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Field Level Learning: Key Messages from the Review of Humanitarian Action 2003. Presentation by John Borton ALNAP Biannual Meeting Milton Keynes 2 nd December 2004. Process for Preparing Chapter 2 Learning By Field Level Workers. Fernande Faulkner and Brian Foster

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field level learning key messages from the review of humanitarian action 2003

Field Level Learning: Key Messages from the Review of Humanitarian Action 2003

Presentation by John Borton

ALNAP Biannual Meeting

Milton Keynes

2nd December 2004

process for preparing chapter 2 learning by field level workers
Process for Preparing Chapter 2 Learning By Field Level Workers
  • Fernande Faulkner and Brian Foster
  • Detailed Interviews with 37 experienced field workers
  • Report: ‘Managing Learning at the Field Level in the Humanitarian Sector’ May 2004
  • Beck and Borton commissioned to prepare Chapter 2 text based on the Faulkner and Foster report
  • Outputs were Chapter 2 and Key Message Sheet
key message 1
Key Message 1.

“Greater recognition and support should be given to field workers’ preference for specific information that is directly related to their operational priorities, and for accessing such information through conversation with other field workers.”

key message 1 possible actions agency level
Key Message 1. Possible actions: agency level
  • Review expectations of use of generic manuals and guidelines.
  • Increase use of face-to-face presentations and discussion opportunities.
  • Provide ‘Help Desk’-type support capacities (with in-country representatives)
        • Internally within the agency
        • Aid Workers Network
  • Provide more on-the-job training (coaching and mentoring)
  • Recognise the key role of managers in organising and leading such events and in creating and supporting learning generally.
key message 1 possible actions sectoral level
Key Message 1. Possible actions: sectoral level
  • Provide more frequent informal meeting/discussion opportunities that are inclusive and sensitive to gender and cultural concerns
  • Organise inclusive social gatherings to follow coordination meetings or other events that bring together large numbers of field workers.
  • Identify trusted ‘outsiders’ who might be included in coordination meetings, learning events etc. who can bring broader knowledge than that available to most field workers.
key message 2
Key Message 2.

“Stronger incentives are needed to encourage agencies to support and facilitate learning at field level, and for more sharing of best practice in approaches.”

key message 2 possible actions
Key Message 2. Possible actions
  • Donors should encourage/require organisations they fund to indicated how they propose to learn for an operation
  • Indicate ‘good practice’ and expectations
  • Strengthen links between Evaluation Departments and Learning Sections/organisational learning processes
  • Create network/Community of Practice to share good practice on approaches and techniques for supporting and facilitating learning at the field level
key message 3
Key Message 3.

“The current ‘architecture’ of the humanitarian sector is not sufficiently supportive of knowledge sharing or cross-organisational learning, and some reorientation and gap filling is required.”

key message 3 possible actions
Key Message 3. Possible actions
  • Develop humanitarian sector online knowledge resource – humanitarian equivalent of WB’s Development Gateway
  • ALNAP/IASC to take on more explicit role of facilitating cross-organisational learning events at end of operations
  • Integrate explicit learning support roles into existing mechanisms and structures: CAP/CHAP; HICs; inter-agency coordination meetings
  • Develop central ‘Yellow Pages’ of past and current field workers willing to share knowledge and ‘one-stop’ website for those taking up posts in new operations/countries