Home » Newsletters » April 2010

Learning for sustainability (LfS) site update (April 2010)

Focus: Recent reviews on partnerships, leadership and participation

The Learning for Sustainability site - http://learningforsustainability.net - brings together resources that help address the social and capacity building aspects of managing collective interests within complex and adapting systems. The site highlights the wide range of social skills and processes that are needed to support constructive collaboration, and indicates how these skills and processes can be interwoven to achieve more integrated and effective outcomes. This site brings links to several hundred annotated on-line resources from different sectors and geographic areas together in one easy to access site.

This portal site has been updated on an ongoing basis over the past few months. This newsletter provides a brief introduction to new resources that have been added. In the reading section links are provided to three useful literature reviews, covering partnerships, leadership and participation respectively.

Link updates

The major structural change that readers will note is that the core social learning module has been amended to include five strands. A page on systems thinking has been added. This means the five strands are now systems thinking (undertanding complexity and seeing the bigger picture), building networks (forming new partnerships across stakeholder groups), encouraging dialogue (processes for good communication and negotiation), knowledge management (sharing knowledge and expertise within and across organizations and stakeholder groups), and evaluation and reflection (adaptively managing and supporting strategic and incremental change). Information and links on each of these areas are directly available from the "social learning" link in navigation menu on the left.

Interesting research papers and reports

The featured links for this issue are drawn from some of the new links added recently. As the pages in this portal shows there is a lot of really good material available � so this newsletter section is is by no means intended as an award-type list, it just lists some recent additions that are good sites to share. The new icon - - indicates publications that have been published in recent months.

The first three resources here comprise useful literature reviews on partnerships, leadership and participation respectively.

The second set of papers are ones that I have been involved in with colleagues in the past few months. These look at the benefits and social challenges involved in linking indigenous, science and local knowledge systems, and undertaking district and regional level adaptive management approaches.

Thoughts for the day

Sharing, feedback, subscribing and unsubscribing

Please forward this site to interested colleagues. Feedback is welcomed, and visitors are encouraged to suggest sites to add. Thanks to those of you who have pointed to papers and other material for inclusion, and sharing among the wider global community of practice in this area. During 2009 the site averaged around 450 visitors each day, with the highest number of visits in any one day being in excess of 1500.

Newsletter postings advise of major changes and additions to this site, and will be sent out as an LfS site update e-mail to those of you who wish every couple of months. These postings will indicate the major changes on the site during that time. Each posting will also include links to 5-6 feature articles, so it is a good way to gain an overview of material in this area which cuts across the health, environment and development sectors. Just click here to add your name to this list through the newsletter update subscription page. If you have received this newsletter electronically and you wish to unsubscribe you can also do this from the LfS site update page. Alternatively you can subscribe by sending an e-mail to [email protected] or unsubscribe by sending an e-mail to [email protected]. If all else fails just contact me directly through the contact email form page, or use the e-mail link provided in the footer of this page.

Other ideas for browsing and reading

If you have time to browse the web then visit some of the sites featured via the Guardian Environment Network. The network connects sites from across the globe that provide high-quality news, opinion, advice, blogs, data and tools. And as the site managers believe information should lead to action, so the network also includes selected campaigns. If you want to use the Internet to donate then you may also be interested in the following links to sites that let you help just by using click throughs or donating to support different causes. You choose the cause, and it only takes a few minutes of your time.

And if you want some real book reading, or to buy a gift for yourself or someone else, then visit Amazon. Below I have listed books that were highlighted through the site or mentioned on the IntSci - Integrated science for sustainability discussion forum in recent months.

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site updates

Will Allen
This site is researched, written & maintained by Dr Will Allen.

Site update Managing collaborations - outcomes, action research and evaluation Read more >>

Action research blog post - evaluating and learning from collaborative initiatives Read more >>

Outcomes posting Managing for outcomes - a 4-part blog series Read more >>

Complicated or complex Management implications: operating in complex adaptive systems Read more >>

Theory of change Links to latest reports