Date: 19-20 December 2013

Venue: International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)
80-86 Gray's Inn Road, London, WC1X 8NH

Participants: Patti Kristjanson (ICRAF); Phil Thornton (ILRI); Wiebke Foerch (ILRI); Peter Ballantyne (ILRI); Ewen Le Borgne (ILRI); Liz Carlile (IIED); Teresa Corcoran (IIED); Marissa Van Epp; Pete Cranston (Euforic); Carl Jackson (Westhill Knowledge)
Unable to Attend: Blane Harvey (IDRC)

  • Review progress with framework, case studies, major activities (CARIAA, FSIFS, CCAFS etc.)
  • Agree on concrete activities to carry out soonest
  • Plan next steps and milestones in 2014 and beyond etc.
  • Discuss plans and activities to open the Sandbox?


Thursday 19 December
  • 09:30 Introduction of Objectives
  • 09:45 Review action points agreed at former meeting and progress made
  • 10:00 Producing Agenda for the Plan and Writeshop
  • 10.30 Review of case studies
  • 11.30 Tea Break
  • 12:00 Review of framework & toolkit
  • 13:00 Lunch
  • 14.00 Group Work on Scoping CCSL Activities
  • 15:00 Coffee Break
  • 15:30 Group Work on Scoping CCSL Activities
  • 16.30 Presentation of where we got to with these / identification of next steps
  • 17.30 Agreement on priorities for the next day

Friday 20 December
  • 09:30 Quick recap on priorities for the day
  • 09:45 Planning Activity Areas
  • 11:00 Tea Break
  • 11:30 Planning Activity Areas
  • 12:30 Communications, Influencing, Advocacy
  • 13:00 Lunch
  • 13:30 Housekeeping (Documents, Framework, Sandbox)
  • 14:00 Budgets / Leveraging
  • 15:00 Events
  • 15:30 Immediate Next Steps
  • 16:00 Close

The meeting will be facilitated by Pete and Carl
  • Video Conferencing / Skype

Discussion Notes

Introductions (P. Thornton, L. Carlile)

All CCAFS activities to be re-cast, re-oriented towards achieving specific outcomes. Very strong outcome orientation - we are no longer interested in research outputs only. We have to make the jump towards development outcomes but most are only starting to grapple with the shift. What will replace the current mechanisms: flagship projects and calls for proposals for specific activities. In 2014 starting phase two of CCAFS structure with four existing themes becoming flagship projects. CCAFS is supposed to facilitate the achievement of certain IDOs (intermediate development outcomes) towards system level outcomes (food security, poverty reduction, improved nutrition and health, restored/sustainable natural resource management). By 2016 the portfolio of CCAFS activities will be new. Implications for us: either more resources for the centres involved or bigger risks for all centres (competition). The CCSL work might continue in this changing agenda, though probably only if it evolves from the focus on local decision-making towards more external/wider focus. Perhaps we can also scope out our theory of change and the positioning of CCSL for 2015-16-17. Consider theory of change for Research to Action when considering positioning of CCSL.

Looking back at Naivasha, June 2013
We looked back at what we had done, the materials we developed, the sandbox and we looked at how we could move this to something more substantive in the period June to Dec 2013. The idea of the framework/toolkit was developed there. The idea was to provide some good resources/pointers for people getting into SL. We started a glossary as we know other people do similar work without calling it 'social learning'. There was a discussion about the imperative of getting evidence about social learning so that SL is right for IDOs leading to documenting of 8-10 projects. How can we get projects building SL methodologies, monitor that, gather evidence etc. That has been moving forward with most activities now finalised. CARIAA, CCAFS, CSIRO, FSIFS all showed interest in this work. CARIAA has definite complimentarity. CSIRO relationship ongoing via Phil Thornton but effected by Australian government changes. We've been doing a lot of work around the sandbox, publications, webinars and produced a good Phase 2 Concept Paper. We pushed forward recognising the need to sustain interest and confidence in CCSL. A lot of publications were looked at also and have been developed in the meantime. We started to help others to adopt and document CCSL. A call for action on social learning in climate change was produced following Naivasha meeting and is coming up in Nature / Climate Change in January 2014. Need to plan for likely increase in public traffic to the CCSL Wiki and requests to join the Yammer group.

