- freely available
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 315; doi:10.3390/su9020315
Failure to incorporate reflexive learning in the process could manifest itself in misguided policy positions and an inability to assess the changing science of climate change, with serious consequences for practitioners and funding, and missed opportunities for sharing lessons for addressing climate change impacts. (p. 630)
[T]ypically funded through a single mechanism and address a common, broad theme, such as community resilience or women’s empowerment. They are implemented across different locations by different organisations, and may target different population groups and employ different interventions, but are grouped together under a common set of high-level objectives, often under a single results framework. Importantly, there is an expectation of some level of interaction between the projects. (p. 4)
- Reviewing the theories that have shaped approaches to reflexive learning in large climate change and resilience-building programmes;
- Conducting a comparative learning review of the design principles, challenges and lessons emerging from efforts to integrate reflexive learning processes into large, highly distributed climate change and resilience-building programmes for development.
2. Learning as a Unifying Theme in Response to Complexity and Uncertainty
2.1. Theoretical Framings of Learning in Climate and Resilience Programmes
3. Study and Methods
3.1. Introduction to the Review
3.3. Linking Learning Theories to Large and Programmes and Portfolios
4.1. Framing and Situating Learning in Programme Design
4.2. Learning Themes Emerging from Practice
4.2.1. Joint Enterprise
4.2.2. Mutual Engagement
4.2.3. Shared Repertoire
5.1. Multi-Project Programmes as Communities of Practice
5.2. Implications for Nested Programmes
Conflicts of Interest
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|Definition||Contribution to Learning|
|Joint enterprise||Shared understanding of the goals or expectations that bind members together. Continuously negotiated and to which all members feel accountable.||Determines the level of investment and learning energy within the community.|
|Mutual engagement||Brings members together across their inherent diversity. Promotes the establishment of norms and collaborative relationships.||Determines the depth of social capital, trust, and reciprocity within the community upon which learning processes can rest.|
|Shared repertoire||Tools, stories, discourses, born of joint enterprise and mutual engagement, that belong to and define the community. Resources to make meaning of research questions, findings and applications.||Determines the shared ways of understanding that the community can use in reflecting and re-orientating practice.|
|Initiative/Programme||Funder(s)||Budget||Implementing Partners||No. of Projects||No. of Countries||Duration||Key Themes|
|ICF: International Climate Fund||U.K. Government through: |
DFID (63%); BEIS (35%); Defra (3%)
|£3.87 billion (2011–2015)||Hundreds of partners including multilateral agencies, CSOs, partner governments and other agencies||200+ being implemented||35||From 2011 onwards||Climate change mitigation, resilience, forestry|
|BRACED: Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters||DFID through the ICF||£140 million (£110 million currently programmed)||15 implementation consortia and 1 knowledge management consortium, 100+ implementing organisations||15||13||3 years (plus project development and inception phase)||Resilience including: Climate and weather information, social protection, governance and natural resource management, gender|
|CARIAA: Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia||DFID and International Development Research Centre (IDRC)||CAD$70 million (£43.3 m (conversion rate at time of writing)||4 consortia, 18 core consortium partners and 40+ collaborating institutions.||The 4 consortia are considered the core “projects”||16||7 years (2 years development and inception, 5 years implementation)||Vulnerability in climate change hot spots areas|
|PRISE: Pathways to Resilience in Semi-Arid Economies||DFID and IDRC through CARIAA||CAD$13.5 million (£8.4 million)||4 core partner organisations; 3 country research partners||7 key projects||6||5 years||Inclusive, climate resilient development in semi-arid lands|
|Stated Role of Learning||Participants||Key Learning Mechanisms|
|CARIAA||“CARIAA is explicitly designed to capture learning on the process of producing adaptation research and supporting its use in policy and practice. This involves testing the CARIAA Theory of Change through implementation, the findings of which will be used by the CARIAA Team and consortia to inform their program strategies, as well as produce learning on processes of wider interest to the sector […]. The learning framework does not aim at measuring performance for the sake of accountability, but to learn more about how the program model is contributing to a particular set of outcomes”  (p. 18).||Programme staff at IDRC; members of all four consortia; CARIAA advisory committee members||Facilitated annual learning review (in-person) with all consortia; thematic working groups (in-person/online); online knowledge-sharing platform|
|PRISE||Learning is one of the main purposes of information collected through the [monitoring and evaluation] strategy. It should help PRISE members, other CARIAA members and the wider research community better understand the effectiveness of the programme. “Learning will particularly focus on the more uncertain elements of the programme—i.e., the stakeholder engagement and research uptake. Insights from learning will in turn feed back into the programme management cycle” .||Consortium members and IDRC programme staff||Annual meeting (in-person); project and country-level meetings (in-person/online); thematic working groups (in-person/online); CARIAA’s knowledge platform|
|BRACED||“Learning, reflection and iteration are core features of effective knowledge production and management, and inform the way we design and implement all of our activities aimed at building resilience. We do this through: working with Implementing Partners to support action-reflection cycles and document learning around specific implementation processes; conducting evaluation and research within and beyond BRACED to identify the essential building blocks that enable resilient systems to develop and sustain themselves; and testing qualitative and quantitative methods to monitor and measure changes in resilience” .||Knowledge manager team; members of all consortia; other resilience initiatives||Facilitated annual learning events (in-person); thematic dialogues (online/in-person); action research by knowledge manager and consortia; online knowledge sharing platform; evaluations|
|ICF||The Compass programme aims to capture insights from ICF-funded programmes to inform the design and development of programmes that are timely, relevant and effective in tackling climate change and reducing poverty. Ultimately, we want to learn from the experience of the ICF portfolio to inform and improve organisational decision-making. Our approach focuses on understanding why, how, in which circumstances and for which groups of people programmes are more or less effective.||DFID programme managers; policy advisers and other decision-makers; the Compass team||Co-development of learning questions; facilitated collaborative learning approaches to support critical reflection (online/in-person); realist evaluation |
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