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The Community Empowerment Network (CEN): Communities of Practice for Local Capacity in Central Asia. World Bank Institute (WBI) Europe and Central Asia Social Development unit (ECSSD). CEN and Context for Community Driven Development (CDD) in Central Asia.

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The community empowerment network cen

The Community Empowerment

Network (CEN):

Communities of Practice for Local Capacity in Central Asia

World Bank Institute (WBI)

Europe and Central Asia Social Development unit (ECSSD)


Cen and context for community driven development cdd in central asia

CEN and Context for Community Driven Development (CDD) in Central Asia

  • “Critical issues for scaling up CDD in Central Asia prepared by the CDD Working Group/ECSSD (especially knowledge management and sharing pillar)

  • CAS (e.g. Community-Linked Development in Tajikistan)

  • Lending operations (NSIFT, VIP, AzRIP)


Knowledge sharing a tool for scaling up

Knowledge sharing – A Tool for Scaling Up

  • The Community Empowerment Network for Azerbaijan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan (CEN) was launched by WBI and the Europe and Central Asia Social Development unit (ECSSD) in late 2002 as a community of practice for community-driven development (CDD) practitioners.


Knowledge sharing a tool for scaling up cont

Knowledge sharing – A Tool for Scaling Up (cont)

  • Launching of various CDD-type operations in a short time in CAR, yet not enough time to capture and share lessons and knowledge

  • The CoP tool was chosen by WBI to build capacity in Central Asia for scaling up Community-driven Development (CDD)

  • CEN contributed to the creation of an ongoing, year-round, national-level activity that would allow for greater impact on the ground, and act as a more flexible tool to support the strategy for scaling up.


Knowledge sharing a tool for scaling up cont1

Knowledge sharing – A Tool for Scaling Up (cont)

For CDD and Communities of Practice:

Added value of the CoP as a means to scale up CDD is that both approaches are mutually reinforcing since they stress the critical importance of social capital.


Guiding principles

Guiding Principles

WBI developed a set of guiding principles to help ensure lessons learned would be applied to ensure the success of the project.

These principles include:

- Local ownership

- Multi-stakeholder

participation/perspectives

- Year-round activity

- Linkage to World Bank

country activities

- Partnerships to leverage

knowledge and resources


Two major levels of networking

Two major levels of networking

  • National Networks

    • National Partner

    • Steering Group

    • Action Plan

    • Mapping Exercise

CEN

  • Regional Networking

    • Monthly Videoconferences

    • Annual Conferences

    • Regional Web

    • E-Newsletter

    • Closed E-mail distribution list


Evaluation results

Evaluation Results

Worked moderately well

- Government involvement

- Stock-taking of CDD Initiatives

- Regional exchange

  • What has worked?

  • Public awareness building

  • Community-to-community knowledge sharing

  • Tapping into local knowledge

  • Local Partnership

  • Building institutional capacity for CDD

  • Local language focus

  • Didn’t work so well

    • Linkages to World Bank Operations

    • Innovative approaches

    • Donor coordination

    • Objectives and evaluation


Challenges and constraints

Challenges and Constraints

  • Advanced programming in a multi-year capacity building initiative

  • Learning and KS may involve a small financial investment as compared to lending operations, yet time intensive

  • Linking to Operations vs. in-country multi-stakeholder ownership


The future of cen

The future ofCEN

Different starting points  different progress

  • WBI will focus more on the regional dimension, with a focus on distance learning and Internet technologies.

  • The expectation is that

    rather than providing

    funds for each Network

    to use, the Networks

    will instead come to

    WBI when they need

    resources, whether financial or intellectual, for specific activities.


Lessons for better communities of practice

Lessons for Better Communities of Practice

  • Place a greater emphasis on peer review between countries

  • Establish clear indicators of progress

  • Focus as much on processes as on activities


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