CCSL Core Team Q4 2014 Meeting + Plan-and-Writeshop

15-17 December 2014

Venue: Kongoni Lodge, Naivasha, Kenya


  • Plan important activities and events for 2015 in line with overall vision & strategy for 2019 (as per the CCAFS ToC, for special linkages) - including an outcome story for 2015 that we need to achieve
  • Finalize some important outputs in writing
  • Prepare some important activities and outputs to source additional funding in the course of 2015


Ben Garside (IIED), Blane Harvey (IDRC), Carl Jackson (WKL), Ewen Le Borgne (ILRI), Liz Carlile (IIED), Marissa van Epp (IIED), Pete Cranston (Euforic), Philip Thornton (ILRI), Wiebke Foerch (ILRI)

Blog post: Scaling social learning for climate change and food security up and out, now or never


Contact Anne Miki (ILRI)

For emergency or should you need to ask of any information:
Anne Miki: +254 720 842 659 or Wiebke Foerch: +254 728 279 316

Objectives / expected outputs and outcomes

  1. Solid strategy for fundraising and influencing
  2. Clear vision for how CCSL can contribute to CCAFS outcomes and an outcome story for 2015 to pursue
  3. Tools/procedures for better internal communications
  4. Sign off on M&E framework and way forward
  5. Input to M&E how-to guide, potentially sign off at the end of the workshop
  6. Understanding of time and human resource commitment needed for next phase and for making this more impactful + a solid plan for Phase 3


Review action points from last meeting (ELB)

Day Zero: led by Ewen

  • 15 mins to review the three strands (where this is leading to, energy levels). What's currently happening right now that can/should influence our vision...
  • 45-60 mins Intro to CCAFS futures (what to keep in mind through the workshop, for a larger discussion at the end on Day 3) - led by Phil?
    • Concrete plans on how a CCSL could contribute to FP4 or other flagship outcomes, starting with Phil and Wiebke but then going wider
    • What is an achievable outcome (and outcome story) for 2015 from the CCSL initiative
    • What could be useful as outputs from this event (a writing piece)
    • General discussion - aiming for a credible hypothesis at the outset of the meeting
  • Discuss what is needed to make CCSL impactful - Revise all activities and workplans to contribute towards the identified outcome for 2015 and align all resources to support that outcome, including:
    • Workplan and timeline for next phase (of M&E framework) - led by Ben
    • Networking event - led by Carl
    • Future of the Sandbox (including platform) - led by Pete
    • M&E Framework and Process Guide review and sign off - led by Ben & Marissa
    • Institutional learning (and results-based management) - led by Philip
    • Website/comms strategy - led by Wiebke (Cecilia to skype in if needed)
    • Tentative outcome story and theory of change towards the outcome for CCSL
  • Funding discussion... Developing a proposal / organizing our ideas to seek funding...
Day 1 output: planned outcome story, workplan for Phase 3, finalized M&E Framework and Process Guide. Others depending on outcome of agenda and conversations in the morning
DAY 2:
AM (WF: I changed Day 2 and 3 around a bit)
  • Re-introduce the strands...
  • Re-introduce framework and process guidance doc
  • Plan written outputs for working groups - led by Phil and Blane
  • Break out groups to work on output
  • Alternative: pull up fundraising discussion to Day 2 AM and then have groups working on both - writing output and proposal?
  • Continue in break out groups. Then come together and decide next steps
  • Decide Day Three agenda
Day 2 output: draft of written output and next steps agreed
  • Discuss influencing plan - led by Liz
    • Break out groups to work on influencing plan? Then come together and try to finalize.
  • Internal / group communication - led by Marissa?
  • Fundraising discussion continued - led by Wiebke?
    • Work on concept note/proposal and finalize if possible
    • Who is best placed in the CCSL to drive this agenda?
To be decided
Day 3 output: finalized Concept Note, finalized Influencing Plan.
Background materials



Day 1
Review of the three activity strands

15 mins to review the three strands (where this is leading to, energy levels). What's currently happening right now that can/should influence our vision...

