Tuesday, May 18, 2010

KSGhana: Chat Show - Collecting good practices/lessons learned and feedback on the method

This morning we started with a chat show hosted by Lucie. The guest speakers, Justin, Diana and Chris, were invited as panellists to share their experience.

The three experiences were as follows:

KAINET - lessons learned were captured at various intervals in the project. A person was dedicated to collecting the lessons learned. This was integrated into the project so funding was available for this person. AAR was also used to capture lessons. It allowed to identify the issues by seeing what didn't work and why. The lessons learned were shared with key stakeholders within the participating and partner institutions. This way, the future project development would have to take into account lessons learned from the previous experience.

Mainstreaming gender in agricultural projects - The experience was collected and made available through a CD. Data was collected from statisticians in African countries, FAO colleagues and a person was made in charge to create the CD. The process took 2 years. The idea for the CD came when Diana was repeating her experience to different countries. The CD is a collaboration between data producers and collectors and use of the CD will increase the quality of the data.

Aquaculture project - The project is cutting edge so they are looking towards the future. Six project partners (countries) meet regularly and steer the project. The project itself is a case-study for the other regions in Africa. The Aquaculture Networks for Africa (ANA) which uses case studies from Asia and other parts of the world. They look at the good points there and share/propose it to the African region. Staff also have opportunity to meet each other from various regional networks to share experience. This facilitates cross-fertilisation and the network is the body that collects the knowledge.

Key Challenges:
  • Communication/willingness to share information/knowledge.
  • Language
  • Projects are seen as source of income by the participating organizations
  • Information is not circulated well enough both within and between countries
  • One option could be to put enough request for funding under the monitoring and evaluation phase of the project
One of the participants said, its not that we do not collect lessons learned/good practices but it is also about sharing them and making them available for future use.

The feedback on the method was:
  • The method needs good preparation from both host and guests.
  • Both the host and the guests should put on the "role" of chat show to bring the more technical out in a informal/relaxed environment
  • There is limited visual information for the studio audience. There should be balance between the visual and the "chatting" part. For example, by using presentation slides in the background or short videos to introduce the topic.
  • In a more formal setting, rehearsal would help otherwise the guests may feel bit ill prepared.
  • And more importantly, it is important to know when this method is useful and when not.

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