A Practical Approach for Supporting Learning in Development Organisations – Summary

Published on 1 September 2022

The Knowledge, Evidence and Learning for Development (K4D) Programme, which started in 2016, comes to an end in September 2022. K4D is a programme funded by and for the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (initially with the Department for International Development, DFID, which was merged with the FCO in 2020).

To reflect on the processes and approaches of learning that K4D enabled over the years, a special Working Paper series will be published. One important pillar of the programme was to facilitate learning processes through learning journeys. A total of 33 learning journeys took place during K4D. This summary looks back at the K4D concept, the learning journeys, the learning processes it supported, and the outcomes enabled.

The paper finds that there is evidence that K4D learning journeys have helped enable sound, informed decision-making through collective understanding of issues and options, and through internal consensus on directions. Effective learning spaces were created and the methods used (including online tools for participation) were able to capture and share internal learning, foster internal connections, present external evidence and bring in other perspectives.

However, success in enabling external alliances for decisions and change was more constrained, since most learning journeys engaged only in limited ways with external organisations. Further challenges were encountered when staff were redeployed to respond to political (Brexit) or international development (COVID-19, Ukraine) priorities.

Read the full version of the working paper.

Cite this publication

Howard, J.; Quak, E. and Woodhill, J. (2022) A Practical Approach for Supporting Learning in Development Organisations, K4D, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies, DOI: 10.19088/K4D.2022.120


Joanna Howard

Research Fellow and Cluster Leader

Evert-jan Quak

Research Officer

Honorary Associate

Access this publication

Read full publication online in OpenDocs


In partnership with

Publication details

published by
Institute of Development Studies


About this publication

Related content