Lencd Meeting; Pretoria, Saturday 6 March 2010

Lencd Meeting; Pretoria, Saturday 6 March 2010

DRAFT 15 March 2010,

LenCD meeting; Pretoria, Saturday 6 March 2010

Summary Record

The meeting brought together members of the LenCD steering group as well as members of the Africa working group. The meeting took place in the World Bank office in Pretoria (many thanks to Conrad Jardine and colleagues for hosting the group.) and was chaired by Janet Awimbo, co-chair of the LenCD steering group.


  1. Janet Awimbo, Aga Khan Foundation, ,
  2. Talaat Abdel Malek, Egypt/CD Alliance, ,
  3. Radwa Helmy Abdel-Raouf, Egypt/CD Alliance,
  4. Jutta Müller, GTZ, ,
  5. Apollinaire Ndorukwigjira, ACBF, ,
  6. Conrad Jardine, WBI, ,
  7. Elaine Venter, UNDP, ,
  8. Emmanuel Akwetey, IDEG, Ghana, ,
  9. Florence Nazare, NEPAD, ,
  10. Alfredo Mazive, consultant, Mozambique, ,
  11. Rose Wanjiru, consultant, Kenya, ,
  12. Laurencia Adams, consultant, Ghana, ,
  13. Tony Land, consultant, Botswana ,
  14. Thomas Theisohn, coordinator LenCD,


The draft agenda attached was adjusted in view of time constraints and the meeting was held as a LenCD meeting with focus on Africa. The meeting started at 10h30 and was adjourned by 15h30.


The Chair expressed appreciation on behalf of LenCD members for Thomas’s level of effort and dedication to LenCD over the past year. The participants present introduced themselves and gave their expectations of the meeting, incl.:

  • Clarify specific actions that can be carried out during 2010
  • Better understand how LenCD members can contribute to the work of LenCD
  • Identification of selected activities that go beyond LenCD’s advocacy role
  • Prepare a concrete action plan for 2010 that emphasizes engagement at country level
  • Role of LenCD in advancing CD agenda in Bogota and Seoul
  • How to operationalise LenCD ideas at the country level
  • Ensuring that 2010 is a year of action; linking knowledge to action on the ground, clarifying service lines.
  • How LenCD can serve as a potential resource to support NEPAD/CDSF
  • Identification of 3 priority actions for the year as well as establish a common understanding of what LenCD is.

Reflection on 2009 and outlook 2010 - Thomas Theisohn (TT)

The coordinator presented the 2009 report of LenCD and outlook for 2010 (see documents: (1) LenCD Progress report Against Workplan and (2) Opportunities 2010. Key points:

  • 2009 has been a year of constraints in several ways. Establishing project arrangements has taken time, is has not been possible to mobilize sufficient funding, consequently it was not possible to recruit. The coordinator has covered core functions at 60% of a full time assignment.
  • Different expectations of LenCD has also emerged as a significant challenge. On one hand LenCD as a member network with joint focus. Secondly, LenCD as an open CD knowledge portal. And thirdly, LenCD, as a source of advice. All functions may have their rationale but need to be adequately organized.
  • LenCD has been able to deliver a significant part of the workplan over the course of the year mainly through discrete consultant inputs. These include:
  • An Africa learning platform on CD in the making
  • Expected demand for country level CD learning (CDLI)
  • Resource corners (rc) on 7 priority issue areas available
  • Content work on support to learning for CD
  • Support to the international dialogue on peacebuilding and statebuilding & work on “CD in fragile contexts”
  • Knowledge fairs as instrument for evidence building

