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What is a Community of Practice? Sharing experiences. Dakar, 4/11/2010 Bruno Meessen, ITM & Laurent Musango, WHO-AFRO (on behalf of the core group of the PBF community of practice). Plan. What is a community of practice? Our experience with the PBF CoP.

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What is a Community of Practice? Sharing experiences

Dakar, 4/11/2010

Bruno Meessen, ITM & Laurent Musango, WHO-AFRO

(on behalf of the core group of the PBF community of practice)


Plan

  • What is a community of practice?

  • Our experience with the PBF CoP.


What is a community of practice? (CoP)

  • « A group of people who decide to deepen their knowledge and expertise in an area by interacting on an ongoing basis» (Wenger et al. 2001)

  • A concept originally developed to address the fact that learning takes place also in social relationships rather than only through books or formal teaching. Giving access to tacit knowledge, interaction with peers and practitioners.

  • A knowledge management strategy which is mainstream today in the private sector. Progressively adopted in the public sector. More recently in international health.


Comparative advantage

  • It is a mechanism that brings together experts working in different departments, organisations or countries.

  • It focuses on practical knowledge (« how to do things ») and individual experts (not the agencies).

  • It is governed by its members: they identify key areas of knowledge, the priorities and the activities.



Context

  • Wide enthusiasm in Africa for PBF.

  • Pioneer countries are African. Rapid development over the last years.


Why a CoP?

  • Knowledge is spread across individuals and agencies: It is crucial to link them together to better coordinate their efforts. We need cooperation.

  • Knowledge on PBF is still emerging. Good practices are emerging from field experience; a lot of learning by doing. Need to evaluate and validate empirical findings.

  • Access to PBF knowledge should be open: newcomers must be able to access both toolkits and practitioners. Perceived as one answer to the theory-practice gapin terms of health policy.


Objectives of the CoP PBF in Africa

Foster social interactions and exchanges between African PBF practitioners (‘know each other’, build your own network).


Objectives of the CoP PBF in Africa

  • 2. Share existing knowledge, especially across pioneer countries or across actors (practitioners, policy makers, scientists).


Objectives of the CoP PBF in Africa

3. Develop skills, build expertise and create new knowledge (e.g. work together on case studies, comparative studies, manuals).


Objectives of the CoP PBF in Africa

4. Build professional identity of African PBF experts, consolidate their skills and self-confidence and enhance their careers. = key strategy to address the current bottleneck in expertise.


Objectives of the CoP PBF in Africa

5. To be part of a larger dynamic of public sector and health care financing reform through the support of a critical mass of commited individuals and agencies.


Process so far…

  • Burgeoning initiatives since 2006

  • Harmonization for Health in Africa, Bamako, June 2009.

  • Formal launch in February 2010 in Bujumbura.

  • ~170 members

    so far.



Multiple social interactions

  • Face-to-face (multilateral but also bilateral).

  • Telephone and emails.

  • Internet.

    Forum:http://groups.google.com/group/performance-based-financing

    Networks:

    http://hso.worldbank.org/hso/financing/group/

    http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=2627926&trk=myg_ugrp_ovr

    http://www.who.int/contracting/fr

    Blog:

    http://www.rbfhealth.org/rbfhealth/blog

    www.performancebasedfinancing.org


Activities

  • More info sharing & networking (google group)

  • Capacity building activities

    • Trainings (Ouidah, Rwanda, Zambia, WB Flagship course)

    • PBF Toolkit

  • A collective book on PBF in Central Africa

  • Workshops, meetings

    • Ex. regional meeting in Burundi and Senegal in 2011.


  • Governance

    • A core group gathering experts committed to PBF in Africa (12).

    • Mandate of the core group: to ensure the development of the CoP.

    • Two contact persons with HHA.

    • A facilitator.

    • Languages: French and English.


    Building the PBF CoP: our strategy so far

    • We invest in the ‘we’ (community).

    • We try to maintain momentum through activities that bring value to members.

    • We are inclusive in our decision-making to mobilise support from everyone, especially governments, agencies and universities (= they allow their staff to contribute; they fund activities).

    • Endogenous development :

      • African Great Lakes  Francophone and Anglophone Africa  Beyond?


    Recommendations

    • Target individuals, not organisations.

    • Governance: do not formalise, be flexible.

    • Good balance of face-to-face and virtual networking.

    • Enough activities and ‘projects’ to mobilise members of the CoP. Must be financed!

    • Facilitation is key. Must be financed!

    • Coordination should be collegial. Trust!


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