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Improving Learning – Five Recommendations Herta Tödtling-Schönhofer, Metis Shaping the Future of the ESF Workshop 1: Learning Brussels, 23rd and 24th June.

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Presentation on theme: "Improving Learning – Five Recommendations Herta Tödtling-Schönhofer, Metis Shaping the Future of the ESF Workshop 1: Learning Brussels, 23rd and 24th June."— Presentation transcript:

1 Improving Learning – Five Recommendations Herta Tödtling-Schönhofer, Metis Shaping the Future of the ESF Workshop 1: Learning Brussels, 23rd and 24th June

2 Social systems and tools to trigger learning and change Communication actors MS social system for employment + social inclusion ESF programmes Learning European policy system No causal chain Policy objectives funds and rules

3 Recommendation 1: Clearly distinguish evaluation from learning MS social system for employment + social inclusion Policy objectives funds and rules ESF programmes Learning European policy system Learning Evaluation Self- observation Accountability Optimisation

4 M&E are useful and necessary –To monitor progress in programme and manage the funds –To demonstrate output and results –To assess effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability, Community Added Value of European and national funds –To support policy learning about programme management and use of public funds (avoiding risks, failures, de- committment....governance) As M&E needs to be linked to accountability (fear to fail!) there is an intrinsic contradiction with learning processes Monitoring and evaluation ….

5 M&E support single-loop learning and first order change Problem Strategy and activities Success Failure Strategy and activities Success Failure For improving the tool programme Trial and error Change within a given framework and paradigm Setting of standards and the investigation of deviations ARE WE DOING THINGS IN THE RIGHT WAY?

6 Double loop learning supports second-order change Problem Success Failure Definition of the problem Strategy and activities Options Self-observation and reflection of actions Revision of structures, processes, methods ARE WE DOING THE RIGHT THINGS? Second order change refers to transformation, discontinuity and a change in paradigm context Double loop learning Meta Learning = Learning of learning HOW TO WE DECIDE WHAT IS RIGHT?

7 Recommendation 2: EC should provide a platform for social innovation MS social system for employment + social inclusion Policy objectives funds and rules ESF programmes Learning European policy system Platform for learning on social innovation

8 At European level –Capacities for exploring social innovation –Initiate learning within the EC (e.g. a learning group on social innovation involving other DGs) –Mutual learning/peer review on social innovation, policy learning, organisational change within public administration –Support learning culture and provide a counterweight to accountability culture At national level –Capitalisation of previous ESF programmes (EQUAL, Art 6!) –Inventory of social innovation (who, what,....) and exchange of experiences needs bottlenecks.... –Vision and strategy development for ESF Create learning systems for social innovation

9 How can we ensure that learning takes place and that social innovations/experiments/pilots are not constantly repeated as experiments but taken over and implemented? How can we ensure transferability of innovation at reasonable level? Which tools would be appropriate for the evaluation of the innovation in the social field and – by extension – social innovation? In which instruments can we include experimental design for innovations (exploring whether or how they work) – at a small scale, for specific types of social innovation Questions for learning systems

10 R 3: EC should provide separate instruments for experimentation MS social system for employment + social inclusion Learning European policy system Experimentation Innovation

11 Mainstream programmes have to show success, i.e., produce visible results, avoid de-commitment minimize risk Innovation, learning and testing of new solutions need the possibility to fail Difficult to integrate both paradigms into one programme framework Specific instruments (separate from mainstream) are more appropriate to provide impulses (against the mainstream) for including new themes, new actors, new processes A plea for specific European instruments

12 R 4: MS and MA need to build learning mechanism into their programmes MS social system for employment + social inclusion Learning European policy system ESF programmes MS…Member States MA…Managing Authorities

13 Partnerships are an important tool for –Learning and innovation –Dissemination and transfer of results –Sustainability and mainstreaming Further mechanism –Self-evaluation in projects (with guidance and support) –Invest in methods for transfering experiences –Create a learning culture in ESF programmes (needs leadership and courage) organisational learning Learning mechanism

14 R 5: Mainstreaming innovation needs more attention and support MS social system for employment + social inclusion Learning European policy system ESF programmes

15 Mainstreaming is highly relevant to transform experimental design and experiences into standard practices Requirements for successful mainstreaming –Incorporation of key stakeholders in the partnerships –Commitment and ownership by political stakeholders –Leadership –Clear identification of the kind of information needed –Consideration of the link between a project (development partnership) and the national policy structures –Mainstreaming plans developed early in the project lifecycle –Support of TA with regard to operational aspects of mainstreaming –National platforms (thematic working groups) Mainstreaming innovation + learning

16 Thank you for your attention! DI. Herta Tödtling-Schönhofer Metis Gmbh Donau-City-Strasse 6 A-1220 Vienna


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