Appropriating Technology for Accountability (XI). Lessons about supporting work in this field

Notes from the Appropriating Technology for Accountability, part of the Making All Voices Count program, organized by Institute of Development Studies and held in Brighton, UK, on 25-26 October 2017. More notes on this event: allvoicescount.

Lessons about supporting work in this field
Chairs: Ellen Pieterse

How could you the work in this field be better supported?

Ideally, research should provide ground for the design of intervention projects, and then come back to these projects and, more than assess them (which is OK), do more research after them. Constraints (time, money, convenience) make that, sometimes, research and practice, though related, are not intertwined and enriching one each other.

Pre-grants, to design better projects, provide some evidence, etc. could be an option to have better designed and better grounded projects.

In knowledge intensive projects, creating a community to exchange knowledge between different people involved in different projects can be a way to support each other, identify best practices, develop capacity, identify trends and core issues in the field, etc.

It is usually said that an organization that learns, an organization that adapts to the context, is better. But have we measured this improved performance? We should. We should measure the relationship between learning organizations and successful organizations.

The cycle of projects, beginning and ending every three or four years make it more difficult to apply what you learned in either the same or the next project. How do we continue to learn and build knowledge in the long run.

How can programmes like MAVC enable, capture and use internal learning to be more adaptive?

The best way to encourage learning is to incentivize it. There has to be an experiencing of an issue to learn from it, and then a period of reflection to settle knowledge. This should be included in the design (funds, resources, etc.) of the project.

Fostering communities of practice also helps in building knowledge together.

When there are synergies in sharing knowledge, in the sense that the collective can achieve higher grounds than acting individually, then collaboration makes sense and is a sufficient incentive to learn together. E.g. in qualitative research, where results might be difficult to compare, sharing methodologies, sharing approaches, working together may imply that the individual results can be compared and thus produce an “extra” piece of knowledge, which is the comparison itself.


Making All Voics Count: Appropriating Technology for Accountability (2017)

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2017) “Appropriating Technology for Accountability (XI). Lessons about supporting work in this field” In ICTlogy, #169, October 2017. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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