Agenda and objectives

Objectives of this meeting:
  • Work plan on 2014 with as much detail as possible
  • Aligning CCSL with other parts of CG (positioning);
  • ... including change management program (who can we partner with) e.g. also scoping:
    • Not just CG
    • Influencing
  • How can we open up engagement plan
  • Housekeeping:
    • Documents
    • Response to nature climate change, criteria for projects etc.
  • Understand how we respond to support activities/case studies --> protocol of how we use the framework etc. to support this.
  • Explore specific topics:
    • ToC (theory of change for social learning)
    • Role of facilitation
    • M&E of social learning
  • Strategy for leveraging/funding
  • Outcome stories for 2015
  • Making sure we document everything

Taking stock of our work to date

Case study database

The database contains over 140 case studies sourced from four different CCSL working papers with detailed metadata hosted online by CG Space.
Some of the URLs don't work. The 'abstract' mentioned in these case studies is the actual case study. It would be great to get as complete information as possible in CG Space. It should be a one-click pathway. It might be good to categorise these cases studies according to methodologies. Some of the methodologies are not part of the AGROVOC thesaurus. We might think about updating the thesaurus with e.g. a new field for 'approaches' to also cover tools/methods/scale.

Next steps:
  • Marissa to update authorship details so that they refer to the case study rather than to the working paper it emanates from. That source publication should be linked from the case study but the main link in the case study should lead to the project website/page where the case study came from.
  • Marissa to fish all detailed information from the case studies (e.g. full information from boxes in Julian's case studies paper).
  • Marissa to test all URLs etc.
  • Peter, Abenet and Marissa to organise information differently based on the information that is already filled for these case studies.
  • Peter to convert case studies from Julian into PDF.
  • A small group including Vanessa (to identify) to develop way to capitalize on this list of case studies, on the CCAFS website etc.?
  • Wiebke to ask Peter Dorward, Ann Waters-Bayer etc. to tease out case studies from CCAFS work and all of us to look at additional case studies...
  • In 2014 we might revisit these 147 case studies and look at additional features (e.g. scale of work).
  • The requirement to document for case studies should be part of all new CCSL funded projects

How do we want to use these case studies?
It'd be good to 'plant' these case studies in the framework etc. as illustrations of what we are talking about. And as we go along, when we accumulate interesting experiences we should collect these case studies. Having these case studies helps standardise the language around social learning; It helps us structure M&E of social learning. Do we want to develop a more rigorous template for the case studies and link this to the M&E criteria in the Framework?

  • Develop template for case studies.
  • Develop landing page for case studies on the CCAFS CCSL web page and for the CCSL wiki

The CCSL framework & guidelines

Some gaps about it and who are the target audiences for this (policy, research, practice, communications, km ?). How can we frame the framework?

Looking at the circle diagram:
The audience includes casual visitors to social learning wanting to know more, participatory actin research projects wanting to check and SL peers. This is a meta level tool to learn about social learning which helps you understand where SL happens and how etc. Its not a 'how to'
It's somehow similar to the data management guidelines that CCAFS has.

Who are the target audiences for this framework and guidelines?
  • People interested in the label 'social learning' and want to know what it is;
  • People who are doing projects that are very participatory, have heard about SL and are not sure if they're doing it;
  • People who have been involved in a social learning journey and are there to share their understanding about it;

It might be useful to go for narratives / case studies to pull out evidence at each stage of the circle. We should thus include the different case studies into all major chapters of this framework and guidelines. A second level decision tree could be useful to describe tools etc.

  • Update the text of the boxes
  • Consider whether to make more like a project cycle or just simple boxes with connecting arrows

Comparing this with the CCAFS data management support pack approach (which uses navigation around Who am I, What do I need, What stage am I at) for ideas of different ways we could design access to the framework.

Looking also at the social learning optimisation checklist (50 questions you might want to think about re: social learning). This needs rigorous criticism. What are good social learning facets etc. Some aspects are missing e.g. on social differentiation, characteristics (from Ben's paper). It's not threatening (for people who don't know much about social learning) and can be used to explore upcoming questions/issues/unclarities that we have if we update this organically along the way (it helps us keep a sense of what we are interested in exploring next in this field of social learning). This is not so much about 'optimisation', it can also be used for people who don't know anything about social learning.

