WASHTech is applying a learning alliance approach to carry out action-research and implementation work. The aim of this complex multi-level and multi-stakeholder approach is to embed research and implementation work in the local and national policy processes and in the practices of key sector stakeholders.
A new document Learning Alliances in WASHTech provides a framework to support reflection and documentation of the learning alliance process in the three WASHTech focus countries: Burkina Faso, Ghana and Uganda. This framework consists of five elements that cover key elements of any learning alliance process: essence, arborescence (or rooting), presence, resilience and evidence of the alliance.
The learning alliances in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Uganda build on existing platforms, groups and learning events at national and decentralised levels. In 2011, alliance activities such as scoping studies and meetings were initiated. In Learning Alliances in WASHTech, alliance facilitators in each country identify opportunities and challenges faced in 2011. Opportunities include several national and international platforms and events which provide space to share WASHTech outputs and engage stakeholders (end 2011 and 2012) and linkages between the host organisations and other sector players. Challenges include the development of (linkages with) active decentralised platforms, getting the right people involved and keeping them on board in a learning process. Linkages with other learning initiatives such as CLARA and with researchers outside WASHTech are important issues in the further embedding of the Technology Applicability Framework (TAF) in the coming year.
Although the main target audience of Learning Alliances in WASHTech is WASHTech project staff, it will also help others understand the vision of change that learning alliances promote and shows how the framework tool to monitor progress is being applied in practice.
IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, CREPA, TREND and NETWAS Uganda, 2011. Learning alliances in WASHTech. (WASHTech deliverable 6.1/ D4). The Hague: WASHTech c/o IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre. 24 p. : 1 box, 4 fig. 4 ref. Available at: <http://wp.me/a1szDW-1Y >
For more information about Learning Alliances go to: www.irc.nl/la