What’s new at Learning for Sustainability
The Learning for Sustainability site is 14 years old this year, and has just received a major revision and upgrade! It brings links to a wide range of on-line resources together in one easy to access place.
Learning for Sustainability (LfS) provides a comprehensive knowledge hub highlighting the wide range of skills and processes that are needed to support the constructive collaboration and joined-up action required for addressing complex issues.
A number of new resource links have been added to topic areas including: managing virtual teams and meetings, knowledge management and co-production; indigenous knowledge systems, cross-sector partnerships; governance (esp. equity and social justice), behaviour change and participatory action research.
The site design has also been improved and updated. The top bar menu system has been redesigned to provide easier navigation, and to help visitors gain an appreciation of the ways in which topics are grouped on the site. Resource pages have been refreshed with a cleaner look, and the site now has a new front page.
The site averages between 750 – 800 visits each day. While the LfS home page remained the preferred choice of entry for most, a few of the most visited resource pages include:
- Systems thinking: points to sites providing toolkits and tools to support systems thinking. It encourages practitioners to understand and analyse the contexts within which they operate, as a precursor to designing programs/policies that can adapt as conditions on the ground change.
- Theory of change (ToC): provides links to guides for using ToC – a methodological approach for planning, participation, and evaluation. It shows how its use can help orient diverse program stakeholders to work together and plan for outcomes by envisaging a ‘big picture’ view of how and why a desired change is expected to happen in a particular context.
- Selecting evaluation questions and types: provides guidance to help program managers to develop appropriate evaluation questions that are responsive to the key stakeholders involved. Further links highlight how different evaluation types (and/or methods) are distinguished by the nature of the questions they attempt to answer.
- Facilitation tools and techniques: quick links to a range of tools and techniques to engage people and mobilize evidence in complex settings involving multiple stakeholders. Links with specific guidance on facilitating virtual teams, events and meetings has been added to this page in response to COVID-19 and the needs of facilitators and the wider world who are exploring and moving towards collaborating remotely.
Feedback is welcomed, and those working in any of these areas are encouraged to suggest content to add. Thanks to everyone over the years who has pointed to papers, reports and other material for their inclusion and sharing among our wider global community of practice.
An independent systems scientist, action research practitioner and evaluator, with 30 years of experience in sustainable development and natural resource management. He is particularly interested in the development of planning, monitoring and evaluation tools that are outcome focused, and contribute towards efforts that foster social learning, sustainable development and adaptive management.