  • Consider referencing selected questions in whole framework

Now looking at section 2: toolkit / what can you do
Some of the language is prescriptive (e.g. 'You should...').
We need to flesh out the 'facilitation and engagement helpdesk'.

Now looking at section 3: Getting it right and soliciting feedback and moving forward
We want to think about describing what we mean with 'Getting it right'. Include other networks like KM4Dev.

Section 4: Documentation and data collection / Gathering evidence
Based on wiki resources and expanding on this. Difficult to do in an organised/relevant manner - requires review from someone with M&E experience.
We need to gather more evidence about M&E of social learning, looking at other experiences. All these tools need some narrative giving the context of social learning eg. here 'what is special about M&E of social learning'? We need to reflect that social learning is a journey/process, and impact pathways / Theories of Change should not be featured just in the M&E section. Need some examples of indicators / types of evidence. Ask questions around what do you want to assess? Should reference CCAFS M&E.

Section 5: Analyzing evidence / what to do with the evidence
Perhaps we can work on the guidance bits more here. Perhaps we can get rid of this section and include it in the gathering evidence section? We need to re-emphasise the fact that this is all looped / iterative. We need to reference adaptive management.

Section 6: Dissemination and iteration
Empty section now but it's meant to be resources to disseminate learning etc.
This ought to focus more on guidance etc. Perhaps we could develop a section/page on the transformational learning aspects and how that transformation is fed by each step of the process (tools and processes for institutional, behavioural change). There might be another element on scaling up etc. that we ought to address / look into: how does the transformation expand to other groups/people/institutions etc.?

Scoping of social learning work

We did a 'bull's eyes' exercise whereby we mapped immediate institutional factors that could affect our work in different domains. We then looked issues in the domains CCAFS, CCSL, and the (Social) Learning Community (see bullet list below for full details). The discussion highlighted that the future scope for CCSL work would need to: reconcile opposing world views; establish fit with CGIAR flagship projects at site, regional and global scales; respond to pressure and change; work around the fact that few donors were supporting participatory approaches and so by association unlikely to support social learning; establish whether CCAFS gets social learning now; work more with external partners who can influence changes in CCAFS from outside; open up more and look for synergies across themes in CCAFS and with boundary partners who are not funded CCAFS collaborators but crucial to achieving CCSL outcomes.

Immediate Institutional Factors
  • Participation Community; Participatory Practitioners, Discovery of facilitation
  • Development research
  • Synergies with other CRPs
  • Media
  • Non-traditional M&E (e.g. 3ie)
  • CGIAR Consortium Office
  • Donors not yet involved
  • Smart/Daring donors and foundations
  • GIZ and other follow-ups from CCSL donor meeting
  • Development implementing partners not yet engaged
  • Government and policy community
  • Facilitated development outcomes at scale
  • Specific actions in region (who and where?)
  • Multistakeholder partnerships and engagement
  • Big global donor institutions (e.g. World Bank)
  • IFPRI Resilience event May 2014
  • Farmers and people that impact them
  • Drive for demonstration of impact
  • Options by context
  • Research organisations and networks interested in CCAFS topics, Academic organisations or research consortia
  • CRP reforms, Designing CGIAR phase 2 (2016 onwards), Competing value propositions
  • SLOs and IDOs
  • CGIAR Management, Social Science sceptics
  • Processes vs. products
  • Science

CCAFS domain
  • SL embeded in results based management
  • Missing champions for Phil, Patti, Wiebke, Peter
  • CCAFS Comms as champions
  • SL is threatening (pointed and transparent)
  • Enhanced local decision making for adaptation
  • Competitive funding model
  • Dialogues on institutional learning
  • Project focus
  • Synergies themes (regions, sites)
  • Outcome story
  • Hard science vs. community participations
  • 4.2.2 Milestones, Tough targets 20 National, 10 regional, 10 international
  • CCSL legacy gov / local influence

