The last week of the online phase of the KS Workshop offered an opportunity to continue discussions about KS tools and methods. We also started reflections about the workshop experience, invited participants to take an evaluation survey, and offered an additional conference call with our guest Sophie Alvarez on Participatory Pathways Approaches (PIPA).

In the weekly conference calls we reviewed the network mapping exercise, and asked for participant’s interest in specific tools and methods to explore further in the Rome face-to-face meeting next week. Here is a summary of one of the call sessions: Many found the network maps really useful: “it is good to have it as a visual.” “It was the best workshop lesson because it showed the weaknesses and what I can do better to involve others” “It was good but now I have difficulties to relate the map with the tools” “It was great to do it with my colleagues” are some of the reactions. We also learnt an interesting unexpected use of the map: As an induction to a newcomer in the project team, or as a way to explain an organization, a project or a team during a recruitment process.  For the upcoming workshop in Rome, many tools are on the list of desired hands on sessions and explorations: wikis, blogs, RSS feeds, social bookmarking, tagging, Content Management Systems, but also communities of practice, World Cafés and After Action Reviews. Among the facilitators we decided to organize a 1 ½ day Open Space session to allow detailed exploration of all those topics in small groups. 

A Conference call on Participatory Impact Pathway Approaches (PIPA)
The call was joined by 6 curious workshop participants and our special guest was Sophie Alvarez who works with the PIPA team out of CIAT, Cali, Colombia. Without getting into the details of the PIPA methodology (see ILAC brief for that), what I most highlighted for myself was that PIPA tries to bring to the surface the mental models, the perspectives of the stakeholders about how their project might achieve impact. PIPA combines elements of classic project planning with social network analysis and appreciative inquiry.

First reflections on online phase of the workshop
Here are some of the very first and fresh reactions as the online phase is ending:I have appreciated the first four weeks of the Workshop. Alternately, I have felt overwhelmed and enthusiastic.

  • I thought that the resource library (imark lessons, screencasts and podcasts) was very useful and I liked that I could go back to things at my own pace.
  • The support facilitators was really a positive aspect .
  • I loved it.
  • A few little disappointments: 1) Skype connection from work was horrible.  2) Skype teleconferencing was just not my thing. I had nothing to look at so my attention drifted. 3) I found the KS toolkit didn’t go into enough detail.
  • The interactions with all of you were great and enriching. I had lots of fun trying out some of the tools and blogging on my learning log.
  • This is a great community that has been emerging.
  • I am hoping that while the Phase 1 workshop officially ends this week, we can still use the F2F and online to move to that more strategic bit. To take all the good work of the maps and thinking about purpose and people and map those tools and processes in a holistic way

More to come soon about the participant’s evaluation of this event.