About Peer Learning in the Public Sector
There is strong interest to shift the focus for achieving improvements in public organisations and in public service delivery from pre-defined solutions to more applied and context specific approaches. Peer sharing and learning are innovative and alternative approaches that are increasingly being used in the public sector to understand the challenges faced by public sector change agents, allowing them to tap into the experience of other practitioners.
The premise behind peer learning is that no one knows the challenges facing development practitioners better than the practitioners themselves. Each practitioner is privy to a wealth of knowledge and experience, but their experiences are rarely transferred to others. By passing this expertise on to practitioners in other countries and ensuring it is shared within one’s own country, practitioners can build on past experiences.
Emerging evidence suggests that peer learning is effective but there is a need to carefully design peer learning initiatives.
The EIP Peer-to-Peer Learning Guide
The EIP collaborated with Matt Andrews and Nick Manning to develop the EIP Peer-to-Peer Learning Guide. This innovative and user-friendly guide helps actors to think through how to engage in and generate effective peer-to-peer support and learning.
The work of the EIP aims to fill the evidence gap on how, when and why peer sharing and learning works. The guide is not a set recipe for peer learning, but identifies principles of effective peer learning, as well as key stages of peer learning processes.
The EIP have recently produced a shorter Peer Learning Guide which summarises the longer mapping study by Andrews and Manning.
The Peer Learning Process Map illustrates the learning process outlined by the Guide, and questions relating to each step of the process can be accessed by clicking on the process map itself or using the tabs on the left-hand side of the page.
The Peer-to-Peer Learning Guide is a living document moulded by the needs of peer learners, so the EIP is holding an open consultation on the guide on our website until 1 February 2016.
The Guide will be launched in full following this consultation in early 2016.
You can submit comments directly in the comment boxes at the bottom of each page dedicated to the steps of the peer learning process (A, B, C, D, E) or send your comments and suggestions via email, firstname.lastname@example.org
Learning Alliances are designed as collaborative multi-stakeholder groupings of institutions and organisations drawn from multiple contexts and countries that share knowledge, experiences and innovations on specific public sector reform topics.
Learning Alliances give peers the opportunity to learn from each other in safe spaces to debate successes and failures in public sector reform efforts.
Learning Alliances include at least two learning activities in order to create learning loops that facilitate collective analysis of experiences and the adaptation and application of approaches to public sector reform.
Stories of change on institutional and organisational reform will be made available for the EIP membership and beyond.