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Learning for Peace Olivier Serrat


The views expressed in this presentation are the views of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Asian Development Bank, or its Board of Governors, or the governments they represent. ADB does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this presentation and accepts no responsibility for any consequence of their use. The countries listed in this presentation do not imply any view on ADB's part as to sovereignty or independent status or necessarily conform to ADB's terminology.

Fragile States and Situations

DFID and OECD define fragile states by their (in)ability to provide basic services to the poor as a result of lack of political will or weak capacity, or both. CIDA, UNDP, and USAID define fragile states by the extent to which they are (un)able to provide basic functions for poverty reduction and development, including territorial authority and political legitimacy.
The World Bank defines fragile situations in terms of a debilitating combination of weak governance, weak policies, and weak institutions. To ADB, states are fragile when their structures lack the political will and/or capacity to provide the basic functions needed for poverty reduction, development, and to safeguard the security and human rights of populations.

The Challenge of Peacebuilding

Peacebuilders work in highly-charged crisis settings that require both immediate action and long-term efforts to produce change in root causes.
Deep-seated conflicts can suddenly spiral into unexpected violence, destroying months or years of peacebuilding work. Peace is the outcome of a harmonious convergence of activities and actors in different spheres and at different levels. It hinges on relationships and trust.

Peace- and State-Building

Peacebuilding agendas focus on peace processes. They give incentives to protagonists to commit to agreements that build processes for political, social, and economic transition.
State-building agendas focus on the nature and quality of the political processes through which state-society and power relations are negotiated. They reflect the need for a stable, legitimate, and effective state that offers basic services, security, access to justice, and the foundation for economic development.

Both peacebuilders and state-builders aim to establish and/or strengthen institutions and arrangements that
are acceptable to a majority of actors; and

can generate a legitimate political center.

The Contribution of State-Building Approaches to Peacebuilding

In fragile settings, national reconciliation through a peace process must be accompanies by the construction of
A state that is perceived as legitimate against a backdrop of mistrust, resentment, and/or antagonism;

Institutions that serve the public good rather than the interests of the powerful; and
Mutually reinforcing linkages between state and society that sustain an effective and resilient public sphere.. State-building and peacebuilding approaches share complementarities in terms of forging more peaceful, inclusive, representative, effective, and legitimate states and societies. Multidimensional peacebuilding goes beyond the military.

The Dimensions of Conflict

Personal Dimensions Conflict changes individuals, personally, emotionally, and spiritually. Relational Dimensions When conflict escalates, communication patterns change, stereotypes are created, polarization increases, and trust decreases. Cultural Dimensions Violent conflict causes deep-seated cultural changes, for example in the norms that guide interactions among the young and the elderly, or men and women.

Structural Dimensions Conflict impacts systems and structureshow relationships are organized and who has access to poweramong families, communities, entire societies, and their institutions.

The Dimensions of Conflict

Personal Dimensions Attitudinal changes Behavioral changes Relational Dimensions Communications Decision making Cooperation Conflict handling mechanisms

Structural Dimensions Social conditions Procedural patterns

Cultural Dimensions Cultural changes Cultural resources and patterns Programs and activities

The Steel Fulcrum

Public debate over governance grows out of concern over the principles by which an economy ought to be governed. British artist Max Couper created a massive installation on the subject of balance that he displayed in Dusseldorf in 1997 and at the European Parliament in Brussels in 1998. The installation involved a 30 ton London barge on a steel fulcrum, sprung at each end and pivoted by the body weight of the public. The artwork can be seen as a simple metaphor of society as a room in which we are all together, a society whose equilibrium and future direction is determined by the way in which we decide to walk together.
Source: Summarized from Peter Schwartz and Blair Gibb. 1999. When Good Companies Do Bad Things. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Reflective Peacebuilding for Learning

A theory is an assumption about how something works. In the peacebuilding context, demystifying social change theory means making explicit underlying assumptions about how things work; and how particular actions or processes engender consequences in environments of conflict and change.

Peacebuilding opens opportunities for learning. Continuous learning requires that peacebuilders be curious. To test theory one must be annoyingly inquisitive, descriptive, comparative, predictive, systemic, and wide. To remystify practice one must keep asking why, listen to "because", watch out for the unexpected, hold discussions with different people, and embrace failure.

Reflective Peacebuilding for Learning

Every Single One of Us Working in Teams As a Community


I ask questions. Inquiring minds are welcome here.

We check first to see what already exists.

We question accepted wisdom.


I contextualize learning to make it real.

We connect and take opportunities to learn. We share experience, evidence, and feedback.

We review lessons as we go and apply our learning. We share achievements, outcomes, and pride.


I share personal details, roles, and skills.

Reflective Peacebuilding for Learning

The circumstances in which peacebuilders operate can hinder their ability to plan, act, reflect, and apply learn. Learning is digesting.
Peacebuilding is greatly enhanced by reflective learning.

