Personal learning journeys: First day

SDC face to face events bring practitioners and experts physically together. During one week the DDLG Network discusses new approaches and their practical application. So what does it mean to participate in such an event? What do participants expect from the interaction with colleagues? What kind of learning set-ups do they appreciate? What do they learn? What is their learning journey?

The reporting team has interviewed 4 participants throughout the workshop to document their learning journeys: 2 SDC colleagues working in the field, 1 colleague from SDC headquarters, 1 SDC project partner.

At the start of the f2f event, participants tell us about their first impressions and their expectations for the workshop:

Personal learning journeys: Day 3

We are in the middle of the learning process. Participants have been introduced to understand their governance projects within the greater politico-economic system, including national parliaments and other (sometimes less visible but influential) actors. During group discussions and a field visits participants had the opportunity to understand these concepts on a practical level.

And the learning journey of our 4 heroes? Are their expectations being met? What workshop aspects do they appreciate the most? Where do they stand in regard to their personal learning journey?

Personal learning journeys: The aftermath

The f2f event is over. The last two days introduced the participants to fiscal decentralization and intergovernmental fiscal transfer schemes. The latter particular being rather technical but highly important within the national governance system.

With so much input, what do the participants take home? It is not easy to make the step from a stimulating workshop to program reality. So let’s ask our interviewees: What did they appreciate about the workshop the most? And which new ideas would they like to implement once back in office?

Feedback from the participants

BEN_0058The face-to-face meeting ended with a positive feed-back to the organizers: Many participants said that the meeting’s topics and methodology were relevant and useful, and they will be able to take back to office a series of learnings from experts and peers. The meeting showed the wealth of experience available and commitment within SDC, and a huge potential for fruitful exchange among peers. The DDLGN will continue to be useful to its members – and serve as a catalyst for expertise and experience sharing and learning  among specialists inside and outside SDC.

Ursula König from the moderation team asked the participants to evaluate the event. These pictures tell you the evaluation results:

Peer exchange

Based on the country contexts of Bénin, Somalia, Mali, Burundi, Bangladesh and Nepal – and from their own background – participants reflected on what kind of objectives and design elements of fiscal transfer are particularly important, what kind of implementation challenges are to be met, and what role SDC could take up with regard to transfers. The country examples triggered a lifely exchange of experience and new ideas.

BEN_0049-2A panel discussion among and with the facilitators of the previous group discussions concluded the day. Experience supporting financial transfer systems in fragile and more stable contexts was shared. It was mentioned, among other things, that the debate on financial transfers cannot be separated from the transfer of functions in order to avoid the mismatch of responsibilities and resources at the various levels. Several discussants also mentioned that financial fransfers have to be assessed in the light of improving accountability and thus closely monitored. Some debate arose around the question whether SDC should insist that supported transfers are made under certain conditions (inclusion, gender). In fragile situations the financial transfers should allow for delivering services at the local level, thus building trust and credibility and contribute to state-building. To conclude, it was also reminded that transfer systems have to be addressed in a systemic way – as one aspect of SDC’s contribution to good governance.

pdf-xsYou can download the discussion boards here.