Activity Stream 1 Fundraising and Planning Institutional learning
Moving toward RBM and Impact pathway planning through 5 regional workshops for CCAFS. Including adaptive management and reflection. A new system for CCAFS. This will be feeding evidence into a new online platform that supports this approach to planning and M&E. Process learning at present is very ad hoc and internal to projects. There is some increase in buy-in to this approach. The evidence is mainly a management check to see if adaptive management is taking place, but could be used for wider learning, but not much interest in this kind of learning within the CRPs and Secretariat. Papers from these RBM/learning nodes workshops will be part of the CCSL Learning Brief Series plus a facilitation guide on developing impact pathways. The platform is evolving and was built by David Abreu (SP???) at CIAT. On the fundraising side we have been talking to others and leveraging (e.g. time of CSIRO and CARIAA). More formal fundraising hasn't really been happening as too hectic with other CCAFS activities. Need in this workshop to work out how to package CCSL best to potential donors as an integral thing to answering bigger questions (e.g. governance upscaling) rather than a stand alone thing. There is potential to put into the Social Transformation bid but not out yet. Also a DFID ESRC call that Patti sent to Phil in January. Also GIZ large grant to CG centres in March that requires cross centre collaboration (matching proposal) and managed competitive process by ILRI. Potential small CARIAA grants that Blane knows about, but have to be co-finance (small CN$200K).

Activity Stream 2 Evidence Gathering and M&E
On the Framework good feedback received from formal review panel of three plus six other in depth reviews which resulted in a revised framework. Responded to confusion on process versus outcomes, that not a tick box exercise and that deciding if done social learning is more complex. Have responded to concern on number of indicators and so have summerized and re-numbered and made some optional leaving 30 indicators in total. The M&E example given was clarified as not to be used a part of the methodology. Going forward in two projects - CIP Peru workshops for e.g. Also Bolsa Familia social protection and forestry project in Amazonia. They are looking for more direct support that Ben is providing f2f to customise framework into their systematic review process. When people are modifying the indicators to local conditions, does the process guide offer advice on how to do this? We are tackling this in the process guide. Need to ensure that means that all projects that use the guide can meaningfully be compared as case studies. Need to give people a template for reporting back to indicate the extent to which their adaptation of the M&E guidance coheres or departs from the recommended approach. When we have firmed up our own CCSL big questions, we should check back to the M&E indicators to see how these will support answering these or not. Need to think how the indicators can be interpretted very differently whether thinking about social learning by communities or by the project team and make this clear in the case study write ups so that know when we are comparing similar types and not, and other ways of symantically tagging different factors so can compare. Next year want to focus on Peer Assist through virtual support for five projects interacting with them on how they would adapt the guidance and how to report on them. Another key next step is how we wan people to gather the evidence, templates, etc. So that partners have a easy to understand guidance, not speaking to ourselves as much. Currently not planning to develop a toolkit as such, but could be added in to support the peer assist. Once we have some of the results synthesised in case studies we will have some webinars. We have limited funding next year. There are more than five projects that could be supported, we could have a toolkit, etc.A strong baseline. IIED is feeling quite good now post workshop and feedback on guidance. Having better internal conversations within IIED. How this fits in the bigger frame is important. Was a bit messy but now feeling higher energy and more positive, but really want to firmly locate this in a CCSL ToC and fundraising and collaboration with bigger projects. Feel we need to get buy in again from workshop participants as feedback on the guidance was a bit low.

Activity Stream 3 Coordination and Networking
Sandbox growth with some burst around the face to face events in terms of activity and members. Many people want to continue membership. Reflects industry 1-9-90 % rule for CoP activity, if a not a bit better. Some platform issues to consider about Yammer. See Ewen notes here. We need to see how we can link the M&E peer assist discussions to the Yammer space as this is the kind of discussion we want to have being shared with the wider community. Also for the reporting of the M&E outputs. Ben / Liz / Marissa to talk with Carl / Pete about how your needs can be supported. Two briefs produced the Sandbox Learning Brief published and the Happy Families of social learning is at late draft stage nearing publication. The latter is key first step of three envisaged by this activity stream and will speak to this re a networking event. CCSL ToC has been drafted and needs more comment. Also the wiki has been heavily edited and has better presentation now but need to have better stats for this and the yammer space. Check with Cecilia if stats from a paid version are better and then whether pulling the CCSL wiki under the CCAFS FP4 wiki would be a neat solution to this as already paid for version. Before we move to a different platform like LinkedIn we should consult with the community. Ewen has found himself less connected to this stream this last part of the year due to ILRI 40 celebrations but looking forward to reigniting next year, e.g. around the networking event. Do we need a seperate website for CCSL for communications and fundraising?

