Published on July 24, 2014
Mikelle Adgate Maryam Hariri Kathryn Matheny Ethel Mendez Tammy Singer Horizontal Learning Program: AN INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT
Acknowledgements The authors would like to thank members of the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program in Bangladesh, the Government of Bangladesh, and the various escorts and translators who assisted us during the field visits. This report would not have been feasible without their support and generosity. Special thanks also to Profes- sor Natasha Iskander for her guidance throughout this project. Wagner Submission Statement This report was authored in English by the NYU Wagner Student Capstone Team with faculty oversight by Natasha Iskander. The accuracy of any translation from English to any other language was conducted by the World Bank — Water and Sanitation Program — South Asia. The World Bank holds Wagner harmless with respect to any intent of deviation as a result of translation. Abbreviations DAM Dhaka Ahsania Mission DANIDA Danish International Development Agency DASCOH Development Association for Self-Reliance, Communication and Health GoB Government of Bangladesh HLP Horizontal Learning Program IWT Informal Working Team JICA Japan International Cooperation Agency LGSP Local Governance Support Project MoLGRD&C Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives NILG National Institute of Local Governments SDC Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation UPs Union Parishads UNO Upazilla Nirbahi Officer WSP Water and Sanitation Program, World Bank WB World Bank
1 [INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF THE HORIZONTAL LEARNING PROGRAM: INTRODUCTION] 1Introduction Building skills and competencies among public officials is vital for provision of basic services. In developing countries, this process has often consisted of experts training members of the local govern- ment based on international development practices. While these training methods have been successful in certain contexts, results in other cases have shown that knowledge extracted from one country failed to solve the same problems in another. This approach has caused a sense of disengagement between local officials and development activities.1 Governments, international donors, and non-governmental actors are beginning to recognize the shortcom- ings in existing approaches to increasing capacity among the lowest tiers of government. Many have tried to design new types of programs that address poor service delivery by drawing on existing knowledge of local government officials to solve specific problems. The Horizontal Learning Program (HLP) in Bangladesh is one such program. Through HLP, members of local governments identify best development-oriented practices and share knowledge with each other. By tapping into local skills and tacit knowledge, the Hori- zontal Learning Program strengthens and supports local governing capacity. The program has been successful at fostering relationships across various levels of government, national and international non-governmental organizations, and private actors and institu- tions. These relationships have helped to distribute knowledge, build leadership capacity, and strengthen development outcomes. The program first focused on knowledge sharing in the field of water and sanitation, a critical area of intervention in Bangladesh. As the program matured, it extended across multiple sectors of rural Bangladesh, including governance, health and education.2 To date, the Horizontal Learning Program has had a significant impact in improving the overall quality of services in Union Parishads across the country. The Horizontal Learning Program in Bangladesh is not truly horizontal, not strictly about learning, and is much more than a traditionally defined capacity building program: it is a replicable system of exchanges that empowers people and communities by enabling knowledge-sharing through a dynamic network of individu- Figure 1: This shows the feeding process of the wild boar in his local habitat. 1 Rondinelli 2003. 2 Specific examples of Best Practices in the edu- cation, governance and health sector include: tax collection, funding for arsenic treatment, and public education programs. Bangladesh’s Complex Relationship with Water Water constitutes one of Bangladesh’s main areas of concern. The country lies on the delta of three major rivers—the Ganges-Padma, the Brahmaputra-Jamuna and the Meghna—that flow into the Bay of Bengal. Water availability is characterized by periods of floods and droughts because of seasonal monsoons and tropical storms. In addition, the country’s position as a lower riparian makes Bangladesh vulnerable to water consumption patterns in neighboring India. The discovery of natural occurring arsenic in fresh water sources in 1993 heightened concerns about potable water availability. Arsenic is an odorless and tasteless semi-metal that if consumed at certain levels produces death. Levels of concentration in some parts of Bangladesh are so high that the World Health Organization described groundwater consumption in Bangladesh as the “largest poisoning of a population in history.” (Country Emergency Situation Profiles)