Reflective Peacebuilding for Learning

The benefits for peacebuilding of a learning approach include creative thinking and responses amongst staff and partners; enhanced relevance and effectiveness of projects and programs; projects and programs that respond to unexpected events; opportunities to strengthen relationships and partnerships; opportunities to enhance organizational capacity and maximize limited staff and financial resources.

The Link Between Learning and Practice

improves Practice

Conflict Transformation in the local and regional contexts

On Data, Information, and Knowledge

Data are discrete and objective facts, measurements, or observations that can be analyzed to generate information. Information is data that have been categorized, analyzed, summarized, and placed in context in a form that has structure and meaning.
Knowledge is a combination of data and information, to which is added expert opinion, skills, and experience, resulting in a valuable asset that aids decision making. Knowledge is what you learn from experiencebefore, during, and after the event.

Knowledge Assets
Tacit Knowledge
is Knowledge that people carry in their heads. is rooted in skills, experiences, insights, intuition, and judgment. is hard to communicate but can be shared in discussions, storytelling, and personal interactions.

Explicit Knowledge is codified knowledge. can be expressed in writing, drawings, computer programs, etc. can be transmitted in various forms.

Knowledge Assets
Explicit Knowledge = Media-based
Paper-based, multimedia, digitally indexed, digitally active, etc.

Tacit Knowledge = In people's head

Core Knowledge Activities

Core knowledge activities are identified as widely used by an organization. Requirements 1. Activities should be aligned or integrated into business processes. 2. Activities should be balanced according to the specificities of each process and organization.
Identify Knowledge Create Knowledge

Use Knowledge

Store Knowledge

A knowledge management solution should not focus only on one or two activities in isolation.

Share Knowledge

Knowledge Management
Knowledge management is
The explicit and systematic management of processes enabling vital individual and collective knowledge resources to be identified, created, stored, shared, and used for benefit.

The fusion of information management and organizational learning.

Providing the right knowledge to the right people at the right time, and helping them apply it in ways that improve organizational performance.

Knowledge Management Architecture

Society Economy Environment Polity Technology

Strategic Framework
Leadership Organization Technology Learning





Multiple Disciplines, including

Management Science Organizational Development Computer Science Cognitive Psychology

Knowledge Management Architecture

Pillar Function Typical Activity Identify knowledge critical to learning in ADB. Conduct work-centered analysis. Plan high-level strategic approach. Establish goal and prioritize objectives. Define requirements and develop measurement program. Promote values and norms. Implement strategy. Identify critical knowledge gaps, opportunities, and risks. Develop business process model. Engage key audiences with incentives. Enhance system integration and access. Deploy intelligent agents for people. Exploit semantic technologies. Reuse existing capabilities in new ways. Monitor, measure, and report knowledge performance metrics. Enliven collaboration. Facilitate communities of practice. Encourage storytelling. Recognize and reward knowledge sharing. Leadership Drive values for knowledge management.


Organize to support values for knowledge management.


Collect and connect knowledge.


Cultivate and utilize virtual teams and exchange forums for knowledge management.

Learning is the acquisition of knowledge or skills through study, experience, or instruction. Learning is an integral part of knowledge management and its ultimate end. Learning is driven by organization, people, knowledge, and technology working in harmonyurging better and faster learning and increasing the relevance of an organization.

Model of Learning Progression

Data Information Knowledge Wisdom Know What Know How Know Why



Results-Driven Management Model

Own Future State Use



Strong Personal Connection Intensifies

Current State


Areas of Competence
Strategy Development

Management Techniques

Collaboration Mechanisms

Knowledge Sharing and Learning

Knowledge Capture and Storage

The Five Competencies Framework

Strategy Development - A strategy is a long-term plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. Management Techniques - Leadership is the process of working out the right things to do. Management is the process of doing things right. Collaboration Mechanisms - When working with others, efforts sometimes turn out to be less than the sum of the parts. Too often, not enough attention is paid to facilitating effective collaborative practices. Knowledge Sharing and Learning - Two-way communications that take place simply and effectively build knowledge. Knowledge Capture and Storage - Knowledge leaks in various ways at various times.

Tools, Methods, and Approaches for Peacebuilding

Strategy Development
Auditing Knowledge Building a Learning Organization Building Institutional Capacity for Development Creating and Running Partnerships Culture Theory Design Thinking Linking Research to Practice Marketing in the Public Sector Outcome Mapping Overcoming Roadblocks to Learning Reading the Future Seeking Feedback on Learning for Change

Enhancing Knowledge Management Strategies

From Strategy to Practice Learning Lessons with Knowledge Audits

Social Network Analysis

The Future of Social Marketing The Most Significant Change Technique The Sustainable Livelihoods Approach




Tools, Methods, and Approaches for Peacebuilding

Management Techniques
A Primer on Organizational Culture A Primer on Organizational Learning A Primer on Talent Management Notions of Knowledge Management

