Stories About Our Practice

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Raw notes, bullets did not carry over, please improve

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Reza's Story

Our Village - Amader Gram = Project objectives

  • To provide access to information and transfer knowledge from haves to have not
  • ground level action research
  • support ICT based eduation at the community level
  • Promote local knowledge for development
  • Improve rural livelihoods

Focus Group

  • Community as a whole
  • Farmer - specific
  • Experts/teachers
  • Youth
  • Village society

KT4D - The Concept

  • Knowledge transfer is an interactive process in which advanced cutting edged knowledge is passed on to improve the condition of the community. Local community experts. * Motivational, awarness from one condition to another.
  • The expectation of the need. Why the knowledge transfer is required and how they will work with it- to improve their condition.
  • More feed back and sharing, continuous dialogue
  • The process of K transfer becomes easy and based on the community need and source.
  • Bangladesh is a country with a huge population but underutilized potential due to lack of appropriate information, technology, modern educaiton and initiatives.
  • Need based and appropriate knowledge would create new opportunities and employments that would involve the underpriveledged and unemployed people
  • Iteractive process

Knowledge Transfer at Amader Gram

  • We believe in K transfer for development. Clear goal.
  • Development of condition of the poor people.
  • More knowledge-. dissemination --> empower to fill that need. "I am knowledgable I can practice and improve my condition".
  • We explore creativity from the research and data, share with local people, evaluate and disseminate for adoption
  • Example - morbidity profile has decreased through access to information.
  • The use of sanitary latrine and tubewell has been increased by 80% in last 7 years in Rampal upazilla of Bagerhat district. Moving from open air toilet to sanitary latrine.

knowledge fair at village broke one year of silence. Communicated to donors as well. Turn silence into knowledge

KM Learning

  • Can improve condition by providing appropriate info and knowledge driven by local motivation
  • Effectiveness, awareness needs to be raised to identify own needs

relationship is important. Consider need, can then provide the most specific information

  • Effectivness of good relationships, planning, coordination, involvement of experts at ground level.

Contact Reza Salim:

Stef's Case

Learning Alliances

  • MDGs scaling up - co
  • Decetralised management - develop capacity of local governance
  • Innovation p little reflection by implementers, research in isolation, and a project approach. Good practices on the ground not being captured, reflected upon and shared. * * * Innovation not scaling up.
  • Learning Alliance concept - aim to be a way to go about innovation scaling up, involving wide range of stakeholders, researchers, inplementing organizations.
  • LA is a series of multistakeholder platforms at diff inst levels, community, intermediate and national level, with a view to carry out innovation by breaking horizontal barriers and vertcal barriers

Key concepts

  • need to work at different levels, Typically work is focused at community level, but can't scale up. How to lesons move
  • District level, govenment and NGO can work in many villages, but can't function without a national enabling environment
  • Interventions have to work at different levels.
  • Multiple stakeholders - typically work with same partners. You have to involve with government, local, municipal. Only ones in a position to scale. Bring non peer organizations together.
  • Need to create space, platform for that to happen. Can't be a CoP because non peer.
  • Innovation always on mind - new ways of doing, approaches, technologies
  • Scaling up - how can this benefit one and all communities in a certain district


  • You work in a few communities, learn lessons, then inovlve district level, learn around the innovation, then take lessons out to other communities, and link up from district to national platform. Members at National also sit at districxt level. Change policy, legislation. A view of the world looking at innovation at a certain area, working with stakeholders to scale up. Picture is static, but in reality it is a very chaotic process.


  • Stakeholder analysis and mobiliations
  • Action research
  • Process monitoring and documentation (similar to outcome mapping)
  • Capacity building
  • Process facilitation

Outcomes or Changes

  • Typically those changes are in terms of enhanced stakeholder capacity in terms of understadning, attitude, practices, relationships to sustain certain interventions and scale them up.
  • Learning and capacity for change


  • ultiple Use Water Services in Columbia
  • In COlumbia a district and provincial platform stakeholders come together to learn. * * * Formulated their own objectives
  • Understand perspectives and practices currently in use
  • Learn about wayt to do a multiple use approach
  • Formulate ideas for changes in the legal and institutional framework

(Multiple use - applying a livilihood approach to water supply)

  • Member involvement - what are their value sand ideas
  • Valle del Cauca, big water supply program, representatives, community association, hierarchy in district staff, decision makers, engeineers attenede.
  • Quindio - mainly local government,
  • In most cases good participants, but always changing. Continuity was problem. More orgs got involved along the way
  • The members defined their own agenda within the broad topic of multiple use.
  • They participated in the research. It was not done to them. Action research

Role of CINARA,m a knowledge institute who facilitated the process and as a main resource center

