dear blog reader – are with us, week for week, reading our posts and the posts of our guests. (more…)

Strolling along the Border between Implicit and Explicit Knowledge Management

June 12, 2012 LND Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Ernst BolligerMake implicit knowledge explicit und thus accessible to everybody! This is a request I often come across dealing with knowledge management issues. In how far is this possible? Kitchen recipes make it clear: Basic knowledge and skills can be described, but what about mastery skills? There are limits in transforming implicit into explicit knowledge. (more…)

SDC Networks – In the Shaping

April 17, 2012 LND SDC Networks

Rating: none

Manuel FluryIn 2008 SDC has introduced networks as “caretakers” of knowledge and competence. Networks imply a particular mode of work, less hierarchical and self-managed. In what ways have the networks led to a changed way of learning? Could SDC secure its competence and operational quality? There are no final answers yet. The networks are developing their particular shapes and modes of sharing and learning. The key challenge remains for SDC and its collaborators: To engage in sharing in a trustful environment, both personally and institutionally. (more…)

Changing perspectives as opportunities for learning – 3 months in Vientiane

November 01, 2011 BLOGadmin SDC Experiences

Rating: none

By Adrian Gnägi

Adrian picture for sdclanManuel Flury recently published a post on changing perspectives as opportunities for learning. When Manuel and I went for overseas postings in the middle of 2011, we decided to continue writing posts for sdclan. We wanted to document how the change of work context affects our way of understanding things. I have written several posts since moving to Laos. They all related to my former work situation: the post on the political economy of result terminologies was inspired by a course on impact monitoring I attended back in July, the post I wrote with dlgn colleagues on the “learning project” methodology reflected on our joint capitalization work on donor support for sustainable municipal finances during the past 2 years, and the post written with Bertha Camacho in August reflected on experiences with e-discussion campaigns we made in February. (more…)

Revisiting Storytelling

October 25, 2011 LND Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.2 out of 5

By Riff Fullan, Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation

2010_riff_fullan copy“If many people from different hierarchies and countries come together there are always those who think they know less about a subject and participate less in the discussion. They may be afraid to say something wrong. To start with personal stories demonstrates that everyone has a valuable experience to share and we can share it in the language we feel comfortable” (reflection of SDC gender team member on using stories in a workshop context, SDC Story Guide, p. 30).

Conscious engagement with storytelling for knowledge sharing and learning began almost 10 years ago within SDC and was pursued with some energy, especially in the first years. (more…)

Distillation of „experience based good practices“

September 06, 2011 Adrian Gnägi SDC Experiences

Rating: none

Schlaefli.Tedeschi.Walker.Reimann.Boss.Gnaegi 

by Kuno Schläfli, Romana Tedeschi, Katharina Walker, Michael Reimann, Matthias Boss, and Adrian Gnägi

SDC used to be structured as a matrix organization. Operational geographic units managed funds and local context, technical units managed thematic knowledge, and together they were thought to implement effective projects. This setup became perceived to have improvement potential. In 2008, technical units were replaced by learning and exchange networks. One of the justifications for this move was that guidance and policies elaborated by the technical units were sometimes perceived to be too abstract, too general, not enough evidence based. One of the expectations towards the newly created networks therefore was that their guidance should look, feel, and act differently – “experience based good practice” was the orientation received. This post documents one of the first attempts by one of the new networks to distill “experience based good practice”.

SDC’s “decentralization and local governance network” (dlgn) met for its first-ever face-to-face encounter in November 2009 in Delhi. (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

Rating: none

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…)

Scaling-up and replication – seen through “learning lenses”

February 16, 2011 Manuel Flury SDC Experiences

Rating: none

Manuel picture for sdclan

  By Manuel Flury

 

 

 

 

 

 

I     A Peer Assist Workshop in Sarajevo – Learning with partners

In a three days workshop in Sarajevo in April 2009, the programme staff of the SDC Country Office met with colleagues of three partner organisations. The Cooperation Strategy 2009-2012 for Bosnia and Herzegovina focuses on capitalizing on acquired expertise and to profit from past investments made and strategic assets accumulated. Capitalising and documenting experiences has been the rational of the workshop. It looked at “disseminating” project achievements in a “new way”: to promote and to facilitate learning and change on larger levels of the society (scaling-up) and/or in comparable contexts (replication). The peer assist allowed the participants to learn from others: how can they facilitate societal change in their fields of primary health care, water resources management and municipal governance and administration. 