2 [INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF THE HORIZONTAL LEARNING PROGRAM: INTRODUCTION] als and institutions. This bottom-up initiative offers an opportunity for both local and central governments to compliment their respec- tive development activities. HLP is a unique program that offers innovative solutions to address complex development challenges in Bangladesh. It also offers valuable lessons that can be applied in other contexts. The purpose of this report is to assess the effectiveness of HLP, provide recommendations for future scaling in Bangladesh, and identify elements that could enable its replication in other contexts. The paper is organized into four key sections: Program Overview, Assessment, Key Ingredients, and Recommendations. The Program Overview tells the story of this program in Bangladesh. It examines how it emerged, introduces key actors, and describes how the program has grown from 2007 to 2009. The second sec- tion, Assessment, explores the strengths and weaknesses of the program’s structure, process, and principles. The third section, Key Ingredients, identifies the essential elements that make the program successful and lay the foundation for future expansion and replica- tion of the program. It also provides insights about what lessons the program offers and provides considerations to replicate Horizontal Learning to other contexts. Finally, the Recommendations section draws on the assessment and the key ingredients to provide specific proposals for the program’s future in Bangladesh. ReseaRch Methodology This report is the conclusion of six months of research conducted by New York University’s independent assessment team of the Hori- zontal Learning Program in Bangladesh. Data collection consisted of a literature review over a six-month period and a five-week field visit to the country from July 19th through August 21st, 2009. During the time in Bangladesh, research team members visited over thirty communities throughout multiple regions. Qualitative data was gathered through active observations and interviews with national and local government officials, staff members from a variety of donor and non-governmental agencies, and community members from numerous villages. In addition, team members participated in several workshops and meetings related to the Horizontal Learning Program. Coordinators of HLP provided many documents related to the program. These documents included the project plan for the pilot year, but a comprehensive plan for the current stage of the program
3 [INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF THE HORIZONTAL LEARNING PROGRAM: INTRODUCTION] Map of Bangladesh with participating Upazilla's at the time of HLP's launch in 2007 (Source: First Annual Report published July 2008 -2009) did not exist. As a result, rather than verifying the extent to which outcomes or outputs have been achieved against a plan, this assess- ment focuses on identifying elements that constitute the program’s strengths and weaknesses and it identifies opportunities for growth and application in other contexts.
4 [INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF THE HORIZONTAL LEARNING PROGRAM: OVERVIEW OF HLP] COLOR LEVEL Ministry 2.7% 13 of 482 Upazillas 20.3% 13 of 64 Districts 83.3% 5 of 6 Districts 6.5% 2 of 31 Ministries 2.8% 126 of 4,498 UPs Division District Upazilla Union Parishad DESCRIPTION HLP MEMBERSHIP Ministry of Local Government Rural Development and Cooperatives Bangladesh is divided into six administra- tive areas eachnamed for its respective capital. Bangladesh’s Divisions are further divided into 64 districts, or Zila’s Lowest level of administrative government in Bangladesh Lowest administrative unit in the rural areas of Bangladesh Note: Data on Union Parishad membership vary in HLP documents. The numbers used to calculate the percentage of Union Parishad membership are a combination of data pro- vided in the First Annual Report published July 2008–2009 and interviews with the Pogram’s coordinated body. 1 The Horizontal Learning Program initiated activities in urban areas in the summer of 2009. The final scope of this report did not include an assessment on HLP’s urban activities and thus this report will not address any recent HLP urban initiatives. 2Overview of HLP Since its emergence in 2007, the Horizontal Learning Program has grown significantly in its membership and scope. The program cur- rently includes over 100 Union Parishads, the lowest administrative tier of government in rural Bangladesh. UP Chairmen and elected leaders of Union Parishads have identified over 25 best development practices that have been shared and implemented in many rural localities throughout the country.1 Familiarity with the program’s history is helpful for understanding its current state. The discussion that follows captures some of the program’s milestones and the context in which HLP emerged. It uses literature available on the program and information acquired
5 [INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF THE HORIZONTAL LEARNING PROGRAM: OVERVIEW OF HLP] UNION PARISHAD UPAZILLA UPPER LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT [Figure 1] Structure of the Bangladeshi Government [Figure 2] Before HLP: Existing Hierarchical Relationships Between Different Tiers of Government and Non-governmental Actors from field visits to narrate HLP’s evolution. Furthermore, it identi- fies key actors and institutions and introduces elements of the program’s structure, process and principles. This overview will help contextualize the assessment and recommendation sections that follow. HIGH-LEVEL OFFICIAL UPAZILLA OFFICIAL UP CHAIRMAN NGO / AID ORGANIZATION HIERARCHICAL RELATIONSHIP
6 [INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF THE HORIZONTAL LEARNING PROGRAM: OVERVIEW OF HLP] BefoRe 2007 Efforts to strengthen the capacity of Union Parishads have been made over many years by both national government and inter- national non-governmental organizations in Bangladesh. While these efforts have contributed to an environment ripe for programs such as HLP, two specific examples highlight the current enabling environment for supporting the Horizontal Learning Program. In June 2006 the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a $111.5 million (US) loan to the Local Government Division of the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives (MoLGRD&C) of Bangladesh, the government’s agency responsible for strengthening local governments.2 The loan funded a five-year project, called the Local Governance Support Project (LGSP), which was designed “to support union Parishads…in providing services that meet community priorities.” LGSP focused on “capacity building, particularly regarding financial management and procurement.”3 