Knowledge Café for conversations that matter

July 08, 2015 Blog-Admin1 Learning Elsewhere, Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.7 out of 5
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“It is fundamental to have conversations with each other.” These are the words of David Gurteen, the founder of the Knowledge Café. A Knowledge Café is a simple process allowing people to engage in meaningful conversations to have deeper insights, to understand issues that are complex and challenging and to be in the position to make better decisions.

By Kuno Schläfli, Mirjam Walser and Nadia von Holzen, SDC (more…)

The Beauty of Mind Maps

June 10, 2015 Blog-Admin1 Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.7 out of 5

Nadia von HolzenThe beauty of a mind map is its simplicity. You can do it almost everywhere. In its basic form all you need is paper and pen. The process of visualizing a question is powerful. Mind maps help thinking and keep conversations focused.

Nadia von Holzen, SDC


3 simple ideas to pep up your next “presentation event”

June 03, 2015 Blog-Admin1 Learning Elsewhere, Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Corinne-SprecherWe have all experienced the format “presentation followed by discussion”. Do it differently and go beyond the well-known pattern in the next event you facilitate. Get inspired by three methods that are really easy to apply: buzz groups, voting and fishbowl.

Corinne Sprecher, Agridea (more…)

What makes you use social media?

November 19, 2014 Blog-Admin1 Learning Elsewhere

Rating: 4.3 out of 5

My personal social media storyUntil recently, I was reluctant to invest time into the use of social media. This is the story of how and why I became an active user of social media content. What can we learn from it for the use of social media in our work?

Corinne Sprecher, Agridea.

My personal social media story


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


DuckDuckGo – The search engine that doesn’t track you!

September 17, 2014 Blog-Admin1 Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.3 out of 5

if it's on the Intenet, it isn't private_1Desperate about your search results with Google? Results are tailored to who you are, based on your saved search history and click history. But there is a means of escape: DuckDuckGo

 By Simone Decorvet, SDC


S.O.S immediate information needed!

July 30, 2014 Blog-Admin1 Learning Elsewhere, Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.0 out of 5

sos imediat info neededSome days are just a bit crazy! Imagine when you have to present a development topic on short notice. With little time to do a profound research and even less preparing a presentation . E-dossier developed  by the information centre of Alliance sud responds to that challenge.

Jris Bertschi, Alliance Sud


Make movies with your smartphone

April 09, 2014 Blog-Admin1 Let's Talk Visual, Methods & Tools

Rating: none


New technologies change the way we communicate. With the iPhone the number of videos shared around the world has exploded! This transformation of our communicational behavior seeps into the working world. In this blog post you will get some tips and tricks on how to make movies with your smartphone.  

By Hynek Bureš, dubbed perceptions



PowerPoint presentations that support our key messages

January 29, 2014 Blog-Admin1 Methods & Tools

Rating: none

Nadia & DanielleWhat does it need to prepare powerful PowerPoint presentations that trigger the attenction and the curiosity of our audience? How can slides support the delivery of  the key messages we want to bring accross as presentors and speakers? The trend is clear: We have to make our presentations visual, shorter, with less text and more images.

Nadia von Holzen & Danielle Rosset, SDC


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

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

Rating: none


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


Twitter for Sharing and Learning – an Introduction for Beginners

November 27, 2013 Blog-Admin1 Methods & Tools

Rating: none

Have you ever thought about starting to twitter? Are you still wondering how Twitter works? Then this  2‘53‘’ video is the right starting point. It explains the basics.

By Nadia von Holzen, SDC with the support of Nadja Schnetzler, Word and Deed; Nadejda Loumbeva, Helvetas-Intercooperation; Daniel Stoller-Schai LerNetz (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…)

Who is your network and who is driving it? – A short guideline to assess your network structure.

November 13, 2013 Blog-Admin1 Methods & Tools, SDC Networks

Rating: 4.0 out of 5

Carsten SchulzNadia von Holzen

This short guideline assists you to gain a better understanding who your network is and who is driving it. Through simple pie charts you visualise the different stakeholder groups represented in your network. You gain a different perspective on the driving forces and the network dynamic.