What has changed? PAAR water supply program - old fashioned top down and brought their problem. Were trying to curtail multiple use. Now see it is a benficial approach. Reversed their implementation practices, design norms and standards in 3 years, formed more interaction with community associations around water issues. Learn from each other. PAAR is government driving. Aquacol helped with commiunity to community linkages Reflection of how change came about. The LA members formulated change towards policies and regulations that shows something has been learned socially among the group and promoted interest in changing Identified own capacity gaps From advocating the cocnetp to better understanding of practical implications Lotso f change processes in many areas at the intermeidate level, but failed to make change at the national level

Lessons Learned (across all countries) process of establishing LA differ by country. Not step by step approach Only way to scale up approach is to involve government, even if frustrating LA members define their own research needs and agenda Need for skilled facilitator or resource center The donor environment can work distorting. No money to be gained, so people come back because they want to LA eventually lead to expected outcomes.

Questions From management and leadership styles What was it about Agruacol that made them more susceptible to well engineered change management. What was it about their structure that made them suitable in the role? We put them all in the same room. The meetings, the engineers have seen the members of Aquacol have good ideas. They saw the benfits. That Aquacol can improve their performance. A utilitatiran point of view, but also a space game. Aquacol want their points being heard by local authorities and government. So they see that as an inroad to advocate their own interest. Mutual interest. Not sure there was management sturcture involved. PAAR - What made them susceptible to learning the lessons. Continuous flow of information. Announcement of Gueria blaming this project, but their language around the water issues had indeed changed and reflected the proposed point of view. Hierarchy, but engineers are also quite autonomous One engineer has been instrumental in this. Enginneers have freedom to attend meetings, to report failures. One of the chief engineers. The freedom but also proper feedback mechanisms to their superiors. Both personality and freedom/feedback. Water supply but with a social background. Why greater success in Columbia? Partner org with 20 years of experience, network of contacts in all areas. Strong starting position. Did not have that in Bolivia. Less well positioned. The role and position and status of facilitating org is a key issue. In Columbia there was no donor influence - there was not money to be had. IN Bolivia there were some of these issues so people came for mixed reasons. Costs a lot of time to facilitate. CINARA was able to do that in combination with other projects for scale reasons. In S. Africa - works where there is partner org with good starting position. Would a national roundtable first help influence at the lower levels. Yes, that

Boru's Case

Boru's Case

Change models matter. Designed a rice harvester in the Phillippines.

Farmers are going to grow 2 crops rather than one a year. It rains. Don't want to harvest in the rainy season. What we need is a mechanical harvester to quickly harvest so rain did not rot crops. Tasked a group to develop the harvester. His design landed on their desks, made a prototype in 2 weeks, took it out and tested it, looked ok, so tasked 1000 to be built. 1000 scrap metal machines in tractor stations around Burma. Went to folow up on what was going on. Last years machines were scrapped along side.

Had a mental model of how change happens. Top down. Engineer designs and send it out. No one sending feedback on how the machines were working, saying wonderful but they weren't using them. They didn't work that well in muddy conditions. They replaced a piece with softer metal so it broke. Machine left straw in the field and farmers wanted straw out of the field.

How people concpetualize how change happens influences their practices.

Impacts Pathway Evaluation Making mental models explicit improving then people plan and ipmlement projects based on their change models THeir inplicit theories about how change happens. If you can improve the theory, you can improve the practice participatory approach for making theories explicit, proving them, living documents, testing your theory through M&E Validation and changing of your change theory contributes to project and program learning. Adaptive management. Experiential learning based on what is happening. Work has some histor in Nigeria on Striga and current work on the Chalenge Program on Water and Food since October 2005. 50 projects with change models, improving them, thinking about impact assessment and M&E based on these change models.

What is Impact Pathway Combination of traditional logic model - log frames - tells you how you go from outputs, to intermediat outcomes to eventual change outcomes. outcomeoriented. Limit to those is missing out on the actors. Bringing in network models to give a fuller picture of how change is likely to happen. Do it in participatory workshops. Process - (slide) the single line boxes are in workshop and double line workshops are the prodcuts developed after the end of the workshop. Problem tree - get the rationale of the project, turn that into an objective tree -= more appreciative, do a visioning exercise (from AI), timline from outputs to vision, where the project is going and produce, then the network maps. Only when you write this down do you surface hidden assumptions, identify the missing logic Social network analysis - example, the Simpson family network. Shows the types of relationships between nodes in human networks. Example: family ties, friendship ties, workplace ties. Do two maps. The now map. Who are they working with and related to in their current work. Postits and pens. Then they do their future map. They have done a visioning in the future, then they draw the network map. Who are the organizations who will be scaling out and up on their project. Who will use the results of your project. Otherwise no impact. Compare and contrast between the two maps. If there is no part of the future map in their now map, they have work to do on their relationships. Take those hand drawn, complicated messy maps and put them into NetDraw. Send them back a picture nicely plotted and we ask them some questions. There are differences between these two maps, please explain. They come back with clarifications. Differetn colors are different relationships. Admin/coord, provision of funding, etc. With software take out relationship by relationship, showing their now map and their future map. We ask questions. Please check links. Please explaine the etsnions of outputs in terms of whay and how they will happen. Please prioritise the links, Please explian what is important in these maps. Then go round about how people are feeling about network mapping. Link between outputs and outcomes, complicated then helps, id actors, helps clarifty actors you need, understand complexity, relationships and how they will change in the future. Helps identify exit strategy. Summary Change Models matter - people plan and implement projects on the basis of their change models - their implicit thoeores about how the world works If you can improve the thoery you can improve the practice, making mpact more likely IMpact pathwasy evaluation - a participatory approach for making practitioners theories explicit about how they will cahieve adoption and impact (Impact pathwaysP) Improving them Using these models/frameworks for M&E AS A result, contributing to project and program "adaptive management" 9experiential learning) and thus likelihood ofimpact.

