Learning process for a programmatic approach

CDI is assisting ICCO’s innovative adoption of a programmatic approach. Through the training of Netherlands based staff and new regional partners CDI is facilitating the learning processes involved in the transformation.

The Centre for Development Innovation (CDI), Wageningen UR has been closely involved since 2008 in facilitating learning processes within the Dutch development organisation ICCO, first at its streamlined head office in the Netherlands and more recently in the newly formed regional offices. Six CDI team members now work regularly for and with ICCO in this long-term process of innovation and change.

ICCO has undergone a radical transformation process from a project-oriented NGO working from a head office to a decentralised network organisation based on shared responsibility and cooperation. CDI staff have been facilitating the learning processes involved as ICCO has implemented its programmatic approach.

Integrated learning trajectory

CDI’s contribution has included facilitating a series of eight modules aimed at strengthening competencies of staff, regional managers, programme officers, regional facilitators and regional offices. The subjects covered: Paradigms of Development, Dialogue for Change, Facilitation and Hosting, Designing Multi-stakeholder Processes, Institutional Transformation, Theory of Change, Power, Conflict and Advocacy, and Synthesis.

Over one hundred Dutch staff and regional facilitators have received training so far in the Netherlands. Participants say they now have more clarity about the purpose, principles and roles of the new-style ICCO. They have gained a shared understanding of the processes, methodologies and tools required to work with partners in the Programmatic Approach. In addition they have learnt to make explicit the assumptions and Theory of Change that underpin this approach and the implications for their work within ICCO.

Personal development of regional officers

Participants valued the training as a space where they could honestly express their feelings and needs. The trajectory has enabled them to make informed choices about strategies and methodologies to use in their daily work with partners in implementing the Programmatic Approach.

In November 2009 two CDI team members conducted the first training of regional officers in New Delhi, India. Facilitation of this learning process will continue this year as regional office staff (and partners) are trained in Uganda, Malawi, Indonesia and Bolivia, and a second group of regional facilitators also undergo training. A further spin-off of CDI’s involvement with ICCO is that it has been invited to facilitate multi-stakeholder processes in the South Asia regional network.