Carsten Schulz, Agridea and Nadia von Holzen, SDC


Facebook as a learning tool?

October 16, 2013 Blog-Admin1 Learning Elsewhere, Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.7 out of 5

Can Facebook and similar tools help communities to learn? “Yes!” say Christoph Pimmer and Urs Gröhbiel, two researchers who have investigated the use of mobile phones and social software by medical students, doctors and midwives in Nepal and South-Africa. They challenge coordinators and project leaders to consider the potential of social mobile media in their projects, for reporting, networking and knowledge-exchange.

By Urs Gröhbiel and Christoph Pimmer, University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland

FHNW in discussion

Photo: Apprentice bricklayers with Chirsthoph Pimmer (middle) and Urs Gröhbiel (right) in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe


How I fell in love with next Dgroups

September 19, 2012 Blog-Admin1 Methods & Tools

Rating: none

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…)

Peter Point’s Dream – Powerpoint Presentations and its Pitfalls

September 04, 2012 LND Let's Talk Visual, Methods & Tools

Rating: none


Today’s blog post invites you to pause for a second and to think about one of the most used tools of everyday office life. Powerpoint. What once was considered a revolution in presentation technique today often turns out to be a threat to every knowledge transfer. With a short comic strip Nadia von Holzen and Nadia Lanfranchi would like to make you check over your presentation strategies. What is key to an engaging presentation? Are there alternatives to Powerpoint? And what should be considered in order to avoid Powerpoint’s pitfalls? (more…)

Social Reporting at the Gender Face to Face – Lessons Learnt

August 08, 2012 LND SDC Networks

Rating: none

Social Reporting is not new to SDC. In order to render their face-to-face events more participatory, immediate, relevant and accessible several thematic networks made use of the methodology. Yet, implementation practices differ, some networks delegate the realization to external partners, others have mixed teams with reporting professionals and thematic experts. At the face to face of SDC’s Gender Equality Network the whole reporting process has been delegated exclusively to internal resource persons. In this blog post members of the social reporting and the network’s core group present their lessons learnt. (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…)

Think pink! – Learning from the Antipoles

May 22, 2012 LND Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

Corinne-SprecherBlack and white, water and fire, ying and yang, Outcome Mapping and Logical Framework – is it really like this? Corinne Sprecher from the International Team at AGRIDEA discusses in her blog post the attitude of individuals towards two opposing concepts. With the example of Outcome Mapping and Logical Framework Approach she shows, how the process of dealing with the polarities could look like. And how the eagerness to see the positive aspects of two poles could enhance (an unexpected) learning, of searching for complementarities, combined with the great potential for creating new ideas and new solutions. (more…)

E-collaboration at the FDFA

April 10, 2012 LND Learning Elsewhere, Methods & Tools

Rating: none

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…)

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…)

NEWS & TRENDS February 2012

February 28, 2012 LND Methods & Tools, SDC Experiences

Rating: none


When working with partners there often comes up the need to work together and simultaneously on one single document. Exchanging the document by e-mail frequently ends up in a chaotic flip-flopping of dateless versions. Updating the different new contents is a tedious and time-consuming task. Collaboration software like SharePoint or DMS and web solutions such as Google Docs help to avoid such pitfalls. Watch the video below to learn more about this established collaboration tool. (more…)

The Reo II Tools and its possible consequences and impacts

January 24, 2012 LND SDC Experiences

Rating: none


Reorganisation in SDC brought fourth a set of new or adapted tools aiming to optimize the impact of SDC’s work. From his personal perspective, a  former SDC colleague casts a critical eye on these tools and the capacity of  field offices to put them into practice and suggests a series of measures to tackle the related challenges. (more…)

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

December 20, 2011 LND Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.2 out of 5

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…)

NEWS December 2011

December 06, 2011 LND Methods & Tools

Rating: none


Collegial Coaching is a process that draws on experiences and practices of professional colleagues in order to share new ideas, teach one another or solve a problem. Watch this entertaining clip to get a clear idea of the mechanisms of this useful tool. Or go to the Learning & Networking Website to get more information on Collegial Coaching.