Working towards institutionalization

Jorge Chavez-Tafur

For almost three years, the “Capitalization of Experiences for Greater Impact in Rural Development” project has been working with projects and organizations in different parts of the world, validating an experience capitalization approach as an efficient way to look back at a particular development initiative, to document it and share lessons, and to encourage their adoption. More than 400 participants have gone through the different steps involved, and completed a capitalization process. But the main objective of the project was not to complete a set of processes. More ambitiously, it was to encourage the adoption of the approach: its regular use by these projects and organizations, and therefore the regular identification of lessons and recommendations.

Largely as a result of the work done by many facilitators, it is now possible to see many cases where this institutionalization process is already taking place. With the specific purpose of analysing these cases in detail, CTA organised a workshop in Amsterdam during the third week of February 2019. This meeting was meant to help identify the main factors behind an effective institutionalization initiative, and to help CTA share them with all those involved in the project and with all those interested in starting a new experience capitalization process. A total of 25 persons joined this workshop, representing the organizations, countries and regions involved in the project during the past three years.

Where are we now?
Before coming to Amsterdam, all participants had prepared a draft document presenting the steps taken by their organizations to adopt the experience capitalization approach, and showing the results seen so far. These show the need to organise an internal awareness-raising campaign, ensuring there is a common understanding of the approach within the organization; to organise a regular capacity development programme; to organise monthly seminars, and invite all staff members; prepare a “how-to” guidebook; or include experience capitalization in the performance indicators in each unit. Some opinions are summarised here:


© 2018, 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.