Intro to CCAFS futures

(what to keep in mind through the workshop, for a larger discussion at the end on Day 3) - led by


CCAFS Background: 2014 end of phase 1 so 2015-16 it is in an extension phase so that by 2017 start of phase 2 all CRPs are at same stage. Likely that 2017 phase 2 CRPs there will be reduction in total number of them due to high transaction costs. CCAFS may or may not continue, it is cross cutting so could be candidate for mainstreaming. Time horizon for 2015 is revamping entire CCAFS portfolio through competitive process producing four new flagships. FP 4 has changed the most to now focus on governance (policies and institutions for climate resilient food systems). No longer knowledge and action or data and tools. For example working with African policy workers. Part of FP4 started early to trial results based management, attempting to insert CCAFS science into national policy making. Is this really research? CCAFS not supposed to do advocay, so its synthesise of available research and how best to engage with national policy processes and scale up the impact of our research. Have done series of regional workshops on impact pathway planning and moving from an output to an outcome focus. A radical change for all, but FP4 is ahead of the rest due to early start. Happy with where we are as have reduced everything down to eight aggregatable indicators. 2015 sees start of new portfolio of projects. For CCSL the change in focus effects where we might aim. In past we could justify it as local landscape level, but in FP4 this is no longer the scale. Whole of CG has taken a budget hit, CCAFS got 7-8% cut, but DFID has offered additional money tied to outcomes for August 2015. 2016 the 8% cut will likely re-occur. Therefore unlikely there will be money for CCSL in 2016, so need to get this work funded on a different basis. For example CCSL a process to help with scaling up technology from local level and also to help with making local voices heard at national level or international level. So obvious places where CCSL can have an impact. For 2015 we need to have an outcome, as this will be helpful for future funding from other agencies or CCAFS. The Policy and Institutions works in FP4 is not at local level, this is occuring in other FPs (1 & 2). FP1 is seeking to influence projects on the ground, for FP4 the pathway of change is synthesis up to national and international - a different set of next users. Looks like an opportunity for CCSL because we are arguing that this kind of methodology is key to voices heard at national level. Maybe need to frame as Transforming Institutions and Practices rather than CCSL as an end in itself.

Phil will be based at CSIRO in Brisbane from April 2015 for at least a year.

Is there any harm in seeking to integrate into aspects of other flagships if they will have us, not int terms of money, but networking. Andy Jarvis leads FP1. Anyway the FPs are becoming less separate as the impact plans are being developed regionally. So need to engage with the regional coordinators as well. Perhaps easiest way to engage is through the flagship projects bottom up as the project leaders are more open to social science than the FP and Regional leaders. CCSL as one of the tools that helps the projects to achieve things they are already committed to do.

Transforming the way organisations like CG work is a strong message coming out of the COP in Lima. They are many actors working on transformation (PDIA / DDD, complex adaptive systems) and need to be brought together to round it out into a bigger context through an event or article for Science or Nature. Getting our TOC right will really help with this rounding out.

If in 2016 CCAFS funding is unlikely, can anything make it likely? What can we influence, would be a great outcome by 2015 framed in a bigger context. Good outputs are not enough. We need to elevate CCSL out of FP4 thinking to be fundamental to transformation issues in CG and other organisations. This isn't too complicated. We could for example for 2014 write up the influence on CARIAA as an outcome story.

Maybe we need to do a stakeholder mapping exercise to get a picture of all this to identify the next users of the products we are producing and what the behaviour changes we are seeking at the policy change level nationally and internationally. In June we started this process. Also who in other CCAFS program are leading projects that are relevant.

What are the buttons we need to push to make the outcome valid for CCAFS. One outcome story presented as part of a broader process (e.g. CARIAA). Dry run that know and ask would this be sufficient for Bruce Campbell. Also what kind of narrative would inspire people at the level of the CG board and wider (BRACED, IFAD, FAO, CARE). The latter are more important for CG.

Opportunity next year in the Strategy and Results Review process in CGIAR to put CCSL language in there. But is this time well spent? We can't not comment. There is a RBM webinar that Phil is involved in where CCSL could be included.

If we make this kind of framing change, would our existing CCSL partners be comfortable with this (e.g. Prolinova). CARRIA has dual scale impact pathways that respond to local and national / institutional levels. We could look at this. But opportunity is to knit existing champions into this cross scale agenda. Risk of alienating our champions if we don't understand how different language (e.g. institutions) is going to be heard. In emerging FP4 governance work we should see how we can link into this work with CCSL.

