Continuous learning and development: Dråpen i Havet’s roadmap for the future

Growing and maturing as an organisation means that (re)development is bound to take place. However, the way and direction in which that happens is not set in stone and is a process open for discussion, contemplation and (re)definition.

For us at Dråpen i Havet (DiH), one element stood out throughout the entire effort of our programmatic development: learning should be continuous. The implications of those lessons ought to be internalized in order to feed the created structure while identifying areas of reflection that can provide further development and capacity building opportunities in service delivery and multi-stakeholder accountability. 

The foundation

The foundation presented here, and the MEAL Resource Guide (internal only) are the direct results of a long process of such reflections, research and strategic considerations aimed at enhancing our humanitarian/development programming implementation, as well as the monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning (MEAL) structure of our organisation. 

In essence, this document constitutes the prism and blueprint through which we want to structure and analyse our programmatic capacities and understandings. It is a toolbox by which we consciously identify ourselves within the sectors we inhabit, further build programme capacity, formalise knowledge retention, and highlight critical viewpoints reviewed to raise awareness in and out of the field. 

By introducing each of the programme pillars, grounded in foundational vision statements, concepts and definitions, and framing the core essence and direction of those, we aim to build a tangible common understanding of our programmes as well as the field for our teams, beneficiaries and partners alike. Equipping our teams (and other relevant stakeholders) with such knowledge, contemporary considerations and critical viewpoints, we intend to empower effective and well-informed decision making while ensuring the use of this knowledge in our communications and advocacy with partner organisations and authorities. 

Closer collaboration between research and field

With the considerable and constant gap between academic research and the field, we are eager to mobilise our knowledge and understanding to challenge that gap and create a consistent stream of (re)usable knowledge to feed research and our own programmatic understanding and (re)adjustment. Our improved MEAL data collection processes, including our programme-level indicator results, pre-defined areas of interest that will feed our research strategy, as well as a coordinated and structured push to collaborate with research institutions and research programmes will all lead in achieving this objective. 

Internally, the MEAL Resource Guide, provides a natural and practical extension of the Foundation. It exists to lay out the tools by which we will turn our theoretical approaches into practice, in one place. The document outlines all programme-related tools, introduces concepts and definitions and links the relevant internal processes for greater utility across teams and locations.  

The document provides each programme pillar with the programme-level theory of change, logframe and indicators. Defining these benchmarks at the programme level, we provide the evidence for our interventions and extend support, provide a blueprint and a deeper understanding of our project-level frameworks to our implementing teams.   

Finally, both the Foundation and the MEAL Resource Guide along with the accompanying strategic implementation measures, offer a practical point of reference for our teams and projects, and stakeholders in and out of the field. We aim for this strategic visioning process to provide the basis for all aforementioned developments, and serve as a cornerstone for continuous learning, growth and transformation in our organisation and the field.