Once a month we’d like to share a small snippet of our work with you, some aspect of how we work that makes the difference.

In practice. 

Issue Nº 8, June 2022
Hello fellow people!

It’s exciting, brimming with promise, messy, challenging, sometimes fun, and often frustrating but after the last file is saved and the project is handed off (and after we’ve had that good post-project rest), leave us with deep satisfaction.

What am I talking about? Working with clients to develop adult learning experiences for a social and behavioral change! Design for adult learning experience can serve a wide variety of purposes and projects. It can support the development of something structured like a curriculum or program guidance, a semi-structured guide or toolkit, or resources for flexible or asynchronous delivery such as a compendium of training materials or microlearning resources.

Learning experience development projects are complex, full of twists and turns, ups and downs. As designers, we hold and navigate the space between technical expertise (subject matter expertise) and the learner’s context, wisdom, and experience (lived experience). This is an exciting space and while there are a few stellar resources that have informed our practice, there is not a codified or defined process, largely because each project is unique, and the work we do is not in our W.E.I.R.D. context that most of the resources have been developed for, and the “process” is not linear.

We find that learning experience design is not well understood in our broader field of international development and social and behavior change, even by those who may have been developing programs and materials for a long time! So, it’s a good thing that we have a practice of reflecting together during a project to make explicit what we are doing, explore together ways of working that facilitate these kinds of projects, and debriefing projects after completion to talk about the process, the challenges, what emerged, and what we need to do differently or make more explicit next time. We are always learning.
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In this newsletter, we share with you two articles that we wrote in recent times, which offer thoughts on the many spaces that learning projects go through from concept to launch mapping out.
  • In our piece on the phases of curriculum design, we talk not only about the work that is needed to develop learning experiences that deliver on their promise and purpose, but the kind of expertise that is needed in each space, approaches, and tools we find effective for that space, and some of the pitfalls and challenges.
  • In our second piece, we dial back to reflect on how long it takes to develop a quality learning experience. Or, we tell you why we sometimes feel like we are racing toward ever higher expectations against erosion on a slippery pavement with an ever narrowing path!  

Hit reply, we’d love to hear from you!

In joy

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Learn by Doing

In recent times, we worked on developing a curriculum for a diverse range of requirements. Have a look at our work:
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IGNITE Gender and Nutrition Training Compendium
We streamlined and resolved a reoccurring challenge for Tanager by standardizing a core set of training materials to support IGNITE’s goal of providing quality technical information on integrating gender and nutrition into African agribusiness practices.

Learn more >>

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Child Optimized Financial Education
A financial literacy curriculum was falling short for families with children, missing key considerations and implications when prioritizing and managing money. We guided the adaptation of CRS’s Financial Education for families, particularly families living with HIV or who are otherwise vulnerable. 

Learn more >>
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INSPIRE Adaptation and Scale Up Guide
The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children wanted to provide guidance on how to scale and adapt their seven evidence-based strategies for any INSPIRE country worldwide. We developed a guide and tools for adaptation and scale to support national coordinating groups to 1) adapt INSPIRE frameworks and strategies for ending violence against children to their local contexts and 2) implement programs that bring INSPIRE strategies to life.

Learn more >> 

Catch Up

We have been writing on a wide variety of topics that inspire and influence us and our work. If you missed a recent post from us, here’s a quick list for you to bookmark. 
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Outcome Harvesting

This has been a hot topic for a few years now. It is one of only a few complexity-aware approaches to monitoring and evaluation named by USAID, you’ve likely heard it mentioned.


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Hiring in the Times of The Great Resignation

Recognizing that we are not yet living in a post-capitalist reality, we knew we had to find a way to do business differently within a system that was not built for vulnerability, contribution, and care.

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Checklist for Low Literacy Design

Do your materials communicate across languages? Do they speak to the right audience? Are they easy to use and understand? Not sure? We can help! Here is a free checklist to guide your design!


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Dancing with Complexity

The description of complexity aligns with what I experienced as a frontline social worker, they tell a more accurate story of my experiences evaluating program outcomes, and it gives me a clear frame that fits for designing to shift social norms and behaviors.


Make Use of Us

We love what we do. We are always ready to explore a new project, challenge, or working relationship. Here are a few ideas on how to engage with us:
  • Considering a learning project and need help scoping it or road mapping its development? 
  • Toolkits, training compendiums, and learning materials, we love to design flexible learning supports, with or without the wrap-around guidance. 
  • Have a multisession behavior change or applied learning program to refresh, or create anew? We’d love to help create learner-centered facilitation guidance and supporting materials. 
“The ups and downs you experience along the way [as you design] are core to the feeling of learning: it's an often exciting, sometimes scary, always fruitful way of engaging with the world when you don't yet know the answers or outcomes but have a hunch that your creativity can contribute in some way." 

From the book Creative Acts for Curious People

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