Our Theory of Change needs to sit at a level above CCAFS, but translate for it and other actors.

A networking event that is in action lab style, rather than setting up a work program, we look for spotting opportunities for collaboration on next step actions. But is expensive. Also a Bellagio / Wilton Park type event for bringing together high level actors. DFID knows that it has big seperate investments that are not learning together, but doesn't know how to fix it. At the level of the ICF in UK climate spending. Would have to do this with multi-donors. Idea of influencing the design of their next traunch of investments five years ahead so incorporate this kind of cross investment and cross scale learning. Can we influence Prolinova to be interested in this. Would need to get other people involved in the conversation as make the tent bigger.

Will be a big Climate Smart Agriculture meeting in Monteplier in March 2015 where CCAFS will be looking at how to reach outcomes with DFID funding. There will be a side meeting here that is an opportunity for influencing peoplel. Who wants to be involved?

We need to to a draft of Outcome Stories in terms of titles and bullet points before we leave Naivasha.

Big Vision for CCSL

A theory of change that encapsulates our vision and impact pathway's. Beginning by looking at CARIAA ToC with Blane and then the current CCSL ToC that Ewen has drafted.

CARIAA ToC goes left to right from sphere of control to influence to beyond influence and has two pathways that work at different scales (regional / international and community / national). The connecting arrrows indicate how these pathways are connected. Idea also that in some areas pathways influence each other (somewhat instrumentally through a knowledge translation activity). Each CARIAA consortium produces its own sub-ToC but all speak to the same impact statement. This seems relevant to CCSL as will be different strands of work that may need sub-ToC but still speak to the same impact statement. Challenge of having multiple impact pathways is how you allocate resources between them. The split can be judged on how well the different scales are currently funded. We may find that at the community / national scale programs are already funded and so we may be thinking about top up or linking funding rather than core.

The current CCSL theory of change has two impact pathways relating to how CCSL contributes to agricultural adaptation and foods security and to improving the practice of social learning itself. The revised CCSL ToC should preserve the two pathways converging on the same impact statement.

General discussion - aiming for a credible hypothesis at the outset of the meeting

Day 2


Developing a vision and theory of change for CCSL

(We decided, through the facilitation of Carl Jackson, to identify vision statements for CCSL by 2025 and also by 2018 as an intermediary step. Each of us came up with a statement for each. We clustered these statements from 2025 all the way down to 2018. Then we worked in groups to polish the statements and make them easier to understand. After that we juxtaposed the vision statements and identified potential gaps, necessary actions, important actors to involve from one step to the next e.g. from the 2025 ultimate impact statement to the development outcomes to the link to development outcomes to the areas of work. etc.. Finally, for each of the five areas of work we identified, we individually suggested activities that will get us there. The results were aggregated and are presented below).

1. International development actors 'do SL'

("An emerging set of international development actors are putting cross-scale (social) learning + adaptive management approaches at the heart of their programmes, from design to evaluation").
Evidence of impact:
  • Show why such approaches have value
  • Build evidence base to convince others to use SL approach
  • Case studies of good examples
  • Evidence base of value of SL in programs (and when not to bother)
Tools / capacity building:
  • SL tools for program scoping and design are selected, piloted, evidenced and made accessible
  • Toolkits + guides to show how to use
  • Building evidence base for value
  • Capacity strengthening on how to integrate SL in programming
  • Work closely with particular institutions to build internal capacity + demonstration
  • Evidence-supported guidance on integrating these approaches into planning, practice and evaluation
Creating confidence through peer-group (single spaces, dialogue + momentum)
Meta analysis of effectiveness of strategies to support SL uptake and use
Influencing and engaging:
  • Engagement with different international development actors
  • Network / connect with other actors and find entry points
  • Influence INGOs to join the sandbox, assess their social learning
  • Advocacy and influencing on adoption of CCSL tools and approaches
  • Fostering champions within institutions in well respected spheres of influence
  • Networking to identify key partners and donors
  • Connecting different people to find synergies to SL

2. International and regional funding institutions recognise the importance of and prioritise support for social learning in development programmes

