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Learn to make a difference... Turning learning into actions

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1 Learn to make a difference... Turning learning into actions
The presentation is prepared for capacity development (CD) Institutions or CD Facilitators who develop capacity of other institutions or individuals in Cambodia. 2011 Leng Chhay Organizational Development Consultant Website:

2 Learning Facilitators
Challenges in learning: Factors that block learner from making a difference Learning Facilitators Learners Cambodian historical/ cultural context Operational context Leng Chhay: Learn to make a difference

3 Learning Facilitators
Focus on work results rather than learning: the more you focus on development results, the less focus on learning or developing people’s ability of learners to perform. Lack of holistic approaches, training is the most... Not able to be role modeler; Not able to make people believe in (no credibility) Lack of practical experiences Lack of skills to transfer skills (focusing on doing the job rather than helping other to learn and be able to do the job) Behave like an expert rather than facilitators (I know everything) Supplier-driven learning (learning needs not come from learners) No proper need analysis; respond to request rather than needs Inability to be flexible and respond to problems/needs No learning agreement – objectives + expected capacity changes Impractical design; Lack of follow up support, reflection, evaluation Leng Chhay: Learn to make a difference

4 Learners Affected by trauma – difficult to unlearn and change; or take on new thing Resistant to change; fears by change; prefer to keep the status quo Prefer comfortable ways for learning (passive) Reluctant or not able to express problems/weaknesses, therefore not real needs identified, leading to ineffective interventions Motivated by certificate, not interested in applying Have no need to learn – learn for (another) future/another job (not the current one); some just sent by supervisor without clear needs. Objective of learning is just to know, not to do No action plan or agreed actions, or they were not acted on Don’t know how to implement (caused by lack of on-going support and coaching); I am too busy with other work...; perceive learning as a separate thing from work, and work is the first priority. Leng Chhay: Learn to make a difference

5 Operational context Leaders not support to implement learning
Prefer coercive and want to keep status quo Afraid of getting thing wrong or worse Lack of support during and after learning Lack of leadership capacity and commitment to make change No culture of learning and change Prefer doing same thing in the same way (esp. those new thing) No value for learning and continuous improvement No regular reflection and learning Imbalance between learning and working We are too busy Our daily life and work are most priorities (not the learning) No clear learning strategies / plan Leng Chhay: Learn to make a difference

6 Historical, cultural context
Past trauma negatively influences Cambodia behaviors: Fears, no initiatives, stuck, passive ... Not dare / encouraged to try something new Perceive changes as negative thing / resistance to change New thing is often not welcome – climate change??? Problems or weaknesses are perceived by this society as negative; should not be expressed in the public (losing face issues) Learners are influenced by the society (at home, communities where they live), which has different values to their work place – a block to make change Leng Chhay: Learn to make a difference

7 Some suggestions How to facilitate learning to make a difference
These suggestions focus on Learning /CD Facilitators rather than other factors – How they can better prepare themselves to better facilitate learning, which can be turned into actions Look at yourself as learning facilitator... Leng Chhay: Learn to make a difference

8 There is a basic capacity development cycle to be followed
Learning Needs Assessment Monitor and evaluate learning results (outputs, outcomes, impact) Cycle is repeated continuously in an upward spiral. Develop learning plan / agreement (incl. objectives, indicators) Design and deliver learning interventions Leng Chhay: Learn to make a difference

9 Establish learners’ commitment
Build leadership commitment: Make sure that leadership (organization) is committed to make continuous improvement (through changes) Make sure that leadership will support, both, learning process and its implementation Build supportive working relationships with learners so that they share real issues/needs and engage well, plus commitment. Clarify learning objectives including expected results (outputs/outcomes indicators) to be achieved. Formulate learning agreement, which agreed by both, learners and the facilitators. Reflect and evaluate a learning before moving to the next. Leng Chhay: Learn to make a difference

10 Demand-driven learning (not supplier-driven)
Make sure learners have a need to learn, i.e. they will use the knowledge immediately after learning Focus on problems/needs of learners rather than requests Spend times to understand the real problems/needs What are the real capacity gaps, issues to be addressed? Think about what problems or need of the learners to be solved first rather than what you can offer Be clear about learners’ expectations (desired outputs) before thinking of the approach – learning outcomes drive approaches/tools. Demand should come from learners. Facilitators can play some roles in helping learners to understand and recognize their demand. Leng Chhay: Learn to make a difference

