Knowledge Management for Development Journal, Vol 13, No 3 (2017)

Financial governance: accounting for social learning in a regional network in Africa

Beverly Wenger-Trayner


The value created by learning in communities of practice or networks is not always easy to articulate in ways that make sense to participants, sponsors, and stakeholders. Yet it is something that needs to be done, not only for monitoring and evaluation, but also for optimizing the learning of the community. We have developed a “value-creation framework” that focuses on how social learning makes a difference in the world via its effect on practice. The framework helps structure convincing accounts of the value of social learning by framing learning in terms of different cycles of value creation and loops between them. It integrates quantitative and qualitative data and can be used by professional evaluators as well as participants. In this paper we demonstrate the use of the framework in a project supported by the World Bank in Southern and Eastern Africa where it was used both for evaluation and for strategic renewal of a regional network of members of parliament and their clerks.

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