Still re-inventing wheels?

3_8_empoweringWebSustainable development is too urgent for us to keep re-inventing the wheel. We need to become much, much better at learning from experience: our own, and other people’s.

That was how we reasoned when, around 2005, we started an R&D program that has so far resulted in a methodology and toolbox called Learning for Change (L4C). It’s been so inspiring; now it feels like time to share with others (and maybe boast a bit).

The methodology is being used in several ways:

  1. For collaborative learning, by people from different projects and backgrounds
  2. For project appraisal, by a stakeholder group
  3. As a pedagogical strategy for a whole school
  4. As a tool for on-going, online learning in an international multi-year project

The first two are outlined in the little book Learning for Change, published as an iBook and as a pdf.

1. Collaborative learning workshops…
…have already been held in Sweden, Vietnam (3), South Africa (2) and India, with participants from more than 40 countries. More are planned, including facilitator training. On this development trail, our partnership with SWEDESD has been invaluable.

2. Project appraisal workshops
Several ‘collaborative learning’ participants have begun using L4C for project appraisal, with highly satisfactory results. Mostly NGOs, and their funders are expressing appreciation for the workshop reports. A Ministry of Education uses it to bring together large numbers of school supervisors. We’d like to see it used by, for instance, sustainability and CSR teams in the workplace.

3. Learning strategy for school
Gayaza High School for Girls in Uganda is pioneering the use of L4C as a pedagogical strategy for the whole school. Interim reports are encouraging (and the photos are amazing), but they’ve been so busy ‘doing it’ that they haven’t yet found time to write it up.

4. On-going, online learning
This is our next growing edge, and a challenging one. As part of CELLS, an EU-funded international program to improve sustainable lifestyle programs, we are inviting regular feedback and learning, following the L4C process, over a period of three years. Watch this space!

Development continues, both on uses for the existing materials and on further elaboration. All contributions welcome. The informal R&D group is not limited to members of Global Action Plan International – and neither are the results. We love to share.

16 Replies to “Still re-inventing wheels?”

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