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We're too much in 'to do' mode: action research into supporting international NGOs to learn

Smit, Maaike
February 2007

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This paper has been produced by INTRAC (International Training and Research Centre) and PSO (an association of 45 development NGOs in the Netherlands). Using the experience of NGOs in the Netherlands, it is designed to support International NGOs in the process of organisational learning. The key focus is on 'self knowledge' - analysing how your organisation can reflect on its learning processes and capacities. The paper provides a practical exploration of how researchers and participants from organisations can use action research to evaluate organisational learning with a view to improving practice. This paper would be highly relevant for managers, consultants, researchers and other professionals involved with organisational learning within NGOs

Evaluating capacity development : experiences from research and development organizations around the world

HORTON, Douglas
et al
2003

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This book is the result of the Evaluating Capacity Development (ECD) Project, begun by ISNAR in January 2000, which aimed to improve capacity development efforts in research and development organizations through the use of evaluation. It explains how the project used an action-learning approach, bringing together people from various countries and different types of organisations. Six evaluation studies were conducted over the course of three years: exploring capacity development in a rural development NGO in Bangladesh; towards strategic management in a Cuban agricultural research institute; understanding capacity development in a plant genetic resources centre in Ghana; assessing organisational change in an agricultural faculty in Nicaragua; strengthening participatory research capacities in a Philippines root crops research centre; and expanding capacities in a rural development institute in Vietnam. Chapter 1 provides background reading on the ECD project that gave rise to the book. Chapter 2 discusses basic concepts of organisational capacity, capacity development and evaluation. Chapter 3 addresses two fundamental issues: why managers should be concerned with organisational capacity development and why they should evaluate capacity development efforts. Chapter 4 discusses issues related to the 'how' of capacity development. Chapter 5 discusses partnerships for capacity development while 6 outlines approaches and methods for evaluating organisational capacity development. Chapter 7 discusses how to utilize evaluation processes and results to advance capacity development and performance in an organisation

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