2011: A Year of Peer Learning

As we start 2012, we’re taking a look back at 2011 and all the great things that took place as part of the Peer Learning Programme.

We’ve had three fabulous workshops, and out of our productive discussions at these have come toolkits on Strategic Planning, Effective Governance, and Fundraising. And what’s more, we also produced a short guide to getting the most out of VSOs Participatory Advocacy Toolkit. Please share these in your organisations and with your partners!

Action learning sets and benchmarking sets got underway, supported by the Action Learning Set Guide and the Benchmarking Club Guide. These small groups were a powerful forum for members to offload issues they are facing and help each other critically reflect and work towards solutions. One participant said:

‘I very much enjoyed and appreciated the ALS’. I hadn’t realised that they would offer such opportunities to share, and found it very helpful – particularly as it’s been quite difficult to find an appropriate person to share these concerns with.’

And as a group of small and diaspora organisations, we are really starting to support each other in other ways. For instance, Nigel Taylor from FOTAC was able to provide one-to-one support to another participating organisation, Friends of the Children of Southern Africa, drawing on his work HIV interventions in South Africa funded by Comic Relief. He said

‘This combination brought added value to my support, as I understood the particular context that FOTSCHA’s partner in South Africa works in. Our shared experiences of both working with Comic Relief was mutually beneficial’.

What about the future? Comic Relief are intending to support the PLP for the next 18 months and have put the programme out to open tender with bids due in at the end of January. INTRAC together with WOI are putting in a joint proposal and we are hopeful of being successful. If we do win the bid, we expect that ALS, benchmarking clubs, seminars and the like will restart again in March or April. We will keep you in the loop, but we hope that whatever happens, 2012 is a year of even more peer learning!

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