Defining the goal first

Laura Eggens

Why do an experience capitalization process? The answer to this question may be different for everyone

For a communications officer it may be sharing (critical) success stories; for an M&E officer it may be getting qualitative data to add to the existing numbers; for technical staff it may be trying to improve practices; or for a program manager it may be planning for a more cost-efficient new phase of a project. And the reasons may also differ based on the type of organization you work in, the timing, the political context, etc. In Ghana, we emphasized the importance of first identifying such reasons. These objectives will help decide on the experience you want to focus on. It will also help, during the analysis, to decide on which “lenses” you want to use for your reflection.

Group discussion, workshop in Accra

Using a word like ‘objective’ in an experience capitalization process needs to be done with some care, as the workshop in Ghana proved. Because when we talk about an ‘objective for doing experience capitalization’, we are talking about a different objective from the ‘objective for the intervention’ we are looking at, i.e. the objective of the experience. This is a lesson that is relevant for many parts of the process, to keep separating the information we are gathering and organizing about the experience, and about the experience capitalization process. In the same way we come across ‘challenges’ in the experience (e.g. hesitant farmers, poor equipment, heavy rains, etc.), and ‘challenges’ in the experience capitalization process (e.g. lack of time to go back to the field, unsupportive management, etc.). Another example is the ‘time’ spent on the experience capitalization process, or the ‘time’ in which the experience took place.

© 2016, CTA. Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation

CTA is a joint institution operating under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement between the ACP Group of States (Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific) and the EU Member States (European Union). CTA is funded by the European Union.