CCSL domain
  • Need a purpose, CCAFS CCSL Strategy and Implementation, Common/shared understanding and sense of purpose, Guidelines/Frameworks/Structures
  • Iterative process journey (pitch)
  • Not going to make progress until we dialogue, be social and eschew top down planning, competition and debate (flip it)
  • We need resources (some)
  • Engagement strategies for influence beyond docs and wiki, Theory of change of SL and M&E generally
  • The value propositions and higher level buy in not clearly articulated
  • How do we represent CCSL, Organic vs repetitive, Audiences different for social learning requires seperate comms
  • Not enough on change management as part of process
  • Stories
  • Lots of variation on scale of 10 to 100 years, linkages across scales - not just local, Ground in CCAFS sites, at scale
  • Civic driven focues to bring back on / strengthen
  • Storming, norming, performing, Need to get tougher on ourselves on level of impact
  • Theres a wider SL and P groundswell / agenda in and beyond CG
  • Indentify champions
  • We documented some stuff
  • Some folks / partners got a bit excited
  • We are not yet plugged into many actual local projects
  • Recognising SL and Change is a problem that is often hard to timetable
  • We are in the middle of some wider debates
  • Still talking about other people doing it not us
  • Sandbox mechanism has been useful? Growing the CoP
  • Importance of process

(Social) Learning Domain
  • Andy Hall, MS Reed, WWF Andy??, WUR people
  • Parade CoP
  • Other CRPs HT / AAS / Drylands
  • CG Gender
  • CRP Design Process (phase 2)
  • IDS?
  • FARA?
  • Advocacy within related communities
  • ODI / Rapid / Aid on the Edge
  • Limit of SL / Change (what drives)
  • KM4Dev
  • Knowledge Brokers Forum
  • Carla, Petra
  • CIM / GIZ
  • Prolinova, IIED + Shamba Shapeup
  • Univ of Reading
  • Oxford
  • ILRI / CG Cap Dev
  • UNDP
  • CC World (Bonn, WCMC, UNEP)
  • ICT4Ag Ethiopia?
  • Makaree Proposal (WSM and Learning)
  • IP Trainings / Coaching
  • Incubator Workshops
  • KMC4CRP 3
  • Ewen's Blog - stakeholder disciplinary mapping


CSIRO is shifting their focus away from Africa back to South East Asia - due to governmental change + other political reasons. Mario Herrero (formerly at ILRI) was aware of CCSL work and keen on supporting CCAFS on this. It now looks like the program will be funded and the program manager is still interested to have CCAFS involved but the issue of CCAFS's role in it is a lot murkier. Our hopes to get a full time position between CCAFS/FSIFS is very doubtful at this stage. Best not to bank on this opportunity for now.

New joint IDRC/DfID program on climate change adaptation (follow up on CCAA). This new chunk of work is managed by Blane Harvey. They have 3 activityy clusters in the deltas (SE-A), drylands and glacier-fed areas. Large consortia and Blane is keen that some of these consortia include social learning. This could contribute a number of case studies etc. In due time there will be workshops etc. and it'd be good to have CCSL folks attend this. In early 2014 there will be inception spaces.

Other Partnership Opportunities
We could also contact IFAD and other projects to get more opportunities to leverage. CDKN? Got an extension for a next trench of funding. CDKN acts as a bit of a broker.

Working on activity areas

(On day 2 we focused on 3 activity areas and devised next steps/action points).

Activity area 1: institutional change through learning + donor support for that change

Possible target actors:
Directly change: CARIAA consortium members, IIED, CCAFS, ILRI, CARE, KARI, SEI, GEF, IFAD Lesotho.
Influence to support this kind of change (and for them to influence others): IDRC, DfID, USAID Food Security Bureau, World Bank, GIZ, FAO, CSIRO
  • 1.1 Funder decision-making
  • 1.2 Influencing Funder Program Design
  • 1.3 Technical capacity development
  • 1.4 Awareness raising through comms + influencing
  • 1.5 Outcome Story 2015
  • 1.6 Develop impact pathway and strategy

Activity area 2: Building strong evidence base for methodologies + taking to scale

