Note: This is a part of a comprehensive step-by-step approach for creating a Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR) program. Check out the main topic page, CBDRR Practitioners Guidelines, to learn more about the full guidelines.
Learning is the opportunity to document and incorporate CBDRR findings into on-going and new projects and programme strategies. This helps promote good practice and raises awareness of undesirable or negative actions to avoid. Learning seeks to ensure that communities, the National Society and overall Movement is continually evolving and incorporating best practice into its work. It is an on-going process throughout a programme – and from one program to the next – which can influence policies, strategies, project design, and lead to improvements as required.
What do I need to know?
Why is this important?
Learning can help improve the quality of DRR processes. It helps to build evidence of the work of the National Society and its partners, and can be useful for the development of advocacy and resource mobilization tools.
What are key questions which need to be considered when supporting CBDRR learning processes?
- What happened during this project and why?
- What were key challenges? What were the key opportunities?
- What solutions were developed that could be applied to other projects?
- What could be done differently next time?
- What processes have proven to be effective and could be replicated?
What are the basic steps in facilitating learning?
As there are many opportunities to support learning, there are no set steps to facilitate it. Rather, practitioners should plan (and budget) for regularly occurring learning events throughout the projects and programme, not only at their conclusion. Ensure a wide range of stakeholders are included in learning particularly senior management. Be creative and try to make it fun!
What are some success factors or key determinants in supporting learning?
- Sufficient time to analyse, consider and apply learning.
- Planning for learning by setting aside time and resources to ensure it can happen.
- Include all negative and positive experiences: Lessons learned should draw on both positive as well as negative experiences and outcomes.
- Identify and document lessons: If it is not documented and verified by those who experience it, details of the experience can be altered.
- Disseminate lessons: Disseminate lessons learned to relevant people, both internal and external to the organization who may be involved in similar initiatives.
- Reuse lessons: Revisit lessons learned from past projects and share as relevant.
- Ensure feedback at regular intervals to avoid people forgetting important information related to the experiences.
- Seek diverse evidence and a wide range of views. To the extent possible, involve all project participants and stakeholders in the lessons learned process to obtain more complete perspectives.
- Make accessible: Make lessons learned accessible to other projects.
What are some useful tools and methodologies?
- Decision logs / learning registers for documenting issues as they arise
- End of Mission Reports
- Workshop reports / General (P)MER reports
- Community cross-learning exchanges
- After Action Reviews – both by community and National Society: The Amcross M&E Toolkit has a sample
- Annual meetings with community participation
- Operational research or academic evidence
- Testimonials and case studies
- National stakeholder forums
- IFRC DRR Summary of Lesson Learned and Recommendations, 2001-2008. http://www.ifrc.org/Global/Publications/disasters/dr-programme-en.pdf
- Oxfam DRR Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Companion
- IFRC Case Studies DRR. http://www.ifrc.org/en/what-we-do/disaster-management/preparing-for-disaster/risk-reduction/reducing-disaster-risk/
- IFRC Case Study guidelines. https://www-secure.ifrc.org/dmis/response/humanresources/Gender_web_Version/Case/casestudies.htm
- IFRC SEARD DRR Database. https://sites.google.com/site/drrtoolsinsoutheastasia/home
- Uganda Red Cross 'Review of Reviews' - synthesis of over 10 years of partner reviews and evaluations of its work (2010). Available from Uganda Red Cross
- British Council. Lessons learned toolkit.
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