Q&A How does power show up? We don't map it Power if fundamental. It seems like a great opportunity using a visual method to map the power and assess the qualityh of the relationships, not just the functionality. SNA looks at who is most central, who is most in between and closeness. You can see power based on the type of node. Central node- in networks term that is a powerful node. Controlling lots of relationships and flows. In 2 day workshop, 6-7 projects, not time to dig down into quality of relationships. What happens afterwards, we look at what we've got. Gaps. The ministry of forestry, we are relying on them, but they aren't on the map, or it is in a non key position. Talk about it more. Become more concious of its role in your change theory. Explain the nature of the relationships. Can't analyze all the different relationship, but can prioritize them. Have you revisted yet if the now have become the future? Will do in October. Interesting application of network analysis, but not really social network analysis. Taking visualization part of network analysis as a communication tool, but important distinction. YOu are looking at binary relationships. Part of deep smarts is what's in the network. If you are influencing a network on a one to one basis, you aren't taking advantage of the network structure. You said you don't look at the structures and the paths in between. We don't look at the personal relationships of people within organization. Could do that if you could get into more depth. You do get a picture of the overall network. One project who's ultimate benificiaries are farmer groups. Their map showed 4-5 influience pathways into those farmer groups. Not just a linear path, but in working with and through other organizations influencing farmer groups. People make decisions not just on information from one source but having information confirmed from multiple sources. How often does media and communications come up during this process? Once in a while and not always. Where? As an outreach strategy. We talked about power too. As it relates to this. there's a certain power at beingat the table to do the mapping. Whoever is at the table as a certain perspective. Who is at the table? What is their relationship to others not at the table. How confident are the people around the table to react and implement what is gone through, or a paper exercise controlled elsewhere. We ask for project leaders and another knowledgable. Don't always get project leaders. Everybody who has come has had a good idea of what their project looks like. You are right. The maps depend on who drew them. Generally have 2 or more drawiing them. Send them back, ask them to share and discuss with team. Missing from maps are ultimate beneficiaries, boundary partners. What is CIATS relationship to these folks. Contracted in by the challenge program which convenes and channels funds. FUnders are multilateral basket of donors. What is the relationship between this project and the source of the money. As soon as you are associated with the donor you have enormous authority and it impacts power relationships. The program manager (effectively the donor) as sitting in and it has not constrained things, alomost concerned in the other direction. Formative process,m not summative. Is the manager going to be used by the manager to close the proejct down. Buty that is not happening.

