human development, social justice and sustainable social systems
Ongoing Learning and Reflection for Management
Why is this important?
Formal reflections such as evaluations represent critical opportunities to learn and improve. They usually occur at defined moments in a project or programme cycle. Waiting for these formal milestones to run and be completed before adapting to evident, emerging feedback from interventions limits your project or programme scope to respond effectively. Thus, it is important that organisations plan, support and document structured reflection processes regularly – and that staff are familiar with pathways for approval and operational guidance for adapting interventions within the programme/project cycle.
Desired Outcomes (linked to the Assessment Tool)
The organisation has clearly defined how ongoing learning and reflection should inform strategies / objectives / programming.
Planned and structured reflection processes routinely take place for key areas of work – so that feedback is heard and can be acted on.
Staff are familiar with pathways for approval and operational guidance for adapting interventions within the programme/project cycle (e.g. recommended sources of information, templates for reflection and data capture, timelines, budget reallocations).
There is a clear organisational approach to documenting change for individual projects/programme
There are established practices or mechanisms for synthesising learning across multiple projects/programmes and for sharing this information consistently.
The organisation can demonstrate that learning is applied consistently.
Examples of actions/practices you can implement within your organisation to ensure on-going learning and reflection for management
Review your organisation’s programme/project cycle management guide to see what opportunities for learning and reflection are already expected and consult with staff to assess their effectiveness.
Develop a template for rapid reflection – pilot, test and refine.
Conduct a scenario-based survey amongst programme staff that probes their knowledge of operational guidance on adjusting programmes and willingness to adapt interventions.
Normalise ‘failure’ by documenting lessons and including examples in internal communications.
Promote key messages on feedback and reflection (e.g. both formal and informal feedback takes place and is acted upon continuously in a healthy organisation).
Create opportunities to develop listening skills.
Support example sharing of adaptations made as a result reflection.
Guidance, Tools and Case Studies from Member Organisations