1 PME and Learning 11 november 2010 Jan Brouwers Context, internationale samenwerking Utrecht
2 An introduction I. Creating a learning environment II. Learning at different levels III. Learning organisations IV. M&E made simple critical reflection PME and Learning, Context MasterClass Seminar Verantwoorden
3 Part I: Creating a learning environment Increased demand for integrating learning in our work: Learning organisations Integrating lessons learned in our work, from M&E but also otherwise (learning processes) Making M&E more reflective and learning oriented Collaboration with stakeholders in multi-stakeholder processes: important to facilitated (social) learning processes and generate and document lessons learned
4 1. What is learning? The accumulation of knowledge/skills and the ability to constantly improve the effectiveness of action by individuals, teams, organizations and society at large. Learning involves applying lessons learned into future actions, which provides the basis for another cycle of learning.
5 2. What do we mean by learning? Continually improving the quality of our work by looking at past successes and mistakes and finding out how to increase success and minimise failure in the future Sharing ideas with each other to do a better job Being open about problems and failures and seeing them as an opportunity for learning The way of ensuring real impact
6 3. Assignment - rope exercise Divide the group into 2 subgroups Subgroup a (4 persons): - blindfold - make a perfect square with one rope Subgroup b: - observe what is happening what happened? Why? So what? Now what? - provide feedback and give suggestions for improvement
7 4. Kolb s 4 types of experiential learning learning from concrete experiences learning from reflective observation learning from abstract conceptualization learning from active experimentation
8 5. The Experiential Learning Cycle Concrete World 4 Active experimentation/ testing out (pragmatist) Abstract World 3 Concrete experience (activist) Act Decide Explore Analyse Abstract conceptualisation / making sense (theorist) 1 2 Reflective Observation (reflector)
9 6. Annual project learning cycle Concrete World Concrete changes to the plan Abstract World Activities and their results during the year 4 3 Act Decide Explore Analyse New ideas or revised theories about the project 1 2 The annual review
10 7. The Action Learning Cycle Monitor Monitor Evaluate Act Evaluate Act Plan Plan
11 Part II. Learning at different levels Individual Project Program Organization Societal / multi-stakeholder
12 Levels of learning Context Assumptions Actions Results Single-Loop Learning Are we doing things right? Double-Loop Learning Are we doing the right things? Triple-Loop Learning How do we decide what is right?
14 Societal learning The process by which communities, stakeholder groups, or societies at large learn how to innovate and adapt in response to changing social and environmental conditions.
15 Need for participatory (multi-stakeholder) learning Different actors each have different information, which they exchange (participation) for a particular purpose - this leads to group learning. Increased relevance / impact: real problems, real needs, especially as felt by the most vulnerable Perspectives on problems, visions, solutions from all relevant stakeholders included, not just from outsiders : - increased effectiveness - increased efficiency - increased sustainability
16 Part III. Learning organisations-definition Learning organisations are organisations; where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together (Senge 1990: 3).
17 Learning organisations Provide continuous learning opportunities. Use learning to reach their goals. Link individual performance with organizational performance. Foster inquiry and dialogue, making it safe for people to share openly and take risks. Embrace creative tension as a source of energy and renewal. Are continuously aware of and interact with their environment (Kerka 1995).
18 Paradigm shift towards the learning organisation FROM Knowledge hoarding is power Sporadic training Evaluation as isolated effort Uneven responsibility Culture of blame Risk adverse Only managers know financials What s in it for me Task forces selected by management TO Knowledge sharing is valued Continuous training Learning-orientated monitoring & evaluation informs management Shared responsibility Culture of responsibility Entrepreneurial Open book What s in it for the stakeholders Communities of practice
19 Organisational learning barriers External barriers - Donor priorities - Pressure to demonstrate low overheads - Competition for funding resulting in a need for uncomplicated success stories Internal barriers - Activist culture - learning as luxury - Hierarchical, centralised, control-oriented structures - Incentives and rewards for learning are weak - Systems for accessing, storing, transferring and disseminating learning are underdeveloped, under-resourced, and/or inefficient - Inability to deal with challenges that learning poses to management, decision making, etc.
20 Stimulating organisational (& social) learning (1) Individuals feel that their ideas and suggestions are valued Mistakes and failures are considered important by everyone for learning and not as shameful All the key groups involved in project implementation communicate openly and regularly Project implementers, including primary stakeholders, regularly and informally discuss project progress, relationships and how to improve actions
21 Stimulating organisational (& social) learning (2) Managers listen carefully to others and consciously seek solutions together During regular meetings and workshops, time is set aside for discussing mistakes and learning lessons The question why is this happening appears often in discussions
22 Learning is helped by: Creativity: opening up to new ways of learning Critical reflection Trust A learning environment: - positive feedback - addressing people s background needs etc - participation - listening Cultural appropriateness Improving access: education, infrastructure. And more..
23 Part IV: M&E made simple critical reflection What Why So what Now what What has succeeded or failed Why have we had success or failure So what are the implications for the project? What action will we now take to make improvements
24 Critical reflection M&E will only help if used in structured critical reflections with relevant stakeholders. Critical reflection requires asking why? so what? and now what? after your M&E data show what has happened. Reflections can happen in any forum. Plan how to integrate a sequence of learning events to ensure clarity of insight and decisions.
25 Key steps in establishing a learning Programme Diagnosis Partnerships & commitment to learning Planning and conceptualizing: Developing your theory of change - cause-effect relationship together with stakeholders Being explicit about the hypothesis behind this theory of change Specifying your learning objectives what do you want to learn from your actions? Specifying how learning will take place (developing your M&E plan) Acting testing your theory of change Monitoring collecting information about what works & what doesn t work Reflecting Reflecting on why things work and/or don t work Reflecting on the learning that has taken place & what it means for action Sharing & communicating what has been learnt/new knowledge
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