This initiative illustrates recent efforts of the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) to partner with other organiza- tions to support capacity building at the Union Parishads level. In addition to joint GoB efforts, multiple development agencies have also recently promoted capacity building initiatives. In the water and sanitation field, these initiatives included knowledge exchanges to India where UP Chairmen learned about successful practices from Indian local government leaders. Interviews with UP leaders who participated in those trips revealed that international exposure visits, while helpful, implicitly conveyed the perception that local capacities in Bangladesh did not offer valuable lessons. The visits placed value on experiences from foreign local govern- ments over national knowledge, which made local leaders resent the trips and urge development agencies to recognize their own skills and knowledge.4 As the next section will show, this environment of dissatisfaction among local government leaders set the stage for the emergence of the Horizontal Learning Program. fiRst stage of hlP: the Pilot The first stage of the development of the Horizontal Learning Program occurred in June 2007 when the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) of the World Bank invited Chairmen and Members from 19 UPs to join a two-and-a-half-day participatory workshop with representatives from various national and international aid agencies.5 In addition to the UPs,6 organizations participating 2 Website. 3 Governance in Bangladesh, World Bank Website. 4 Horizontal Learning for Strengthening Ca- pacities of Local Government Institutions in Bangladesh. PowerPoint. July 2009. 5 Horizontal Learning for Capacity Building of Local Government Institutions, October 2008 HLP-WSP Document #1 6 Multiple HLP documents refer to this work- shop but cite different participants, including the number of Union Parishads and specific NGO’s in attendance.
7 [INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF THE HORIZONTAL LEARNING PROGRAM: OVERVIEW OF HLP] in the workshop included: representatives of the Government of Bangladesh, the Development Association for Self-Reliance, Communication and Health (DASCOH), WaterAid Bangladesh, Plan Bangladesh, Dhaka Ahsania Mission, and the World Bank. The meeting, which took place in Tangail, was called “in response to a growing demand to strengthen the capacities of Union Parishads to plan and implement improved water supply services.”7 The goal was to review the previous exposure visits to India and agree on a roadmap for water and sanitation improvements. During the workshop UP Chairmen voiced concerns about travel- ing outside of Bangladesh to gain insights on how to tackle local challenges.8 They felt they offered valuable solutions and proceeded to identify successful water and sanitation practices carried out by UPs and aid agencies in the country. Participants of the meeting recommended an approach that could allow them to learn from each other’s experiences using a similar exposure visit process. With input from the participating UP Chairmen, the NGOs and members of government requested that WSP coordinate the launch of a pilot program aligned with the participants’ recommendations. The pilot launched within the next few months. Sixty-six Union Parishads from six Upazillas, the administrative sub-districts directly above Union Parishads, initiated the program in November 2007. These UPs represented localities that had previously engaged in programs with the development agencies participating in the meeting at Tangail. WSP served as the primary pilot coordinator and the NGO’s and development agencies that participated at the meeting at Tangail, collectively known as “the partners,” supported the exchange among participating UPs.9 Through the program, select members of the participating UPs attended workshops where they identified successful water and sanitation activities. They then visited the communities where those practices were implemented to learn how to replicate them in their own communities. Members of the pilot program called activities they identified as successful within the UPs “good practices.” These were practices that were considered the most useful to address their develop- ment problems. To add legitimacy to the process, UP Chairmen together with development organizations created a number of indicators to validate the good practices. Indicators set standards that would ensure proper replication and implementation of each good practice. For example, an indicator for the good practice of “banning open toilets” was “no one in the village uses a traditional Horizontal Learning Program. Bengali Language Movement, & The Liberation Movement UP representatives who participate in HLP — Chairmen, secretaries and engineers — often associate the pro- gram with Bangladesh’s 1952 Bengali Language Movement and the country’s 1971 Liberation War. These two episodes in Bangladesh’s history represent periods where the people of the country struggled to protect their sovereignty and culture. In 1952, protests in Bangladesh (then known as East Pakistan) demanded rec- ognition of Bengali as an official language within Pakistan. Bengali gained official status in 1956 after many years of conflict and protests. The 1971 Liberation War marked Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan. Many of the HLP participants talk about the program as offering an- other opportunity to honor their country, knowledge, and culture. 7 Brief Note, Capacity Building Workshop Pro- ceedings, Final Version 8 S.Lahiri Interview, August 2009 9 Partners include the Development Associa- tion for Self-Reliance, Communication and Health (DASCOH), Japan International Coop- eration Agency (JICA), Water Aid Bangladesh, Plan Bangladesh, Dhaka Ahsania Mission and the NGO Forum. Horizontal Learning Capacity Building of Local Government Institutions in Bangladesh. October 2008. 10 Kalithati Workshop Report, February 2009.
