Discussion Report 2 Sybil Chidiac - Knowledge Sharing and Learning in Monitoring and Evaluation

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Session Title

Knowledge Sharing and Learning in Monitoring and Evaluation

Name of Convenor

Sybil Chidiac schidiac[at]care.org


  • Nabeel Goheer goheer[at]ilo.org
  • James Moschant jmarchant[at]cafod.org.uk
  • Taline Haytayan thaytayan[at]aidsalliance.org
  • Gauri Salokhe gauri.salokhe[at]fao.org
  • Reza Salim info[at]bfes.net
  • Nadia Loumbeva nadejda_loumbeva[at]yahoo.co.uk
  • Sophie Treinen Sophie.treinen[at]fao.org
  • Rutti Goldberger rgoldberger[at]ippf.org
  • Meg Mottaz mottaz[at]ilo.org
  • Carla Alcobia carla.alcobia[at]gmail.com
  • Eva Schmidt eva.schmidt[at]gmx.ch
  • Prabhu Rajendran prabhu_rajendran[at]yahoo.com
  • Vicky Giroud-Castiella giroud[at]ilo.org
  • Ivan Kulis ik[at]ecdpm.org
  • Denise Senmartin Senmartin[at]iicd.org

Key Discussion Points

Sybil Chidiac from CARE USA provided an introduction to her work in setting up a knowledge sharing and learning system for CARE's Savings led Microfinance. One of the concerns that has come up in her work is how to demonstrate to donors that there is a need for KS&L and that the practices to do so are strongly interlinked with M&E. This session was aimed at collecting examples from other organisations who faced or are facing the same challenges, initiating discussion and subsequently developing a framework in the area of KS&L within the Programme Cycle Management (PCM), in particular a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E).It was agreed that M&E and KS processes are complimentary.

What KS activities can I integrate in baseline development work and in overall M&E activities? Can we develop a KS&L framework that is complimentary to the exiting Program Cycle M&E framework that most of us use in development projects?

Six Blocks to KS Eva Schmidt spoke about the 6 Blocks, a KS Framework developed by three researchers which breaks down KS into a number of key processes: 1. Identifying Knowledge 2. Mapping Knowledge 3. Sharing Knowledge 4. Using Knowledge 5. Incentivising Knowledge 6. Anchoring Knowledge

A skeleton framework has been developed around the 6 Blocks, including culture and behaviour issues. This framework has been used to asses the needs of organisations and communities in KS.

Integrating Knowledge and Learning in M&E Processes Taline Haytayan spoke about incorporating KS within overall M&E and PCM cycles at the International HIV/AIDS Alliance. Her team is in the process of developing PCM guidelines which includes KS as one of key components. KS has also been integrated in M&E processes - now M&E has been extended to include Learning as an overall holistic approach, and people now talk about Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) and not just M&E.

Rutti Goldenberg from IPPF works within the Organisational Learning unit, and her team's focus is to look at ways of integrating learning into M&E processes. They have begun conducting evaluations internally, and using self-assessment tools in a number of projects which are easy and low-cost to use. Importance of looking at previous learning from the start of any new project can't be under-estimated.

How can we bring learning from evaluations or self-assessments into practice between/during programmes and not wait until the end of the programme? At CARE they run a number of virtual discussions, focusing on not just capturing the explicit, but also the tacit, in order to assess how programmes are doing, capture challenges and identify learning.

Measuring the Impact of Knowledge The use of incentives was highlighted as being of importance. At CARE they send certificates of appreciation to country directors who then present the certificates to KS staff at all staff meetings. Other staff see the incentives and rewards to KS as they tend to have little interaction with the Country Director who is formally recognizing KS. In other organisations, including CARE, KS is integrated in Performance Management plans, and objectives are linked to KS and to Learning. In addition, Freedom from Hunger has put in place a knowledge star system which allows individuals in an office to visually see how they are performing in regards to KS and how they measure up to others. The "star system" chart is also a competition. The person with the most amount of stars at the end of the month wins a free lunch or some other type of reward.

What about defining indicators for KS? Meg is working on an ILO Information Management project, and asked whether the group had experiences with defining and using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for KS, in order to measure the impact of KS. How can we assess the value of knowledge?

There are information Knowledge Pointpersons working in each country office at CARE, together with M&E assistants, regional officers and soon to be regional KM officers.

Involvement of Donors The importance of involving donors in the process framework was highlighted. However, accountability to beneficiaries is different to that of donors. Ivan who used to work for IICD emphasised the importance of convincing donors to changes required in programmes being implemented. Donors are also interested in learning. It's important to generate a dialogue with donors.

Next Steps An informal working group has been formed to look further into this issue... So far the members are:

Taline Haytayan thaytayan@aidsalliance.org;

Denise Senmartin dsenmartin@iicd.org;

Sybil Chidiac schidiac@care.org

Working Group Meetings

1st Working Group Virtual Meeting - Held on 7/30/2008 via Elluminate

Meeting Participants included:

Taline Haytayan (Aids Alliance) thaytayan@aidsalliance.org;

Denise Senmartin (IICD) dsenmartin@iicd.org;

Sybil Chidiac (CARE, USA)schidiac@care.org;

Kaia Ambrose (CARE, Canada) kaia@care.ca;

Liza Tong (Aids Alliance) ltong@aidsalliance.org;

Hanna Goorden (IICD) hgoorden@iicd.org

Meeting Agenda and Notes

I. Presentations

II. Background

III. Initiate discussions

1. How to identify pts within PCM/ M&E to strengthen KS tools A. What about the community based perspective? What about the practitioner perspective? What about other stakeholder perspectives?

What are the knowledge needs? Utilization focused evaluation theory should be considered - so we collect and share data/ knowledge according to our needs/ stakeholders.

B. On the practitioner end, ownership of monitoring data and incorporation/ appropriate adaptation of knowledge into programming to improve quality is one excellent method to ensure knowledge gained is learned and internalized. - round table discussions in country/ project is a good method that could be used to promote community participatory learning.

C. Use of questionnaires is a method to include community feedback. - what's next how do we leverage this tool? How about standardizing the questionnaire? How about looking at when we do the questionnaire so that we understand the context for the planning/ design of programs - the participatory input prior to implementation.

D. Quarterly reporting to donors - multiple donors - how do we leverage this existing process? identify the gaps and build on them to improve M&E .

1a. Action:

A. Sybil to send out the PC visual and we can add our thoughts to where we see practitioner and community level KS&L practices and processes.

B. Stakeholder map- who are our high-level audiences and how can we meet their knowledge needs given the PCM and the M&E KS practices we implement?

C. Share our experiences/ documents

2. Measurement of KS (?- seperate and later discussion)

3. Learning down getting practitioners to share knowledge on their own

4. How do we continue to engage donor interest and get the funding to carry it out integrale to programs (should KS be seperate to M&E budget line)

5. Can we capture stories or experiences from the field of KS&L - methods used to share and learn from other even if not explicitly called KS&L

Useful Links Shared During Session