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Reflections on the Peer-to-Peer Learning Process. Warren Van Wicklin (WBI consultant) December 1, 2009. Sources of Information. Purpose of this presentation Identify lessons, what worked well, what did not, and recommendations for future learning initiatives (LI)

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Reflections on the Peer-to-Peer Learning Process


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    1. Reflections on the Peer-to-Peer Learning Process Warren Van Wicklin (WBI consultant) December 1, 2009

    2. Sources of Information Purpose of this presentation • Identify lessons, what worked well, what did not, and recommendations for future learning initiatives (LI) Sources of Information and Data • For the LI coordinator: 15 page response to questions • For team leaders and members: responses to a questionnaire • 16 team member respondents (1-5 respondents per team from 7 of the 8 project teams) • Respondents are not a random sample or representative. Reflections on the LI Process

    3. Learning Initiative Rationale Main objective of the learning initiative • To build the capacity of team members on PB • Learn from fellow practitioners’ successes and failures Team members participated in the learning initiative to: • exchange and share knowledge (15 respondents) • learn about PB (9), collaborate on partnerships (7) • spur action (5), develop new relationships (4) Team members wanted to learn how to: • overcome constraints to practicing PB (7) • develop tools for PB (6) • identify optimal conditions for implementing PB (4), effectively monitor and evaluate PB (4), do PB (4) Reflections on the LI Process

    4. Project and Team Formation The learning initiative was demand driven. • More respondents thought it was very demand driven (4) or fairly demand driven (6) than not very demand driven (2) or neutral (1). Most respondents found the project teams useful. • They stated that the teams were very useful (5), fairly useful (4), neutral (5) or not very useful (2). • Most respondents (11 out of 15) would use the Durban model in a future learning initiative. Most respondents thought the learning initiative had a positive impact on their organization. • More respondents said strongly agree (4) or mostly agree (3) than neutral (5) or slightly disagree (1). Reflections on the LI Process

    5. The Peer to Peer Approach All 15 respondents said that the peer to peer initiative is useful. • Latin America (and Brazil in particular) has more experience which is useful for Africa. All 15 respondents saw Latin American participatory budgeting (PB) experience as relevant for Africa. • Latin American experience offers models, learning and best practices that African PB practitioners can adapt. In general the initiative worked as envisaged. • Most respondents saw a wide variety of benefits to linking African and Latin American practitioners and researchers. Reflections on the LI Process

    6. Problems with the LI Process A big problem was team members who slowed down or ceased their participation. • 12 of the 15 respondents said this was a problem for their team. • Teams lost a lot of members during concept development and project implementation. • These members often lacked technical capacity, interest, or time. Communication breakdowns were frequent among teams and with the World Bank. • Collaboration through cyberspace did not work well. • Some behavior during teleconferences was unprofessional. Reflections on the LI Process

    7. Main Lessons • Communication and conflict resolution skills were critical for effective coordination. • Team work is critical for success. • Initiatives require collaboration, tolerance and willingness to accommodate others’ opinions. • Every organization has something to offer and something to gain. • The design process needs to be dynamic, so flexibility needs to be built into the process. Reflections on the LI Process

    8. What Worked Well A High Quality Process • On-the-job learning allowed participants to apply knowledge even before the project was completed. • The main accomplishments were learning, sharing of information and team work. • The main strength was the participatory nature of the whole process. Good Performance by All Parties • Most team members collaborated very well. • Team leaders and facilitators did a fine job. • The MDPESA/World Bank team displayed a high level of professionalism in managing project processes. Reflections on the LI Process

    9. What Did Not Work Well • There were significant delays in approving and arranging financing of projects. • Early on there tended to be a lack of clarity on roles. • Some team members ended up being overloaded while others did not have much to do. • The initiative lacked strategies or mechanisms that would provide early proposals with midcourse corrections. • Getting members with different backgrounds to move at same pace was challenging. • Some leaders were not playing their role as coordinators. • Fund disbursement was stingy with major delays. Reflections on the LI Process

    10. Recommendations • Initiatives need to generate quick benefits for team members. • Be clear about expectations, the relationship between donors, the World Bank, technical management and coordinators. • Project teams need a clear understanding of the objectives, methodology, expected products and difficulties likely to be faced. • Organizations should be able to select partner organizations. • People more time to become acquainted with one another, assign tasks to one another and to ensure commitment to the project. • Be flexible about deadlines and changes in methodology. • Be less bureaucratic in contract procedures with the World Bank. • Concentrate on developing friendship and partnerships. Reflections on the LI Process

    11. What People Enjoyed • The peer to peer initiative was exciting. • The methodology for generating proposals was engaging and produced useful proposals. • People enjoyed the team work and contributing to the success of team projects. • They enjoyed learning, sharing knowledge and building capacity. • People are passionate about this work. Reflections on the LI Process