Demand-responsive research through learning alliances
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Demand-responsive research through learning alliances

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I introduced this presentation during the session 6.2.2 of the World Water Forum 5 in Istanbul, on Friday 20 March. The presentation sketches the shortcomings of some research activities in ...

I introduced this presentation during the session 6.2.2 of the World Water Forum 5 in Istanbul, on Friday 20 March. The presentation sketches the shortcomings of some research activities in development, proposes the learning alliance methodology and introduces some issues, opportunities and key challenges to come up with relevant research and sustainable development.

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Demand-responsive research through learning alliances Demand-responsive research through learning alliances Presentation Transcript

  • Achieving greater use and impact of research through the learning alliance approach (and other multi-stakeholder processes) Ewen Le Borgne, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre Istanbul, 20 March 2009 - session 6.2.2
  • Outline
    • The context – a complex sector in a changing world
    • The idea – multi-stakeholder processes
    • The works – what it takes, results, challenges
    • The future – what is really at stake here?
    Istanbul, 20 March 2009 - session 6.2.2
  • Istanbul, 20 March 2009 - session 6.2.2
  • The context (1): a complex sector in a changing world
    • Wicked problems need integrated solutions
      • Poverty is a wicked problem
      • Urban water management = wicked problem within a complex system
      • How can research help reduce fragmentation?
    Istanbul, 20 March 2009 - session 6.2.2
  • The context (2): a complex sector in a changing world
    • Potential research bottlenecks
      • Addressing demand/ felt problems?
      • Institutional framework?
      • Promoting innovation?
      • Timely outputs?
      • Beyond the island of success / Scaling up?
    Istanbul, 20 March 2009 - session 6.2.2
  • The context (3): a complex sector in a changing world
    • The hampering environment
      • Coordination?
      • Learning?
      • Participation?
      • Social inclusion?
      • The challenge: Creating coherence through common understanding, joint vision, joint action ( ownership )
    Istanbul, 20 March 2009 - session 6.2.2
  • Istanbul, 20 March 2009 - session 6.2.2
    • MSPs that encourage social change and cooperation
      • - Bilateral partnerships
      • - Peer networks / CoPs
      • - Exchange platforms
      • - Resource centre networks
      • - Multi-stakeholder forums
      • - Learning alliances
    The idea (1): Multiple Stakeholder Processes Istanbul, 20 March 2009 - session 6.2.2
  • The idea (2): The Learning Alliance model Istanbul, 20 March 2009 - session 6.2.2
    • Addressing common problems
    • Diverse types of stakeholders
    • Connected at various levels
    • Learning, innovating, scaling up
    • Doing things differently , not doing different things: action research, short cycle communication, learning and dissemination
    • … in fancy animation …
    Innovation Scaling up National platform District platform Global platform Global National Intermediate Community
  • KEY CONCEPTS IN LAs 1 – Different Institutional Levels 2 – Multiple Stakeholders (roles) Global National Intermediate Community/end-user Donors Line ministries National Government Universities Banks Companies INGOs Offices of line ministries Local government Donor projects Local NGOs Local private sector Local Banks Extension officers Mechanics Donors Multilateral orgs. Advocacy orgs. Learning orgs Men/Women Rich/poor Domestic Productive
  • Global National Intermediate Community Donors Line ministries National platform Universities Banks Companies Local government Offices of line ministries Donor projects Local NGOs INGOs Local private sector Local Banks Extension officers Mechanics Donors Multilateral orgs. Advocacy orgs. Learning orgs Men/Women Rich/poor Domestic Productive Global platform National Government Intermediate platform Community platforms 3 – Platforms Learning alliances: Linked stakeholder platforms At key institutional levels Supported by external facilitation Engaging in learning – action research 5 – Communication 4 – Facilitation
  • The idea (3): The Learning Alliance model
    • Typical steps:
      • Assessing situation, demand and expressing needs
      • Joint visioning
      • Communication strategy early on: meetings, website, working papers, exposure visits etc.
