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Learning for Development: A literature review

Author(s): Pasteur, K.
Publication Date: 2004

This literature review results from the collaboration of ActionAid, DFID, Sida and the Participation Group at the Institute of Development Studies to explore understandings of learning and to document innovative approaches.

The starting point of this literature review is that organisational learning is increasingly being viewed as key to improving development performance and impact. However, there remains confusion around what the term means and how it translates into practice.

Therefore, this literature review aims to provide some insight in this area. More specifically, it aims to:

  • Highlight the importance of learning in the context of the current development environment.
  • Briefly summarise literature on knowledge, learning and the learning organisation from both the corporate and the development sectors.
  • Develop an understanding of learning as reflection and reflexivity.
  • Review a number of key theories which help to inform an improved understanding of learning as reflection and reflexivity.
  • Explore some of the organisational implications for institutionalising this type of learning.