Promoting joint learning and knowledge production for international development

[Deutscher Titel: Gemeinschaftliches Lernen und Wissen Erzeugen in der internationalen Entwicklungshilfe fördern (Text übersetzen: Deutsch)]

Hazel Johnson
Communities of practice and international development
Progress in Development Studies, Vol. 7, No. 4, 277-290 (2007)

Abstract: This paper examines the concept of ‘communities of practice’ for promoting joint learning and knowledge production for international development. How and why communities of practice may or may not lead to socially inclusive and innovative outcomes in the context of international development needs further exploration. The paper reflects on the conceptualization of communities of practice in the light of previous research into learning in state-private sector-civil society and North-South partnerships. It argues that the concept of communities of practice can be useful heuristically to understand joint learning and knowledge production if accompanied by other conceptual insights, for example, from critical participation and experiential or action learning. It also suggests that conceptualizing communities of practice as action learning spaces captures the often complex social relations and dynamics of learning and knowledge production for development.

Key Words: action learning spaces • communities of practice • conversational learning • knowledge • participation.

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© 2008 SAGE Publications