IFAD scales innovations through the ‘Learning Routes’

by Valentina Gullotta Sauve 

On 27 October, IFAD held an informal lunch‐time seminar on the “Learning Routes” as a knowledge management and capacity building tool to scale up best practices and innovations during the “Scaling Up the Fight against Rural Poverty” Event.

Ariel Halpern (PROCASUR) and Roberto Haudry (IFAD) ‐ with the intervention of  Paineto Baluku from Uganda (Bukonzo Cooperative, partner of PROCASUR)‐ presented PROCASUR and the learning routes methodology showing how knowledge sharing can open learning and innovation scale up spaces.

PROCASUR started as a Latin America and Caribbean regional training programme for IFAD and it is now, fifteen years later working at a global scale, implementing Learning Route Programmes for Latin America, East and Southern Africa and Asia and Pacific divisions of IFAD.

PROCASUR’s objective is to feed learning loops by making visible the voices of the ones that are invisible.

‘Already being in this room is an achievement for PROCASUR’, Ariel said, because it is an opportunity to make visible an approach and a movement to which many partners are involved and engaged. The LR is a methodology but also a way to promote rural development knowledge market with a positive inclusion of project staff and grass root organizations learning and local champions: this methodology is allowing IFAD projects approaches and tools to stay after closed, being recreated, adapted and expanded.

Helen Gillman from IFAD intervened underlining the fact that the Learning Routes are not just field trips or study tour, but a systematized journey with an intensive learning process, considering carefully the design, implementation and follow up phase.

Replying to Johannes Linn’s final question on how PROCASUR see itself in 5 years from now, it was explained that PROCASUR wants to keep the strategic partnership with IFAD on its expansion process and complement each other role.

Next 5 years vision is to reach out an increasing number of rural people in the Global South offering and demanding knowledge and skills generated by practicing rural poverty in the front line. Establishing this network, or hub as Ariel calls it, bring to a successful adaptation and adoption of the Learning Route methodology to the regional settings where IFAD is operating.
Check this cartoon to understand what a is Learning Route is and visit PROCASUR site in Spanish and English