(1) Call for case stories on South South Cooperation and CD just launched

(2) UNDP “Capacity is Development” knowledge fair

  • Donor learning events & donor reform series
  • Connecting communities of practice
  • Added value of LenCD is whatever members can bring to the network. A system is needed which enables inputs from members (whether reports, experiences, insights etc.) to be captured as part of learning process.
  • LenCD has been closely following the Aid Effectiveness (AE) agenda and must continue to do so. Proposal for a Bonn “II” meeting possibly to be hosted in Cairo to stock take on advances since Accra and in preparation on Seoul.
  • Through the UNDP/LenCD Project approx. $200K are currently available. This will enable funding of core functions to consolidate LenCD between now and Seoul. A specific proposal for using the funds will be prepared for consideration by the Steering Committee.
  • 6 key critical issues for sustaining LenCD value-added were highlighted:
  • Providing support to establishment of an African Learning Platform on CD
  • Developing a core learning product/system “The learning Loop” as a signature product for the network
  • Active engagement and follow up in the Bogota and Seoul AE events
  • Facilitating active engagement of network members
  • Content work on the interface between civil society and governments
  • Identifying opportunities for Country Level Learning events building on the CDLI concept
  • Vision 2010/11 in a nutshell:
  • Get systems right and establish solid LenCD core team
  • Nov 2010 – (Accra?): Practitioners exchange WS on CS/Gvt interface and LenCD meeting of engaged partners,
  • Mar 2011: Synthesis Perspective on CD,
  • May 2011 – (Cairo?): “Bonn II” preparation for Seoul,
  • Oct 2011 – Seoul: HLF IV

Pleanry Discussion:

  • Talaat Abdel Malek urged LenCD to become more focused and results oriented. He proposed the use of a business model combining knowledge development and business development, to determine core product lines, resource pool, and clientele. He urged LenCD to become active on the ground.
  • Florence Nazarre (NEPAD) sought clarification on the role and relationship that LenCD might have with the NEPAD CDSF process, in view of NEPADs focus on engagement with RECs and national level through APRM, and its role to influence approaches and tools used in CD work.
  • Rose Wanjiru noted that given diversity of membership, LenCD can play different roles ranging from knowledge management to more hands on support at country level, which would imply advisory functions drawing on the consulting network affiliated with LenCD.
  • Elaine Venter (UNDP) noted that the LenCD mandate had been expanding but that this not had been reflected in adaptation of working methods. Given current expansion of LenCD into Africa, suggested making a distinction between LenCD “global” and LenCD “regional”.
  • Janet Awimbo (LenCD co-chair) noted the different identities of LenCD as expressed by members. However while this needs to be resolved, she argued that this should not hold LenCD back from taking action.
  • Thomas Theisohn (LenCD coordinator) identified three core roles for LenCD; advocacy work, knowledgement management and service delivery.

The group split into 2 working groups, the first composed of members of the Africa Working Group, the second composed of Steering Group members.

Africa Working Group

Participants reflected on the activities the LenCD Africa working group could carry out in 2010:

  1. Support to NEPAD CDSF process
  • Support NEPAD in disseminating the CDSF at regional and country level, and thereafter assist NEPAD in organizing dialogue/ engagement processes at country level
  • Support NEPAD in further crystallizing its CDSF implementation strategy through LenCD membership of the Continental Steering Group
  1. Africa Learning Platform on CD
  • Noted that LenCD cannot lead the process but can offer support once there is greater clarity regarding the intentions of NEPAD and ACBF to establish CD knowledge/ learning platforms
  • The value of establishing a platform that is not anchored to any particular institution but which creates linkages to institutional actors involved in CD was emphasized.
  • It was noted that the GDLN (Global Development Learning Network) has access to video conferencing facilities that could be made available to a learning platform.
  1. Civil Society – Government Interface Study
  • Rather than conducting a one-off study, the suggestion was made to build up a process at country and regional levels to explore experiences of civil society – government engagement and implications for aid/ development effectiveness. In outline, this might involve facilitating case studies at country level, organizing regional workshops (possibly separate meetings in Southern, East and West Africa), and thereafter identifying processes that could be introduced at country level and monitored.
  • A concept paper would need to be developed to clarify rationale, objectives and methodology and as a basis for resource mobilization. It was noted that resources are available under Cluster 1 of the Working Group on Aid Effectiveness but that a proposal would need to be prepared before 17th March 2010.
  1. Continental Event

A suggestion was made to host a continental LenCD event towards the end of 2010 to signal the establishment of the African Learning network on CD and to use this as an opportunity to broaden participation in the network. The feasibility of organizing such an event was raised given the level of effort and resources required to host such an event.

