“We often lack the opportunities to join international capacity building activities, because not many of these are done in Portuguese,” Daniel Simango said. Simango is one of the participants in the Lusophone Experience Capitalization cluster of the Experience Capitalisation project. People from different parts of Mozambique and Brazil joined in Maputo in May and July for two workshops on experience capitalization, which were conducted entirely in Portuguese.
The group consisted mostly of women and men working in IFAD-funded projects in Mozambique and Brazil, but also others involved in rural development – including two participants from UNDP Mozambique, one from the University Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo, one from the Farmer’s Union UCAMA in Mozambique and one from the Semear programme in Brazil. Like in the other clusters of the project, the workshop followed a learning-by-doing approach, where all participants focus on their own work as an exercise to learn the methodology, and as a way to end this process with a written article on their selected cases.
Like in other regions, the first workshop focused on the experience capitalization process, while the second was dedicated to writing down the lessons learned. In the few weeks in between the two workshops, the participants returned to their projects and collected and organized the necessary information. Because the iMark learning module on Experience Capitalization is not available in Portuguese, we made use of the resources of the Brazilian organization AS-PTA, who have been working with a similar approach (www.aspta.br.com).
The Lusophone cluster was different from the other clusters in a few other ways. Firstly, the time in between the two workshops was very short, but also the remote support and pressure was more intense. As a result, all participants managed to submit their work for review before the second workshop. Almost all participants came to the second workshop with the first draft of their articles. Secondly, we took a moment every day to sit around a ‘fire’ in a circle, to share two of the stories being written about by the participants. This was a moment for exchange, but also to practice getting to the core of the story in a short time, and understanding the most important lesson from each case.
This workshop followed the model and approach tried before, but the context in which it took place, the facilitation and support team, the slight changes we made to the programme, and the participants themselves, all helped draw specific lessons. Some of these lessons can be found in the links to the right.