Output Accomplishment and the Design and Monitoring Framework

Picking Investments in Knowledge Management Seeding Knowledge Solutions Before, During, and After Sparking Innovations in Management The Five Whys Technique The Perils of Performance Measurement

Conducting Effective Meetings

Crafting a Knowledge Management Results Framework Engaging Staff in the Workplace Fast and Effective Change Management Focusing on Project Metrics Forestalling Change Fatigue Growing Managers, Not Bosses

The Reframing Matrix

The Roots of an Emerging Discipline The SCAMPER Technique Understanding and Developing Emotional Intelligence

Leading Top Talent in the Workplace

Managing by Walking Around Managing Knowledge Workers New-Age Branding and the Public Sector

Understanding Complexity
Value Cycles for Development Outcomes

Tools, Methods, and Approaches for Peacebuilding

Collaboration Mechanisms
Action Learning Appreciative Inquiry A Primer on Corporate Values
Learning in Strategic Alliances Managing Virtual Teams Sparking Social Innovations Wearing Six Thinking Hats Working in Teams

A Primer on Neuroscience
Bridging Organizational Silos Building Communities of Practice Building Trust in the Workplace

Collaborating with Wikis

Distributing Leadership Drawing Mind Maps Enriching Knowledge Management Coordination

Exercising Servant Leadership

Improving Sector and Thematic Reporting Informal Authority in the Workplace Leading in the Workplace

Tools, Methods, and Approaches for Peacebuilding

Knowledge Sharing and Learning
Asking Effective Questions Building Networks of Practice Coaching and Mentoring Learning and Development for Management

Learning from Evaluation

Posting Research Online Social Media and the Public Sector Storytelling Using Plain English

Conducing Peer Assists

Conducting After-Action Reviews and Retrospects Conducting Effective Presentations Conducting Successful Retreats

Dimensions of the Learning Organization

Disseminating Knowledge Products Drawing Learning Charters E-learing and the Workplace

Embracing Failure
Enriching Policy with Research Harnessing Creativity in the Workplace Identifying and Sharing Good Practices

Tools, Methods, and Approaches for Peacebuilding

Knowledge Capture and Storage
Assessing the Effectiveness of Assistance in Capacity Development Conducting Exit Interviews Critical Incident Technique Glossary of Knowledge Management Harvesting Knowledge Monthly Progress Notes Showcasing Knowledge Staff Profile Pages Taxonomies for Development Writing Weblogs

Knowledge Management and Learning Milestones in ADB

Knowledge Management in ADB moves ADB to improve its organizational culture, management systems, business processes and information technology solutions, communities of practice, and learning and development mechanisms.
Enhancing Knowledge Management under Strategy 2020: Action Plan for 2009-2011 delivers knowledge solutions and knowledge services from four strategic thrusts: Sharpening the knowledge focus in operations Empowering communities of practice Strengthening external knowledge partnerships Further enhancing staff learning skills development

Knowledge Management and Learning Milestones in ADB

Sharpening the Knowledge Focus in ADB's Operations (Add value at regional, country, and project levels)

Empowering the Communities of Practice (Collaborate for knowledge generation and sharing)

Strengthening External Knowledge Partnerships (Align and leverage external knowledge)

Further Enhancing Staff Learning and Skills Development (Enhance opportunities for staff to learn)

Knowledge Management and Learning Milestones in ADB

Building a Knowledge-Centric Organization

Extending and Sustaining Knowledge Management and Learning

Full Implementation

Pilots and Measures

Change Management

Information and Communication Technologies Awareness Strategy

Organizational Design, Culture, and Learning Target Areas

Communities and Networks of Practice and Learning Alliances

Knowledge Taxonomy


The Promise of Knowledge Management and Learning

Performance Tomorrow




Performance Today

Clarifying Knowledge Management and Learning Strategies

Sharpening the Knowledge Focus in ADBs Operations

Empowering the Communities of Practice

Strengthening External Knowledge Partnerships

Further Enhancing Staff Learning and Skills Development

Promoting Knowledge Management and Learning

Promoting Knowledge Management and Learning

Further Reading
ADB. 2009. A Primer on Organizational Learning. Available: ADB. 2009. Building A Learning Organization. Available: ADB. 2009. Dimensions of the Learning Organization. Available: ADB. 2010. Compendium of Knowledge Solutions. Available: ADB. 2010. Learning in Development. Available: ADB. 2011. Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations. Available: Catholic Relief Services. 2007. Reflective Peacebuilding A Planning, Monitoring, and Learning Toolkit. Available: Overseas Development Institute. 2009. State-Building for Peace - A New Paradigm for International Engagement in Post-Conflict Fragile States. Available:

Knowledge Management Center

Olivier Serrat
Principal Knowledge Management Specialist Knowledge Management Center Regional and Sustainable Development Department Asian Development Bank