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Learning for Change

This method has been developed over several years by an informal international work group convened by Global Action Plan (GAP) International, with the intention of...

  • Finding ways to significantly accelerate learning from experience of projects for sustainable development
  • Building a library of patterns that can be used to rapidly raise the effectiveness of subsequent SD projects

The original stress was therefore on collaborative learning, which is the focus of our open Learning for Change workshops. However we quickly found that the methods and tools, when used with a stakeholder group concerned with a single project, could help arrive at a quick and useful assessment of the project.

Direct outcomes

The usual direct outcomes of a Learning for Change workshop for a single project include:

  • Evaluation of the positive and improvement aspects of a project
  • Evaluated strengths and weaknesses
  • Evaluated risks and opportunities
  • Developed action plans and strategies to promote improvements
  • A space for networking and learning

Possible indirect outcomes

  • Improved capacity of participants (employees/colleagues) to deal with change
  • Team-building

Major sources

The method has taken its inspiration from four principal sources

  • Methods of Action Research, in particular community-based research
  • Pattern Language theory and practice
  • Principles for design of empowering programs developed by GAP over 15 years of action research
  • The work of Warren Ziegler concerning envisioning and Deep Learning


Contact Marilyn Mehlmann with questions.