8 [INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF THE HORIZONTAL LEARNING PROGRAM: OVERVIEW OF HLP] Share Peer Review Implement Innovate Exposure Visit Plan Report back to HLP open toilet.”10 Good practices were also tested to ensure that communities benefited from them. This occurred through a process of validation where participants — UP representatives and partners involved in the program — visited the communities to review the implementation of the good practices. They verified that the practice contributed to the community development and that the indicators were adequate standards for replication. By utilizing the indicators and validating each good practice, HLP participants were able to gauge the success and relevance of each practice and determine if they could (or should) be replicated. After the validation process, UP representatives participated in workshops hosted by WSP and the partners. During the workshops, participants narrowed down the original set of good practices to a final set of twenty-one. The list included practices from the water and sanitation sector such as, up-gradation of tube-wells and achieving 100% sanitation, but also included general practices like community-based planning, open budget and holding tax processes. As new UPs entered the program additional good practices were defined. Once a good practice had been replicated by another Union Parishad it became a “Best Practice.” WSP staff documented this process and, as program coordinators, they continue to update the list of best practices as they emerge. There are sixteen Best Practices to date.11 While Best Practices were being generated and codified, UP par- ticipants continued to share and replicate Best Practices. They did this by hosting exposure visits for leaders from participating Union Parishads. These visits were financed by the Horizontal Learning Programs supporting partners. During exposure visits, members of other localities interested in learning a best practice visited the community where it was initiated to learn about its implementa- tions and management. Visitors met and learned first-hand from the key people involved in the implementation of the best practice. In addition to gaining a specific skill set, those face-to-face interactions helped establish relationships among peers as well as higher-level government officials joining the visit. Exposure visits were designed to give a holistic view of the implementation of Best Practices, and continue today as a fundamental element of HLP’s process. During the pilot year, the initial partner organizations started holding regular meetings that were referred to as the meetings of the Informal Working Team (IWT). The IWT group consists of partners who were in the initial meeting at Tangail, but since there are no specific criteria for membership or guidelines for participa- [Figure 3] HLP Steps of Knowledge Sharing The diagram above illustrates the knowledge- sharing steps involved in the Horizontal Learning Program. The process currently consists on the identification, validation, and replication of Best Practices. Assessment of the program identi- fied an opportunity to improve the program by adding monitoring and expanding to the process. Monitoring would include better verification of Best Practice implementation, while Expanding entails creating mechanisms to codify knowledge shared through HLP and tying it to the Government of Bangladesh policy making. 11 Kalithati Workshop Report, February 2009. 1IDENTIFY 2VALIDATE 3REPLICATE 4MONITOR 5EXPAND
9 [INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF THE HORIZONTAL LEARNING PROGRAM: OVERVIEW OF HLP] tion, individuals who learn about the meetings and are interested in the program are also welcome to join the IWT. The team discusses the vision and management of the program, including major events, growing membership, and establishing rules and procedures. WSP, as a subset of the Informal Working Team, serves as the administra- tive coordinating body to support both Informal Working Team and Horizontal Learning Program activities. The WSP team has played a key role in facilitating the sharing of knowledge between UPs by coordinating and sponsoring exposure visits, workshops and confer- ences. cuRRent Phase (octoBeR 2008-today) By spring of 2008, many UP’s learned about the pilot program from participating UP members. The pilot expanded to 93 Union Pari- shads in 10 Upazillas. In October of that year, WSP and the Informal Working Team decided to continue with the program for three additional years. They also officially labeled the program as the Horizontal Learning Program (HLP). By the following summer, HLP membership approached 128 Union Parishads, in 13 Upazillas. WSP also lobbied for participation of the Ministry of Local Government in the Informal Working Team and the Deputy Secretary of this Ministry now heads the IWT. In this current capacity, the program has the potential to reach over 3 million people.12 As it grows in the number of participants and activities, what started as a cross- learning pilot has become a dynamic network of actors that offers ongoing opportunities for rich knowledge exchange. For instance, during the summer of 2009 WSP together with other HLP partners hosted the first Thematic Workshop, which focused on arsenic testing and mitigation. This workshop will pave the way for similar thematic conferences that will allow UP Chairmen to gain a deeper understanding of critical community challenges in the future. During interviews, participants said they were encouraged by the success and rapid growth of the program. Recognizing its value, the IWT has also started planning for the next phase of the program, which includes scaling nationwide. In order to take this step, the coordinators of the program identified the need to first evaluate the program in order to understand its strengths and weaknesses and gain perspective on how to manage its growth. The following sections of this report constitute the Assessment and Recommendations of the program. The assessment draws on concepts and actors introduced in the program Overview, while the recommendations help address concerns about how to manage and strategically plan the program’s growth. HLP Definition The Horizontal Learning Program in Bangladesh is not truly horizontal, not strictly about learning, and is much more than a traditionally defined capacity building program: it is, instead, a repli- cable system of exchanges that empow- ers people and communities by enabling knowledge-sharing through a dynamic network of individuals and institutions. 12 Report on the National Dissemination Work- shop. Dhaka, October 30, 2008.