Russel's Framing of the Cases

Russell's presentation

All members are potential learners. Speed of learning will vary. Some will be slow, some are faster. They have tacit knowledge. Explicit is about what they want to achieve, but little on how. Focus on self motivated learning. Stimulate the relationship between our members and their partners. Produced a concious design of trajectories that use different methods. See what does and what doesn't work Focus on people talking about their own experience. 40 years of experience. Many orgs have focused on presenting achievements and results, not how and how the two are linked. Where does this come from. Development sector is heavily monitored, which leads to this disassociation. So have people work on it. Promote interactive learning/working. People say they are doing that, but learning is generally imposed on them. The free trip, the per diem is offered. Hardly a thorough examination of the purpose of the exchange visit and where that organization is. Workshop on social change. A lot of personal experience around social change, but little systematic conclusve evidence of social change. 40 people working on social change. We can share our personal stories, but we are not seeing a systematic change happen. That's why westill need to look at this personal side. In management and OL, KM is added on. OL is seen as needed, but not integrated with what is going on. There is hardly any sound HR happening in the development sector. Few orgs have HR department or manager. It has consequences for the model for where we think organizational learning happens. In developent, OL is strongly linked to HR Conducted research with partners on what they see and noticed. Shocked at what discovered. In the south OL is perceived as "education", doing something wrong. Worse, have funded consultants who have gone to SA to teach organizations OL. This has achieved familiarity with jargon that can be negotiated to get money. But little stories of use and application. Networking. We love networks, but both from work in SE Asia and S. Africa, Southern partners percieve networking as the next cloud imposed on their organization by the north telling the South what to do. If you are setting up a network, have you planned your exit scenario. Very thin answers. "Yes, this will take time." If you don't think about leaving up front, you won't leave. Our learning is supposed to be cyclical but some directors want results that suggest linear models and we let that happen. If you want to engage in OL, it is cyclical. Learning is a process that goes over time. Want to convey a sense of urgency. In 90's development and civil society had it easy. Lots to do. Now lots of money being thrown, struggling to develop civil society, to make choices and express themselves. A lot of that is not happening. THe disparities between rich and poor is spreading. Increasing isolated, large areas of people who don't have access to minimum resources to make a living, look after their health, to organize and stand up for their right. Countless examples. Problem with our e-based methods. Months ago there was this map shown of Africa, showing where electricity was available. Most of the continent is dark. No guaranteed access to electricity with enormous consequences. Boy I support in Africa, he has to pay a fee each time he wants to send an email. He has skills and capacity, but it is so costly he cannot use it. Millions who cannot access it, and do not have the skill. Sense of urgency is money coming into development sector. The Global Fund on the Treatment of AIDS. DFID. Throwing money. The recent WSIS conference in Tunis showed how governements are dealing with access to information. Our assumption of free access is essential for achieving social change and why our cyclical models of learning are more effective than linear, project based teaching.

Question Did course with social learning, get people to tell their stories. So amazing and fabluous having people tell their stories, putting it out on the table then stop. It breaks my heart every time. Design this wonderful, social interaction and it doesn't go anywhere. I'd like ideas for the next step. Why is that true? It doesn't go anywhere because you don't do anything with those stories. Because generally no one is listening to them. Not where I want to go, but to understand what might happen after people's stories are told. A way to get those stories more exposure. Searching for a next step in my own design for it. Do you examine that story and what it means to you, what does it mean to your organization. What does it mean to the audience. What can they do with that story? Overwhelmed? Will they say "I'm beginning to understand that I can use this in my organization." What do the story tellers want with the stories? Do they get asked? What is the participatory communication as a dimension of knowledge. Not what do we do with the stories, but do people have the means to tell their stories, to broadcast them out in any/many channels. It is easier to get funding for courses, but not for the next step as it is not so concrete. Investing in creation of new knowledge, including story telling, any kind of information work, lessons learned, AARs. we come up with new recommendations and best practices. Tremendous inequality about how that impacts concrete work. That was what I was expecting by the liniing of learning and KM. It would be the using and absorption and implementation side of that knowledge. We keep repeating we are drowning in knowledge, but not serious about figuring out what to do with it. Ask questions. We have organizational stereotypes and roles. All have plans, budgets. IN terms of acheiving change in orgs with power, would like to learn more about managing the tension between the ways of learning and hsareing where the reality is about producing bullet points and reports. How do you interact with the linear and hierarchical organization. We spend our time tryng to influence others, but don't measure how we are influenced ourself. In our culture, if you are writing a doc you are working, if you are reading a doc you should get on with some real work. What is the linkage between capacity building and advocacy. Orgs do know how to measure change in many ways. Lobbying governments then see the impact of policy change via M&E. Most of our orgs are large, multinational orgs. Some of those processes work in reverse. The whole power question is another interesting one. Want to extract artifacts from those we are working with as an end product. Somehow perceived as an ends in itself. Yesterday I heard donors are the barrier. Heard that many times. What happens within the boundaries of our own org. We have some degree of control over our culture. OUr annual budget cycle is the one that decides what gets done. These factors we are looking at work out within the boundaries of our own organization. How do we continue on after learnign event - challenge for one of my colleagues with an HIV learing. Tried to create a learning community to carry on stories and connections. Link different things. Learning event to launch a CoP. Learning community talks about this as life long learning. Challenge for those of us designing learning events. Absorptive capacity - say you are in your office. Recognized you need time to reflect. You might push back form your desk. You might think about inspiration - look up a bit -- and you might actually stretch, or put your feet up. Then your boss walks by. What do he/she see you doing. Makng legitimate the actual reflection needs and what we consider valuable activity and that has a role to play.

Four Break outs: Intention - four working groups, three case studies. Each theme would act as a case study reference. Methods as a tool to articulate questions, the reference, your position you will ask to the case study presented.

Clarifying Concepts - Socratic Dialog Examining Deep Smarts Leadership in Hierarchy - three ways of looking at hierarchy, share experiences Working using Triangles


Found it helpful to use the framing approach to prepare questions, but found the instructions quite confusing and Bev offered to rewrite them