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  • Writer's pictureClara Richards

Lessons learned: harvesting the fruits of collaborative work and reflection

Here it is! Our announced paper, conducted jointly with CIPPEC and GDNet, is ready to be read (and hopefully and even better, used)!  In it, we share 20 lessons that emerged from six years of work under the programme Spaces for Engagement. Through reflections among the team and with colleagues and participants we are now able to better know and share what has worked better, what can be enhanced in the future, and what type of activities yield what type of results and outcomes in our field.


In fact, the most valuable lessons presented in the study would not have been possible to learn without dialogue and interaction with others. This paper is a product of continuous collective thinking: it is not what we have learned just by ourselves but what we have reflected upon, digested, discussed and discovered by talking with other colleagues and experts, asking for their feedback, encouraging them to question and challenge us, asking about what could be different or improved in the future.

The production of the paper was guided by 3 main goals:

  1. To better reflect on what has worked and what has not in terms of the key activities of the SFE programme: research production, capacity development and networking and partnerships.

  2. To produce valuable evidence that can guide strategic design of future work by the diverse partners of the programme

  3. To share this knowledge with organisations/persons working in this field.

As we affirmed in this previous post announcing the paper, we are glad to affirm that we have been able to achieve 1 & 2 because we have been able to draw some important conclusions on what works better in this field and what is more challenging. Based on this, we have a new capacity building map for future activities to be developed by the partners.

In terms of goal 3, you will let us know if we have been able to effectively share what we have learned with you and others. Please comment and send feedback, questions, and ideas. We will also write on each lesson separately so those who have not time/interest to go through the whole paper, keep coming. Our plan is to delve into each lesson -sometimes having some specific guest posts from others who have worked with us, who can challenge us, who do similar type of work, or fund it. We believe in the co-production of knowledge so, if we are good enough in starting a conversation, we will end up with better lessons for all.

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