10 [INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF THE HORIZONTAL LEARNING PROGRAM: ASSESSMENT] 3Assessment of the Horizontal Learning Program This section explores three key components of the Horizontal Learning Program: structure, processes and principles. By defining and evaluating these building blocks, the Assessment reveals HLP’s strengths, weaknesses and potential obstacles to the program’s growth. Combined, these elements demonstrate how HLP is a system of exchanges that empowers people and communities by enabling knowledge-sharing through a dynamic network of individu- als and institutions. PRogRaM stRuctuRe The relationship between HLP actors, their degree of influence and their contributions to the program are best understood when examining the structure through which they operate. The Informal Working Team describes the program structure as “Union Parishad led, Government of Bangladesh facilitated and donor/partner supported.”1 This definition identifies the basic relationships and hierarchical roles among the program’s primary actors. Yet, the Informal Working Team’s definition fails to capture the complexi- ties of the program’s networked relationships. This assessment deconstructs the IWT description and examines the program structure based on two relational dimensions: horizontal and verti- cal. HLP participants fall within these two dimensions and are tied together by one coordinating body. Assessing the program through these dimensions reveals a complex network where individuals and institutions share knowledge and build valuable relationships. Understanding the program’s structure is critical to sustaining and expanding HLP across Bangladesh and applying it to alternate contexts. Horizontal HLP The Horizontal Learning Program operates primarily at the Union Parishad level. This horizontal dimension is defined by the peer-to-peer relationships between UPs, which are fostered by the program’s knowledge-exchanges and Best Practice reviews. There are multiple benefits to grounding HLP in the horizontal structure. 1 M.Ellery Interview, August 2009
11 [INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF THE HORIZONTAL LEARNING PROGRAM: ASSESSMENT] First, rather than gaining knowledge and skills from outside experts, UP Chairmen explore their similar challenges and potential for solutions in delivering services. Through HLP, UP Chairmen identify Best Practices from their villages that resonate with other UP Chairmen. Transferring relevant pragmatic skills and tacit knowledge is critical because it enables leaders to address the needs of their communities. Second, actively participating in the program helps to build peer relationships and a sense of shared identity among UP Chairmen.2 Interviews with Chairmen indicated that peer relationships provide more value than simply a transfer of knowledge. These relation- ships create a system that allows Chairmen to feel supported and helps them achieve concrete outcomes. As Chairmen review their colleagues’ Best Practices and progress, they gain confidence that they too can achieve similar results. Further, once they replicate and share their experience with others, they gain visibility among additional Chairmen. For example, in Dehunde Union Parishad, the community organized themselves to build a bamboo bridge after two children died crossing a dangerous river. The community did not receive outside financial support and funded the bridge through tax collections, monetary and bamboo donations, and volunteer labor. During an exposure visit, the leader of Sopner Setu identified the bridge as a successful good practice and decided to replicate the bamboo bridge in his community. The leaders from both locations 2 UK National Statistics Online & Allen 2001: Social Capital and Network Theories [Figure 4] After HLP: Horizontal connections and relationships at the Union Parishad Level HIGH-LEVEL OFFICIAL UPAZILLA OFFICIAL UP CHAIRMAN HLP MEMBER NGO / AID ORGANIZATION HLP RELATIONSHIP
12 [INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF THE HORIZONTAL LEARNING PROGRAM: ASSESSMENT] described their accomplishments with a sense of pride and credited their relationship for helping to identify both the common challenge and the common solution. Vertical HLP The program’s horizontal relationships are complimented by vertical connections. The vertical dimension establishes relation- ships both upward and downward from the UP Chairmen. First, it connects upwards from UPs to National Government Ministries and influential actors outside of the government, including interna- tional and national NGO’s, donors, journalists, and businessmen. Likewise, HLP links UPs downward to villages and individuals. The program enables UP Chairmen to better connect and work with community planning committees, ward representatives, and com- munity members. This vertical connection is critical to ensuring that the horizontal dimensions function. When horizontal programs fail to connect vertically, with support from both the local and national levels, they have difficulty mobilizing, disseminating, and legitimizing knowledge.3 The absence of a vertical connection can restrict the program from gaining legitimacy and recognition from higher levels of government. The Horizontal Learning Program has succeeded because it creates incentives for leaders at all levels up the vertical chain to remain engaged. Since the central government is still the 3 Reeler 2005. HIGH-LEVEL OFFICIAL UPAZILLA OFFICIAL UP CHAIRMAN HLP MEMBER NGO / AID ORGANIZATION HLP RELATIONSHIP [Figure 5] After HLP: Vertical connections and relationships to/from Union Parishads, Upazillas, and Upper Levels of Government A bamboo bridge built by villagers in the Union Parishad of Dehunde.