11 Practical facilitators
Having practical experiences in the particular subjects (used to work in that subject), who is able to provide practical explanations and examples. Having expertise in skill transfer – not only good at doing the work, but can help other people to be able to do the work. Be confident to play different capacity development roles: Analyzer, diagnostician Participatory Trainer Confident Facilitator Professional coach, mentor, advisor Capable monitor/evaluator etc. including when to play a certain role! Credible/confident facilitators who behave in a way that earn respects from learners: learners are likely to change when they believe/trust in your ability Need to take historical and cultural context into account; try to deal/remove those barriers before intervening. Leng Chhay: Learn to make a difference

12 Practical design and interventions
Make sure your design is practical in terms of: Addressing the needs of learners – sticking to the points rather theoretical; short practice rather than long theory. Their skills level and working context (contextualize the design) Starting with the needs, then expected objectives, and then choosing the right and appropriate approach or tool (see next page). Decision about approaches/tools should come after. Make sure learners buy in the (new) approach, even it is not necessarily always comfortable for them. Failure to explore and discuss learning approaches, and just go strait forward with the interventions, will cause a lot of confusions and frustration, e.g. when you want to use question as a tool for facilitating learning, you need to convince learners to agree that “it is an effective tool”, before asking them many questions. It should be a learning journey rather than a learning event. A series of connected interventions over a period of time is more effective than a one off intervention. Leng Chhay: Learn to make a difference

13 Holistic approaches to Capacity Development
CD Needs/Areas (Capacities to be improved) Desired CD Outputs (from intervention delivery) CD Delivery Methods (Holistic approaches) Enabling framework: Laws and regulations Social, cultural norms Identify gaps / needs Assessment/diagnosis Check progress/achievements... Consulting/Evaluation Organizational level: Organizational direction Leadership and management Decision-making Internal relationships Structure and system Project/service management HR management & development External partnership Resource mobilization etc. Build knowledge/understanding Provide relevant information Share experiences/ practices Training Plenary workshop Exposures Knowledge Management Build common understanding Consensus / agreement Produce outputs (e.g. plan, system, proposal etc.) Produce agreed actions Facilitation CHHAY Awareness building Issues, concerns clarification Alternative options/solutions Coaching Individual level: Accounting skills Admin skills Facilitation/training skills Research skills Health skills etc. Produce actions for improvement Reflection Leng Chhay: Learn to make a difference

14 (Capacities to be improved)
A concrete example CD Needs/Areas (Capacities to be improved) Desired CD Outputs (from intervention delivery) CD Delivery Methods (Holistic approaches) Assess the need for strategic planning Assessment Build staff knowledge and understanding on concept and process of strategic planning Training Assist staff to conduct stakeholders consultations Strategic planning Coaching Develop elements of the strategic plan such as strategic issues, vision, mission, goal, strategic objectives with consensus of staff. Facilitation CHHAY Support staff to produce project/unit activities and indicators Coaching Support leaders to write and finalize the strategic plan Coaching Check progress of the strategic plan implementation . Evaluation/Consulting Leng Chhay: Learn to make a difference

15 Available and effective support during learning implementation
Actions to be taken after learning need to be identified and agreed. Provide on-going and regular support (coaching) to learners while implementing the learning: Clarify and support the way that learning can be implemented: check compatibility with the learners’ context/work place Provide suggestions, forms, templates, key outline as needed (don’t provide a complete results that lead to cut and past) Clarify issues raised during the implementation Allocate specific assignment for learners to do Provide encouragement during the implementation Check results and provide feedback to the work done Follow up the implementation – keep up-to-date Leng Chhay: Learn to make a difference

16 And finally (in summary):
Ensure the right commitment from leadership Focus on the right issues or weaknesses Identify the right needs and expectations Selecting the right learners Design the right learning intervention Using the right CD approach Intervened by the right/qualified facilitator Provide the right support to enforce implementation

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