Development Cooperation Handbook/Learning and Knowledge Management/Capitalize and utilize knowledge

Capitalize and utilize knowledge Integrating learning in the Programme Cycle Management Programme management  Learning and Knowledge Management

  Empowering human resources means: managing learning in the organization, generating a healthy communication climate building up a team spirit  amongst employees at various levels. On the basis of the lessons learned output of the  M&E actions we can empower the country programme teams and partners by increasing their knowledge and understanding on programme quality, impact, accountability and learning and assisting them in developing and prioritising work plans and processes to this end.

How do we integrate learning into our Programme Cycle Management?

Through moments of reflection, or sharing thoughts, questions and ideas with colleagues or beneficiaries in more informal discussions. Learning might happen as part of structured processes such as formal evaluations, or reporting requirements, or in more informal ways, for example through a conversation between a programme officer and partner on the trip back from visiting the programme. Steps you can take to promote learning include:

· Be in touch with others working on similar issues;   · Make time to meet with colleagues, partners or programme participants, or to research programmes working on similar issues;   · Encourage others to share and discuss different ideas and perspectives;   · Regularly question your own assumptions;   · Build time to reflect on the programme into your work plan;   · Ensure that programmes or projects are flexible enough to respond or be adapted as a result of learning;   · Share lessons learnt with others – for example document good practice in a short succinct manner, with details of how success was achieved.

Capitalize and utilize knowledge derived from the lessons learned evaluating the projects

Knowledge derived from the implementation and evaluation of a program that can be used to identify strengths and weaknesses of program design and implementation. This information is likely to be helpful in modifying and improving program functions in the future.
Monitoring and Evaluation constitute a separate activity in each programme/project and must be planned well. In order to make corrective measures, it is important that the information emerging from monitoring is analysed at the end of each project year. This exercise of analysing monitoring information is called monitoring review. The objective of monitoring review is to empower staff in delivering programmes effectively. The learning that emerges from a monitoring review must be integrated into current programme implementation. In order that the learning become integrated into new programming, the information must be shared, among the wider programme team, during country learning reviews usually held every alternate year.

Empowering human resources means:

On the basis of the Lessons learned output of the  M&E actions  we can  the  programme teams and partners by increasing their knowledge and understanding on programme quality, impact, accountability and learning and assisting them in developing and prioritising work plans and processes to this end.

The centrality of the “knowledge worker” in the “learning organization” approach to programme cycle management.

As organizations are increasingly asked to operate in a competitive environment they tend to focus on “outcome centred” management approaches. This implies the capacity to move from centralized bureaucratic structures to interrelated but self-governing programme/projects teams. A consequence of this shift of managerial focus is that managers need to foster an organizational process so that the employees learn from the programme/project results and can contribute to sharing the information required to better plan future actions. A further consequence is the growing need of staff, within the organization, able to access and use organizational knowledge and to contribute to further capitalization and sharing of new knowledge.
In knowledge-based organizations, learning is no longer restricted to the initial start up phase of new workers, but becomes a continuous process that moves along the implementation of tasks assigned in programme/project implementation. On the other hand, computers and Internet make possible new ways of capitalizing and sharing such knowledge. So the two factors of change reinforce each other, and their combined influence is rapidly changing work and learning environments. Learning organizations are those that have in place IT supported systems, mechanisms and processes, that are used to continually enhance their capabilities and those who work with it or for it, to achieve sustainable objectives - for themselves and the communities in which they participate.

Knowledge management (KM) comprises a range of strategies and practices used in an organization to identify, create, represent, distribute, and enable adoption of insights and experiences. Such insights and experiences comprise knowledge, either embodied in individuals or embedded in organizational processes or practice.

Knowledge management can be viewed from two perspectives:
  • Knowledge can be viewed as "Knowledge = Object" which relies upon concepts from "Information Theory" in the understanding of knowledge. These researchers and practitioners are normally involved in the construction of information management systems, AI, reengineering, etc. This group builds knowledge systems, while the next group changes the way we use knowledge, which ultimately changes human behavior.
  • Knowledge can be viewed as "Knowledge = Process" which relies upon the concepts from philosophy, psychology, and sociology. These researchers and practitioners are normally involved in education, philosophy, psychology, sociology, etc. and are primarily involved in assessing, changing and improving human individual skills and behavior.

Testimonials edit

- Knowledge is the main capital Julian Parr

Good evaluators are generally not good communicators - and that is where civil society should step in - S.Kumar

Good Practices -  Oxfam indications about the scope of organizational learning

Good Practice Oxfam indications about the scope of organizational learning

Learning helps to make development work more effective by:

  • Challenging us to think differently, question our assumptions, and see things from a new perspective;
  • Helping us to develop a shared understanding about how we think development work can contribute to overcoming poverty;
  • Helping us to identify what is working well and why so that we can continue and increase effective projects and programmes;
  • Identifying gaps and highlighting what is not working well so that we can avoid repeating mistakes;
  • Increasing our ability to respond to new and unpredictable challenges and opportunities in changing working environments;
  • Encouraging us to look beyond our day-to-day programme activities, to regularly consider the larger question of what impact we are having on people’s lives;
  • Helping us assess how well resources are being used and how we might use them more effectively;
  • Increasing the motivation and satisfaction of those we work with in what they do by valuing their experience and opinions;
  • Encouraging us to set realistic time frames for realising our desired impact;
  • Playing a part in building trust, respect and openness in relationships both within organisations, partners, and other stakeholders.