13 [INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF THE HORIZONTAL LEARNING PROGRAM: ASSESSMENT] key policy-making body, HLP creates the opportunity for the local leaders to interact with higher level officials in order to influence decision-making and increase their individual mobility. Further, HLP helps national-level officials gain real insight into a diverse set of needs and ideas from across the regions of Bangladesh. In addition to connecting people to higher levels, the vertical connections allow those in power to stay in touch with the real- ity on the ground, build legitimacy with their constituents, and advocate for policies that address concerns from local governments. The Horizontal Learning Program encourages the UP Chairmen to gather knowledge from communities and apply it in a way that serves village needs. This not only results in context-appropriate outcomes for the community, but gives voice and influence to citizens. In turn, UP Chairmen benefit politically by establishing credibility among constituents. The value of the vertical relationships can be demonstrated through a joint effort between the National Institute of Local Governments (NILG) and the HLP Informal Working Team. The goal of the collaboration is to use information gathered from Best Practices to build a National Capacity Development Training Strategy for local government leaders. Both the practices and the procedures identified as successful through HLP will feed the training curricula. By connecting learning that occurs at the Union Parishad level vertically to NILG, the Horizontal Learning Program has the po- [Figure 6] After HLP: Connections and rela- tionships formed by a single UP through the Horizontal Learning Program HIGH-LEVEL OFFICIAL UPAZILLA OFFICIAL UP CHAIRMAN HLP MEMBER NGO / AID ORGANIZATION HLP RELATIONSHIP
14 [INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF THE HORIZONTAL LEARNING PROGRAM: ASSESSMENT] tential to influence the priorities and course of action of the central government. Despite its many achievements, the Horizontal Learning Program currently contains weaknesses in its vertical structure. These weaknesses result primarily from unclear or inconsistent participa- tion of individuals at various levels of the government. For example, UNO’s and Upazilla Chairmen who were not participants in HLP expressed confusion or frustration in not being able to benefit from the program. This breakage in the vertical link hampered communi- cation and affected the degree of engagement of Union Parishads in the program. Improving the quality and consistency of the vertical relationships will allow the program to scale more effectively. The HLP Coordinating Body The role the connecting body plays is of utmost importance to HLP’s success. The program primarily relies on the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) to plan and manage the thematic and administrative activities across the horizontal and vertical dimensions. Recently, WSP has started delegating these responsibilities among HLP partners, including DASCOH, VSO, and Plan Bangladesh. This connecting role is the catalyst of the program’s network and comprises the third important element of the program’s structure. A key strength of the connecting or coordinating body of HLP is its function in disseminating ideas, establishing new relationships, and adding more contacts to the network. Also, certain individuals within the coordinating function inject a spirit and energy into the program that bring the network to life and spur emotional con- nectedness across the actors.4 Charismatic leaders who embody the essence or spirit of the program often facilitate these relationships. These leaders are key to the program’s success because they inspire participation along both the vertical and horizontal dimensions. The ability of WSP to connect and engage new people in the program was evident during a meeting a few months after Cyclone Aila. Although the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation is a key donor of HLP, the Swiss Red Cross had not been involved. Recognizing the agency’s expertise in disaster relief WSP invited them to collaborate in organizing a workshop about disaster pre- paredness. By doing so, they effectively connected the program with an agency that could add great value to the learning aspect of HLP. 4 Newman, 2003.