There was consensus:
Facilitating societal change – learning from project experiences – requires time and patience and a high degree of professionalism in facilitating process and harmonisation among actors. (more…)

Curiosity – a basic ingredient to learning

December 30, 2010 Manuel Flury Learning Elsewhere

Rating: none

curiosity

 

“Let children choose! They will choose the most difficult tasks. The moment they are promised a reward, they will opt for the simple ones.”

 

 

 

Matthias Binswanger, a well-known economist and professor at a Swiss Technical University has been interviewed by the Swiss weekly newspaper  “WoZ” (in german) when he talked about meaningless competition and the effects such incentives may produce.

Let the collaborators develop and use their own curiosity (for learning) and limit bureaucratic obligation to the max.

We wish you a happy new year!
Manuel Flury, Michèle Marin, Adrian Gnägi, Tobias Sommer 

Social Reporting on Training “The learning SDC Mongolia country program”

November 23, 2010 Adrian Gnägi SDC Experiences

Rating: none

Adrian picture for sdclan

By Adrian Gnägi
Social reporting is a new approach  in reporting about events. Its purpose is to overcome some of the well-known knowledge management shortcomings of normal reporting:

  • After an event, participants usually go back to their busy routine and, even though they might have planned to do otherwise, end up writing their reports with considerable delay.
  • When the reports finally are distributed, the event has somewhat faded away already and interest is often rather low. Reports frequently are not taken account of.
  • Reports typically come in the form of texts. Busy people increasingly are reluctant or unable to take up written information. Reports often end up unread in files or archives.
  • Reports are often one-sided. They are written by organizers, moderators, or individual participants, but the full flavor of different perspectives, insights, and judgments present during the event is missing.

With social reporting, reports are being 

  • produced during the event,
  • by different authors, 
  • published immediately on the web, and
  • using many different reporting formats like interviews, video testimonials, blog posts, pictures, audio recordings, power point presentations etc. – including of course texts.

Social reporting can be used whenever there is an interest by a broad audience to get information about the event. (more…)

Awarding “good learning”

November 17, 2010 Manuel Flury Methods & Tools

Rating: none

Manuel picture for sdclanBy Manuel Flury
The Knowledge and Learning Processes Division of SDC intends to award a prize for “good learning” to collaborators of the organisation. For that matter we launched a debate in the km4dev community seeking examples of “good learning practices”. Besides of many proposals, documented learning from failures was proposed.
After visiting colleagues at their work place and getting to understand how they learn in their daily practice we became aware of the importance of self-initiative, of the key role of superiors to let them do what they intend to do and of the transformative power of such individual initiatives for the whole organisation.
Good learning combines “doing things better” and  “transforming the way, things are being done”, i.e. the individual and the institutional aspect of learning.

The original query to the km4dev community: What is “good learning”?

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The Train4Dev Learning Events in a dilemma: from training to capacity development

July 29, 2010 Manuel Flury Methods & Tools

Rating: none

Manuel picture for sdclanBy Manuel Flury
Through the Train4Dev network so called Joint Learning Events are organised. They grew out from training development agencies’s staff on issues such as Poverty Reduction Strategies, Pro Poor Growth and Sector Wide Approaches. There is a deliberate shift from one-moment trainings of individual staff members to placing these events into a process of capacity development of partner organisations such as Civil Society Organisations and Governments. Learning events link up with particular policy reform processes. The demand for a learning event would not anymore stem exclusively from the donor agencies, it would as well reflect partners’ interests. Train4Dev finds itself in a dilemma of promoting joint learning with country partners and in the same time providing the format, the orientation and the resources of the events. The format of the Joint Learning Initiatives need to be negotiated and jointly agreed among al the partners, this is the challenge for Train4Dev and the Joint Learning Events. (more…)