Evidence of impact:
  • Establish value of money case for social learning (and other methods like social return on investment)
  • Evidence base to include elements of cost-benefit analysis
  • Develop evidence base that responds to buttons and levers
  • Translation of evidence base analyses
  • How does social learning speak to donor strategies
  • Demonstrate benefits of funding social learning from a donor perspective (e.g. “be a smarter donor”)
  • Understanding donor language, priorities, and political context
  • Discourse analysis of how change happens and levers to shift it
  • Demonstrate value of social learning in connecting and enhancing regional programs
Evidence of adoption:
  • Guidance on integration of social learning in to programming strategies
  • Evidence of who is interested/adopting SL and their incentives
  • Understanding incentives
  • Discussions/dialogue on the nature of funding models
  • Demonstrating how impact targets are improved
  • “Iconic Island” – Turn one large program on its head as iconic demonstration of how change can happen
  • Develop CCSL group’s capacity in policy engagement and change management (6?)
  • ‘Golf’ and other engagement activities for policy and donor community
  • Work with donors on more informed risk taking around programmatic change
  • Programmes shifting programming as tool to influence investment choice
  • Get our foot in the door of donor-harmonisation processes
  • Pilot and document funding call focusing on/including SL
  • Engagement and influencing strategy targeting donor organisations
Meta analysis of how this works/doesn’t work (influencing donor investments/priorities)

3. Institutional and policy change to support collective action across countries, organisations and communities on large-scale challenges

  • Guidance on suitable policy frameworks
  • Ideas on where social learning escalates development deliverables or helps implement mechanisms
  • Political economy analysis at regional and national level
  • Evidence of policies/institutions supporting collective action
  • Synthesis of effective science/evidence to policy linkages  key leverages, key movers and shakers
  • Capacity building on CCSL for critical actors
Engagement - in-country:
  • Locating in-country partners already working in these spaces – share learning
  • Identify and engage with programs/organizations that seem compatible with SL (stakeholder mapping)
  • Plant/connect SL with innovation systems/platforms
  • Get SL into ongoing regional platforms
  • Governance research agenda
  • CSVs engagement
  • Golf
  • Engagement processes to influence policy makers/change
Engagement – global:
  • Connect with “collective action” pundits and initiatives
  • Mapping of other players who are interested in this for various reasons
  • Identify partners who understand who understand and have capacity on political econ and advocacy for collective action

(Theme 4 "Next users change their program management approaches (design, M&E, learning) because of the influence of the CCSL approach" was later integrated with theme 1).

5. Learning on social learning is happening at a cross-institutional level

Evidence of impact:
  • Documentation processes are happening and supported
  • Establish definition of Social Learning
  • Sharing knowledge: examples of good social learning: where it works and where it doesn't
  • Systematic learning briefs based on learning at each level, and across levels
  • Sustained focus on SL with clear definition
  • Do a further literature review aligned with happy families 'finds'
  • Solicit external/sandbox inputs on gaps in evidence from case studies (gaps by insititutional level)
  • Expand SL case study framework development to all institutional levels
Tools / capacity development:
  • Sharing knowledge of who is adopting SL, how and why
  • Capacity development on M&E of SL e.g. through webinars
  • Develop best pratice toolboxes,
  • How it works, how people can use it, and how it fits into projects
  • Building capacity on SL across government departments
  • Follow-up M&E evidence workshop with systematic institutional analysis
  • Planned set of "great comms pieces"
  • Helping to present social learning to institutions / organisations
  • People doing social learning are made visible outside of their orgs
  • Distill insights from learning for various audiences (analysing their levers)
  • Organisations are open to sharing with outsiders
  • Provide / develop platforms for knowledge sharing
  • Joint outputs/events to document/synthesise learning
  • Build community of practice (in person and online)
  • Build organisations comfort with sharing with outsiders
  • Bringing communities + alliances together to put social learning in context together
  • Support from donors to encourage social learning, so work with donors
  • Develop specific partnerships to collaborate on SL research
  • Building cross institutional dialogue spaces (research level and high level)
  • Working with donors to build and get support on SL