15 [INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF THE HORIZONTAL LEARNING PROGRAM: ASSESSMENT] The greatest challenge facing the HLP Coordinating Body is that the ownership, stability, and future of the program remain unclear. UP Chairmen and HLP partners expressed concern over the future of the program should WSP step away from its coordinating role. They felt that the program was growing rapidly and that if WSP attempted to disseminate coordinating responsibilities, the program would not succeed. The Horizontal Learning Program cannot survive without a coordinating body. Findings from failed horizontal learning initiatives show individual participation tends to wane and programs stall over time without a coordinating organization that has clear responsibility to ensure ongoing program activities.5 This coordinating role does not necessarily need to be filled by WSP, but a single central entity must hold this position to ensure account- ability and growth. HLP Network The horizontal, vertical and coordinating components of the HLP form a powerful network of relationships. The network facilitates a richer, more dynamic exchange between program participants. The multidimensional relationships create a more flexible framework for increasing productivity and promoting economic and policy innovation.6 The HLP network must be managed by a central coordinating body to ensure that relationships and innovations continue to evolve. The Recommendations section suggests structural 5 Reeler, 2005. 6 Mills, 2008. [Figure 7] HLP Network Illustrates the multi-dimensional relationships cre- ated by the Horizontal Learning Program. HIGH-LEVEL OFFICIAL UPAZILLA OFFICIAL UP CHAIRMAN HLP MEMBER NGO / AID ORGANIZATION HLP RELATIONSHIP
16 [INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF THE HORIZONTAL LEARNING PROGRAM: ASSESSMENT] adjustments that will help HLP remain flexible while improving and growing the overall program. PRogRaM PRocesses It is important to assess the Horizontal Learning Program processes to understand the effectiveness, efficiency, and scalability of the program. There are two key types of processes that enable the Horizontal Learning Program. First, Best Practice implementation processes represent the steps Union Parishads take to identify and implement Best Practices. These processes are UP led and funded. Second, the Program Management processes include all activities the HLP Coordinating Body undertakes to facilitate knowledge-ex- change and administer the overall program. Program Management processes are primarily owned by WSP and funded through the partners that support the Horizontal Learning Program. It is important to distinguish between the two types of processes because the Best Practice processes represent one of the greatest strengths of HLP whereas and the Management Processes cur- rently represent one of its greatest weaknesses. This is because the Management Processes are informal and only loosely structure the program. The underlying reason for this that there is an ongoing struggle to prevent Program Management processes from feeling top-down or inhibiting the bottom-up nature of the program. One of the critical challenges HLP must address is how to effectively formalize these Management processes without compromising the power of its bottom-up Best Practice processes. This is especially important to scaling up to a national level. As the number of par- ticipants in the program expands across the country, it will become increasingly difficult to manage a large program without more structure. Best Practice Process The HLP approach to identifying and implementing Best Practices is critical to the program’s success. HLP Best Practice processes are identified and implemented by the Union Parishads, enabling bottom-up development practices to compliment top-down policies. This approach puts UP leaders at the center of development and decision-making by giving them the power to set and carry out their own agenda. The process places a spotlight on Chairmen, giving them the stage to lead their community in planning development goals and to gain public and peer recognition for achieving those goals. Learning Best Practices from other Union Parishads helps HLP Best Practice Processes The Best Practice Processes involve the steps required to identify and replicate a best practice across Union Parishads. The major steps of the process include: iden- tifying, validating, replicating, and moni- toring (See Fig. 3 on pg. 8). A set of Best Practices was initially generated by the participants of HLP during the program’s pilot stage. The list of Best Practices continues to grow as UP’s innovate and identify new practices.