Target actors: Activity area 1 actors
  • 2.1 Case studies
    • ILRI case studies (3 project-related from ILRI/KMIS, 1 from Lance Robinson), CCAFS build/document/capture/synthesise.
    • Reading: Peter Dorward with FAO Lesotho
    • CARIAA 2-3 case studies
    • CARE (2)
    • Prolinnova (2)
    • IIED including FAS Brazil (2)
    • Makerere University (1)
    • FP4 trial (2-3)
  • 2.2 Develop a common template for M&E/comparison
  • 2.3 Criteria workshop (modelling and doing, facilitation, scale, global spread, brand new strategy)
  • 2.4 Protocol for working out loud + support
  • 2.5 Engagement with customers (see 1) as part of 'working out loud' including workshop
  • 2.6 Connect with 3iE on a systematic evaluation to support this process
  • 2.7 Follow up on inventory of case studies. Synthesise according to impact, characterisation, scale etc.
  • 2.8 Enrol peer review panel to support work
  • 2.9 Analysis / synthesis / communication plan (including gathering evidence for Outcome Story under Activity Area 1)
  • 2.10 Develop an M&E framework
  • 2.11 Capitalise on the 147 case studies

Activity area 3: Bringing together communities to practice + advocate social learning methodologies

Target actors:
  • CCSL team
  • CCSL-funded partners
  • Related networks / other influential participation, learning, research method CoPs (KM4Dev, KBF, CG parade)
  • Regional networks (Prolinnova, regional KM4Dev networks)
  • Related individual agents (M. Reed, C. Leeuwis)
  • Eventually all people from activity group 1 actors - individual allies.
  • 3.1 Visit related communities with a conversation - building consensus and capacity around SL / impactful research;
  • 3.2 Facilitate community engagement (sandbox) around building evidence base (e.g. case study process opened up);
  • 3.3 Sustain / develop the sandbox (growth);
  • 3.4 Capacity support for the SL community through networking (e.g. with innovative MEL experts);
  • 3.5 Advocacy of Products (from Activity Area 2)
  • 3.6 Face-to-face event to convene these communities of practice - gathering around tangible products
    • To include invited potential members
    • Timing to be confirmed (annual and piggy backing on other event)
  • 3.7 Quarterly online CCSL Core Team meeting
  • 3.8 Sandbox learning brief
  • 3.9 Comms and influencing strategies

Activity planning

Activity area 1
  • Comms plan and impact pathway
Activity area 2
  • Template for case studies
  • Begin case studies
  • Complete repository review
  • Comms and impact plan
  • Initial contact with 3iE
  • Inception workshop (related to case study)
  • Gather evidence for outcome story
  • Engagement with customers (see 1) as part of working out loud, including workshop [ongoing activity from that point onwards]
  • Agreed methodology and work plans for all
Activity area 3
  • Comms and impact plan
  • Update sandbox
  • Respond to nature CC article
  • Visiting communities
  • Learning brief on Sandbox
  • Face-to-Face Sandbox event?

Housekeeping 2013-2014

  • Sandbox:
    • Tidy up and reference Nature Climate Change article on the wiki (Carl)
    • Inviting PARADE participants to join Yammer (Pete)
  • Framework and toolkit (Marissa, Pete, Carl):
    • Complete missing parts
    • Methodological toolkit (categories)
    • Dissemination page
    • Help desk
    • Making decision tree interactive
    • M&E pages (Ewen to help)
    • Intro and each page to emphasise the iterative process nature as opposed to a project cycle?
    • Investigate additional navigational routes into content ones other actions completed
  • Learning briefs:
    • Possible sandbox learning brief (Carl)
    • White board narrative learning brief (IIED)
    • Plan learning brief pipeline 2014 (IIED / Wiebke)
      • Perhaps on the SL preconditions / criteria
      • Social Learning checklist
      • P. Dorward's work on farmer decision making
      • Shamba Shape-Up (Patti)
      • Positioning / mapping social learning in the KM family (Ewen)
  • Case studies (see Activity Area 2 notes)
  • Responding to the Nature & Climate Change article:
    • Blogging by IIED (Marissa)
    • Blogging by CCAFS/ILRI (Patti and Susan)
    • Wiki gardening (Carl & Ewen)

