VBNK is a capacity building support provider established in Cambodia eight years ago. Within VBNK the working definition of learning is ‘the process of acquiring knowledge from a variety of sources and experiences and using that knowledge in a way that results in positive change. It is a way of life, not an add-on activity’. This applies both to individuals and the organisation. VBNK has been grappling with the issues of individual and organisational learning (OL) for a number of years and is still ‘learning how to learn’.
At a recent meeting of the Catalyst Group of INTRAC’s Praxis Programme, VBNK presented a reflection on its experiences of working on OL in the Cambodian context. This was followed by a group discussion to explore the challenges that local culture and culturally based attitudes towards learning present for the civil society sector in terms of being learning organisations. During the discussion, capacity building specialists from Kenya, Uganda, North America, Cambodia, Denmark, the UK, Hungary, the Caribbean, Peru and France all shared their different perspectives on the purpose and value of learning in The Catalyst Group is an advisory group for the Praxis Programme. The members are all capacity building specialists from around the world.
This Praxis Note summarises both VBNK’s presentation and the rich discussion that followed, in order to share these reflections with others.