From Plenary - The option of hosting a LenCD regional meeting (as per Nairobi meeting 2008) in Nov/ Dec was considered. This might build on the output of proposed CSO/Government interface work (providing the substantive element of the meeting) while offering the opportunity for further discussions on LenCD governance and strategy.

  1. Learning Loop

The concept of the learning loop was discussed and well received as a way to establish a signature knowledge management product for LenCD whether at global or regional level (see note on the Learning Loop). This could form the anchor of a web-based CD learning platform complementing resource corners and other potential knowledge products.

From Plenary - Modalities for transforming the learning loop concept into something practical now need to be explored. This includes exploring ways to encourage broad participation in submission of learning items as well as ensuring quality control.

Steering Group Meeting

Given that there was not quorum and limited time the group decided not to take any final decisions on contracts but discussed LenCD’s roles and raised issues that will need to be addressed.

LenCD as a clearing house: LenCD is a clearning house for CD knowledge as well as finding to partners with practical experience in CD. LenCD needs adequate instruments.

  • As a member network LenCD can be a service provider only on a very high level. As such the coordinator would help organize the members to provide support as pertinent.
  • The relevant work of the members should be more visible through LenCD and on the website. It is a fairly straight forward option to open member pages under the responsibility of each member.
  • There are expectations that LenCD stands for certain standards but it would be difficult for the coordination unit to judge who complies with certain “quality standards”.

LenCD and country level support: LenCD should have a country level role in some way as was also envisaged with country level CD learning initiatives. So far the investment was primarily in the Evidence pillar, rather than the practice pillar of the work programme. But this is also the area where LenCD becoming to operational might step onto an area that can better be provided for by network partners.

  • Should LenCD actually maintain a roster of consultants to support CDLI? This has significant implications for quality management and might be better done by partners.
  • LenCD should not necessarily become an implementing agent, but network partners would support country level learning and use the tools for closing the learning loop to make lessons available.
  • If “LenCD” is invited to join country level action what does this actually mean for a network? It may be a network peer rather than the coordinator who could engage. This may be useful way for closing the learning loop and draw lessons from such engagement.
  • The idea of LenCD supporting CD learning events, also arose from experiences in Train4Dev, that showed that it is difficult to expect the same partners covering the transaction costs for a joined effort. The possibility of pooling for management of learning initiatives through the UNDP/LenCD project provides and option.

LenCD as a global – regional and N-S bridge: It is a strength of LenCD to have a constituency in the North and in the South, primarily on Africa. Building on this LenCD should position itself to build bridges. LenCD can

  • Share evidence from N-S and vice versa
  • It can help bing Southern voice to the global doscouse.
  • It can be a financial enabler by connecting demand with supply
  • As a messenger it can help bring Southern views to donor HQ policy change
  • It can support emerging Learning efforts such as the Africa Learning Platform on CD by proposing functions that connect multiple efforts

LenCD is evolving: LenCD has changed over the years and the broadened constituency needs to be reflected in the way LenCD works. This should not prevent LenCD to engage in “doing” and evolve based on lessons learned.

  • It will be important to better understand and engage the various constituencies.
  • Lessons can be drawn and should inform the way the network will be governed.
  • While LenCD has always been close to the Aid Effectiveness agenda, this also can confuse its added value in terms of getting to practicalities of how things can be done better on the ground.
  • Focusing on very practical issues around CD practice on the ground may add more value than getting too much absorbed in the necessarily more abstract policy debate.
  • Beyond Civils Society and Government interface the following substantive topics emerged as of broad interest: (1) Measuring CD, results and impact, and (2) CD strategies as an instrument.