6. CCSL is the force convening other parts?

  • Map energies and agendas around social learning
  • Mapping like-minded orgs/initiatives from evidence + influencing
  • Stakeholder mapping + key players to programs, research, policy, practice
  • Who (else) is in this space?
  • Who/how do we bring in others needed?
  • Internal influencing
  • Examine influencing needs, assess gaps + recruit/target
  • CCSL group convenes meetings about specific S.L. topics
  • Host 'flagship' convening events
  • Invite others to join CCSL core
  • CCSL initiative has members who reflect key organisations/stakeholders (gov, donor, research)
  • Engage identified small set of key movers/shakers to help drive the process
  • CCSL connects with strong thematic or action-oriented networks and organisations, join them if they're better placed (but with a 'CCSL inside' approach?)
  • Actively engage with (and plant CCSL in) other networks
  • Partnering + coalition building
  • Partner with at least two other major initiatives to share the burden
  • Early adoption by several big programs + few key donors
  • Community of practice that includes key players across practitioners, academics, policy etc.
  • Get buy-in from at least two gov'ts who champion our values/approaches
  • Target small set of donors/ int. orgs we want to influence
  • Network + collaborate with SL researchers
Comms + identity:
  • Reframing SL into other contexts
  • What can/does CCSL bring value?
  • Develop a CCSL manifesto positioning CCSL (the theme and the group)
  • Effective branding
  • Building legitimacy and endorsement
  • Has a brand/logo separate from CCAFS
  • Good comms strategy + resource for implementation to share knowledge understanding and influence
(Internal) capacity:
  • Stronger growing set of tools + guidance of peer assists for helping uptake
  • Examine capacity needs and assess gaps against resources we have
  • Develop facilitation capacity to convene CCSL
  • Enough full time people to drive programme more meaningfully
  • Properly resource team for engagement of convening with partners, groups, alliances
  • Can receive, manage account for funding
  • Growing body of evidence to connect SL methodologies with other similar methodologies
  • Synthesis of evidence base to 'sell' to different target groups
  • Publish a high impact position paper that begins to showcase the evidence and way forward
  • Develop an intellectual 'hub' for further CCSL work. Journal? Course? Chair? Programme affiliation?
  • Demonstrate value of working in adaptive management --> as part of program management,
  • Funding
  • Cash
  • Leverage resources
  • Obtain sustainable funding sources
  • What are incentives for others?
  • Identify drivers of other networks (What's In It For Me? - WIIFM)

The overall result of the main vision statements is visible here (see picture on the right hand side).

Funding / fund-raising

Funding opportunity
Dates / deadline
Other notes

Transforming (ISSC)

GIZ small grants for CGIAR

GIZ CIM grants

Funding-wise, we need to identify who are the key movers and shakers...

Further information is gathered on the Funding Opportunites page of this wiki

A fund-raising strategy

No formal proposal developed yet. We have not been very good at mobilising the time needed to respond to calls (e.g. GIP call)... The people that have been instrumental to provide inputs have not been able to provide these efforts.
What we don't have is an academic organisation that has core funding and can do this type of proposal-development. Perhaps we could find such an organisation to act as principal investigator. We started with John Enser (University of York) but he left this group for other tasks.
We may need someone that is not academic but someone who can do more engagement etc. and has more time for this. It would be good to have a backing institution that can lend the academic credibility to our group and could also lend an office. Such an organisation should be able to provide free time to spend on this work. Marissa has time but would need guidance. Cecilia Schubert can also help with this.
The CIM opportunity could buy us a body to drive the process and to take care of pulling information about fund-raising...
We have resources for it and with the right time horizon.
RSS feed monitoring to collect information about upcoming calls for funding.
Next year perhaps some of the time for Carl/Pete could go to whoever takes care of this.
But do we have the legitimacy to engage with potential donors in relation with CCAFS?
The alternative is to bring more organisations in the mix, beyond CCAFS, to expand our chances of engagement with potential funders.
We stand a real chance for the GIZ funding tracks.
From CCAFS, Sonja and Bruce can go approach funders with that CCSL hat on - we have to provide them with more weapons in their fund-raising arsenal.

ACTION: Develop ToR for the CIM position... (later developed as draft by Wiebke and Carl)

If we can pitch RBM as connected to social learning we get some more buy-in.
We have two strands: responsive fund-raising (calls for proposals) and strategic, pro-active fund-raising where we need time and champions. Perhaps we need to prioritise the strategic fund-raising... What do we need to activate latent champions to help us market CCSL work?
We need champions (strategic fund-raising), we need scientific support/credibility (for reactive fund-raising) and across the two we need administrative time to get things going.

Assets we can mobilise? Our ToC, some papers, tools and frameworks...
Our 'foot in the door' has to be very clear. Behind that we need some substance to the story (e.g. analysis of who's on board, the evidence base we're producing, our pathway to change, the way we anticipate paying for our work etc.). ==> That should go into a two-page concept note. Perhaps develop a little hand-out that updates our thinking from the original brief that Liz developed.
This 2-page pitch has to address: Why is this (social learning) essential and what do we have to bring to the table?
We could ask our champions to test out this pitch.

