B. Establishing a foundational engagement

The Peer Learning Guide is in its consultation period until 1 February 2016. Please use the comment box at the bottom of the page to tell us what you think of the questions in this section.

Questions for your reflection

Figure 1 B

Peer learning processes usually begin by assembling potential peers together. There are many ways to do this, and it matters how it is done. Effective foundational engagement can build commitment and trust and interest in future engagement and sharing. Less effective engagement can undermine future learning potential. Here are a set of questions to consider in designing foundational engagements.

1. How do you plan to engage with other peers for the first time?

  • What kind of convening or connecting tool or event will you use?
  • Why do you think this is the appropriate tool or event?

2. Do you have a strategy to select ‘the right’ peers to engage with or involve in the process? 

  • According to your theory of change, do you have an idea of what ‘the right’ kind of peer will be to benefit from your facilitation? 
  • Can you write out the characteristics of that peer?
  • Are you engaging with individual peers ‘as people’ instead of substitutable representatives of their agencies? 
  • Do you have a strategy to ‘match’ peers in and through initial events (so that peers are working most closely with those with whom they stand the best chance of learning)? 

3. Do you have the means to be fully engaged and invested in foundational events?

  • Do the peers have some role in defining the focal topics of the peer learning?  
  • Do peers’ organisations have a role in defining the topics as well?
  • Do you have a strategy to ensure the buy-in of individuals involved in initial events? 
  • Do you have a strategy to manage differences among peers when they start to communicate and interact in foundational events (personalities, cultures, etc.)? 
  • Do you have a strategy to establish commonalities between and among peers? 
  • Do you have a strategy to build trust between peers in the foundational engagements? 
  • Have you designed continued and deeper engagement opportunities after the foundational event?
  • Do you have ways of identifying peers who are willing to stay connected?
  • Do you have easy-to-access, easy-logistic options that peers can use to stay connected?
  • Do you inform peers of the options you offer for continued engagement?

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