Plenary Meeting – Reporting Back and Close

The groups reported back on their respective proceedings and the meeting closed with the following conclusions:

  • The 2 members representing LenCD in Continental Steering Group for the CD Strategic Framework, will identify most useful ways to engage with the process and to identify how LenCD through its instruments and/or partner engagement can be most helpful.
  • The Africa working group will put forward a proposal on substantive work in the area of Civil Society and Government interface capacities by 16 March to inform the meeting with the WP-Eff Co-Chair of Cluster A on Ownership and Accountability for potential collaboration.
  • LenCD should focus in the short term on developing and consolidating systems for engagement and closing the learning loop so that partners have a conducive frame to engage in the network.
  • A meeting in November 2010 might bring together the broader LenCD constituency. To permit adequate focus, the meeting should not be organized back to back with a big meeting following other priorities and pressures but focus on LenCD’s core objectives.
  • The meeting could mark the “arrival of the African Learning Platform”. It should have ideally a substantive part and could thus be linked to the above topic and could equally take stock of instruments for connecting multiple efforts and closing the learning loop to serve an emerging African Learning Platform on CD as well as LenCD at large.
  • The LenCD Steering group will take the necessary decision for arrangements post March 2010.

The chair adjourned the meeting at 15h30

Thomas Theisohn, 15 March 2010

with many thanks to Radwa Helmi and Tony Land


LenCD Steering Group Meeting

Pretoria 6 March 2010 at World Bank Offices


08:30 / LenCD Steering Group Meeting / & Project Board
1 / - Welcome / opening
- Adoption of the Agenda / Janet Awimbo, LenCD co-chair
2 / Looking back: LenCD 2009 / - LenCD Highlights 2009
- Progress report / Annotated workplan 2009
3 / Outlook and Vision 2010/11
Where should LenCD be by Seoul? / - LenCD vision 2010/11
- SG views on strategic direction
4 / Who is a member/partner of LenCD? / How to make a difference between connected and engaged members? Criteria? Policy?
5 / Steering group / It is proposed to confirm the current SG to cover the transition until a more inclusive meeting in fall 2010
10:30 / Parallel working groups:
6 / (1) Africa working group:
- LenCDs role for CDSF (Tony)
- Africa Learning Platform (Lawrencia)
- The learning loop (Tony)
- CS/Gvt interface capacities (Emmanuel)
Towards a workplan:
- What should happen when?
- Who can/should do what by when? / (2) Core Steering Group
- Making ends meet: Funding
- Coordination and Contracts
- Arrangements with UNDP
- Workplan through October 2010
- Marrakech, Bogota
- other issues
13:00 / Lunch
14:00 / Plenary
7 / Reporting back
Comments, views, Conclusions / - Africa WG
- Core Steering Group
8 / CDLI & CD facilitator pool / How does the idea stand now? What is LenCD’s/members role? How to manage?
9 / Content agenda for 2010/11
RCs, CD in fragile contexts, Training and beyond, SSC/TC, CS/Gvt, Measurement of CD, … / Where are opportunities / energy in the network to work on a specific topic together?
Some of these are ongoing, others in the making or possible
10 / Connecting knowledge architecture / A process for connecting and rationalizing the CD knowledge architecture
Closing the learning loops: Instruments and systems (Knowledge Fairs, The Learning Loop, Consulting+, Learning modules) / There some innovative instruments in case we have time to discuss more …
11 / Other issues
12 / Next steps and conclusions
17:30 / End of meeting

Background documentation:

  • The LenCD progress report Dec 2008 - Feb 2010
  • Issue notes:
  • CD Learning Initiatives to review in light of latest discussion
  • "The Learning Loop"
  • “Consulting Plus”
  • Who is a member/partner of LenCD?
  • Making ends meet: April – Sept 2010
  • TOR Thomas Theisohn: Main points from GTZ and DAC contracts