      • Outcomes monitored using appropriate methods
    Istanbul, 20 March 2009 - session 6.2.2
  • The idea (4): The Learning Alliance model The intensity ladder Istanbul, 20 March 2009 - session 6.2.2 Partial exchange of information Joint discussion Collaborative research Joint work planning Systematic learning with common vision Joint learning Concerted action Joint action Exerting influence at scale Joint advocacy and impact Implementation at scale Joint planning
    • Empowers project: MENA region –
    • Local water governance
    • RiPPLE project: Ethiopia & Nile region
    • – Governance, productive uses of water
    • SWITCH Project
      • 9 cities
      • IUWM
    Istanbul, 20 March 2009 - session 6.2.2 Some examples of Learning Alliances SWITCH inter–city IUWM LA platform for inter-city learning Alexandria LA platform Belo Horizonte LA Platform Birmingham LA platform Accra LA platform
  • Istanbul, 20 March 2009 - session 6.2.2
  • The works (1): What it takes?
    • Engaging key stakeholders
    • Structured action learning
    • Excellent facilitation
    • Recognised legitimacy of various
    • knowledge sources (local vs. scientific)
    • Deal consciously with politics and power
    • Develop capacity for participation
    Istanbul, 20 March 2009 - session 6.2.2
  • The works (2): Tangible results Istanbul, 20 March 2009 - session 6.2.2
    • EMPOWERS: Greater inclusion, improved governance (guidelines and other outputs)…
    • MUS: Improved self-reliance, more funding for MUS…
    • SWITCH: Municipal recognition of research, scaling up the LA approach (Poland)…
    • RiPPLE: Increased scheme rehabilitation, more funding for WASH, national learning forum…
    • Generally: valuing and promoting knowledge generated together and research (capacity)
  • The works (3): Challenges?
    • Managing high expectations
    • Keeping up momentum / interest
    • Bridging different interests, cultures and approaches
    • Accommodating project design and demand-led research
    • Funding for facilitation of learning alliances is not secure
    • How to demonstrate the value?
    Istanbul, 20 March 2009 - session 6.2.2
  • Istanbul, 20 March 2009 - session 6.2.2
  • The future: What is at stake here?
    • Need for a clear ‘hypothesis of change’ / intervention logic
    • Increased attention to slow / qualitative development
    • Clever proposal development and flexible donors to design demand-led science
    • Underestimated costs of multi-stakeholder processes
    • Social learning and coordination for an effective sector
    • Tailored impact evaluation is vital for learning projects
    • “ What do you think?”
    Istanbul, 20 March 2009 - session 6.2.2
    • For more information:
    • SWITCH: www.switchurbanwater.eu/learningalliances
    • RiPPLE: www.rippleethiopia.org
    • MUS: www.musproject.net
    • WASHCost: www.irc.nl/page/39103
    • Ewen Le Borgne ( [email_address] ) and any other contributor from this session…
    • And fill up the follow-up form to be kept posted!
    Istanbul, 20 March 2009 - session 6.2.2
  • Example: city of Lodz, Poland Istanbul, 20 March 2009 - session 6.2.2
  • Lodz Research focus
    • Natural approaches to river engineering: based on ecohydrology principles
    • Restoring rivers, reducing flooding, reducing the levels of pollution in rivers
    • Sewage sludge for biomass energy
    Istanbul, 20 March 2009 - session 6.2.2
  • Linking science and demand
    • Linking research, demonstrations at scale and learning
    • Implementation through city office, developers
    • Agreed a shared vision
    • Finding opportunities to scale up and have more impact
    Istanbul, 20 March 2009 - session 6.2.2
  • Doing science differently
    • Views of a wastewater treatment plant manager:
      • first attempt to improve communication between the different organisations and to provide a cross-institutional platform to share information and discuss water and sanitation issues
      • overall picture of how everything is working together in the city
      • addressing the issues in an integrated way
    Istanbul, 20 March 2009 - session 6.2.2
    • Innovative ways of tracking and learning from the Learning Alliance approach:
    • Monitoring using s coring ladders for tracking qualitative change.
    • Process documentation: systematically reflect, analyse and discover patterns that help or hinder change (interviews, articles, photos and film).
    Doing science differently: assessing progress Istanbul, 20 March 2009 - session 6.2.2
  • Istanbul, 20 March 2009 - session 6.2.2