EXPERTISE SERVICES: DRR VOICES BLOG

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  • DRR Voices blog: 21 Nov 2017 Darja Markek
    Project Officer
    Action Against Hunger - UK
    http://www.preventionweb.net/go/56015

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Blog Post  from

Darja Markek

Project Officer
Action Against Hunger - UK (ACF)

Darja Markek works as a Project Officer on the Learning Project of the Disasters & Emergencies Preparedness Programme. Her role encompasses both conducting research on preparedness and facilitating the creation of accessible learning products. She has a background in Migration Studies and is currently based in London.

The Learning Platform: A space to capture and share learning

Published on 21 Nov 2017

We’d like to introduce you to the Learning Platform, a collaborative, user-led, growing evidence base where humanitarian practitioners at the local, national and international level can easily access and share learning.

We know that capturing and sharing learning is essential to better programming, but we also know busy schedules and heavy workloads means we just don’t have the time for this. But maybe, just maybe, we have a solution… Read on to find out more.

We all have valuable learning to share…

We know that all humanitarian and development programmes generate learning: what worked well, what went wrong, what to avoid in a given context.

Staff working on those programmes benefit from that learning by adding it to their internal knowledge bank and taking it with them to their next endeavour. And putting that knowledge into practice means that future colleagues and beneficiaries can profit from this too.

Usually that’s as far as it goes.

…but it doesn’t always reach as far and wide as it could

By failing to capture and share our learning with practitioners across the sector, it only benefits a small minority of people. And that means we risk repeating the same mistakes and miss out on tools and strategies that could make our programming better.  

What’s more, our existing mechanisms aren’t good enough

Whilst we know that effective capture of learning is an important part of the project cycle, our existing knowledge and information management mechanisms aren’t always fit to do the job. Our learnings often take the form of long reports and even a case study can be around 20 pages! And although they may contain rich learning, it just isn’t accessible.

In addition, capturing learning only in this way excludes a significant part of the knowledge gained - the things front-line staff pick up during implementation that don’t make it into evaluation reports or case studies.

And we just don’t have time!

This brings us back to the age-old problem – we just don’t have time! I don’t have time to put together a 30-page document analysing what I’ve learned while also trying to close down my project. I don’t have time to polish it, edit it and get it published somewhere other humanitarians might see it. And let’s be honest, even if someone sees it, chances are they won’t have time to read it.

So, what can we do about this?

On the Learning Platform, we look to share all sorts of learning, not just the formal stuff

So there’s no need to spend hours writing your learning up into a polished report – a few bullet points or a short video clip is just as valuable, and takes no time at all.

Plus, it’s quick and easy to upload a learning, meaning you don’t need to take time out of your day to share your knowledge with thousands of practitioners across the sector.

How can I share my learning?

You can upload any written or audio-visual learning to the Learning Library at the click of a button. The library also gives you open access to hundreds of learnings from other preparedness actors.

If you do happen to have some time to spare, use our Tools & Guidance to build your capacity to capture and package learning.

Talk about what you’ve learned informally in the Discussion Forum or connect directly with other practitioners in the Directory.

To sum it all up

The Learning Platform enables us to share our knowledge easily and to learn from the experience of others on an individual level.

It provides practitioners with instant access to a library of evidence and experience about disasters and emergencies preparedness, which you can use for reference and to improve your work day-to-day.

It facilitates collaboration and better coordination between actors, specifically at the national and local levels, by enabling practitioners to share information about projects and events, and providing a space to collaborate, discuss key issues or call on other professionals to answer questions or contribute to their own knowledge.

The cumulative effect is a humanitarian sector that builds on its own experience, documents and learns from its mistakes, and is more effective as a result.

We encourage you to browse the Platform and share your learnings! If you have any questions, please get in touch at depplearning@actionagainsthunger.org.uk


The Learning Platform is an initiative of the Disasters and Emergencies Preparedness Programme (DEPP), a multi-stakeholder programme that invests in capacity building for local and national actors in 10 countries to improve humanitarian response. It is hosted by the Learning Project at Action Against Hunger UK



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