Tomorrow, groups will work on:
  1. the 2-pager (concept note positioning social learning) - later postponed to after the meeting.
  2. ToRs for the CIM position + fund-raising strategy (identifying champions) - later done by Carl and Wiebke
  3. the ToC further and synthesise it - later done by Ben, Blane, Ewen and Marissa
  4. the written output (academic) - later postponed to after the meeting
  5. an outcome story... - later done by Liz and Phil
Having in mind sthg that could be written collectively.

Day 3

Addressing loose issues

Ideas for CCAFS 2015 case studies and outcome stories

See the document 'Ideas for case studies and outcome stories 2015' prepared by Liz Carlile and Phil Thornton.

The M&E framework and guidance document

What questions do we aim at answering?
  • When is SL useful/beneficial?
  • What are the outcomes of Social Learning?
  • What are conditions to get SL working well? In which contexts and under what conditions does it take place successfully?
  • Does SL create spaces for more voices to be heard? How does this relate to gender and social differentiation...?
  • Is there a benefit in investing more into SL?
  • How do you deal with conflicts that arise?
  • What is the timeline at which SL starts paying off at higher scales?
We could use this work to look at development outcomes that the social learning approach may induce?
We could ask the people who have used the M&E framework what they started learning about SL, as this is not currently covered by this?

This process will continue, and the peer assist will lead to explore some of the questions above. In addition, there may be another round of action/reflection to deepen the questioning process on SL, perhaps thanks to funding or out of their interest.
ACTION: Marissa to connect with Cecilia to develop a blog post about the M&E framework and guidance document.

Yammer and the future of the sandbox?

As facilitator, this doesn't really work. It relates to the way it is designed as it is a safe organisational space. If we were to start now we probably wouldn't choose this platform.
It has really rubbish profiles. We need a lot more information about who's in there. If we go public and strategic, we need to connect with like-minded other groups. I don't know how to link up with other platforms.
The more we try to expand, go public etc. the less and less able Yammer will be able to do that.
I suggest using LinkedIn groups. It's commercially provided, it can have specific private networks.
Even if we go for the pro account it remains cheap (US 500). 95% of people on the sandbox have detailed profiles on LinkedIn.
  • Q: What are the main things people do when they go on Yammer?
  • A: Sharing resources, creating documents.
What functions do we want, what does Yammer and what does LinkedIn groups provide? If we move platforms, what would be the tradeoffs?
We are linked up with the wiki - where we could publish documents etc.
If we look for a peer-support platform, we might want more closed off conversation spaces - which can be done with (professional) LinkedIn groups.
If we ask the community to vote, we should say: these are the functionalities we know you use, here are some extra ones that we think we will use more of, this is what Yammer/LinkedIn provide... Would you be interested in using either/both?
We would have to preface what our ambitions are...
We might want to ask what are the platforms that users would totally not want to go for?
  • Q: How many of the people would become more active if we were on LinkedIn?
Maybe we're making it easier by opening up this?
We need a survey to understand the potential downsides and upsides.
If we want growth and a bigger community, we'll still have lurkers etc. Is it that at the moment Yammer is helpful for sharing docs etc. Do we need both?
It also depends on what we want: quantity? Probably more likely with LinkedIn, or engagement quality?
It may be less appealing, on the other hand, to do a peer assist on LinkedIn which can feel like a public CV...
If Yammer was re-purposed for the peer-support.
ACTION: CJ, PC, ELB, PB to come up with a note and a survey + think about administration implications about transitioning platforms...

Internal comms (+ website)

How can we communicate more often to ensure we're on track etc. What platform do we use to keep track of our work?
Good to have had different strands but we get separate activities. Having a weekly 1/2-hour meeting worked for IIED. Do we need sthg like this?
12 months ago we didn't have quarterly meetings which has helped. The most obvious thing would be to reduce the frequency of our quarterly meetings to e.g. every 2 months. And having a small newsletter could be useful. We could all share updates about our CCSL work every 4 weeks and Cecilia could compile it (and she could publish it on Yammer afterwards). And in the month that we have our bimonthly meeting we would get that news update the day before the meeting and we could focus on other issues for those bimonthly meetings.

