Scaling best development experiences through the “Learning Routes” in Nepal

Kathmandu, 3 April 2013: A 10 day field-based training program called “Learning Routes” was opening for implementation in Kathmandu, Nepal today. Co-organised by PROCASUR and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Nepal, the program focuses on main theme of “Women empowerment, new businesses and sustainable resources management”. It is intended as a knowledge management and capacity building tool to scale up best practices and innovations.

Over thirty participants, with more than half of them are women from 4 different projects take part in the Learning. They include High Value Agriculture Project (HVAP), Poverty Alleviation Fund (PAF), Leasehold Forestry and Livestock Programme (LFLP) and West Upland Poverty Alleviation Project (WUPAP). All participants are ready to play their part in an action-packed journey that will take them to Kavre, Chitwan and Kapilvastu districts between 3 and 11 April 2013.

Ms Sajada Khatun, from PAF said she is extremely excited about the learning opportunity and the week ahead. “This is the first time I am participating in this Learning Route program. I hope to learn about new approaches, good practices in planning and implementation of projects to better improve the lives of poor farmers and communities”, she said.

“Learning Routes can be an effective learning mechanism for us all”, acknowledged Mr Rajendra Drasad Bahri, Project Manager of HVAP who serves the opening panel of the event. “At community level, farmers will learn about the methodological approach to expose and document knowledge which could be helpful for them to improve their livelihoods. At policy-making level, it should help develop and institutionalize a system that enhances dissemination of best practices and innovation for their scale-up at regional or national level”, he said.

According to PROCASUR, the Learning Route is a way to promote rural development knowledge market that positively includes learning among project staff, grass root organizations and local champions. This will continue after the end of the journey itself, allowing development projects the methods and tools to adapt and expand innovations and best solutions for the rural poor communities.
The end goal is for the local participants to become more effective and strategic in their own context. The Learning Route encourages each participant to come up with a concrete innovation plan for actions. Mr Bashu Aryal, IFAD Country Programme Officer in Nepal stressed that “sharing and learning from successful experiences is the ultimate goal of all learning organizations. I do hope that through “Learning Routes”, participants will be able view things from very different eyes and perspectives so that they come back with proven solutions to address poverty in Nepal while improving efficiency and sustainability of all our projects”.

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Lam Pham, KM & Communication Specialist, IFAD VietNam