A LESSONS LEARNT WORKSHOP
African folklore is laden with a lot of moral lesson learning. Most African stories end with a moral lesson, which is a significant part of the African culture. These lessons are woven around themes like forgiveness, patience, hardwork, excellence, tolerance, leadership, and collaboration. These moral lessons serve the purpose of guiding, prescribing, and defining behavior with aim of building a strong and vibrant social fabric.
As an organisation situated in Africa, WACSI’S core values are built around some of the above-mentioned themes. Couple of our core values include leadership, collaboration and diversity. These values are incorporated in our organisational activities to ensure a disciplined, excellence-driven and motivated team. As an organisation that strives to improve performance, a number of measures have been laid out towards achieving this goal. An archetype of these initiatives is the Lessons Learnt documentation. WACSI has a strong tradition of documenting its successes and failures in both operations and programmes. These lessons may either be positive or negative but, in the end, enable the institute to capitalise and consolidate its strengths and improve where it is lacking or falling short.
Spearheading the process of learning in WACSI is the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit (ME&L). The Unit has developed online forms, which can be completed by staff at anytime and anywhere provided they have access to internet. These lessons are collated on a quarterly basis and disseminated. Additionally, on a biannual basis, lessons learnt reflection workshops are held for staff to brainstorm on the issues and lessons that have been captured. They also provide solutions in form of actions to take and assign specific units or officers responsible for undertaking these tasks within stipulated timelines.
In line with this, lessons learnt reflection workshop was held on the 1st March 2022. The training session commenced with Franck Sombo, the head of ME&L unit highlighting key importance, challenges and proposed solutions of lessons drawing. Staff were assigned to four groups to discuss the different emerging categories of lessons learnt. Each group was given the task of identifying and prioritizing two key issues among the catalogue of lessons and to spell out action required to address these issues, unit or person responsible and timelines. A rapporteur from each group presented findings on behalf of the group and opportunity was given for questions and answers.
Colleagues’ keen participation during the session proved it was a success. Personally, I think no stone was left unturned as I learnt that taking time to document is as important for me as it is for the organisation I work in. This workshop gave me the opportunity to brainstorm and collaborate with other colleagues from various units.
Afterall the best way to learn is to reflect on your experiences and learn from them to make improvement and progress. Like Richelle E. Goodrich said “Many times what we perceive as an error or failure is a gift. And eventually we find that lessons learned from that discouraging experience prove to be of great worth.”
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