INTRAC, March 2005
Title: Organisational Learning in NGOs - Creating the Motive, Means and Opportunity
Author: Bruce Britton
Description: NGOs work in an increasingly demanding environment characterised by growing competition for shrinking aid budgets. This makes them very action-oriented. But most NGOs also realise the need to learn from their own experience and keep up with new practices in the field if they are to remain relevant and effective. To be a learning NGO requires organisations to simultaneously balance the need to take a strategic approach to organisational learning (at the highest level of organisational planning and management) with the recognition that learning is also an intensely personal process that goes on in the minds of individuals.
This Praxis Paper from INTRAC explores the importance of organisational learning in NGOs. It examines why NGOs need to provide the motive, means and opportunity for organisational learning, and introduces practical examples of how pioneering NGOs are doing this. The Paper recognises that learning is understood differently across cultures and contexts but that most current models are based on a Western understanding. There is therefore a need to engage with capacity building practitioners to explore innovative approaches which are relevant, appropriate and accessible across a wide range of cultures and contexts.
About the Author: Bruce Britton is an INTRAC Associate.
Series: Praxis Paper 3
Format: Research paper
Other formats: Downloadable document
Publication date: 30/03/2005
Page extent: 57pp
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