The case of the website will follow later. So far the use of our sandbox platforms + the CCAFS website are fine. And we lack capacity to work further on the website anyway...

Finalizing the CCSL theory of change (ToC) and impact pathway (IP)

(Ben, Blane, Ewen and Marissa went through the vision statement collectively developed the day before to a) synthesize these statements, b) cluster the related activities that were suggested in broader and more coherent groups [e.g. engagement, evidence, capacity development etc.] and c) propose synthesized sets of activities that reflect the suggestions of the group).
See the results:

(This group also took on itself to address a) the networking event and b) the future of the sandbox. This group proposed the following immediate next steps to work this pair of documents out:
  • ACTION: Identify key actors according to outcome areas and activities + draft timeline of activities
  • ACTION: Create a ToC visualization and narrative (building upon the existing CCSL ToC on XLs?) adding links and relations + timeline
  • ACTION: Sort out the numbering (1-5 instead of 1-6 bar 4)
  • ACTION: Share it with this group / on CCSL sandbox
  • ACTION: Develop work plan with clear roles / responsibilities
  • ACTION: Bridge gaps / refine this ToC and update it again when the assessments and stakeholder mapping have taken place…).

Networking event

A good idea and the concept note lays out various ideas very nicely. Pre-work is required to identify what these actors would love to co-create. And crucially we need to identify funding opportunities for this to happen (which is why this workshop was tentatively planned for mid 2016). Finally, the WIIFM (what's in it for me) factor needs to be addressed clearly so there is real value for participants to attend this event. E.g.:
  • Access to upgraded toolkits leading transformative change;
  • Higher awareness of opportunities for collaboration and funding;
  • Making sense of all related networks and conversations and connecting with thought leaders in related worlds.

(Additional ideas from Ewen that were not discussed in the group):
Possible objectives
  • Identify strong related networks that connect with social learning
  • Find ways to engage in their platforms
  • Finalise and share the Happy Families brief as a way to position our agenda/language/interests (where do we cooperate where do we differ?)
  • Identify language differences and agendas of each actor/network
  • Identify opportunities of co-creation that would enthuse these actors/networks (collective)
  • Recruit/cooperate with specific scientists/specialists on the sandbox, core team, specific assignments and bits of research
    • Identify PhDs and interns’ bits of work?
Possible outcomes of this event: mapping done, differences of language identified, cross-linkages established to-from, concrete opportunities for collaboration identified and prioritized (feeding into funding proposals?). We could even do this as an ongoing event, every 1 or 2 years, to revisit the links)...

Future of the sandbox (2)

Currently there are clear opportunities from the ToC that are compatible with the sandbox function. In practice, it’s already working beyond Yammer and the wiki… There is no rationale for giving up on it but it will require some adjustments:
  • What level of facilitation do we need for this? What model of CoP engagement are we seeking?  higher technology stewarding levels? More time for this?
  • We have this question mark about the LinkedIn group? What will be the most engaging platform for all these (new) actors engaged? The assessment about Yammer should be expanded towards the whole sandbox, looking at extra functionalities…
    • Perhaps an option is that Sandbox as the collaborative / co-creating (VIP) space (for peer assistees), but use another space to share/inform etc. in a lighter way… mostly automated etc.
  • Do we or don’t we want to provide strict guidance on what you should do when you work in one space etc.  What’s the suggested approach for storing content?
  • The direction we’re suggesting is pointing towards a different model of membership, going for quality but growing it up. We may need to update the membership policy… This links nicely with the networking event…
  • Practically, we could/should connect wherever appropriate: e.g. with M&E framework: documentation on the wiki, interactions via emails but occasionally on Yammer, peer-assists and mentoring mentioned on Yammer and documented on wiki… but happening on email…
Some longer term question remains: What are our strategies to engage more people more deeply?

(The case of 'Institutional learning and results-based management - to be led by Philip - was not discussed as we all felt it had been raised and did not need more specific time).

Action planning

(For the final session of the work-and-writeshop we used the results from the ToC and IP group to plot the activities on a timeline from 2015 to end 2017 and assess the relative importance or urgency of these activities. We also agreed that at the next team meeting - planned for Tuesday 13 January 4-5pm EAT) we would report back on the action points related to the work we did in smaller groups.

The result of this action planning is visible here on this picture:


and on this spreadsheet:
Additional notes were written up here (and were merged with these).