Taking Learning Beyond the Hotel Conference Room

In an effort to better understand the challenge of new idea implementation, Results for Development (R4D) spoke to over 120 members of the WASH
Impact Network—an innovative group of WASH program implementers in India and East Africa. The insights captured from these conversations can
help guide funders, partners, and implementers on the journey from learning to implementation.

The Monday morning problem refers to the challenges that occur between learning about a new idea and implementing it successfully.

For the WASH program implementers we spoke to, the Monday morning problem looks like this:

  • Lack of support and follow up after learning events
  • Lack of time and resources
  • Fear of failing
  • Organizational structures that prevent staff contribution
  • Short project timelines
  • Lack of skilled and trained staff
  • Lack of adaptable and relevant tools
  • Inflexible funder requirements

Cultivating Organizational Learning and Flexibility

CONSIDERATIONS FOR PROGRAM IMPLEMENTERS

  • Empower staff at all levels to contribute
  • Provide time and resources for staff to learn and test new ideas
  • Embrace learning from failure
  • Establish a process for regularly generating and sharing new ideas as a team
  • Seek collaborative funders and partners

Download the WASH Implementers Brief

CONSIDERATIONS FOR PARTNERS

  • Resource local implementing partners for long-term learning and growth
  • Promote the work of local implementing partners
  • Cultivate long-term, collaborative relationships with local implementing partners
  • Design learning events that are participatory and focused on building relationships
  • Contribute to the training and development of local staff

Download the WASH Partners Brief

CONSIDERATIONS FOR FUNDERS AND INVESTORS

  • Allow for flexibility in workplans, timelines, and program activities
  • Involve implementers in decisions that will affect them, and listen to feedback
  • Fund new or experimental approaches, and give permission to fail
  • Provide unrestricted funding to invest in systems and staff

Download the WASH Funders Brief

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