Budgets / Year and leveraging for 2014-2015

See planning above
A1 (lead: CCAFS)
  • 1.1 Funder decision-making: 25% FTE /USD 40.000 (Wiebke / Patti / Phil)
  • 1.2 Influencing program design: 40% FTE/USD 70.000 (Wiebke / Patti / Phil)
  • 1.3 Capacity development: 33% FTE/USD 55.000 (Wiebke / Patti / Phil)
  • Awareness raising (1.4), Outcome strategy (1.5) and Impact pathway (1.6) costs included in A1.3 above
A2 (lead: IIED?)
  • 2.1 Case studies: 1 FTE / USD 165.000
  • Template (2.2) and Protocol and support (2.4) costs included in A2.1 above
  • Activities (2.3 and 2.5 - 2.9): 40% FTE / USD 70.000
  • 2.10-2.11 TBC
A3 (lead: ILRI)
  • 3.1 Ongoing sandbox support: USD 70.000
  • 3.2 - 3.5: USD 90.000
  • 3.6 Face to face workshop USD 125.000
  • 3.7 - 3.9 TBC
TOTAL / Year: USD 665.000

Covered already: ILRI USD 95.000; IIED USD 105.000

Leveraging budget

Collective responsibility but reviewed quarterly at CCSL Core Team meeting.

Prospective funding avenues to explore:
  • CARIAA for workshops (offset costs rather than cash) + case studies + sandbox
  • IIED: FAS / SACRA / DFID AG proposals (offset costs)
  • Patti's funding channels (USD 25.000 for innovation fund)
  • ILRI to look into individual projects (e.g. case studies) under L&F / Humidtropics / WLE funding
  • GIZ centre for international migration (staff costs placed in a national / regional organisation) + Jorg/Kirsten (donors meeting) // small grants --> CG
  • ILRI Cap Dev (I. Dror)
  • WLE CRP (M. Victor) - sandbox / case studies?
  • AAS / Boru Douthwaite / WorldFish
  • 3ie around MEL
  • GEF around capacity building?
Possibly meet up on a quarterly basis with all of us and one of the agenda items would be to discuss progress on funding opportunities.

At least one annual face-to-face meeting among people in this core team + opportunistic depending on events popping up.

Possible events

  • Africa climate change adaptation forum (Kampala / UNEP - Richard Munang) 18-21 (March 2014) - Liz/Fiona
    [CARE/ALP are no longer involved]
  • CG heads of KM in Peru (March) - Peter Ballantyne
  • CARIAA inception workshop (March) - Blane Harvey
  • IPCC AR5 CCAFS science (April) - Phil Thornton
  • IFPRI Resilience workshop (May 2014) -
  • Adaptation futures - design session (Brazil / CARIAA - Blane) (12-16 May 2014) - Liz
  • Case study workshop (June) - Liz
  • CG heads of communication (Montpellier) & possibly using brief Ewen Le Borgne (June)
  • Tropentag - Ag research (Sept.) - Wiebke (& Fred Unger)
  • KMC4CRP 3 meeting (October/November?)

Ideas for a session at Adaptation futures Brazil:
How to run a possible session?
Starting with a few statements and asking people to position themselves (read the article on measuring social learning which Blane posted on the CCSL Yammer), then introducing some information/presentations... then asking the participants again about these statements etc. - reflect and monitor how the participants are evolving according to their thinking's progression around the issues/statements.
Possibly bringing Ben Ramalingam to contribute to this session from a complexity point of view, among other speakers.

Immediate next steps

  • All content of the London event to be on the wiki (Carl) - 10 Jan (completed)
  • Doodle us all for core team meeting in Q1 (Pete) (completed)
  • Pull out key points from London meeting and rally interest from sandbox members around e.g. events, funding opportunities etc. (Carl / Ewen)
  • MU (Makerere Uni) innovation follow-up (Pete) (completed)
  • Cleaning up wiki for the link to Nature Climate article (Ewen/Carl) (completed)
  • Blog post about this event on ILRI Maarifa blog (Ewen) and linked from ILRI MAARIFA wiki + onto CCAFS website (completed)
  • Confirm finalisation of Framework by Marissa (Liz)
  • Confirm with Ben criteria next steps (Liz)
  • IIED submit financial report (Liz)
  • Work with Teresa on activity 2 budget remodeling (Liz)
  • Draft ex-post comms strategy around the Nature CC article (Phil)
  • Check possible additional CCAFS case studies and see that wiki provides correct links on projects page (Wiebke)
  • Make sure all case studies go on to CG space (Peter / Marissa)
  • Check with Polly on budget approval process for 2014 (Peter)