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Reflective Review

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Self-Reflection
As they are intervening in complex human systems, capacity-development practitioners need to be flexible, adaptable and willing to learn from what they do. An important source of learning in real time is the processes and results of monitoring and evaluation (M&E). Bruce Britton explains M&E activities as they are commonly pursued and explores creative ways in which practitioners can use them for personal learning and selfreflection. He also provides suggestions on how this can be done under non-conducive organizational conditions.

Monitoring and Evaluation for Personal Learning
Bruce Britton

By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. (Confucius)

Introduction
Capacity development practitioners collaborate in efforts to improve the capabilities of complex human systems that operate and connect at different levels. First and foremost, capacity development is a process based on the assumption that better understanding and knowledge will bring about change. Also, the planning for capacity development interventions typically rely on variations of the Logical Framework Approach (LFA), which encourage careful thinking about expected outcomes and impacts. By its very nature LFA assumes that intended results of an initiative can be established in advance because the path that a capacity development process will take can be adequately assured, which requires a reasonably stable operating environment. The reality is usually very different.

Self-Reflection

265

Reflecting the perspective of other chapters in this volume, capacity development processes often evolve in ways we cannot anticipate. Their paths are rarely predictable and sometimes seem to defy the logic that was used to plan them. Consequently, by...

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