Home » Newsletters » March 2014

Learning for sustainability (LfS) site update (Mar 2014)

Managing collaborations - outcomes, action research and evaluation

The Learning for Sustainability site -  http://learningforsustainability.net - provides annotated links to a range of international resources that help practitioners to manage a range of collaborative initiatives. The structure of the site has developed through the course of my own work in this area - and provides the opportunity to bring together lessons from my wider community of practice. This newsletter provides a very brief introduction to recent resources, focusing particularly on emerging innovations.
Emerging challenges for collaborations

The site will be 15 years old later this year and as part of recent update activities I re-visited the original aims of the site, particularly looking at the wide breadth of processes, tools and skillsets that the LfS site highlights. It seems, though, that as the use of collaborations matures there is a rapidly increasing need for wider skillsets in engagement practice to match the increasing expectations that stakeholders have. All of which means that this type of multi-skill, multi-method support structure is becoming increasingly relevant for those managing contemporary collaborations.

It's exciting to see the current worldwide proliferation in the use of learning-based and collaborative approaches in so many natural resource management and sustainable development initiatives. Effective collaborations which improve information flows, and strengthen and harness many existing aspects of social relationships in environment and development, are likely to work to foster constructive change. However, as we use these processes more and more stakeholders gain experience, so we need to make an effort to improve current practice in a number of ways: Collectively these challenges provide us a lot of opportunity to share ideas and experince about current initiatives.

Recent papers, reports and blog posts

The featured links for this issue will take you to resources that aim to contribute to the improved skills needed for these new, or second generation, initiatives outlined above. They point to reports and research papers published in recent months. Each link will take you to a related section in the LfS site - a star icon red-star-x3 highlights these newsletter resource on each topic page. I have also written a number of recent LfS blog posts since the last site update to provide an introduction to a number of the themes expanded on the main site. These are often a good place to start. They all point to LfS pages providing additional resources in each theme, and highlight how these themes can link with others in practice.
How to follow-up

These 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 unsubscribe link at the bottom. 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.

Feedback is welcomed, and those working in the area are encouraged to suggest material to add. Thanks to those of you who have pointed to papers, reports and other material for inclusion, and sharing among the wider global community of practice in this area. On average the site receives more than 700 visits each day1, with the highest number of visits in any one day being in excess of 1500.

Click here for more information about my own interests and experiences in these areas. You are welcome to get in touch with me directly for further information about any of the topic areas covered in the website. I am also interested to share ideas, or develop an involvement, with teams and organizations looking to use outcomes-oriented and collaborative approaches more effectively.

Wishing you all the best with your ongoing activities.

kind regards

Dr Will Allen
LearningForSustainability.net - http://learningforsustainability.net
supporting collaboration, integration and innovation
E-mail: [email protected]
Mobile: +64 274 934 213
Skype: willallen_nz

"Relationship building is a way of looking at the world - not just a strategy" ~ Robert Putnam

"Participation is not something that can be conjured up or created artificially ... Participation is a feeling on the part of the people, not just the mechanical act of being called in to take part in discussions." ~ Paul Lawrence

1 Using AW site stats