Organisational learning, in which leaders and managers give priority to learning as integral to practice, is increasingly recognized as critical to improved performance. ActionAid, DFID and Sida collaborated with the Participation Group at the Institute of Development Studies to explore understandings of learning and to document innovative approaches.
Learning with ActionAid centred on institutionalising a radical organization-wide approach to accountability, learning and planning. The new system prioritises accountability to poor people and partners and so revolutionizes the way the organization does business. The paper by David and Mancini documents the struggle to institutionalize the new system and the extraordinary changes that it has engendered.
These collaborations resulted from a workshop held at IDS in May 2001 on ‘Power, Procedures and Relationships’ which highlighted learning as a way to achieve consistency between personal behaviour, institutional norms and the new development agenda (IDS Policy Briefing, Issue 15). At IDS, a group was formed to pursue this subject, including Robert Chambers, Andrea Cornwall, Rosalind Eyben, Kath Pasteur Garett Pratt and Patta Scott-Villiers.