17 [INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF THE HORIZONTAL LEARNING PROGRAM: ASSESSMENT] UP Chairmen establish pertinent solutions that have demonstrated improved outcomes for communities. The Best Practice processes also help to establish greater accountability with the local leadership because they are designed to be participatory and transparent to the community. Involving the community in the key steps of planning and implementing Best Practices creates support and expectations of the UP Chairmen by the residents. Positive outcomes from Best Practice implementation can establish a collective confidence in leaders and the communities and can create incentives for the two to continue to work together to identify and implement additional Best Practices. The two critical components of the Best Practice process that lead to these positive outcomes are the identification and selection of Best Practices and self-funding. First, the process of identifying and selecting Best Practices places value not only on the local practices themselves, but also on the inherent ability of UPs to self-select them. By enabling UPs to identify and define Best Practices, the HLP Best Practices process values local knowledge and encourages the development of innovative new ideas. Further, giving UPs the authority to select the Best Practices helps ensure ownership and sustainability of the practice. This is because the UP Chairmen are able to feel a sense of control or personal association with the practice and, in turn, understand the value it offers. Rather than receiving instructions from above to do something that may or may not make sense for the UP, Chairmen are able to rely on their tacit knowledge and experience to decide what practices will work best for them. This bottom-up programmatic design puts power in the hands of people so they can shape and own their progress. A second key strength of the process is that Union Parishads self- fund the Best Practice implementation. First, Best Practices must be replicated using the UPs own resources. This alone ensures that they are scaled to an achievable level. Second, self-funding requires UPs to actively plan and manage their development budget and forces localities to prioritize needs and make critical collective decisions. This places a greater focus on self-generating funds and ending the unsustainable cycle of relying solely on outside funding for success. Collecting funds and using them to improve services within the community creates visible, tangible outcomes for both residents and UP Chairmen. Residents are able to associate the outcomes with their tax contribution. This not only helps people recognize the value of paying taxes, it contributes to a sense of community and ownership in the development process. It also
18 [INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF THE HORIZONTAL LEARNING PROGRAM: ASSESSMENT] strengthens citizen’s confidence and credibility in UP chairmen because it enables them to produce results with the support of the community. While there is debate among the members of the HLP Informal Working Team about whether self-funding limits ability to replicate, the benefits of self-funding outweigh any potential additional material income that would come from outside the com- munity. Further, most localities across Bangladesh receive funding or technical support from outside groups, so the Best Practices funding compliments other top-down assistance and provides much more value than monetary investment in the community. The strengths and outcomes of the Best Practice implementation processes are clearly articulated through the Open Budget and Holding Tax Best Practices. Almost all UP Chairmen interviewed indicated that they did not initially believe open budgeting and taxing would work. They felt people in their communities would not be willing to pay taxes and they thought implementing taxes would jeopardize their chances of re-election. However, upon visiting other UPs, they learned that other Chairmen successfully developed a community-led budget that prioritized spending and enabled UPs to collect and reinvest tax dollars. They saw first-hand that the reinvestments were making tangible improvements – not only in the physical community but in the mind-set of the people. The exposure visits helped UP Chairmen see the value of the Best Practice but it was incumbent on the Chairmen to then choose and implement. Almost all participating HLP Union Parishads have selected to replicate Open Budget and Holding Tax Best Practices because they shape progress from the bottom-up and instill a sense of confidence in both communities and UP Chairmen. While the Best Practice Process provides the fundamental strength to HLP’s effectiveness, there are two key challenges at the end of the process steps that should not be overlooked. The biggest challenge is that policies for monitoring and quality assurance are unclear and inconsistent. Monitoring and quality assurance are important, necessary final steps in the Best Practice Implementation process. The purpose and value of monitoring is to ensure that Best Practices are effective and remain relevant. Monitoring also provides a feedback loop into the HLP knowledge-exchange with other UPs on findings, failures, or successes. Ultimately, without some stronger level of insurance that Best Practices continue to be effective, the overall effectiveness of HLP will be stymied because the feedback loop to grow or evolve the practices is limited. Open Budget Best Practice: Shown above is the blackboard placed in front of Union Parishad chairman’s office which displays the budget. Holding Tax Best Practice: Shown above is the form villagers fill out when paying taxes.
19 [INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF THE HORIZONTAL LEARNING PROGRAM: ASSESSMENT] Currently, HLP supports Peer Reviews, which provide incentives and peer pressure for UPs to maintain a high performance. However, they do not consistently audit for quality or measure effectiveness and the process is not a strong mechanism for ongo- ing review, insurance, and improvement of Best Practices. A key reason for this is because, even in a supportive environment, the incentives to show progress and success outweigh the desire to show shortcomings or ask for help. As a result, peer reviews risk objective evaluation of progress. Also, Peer Reviews may help spark innovative ways to expand or improve processes, but if they are conducted in such a way where weaknesses are not identified in the Best Practice, it is unlikely that those weaknesses will be addressed or that new solutions to the problems will be generated. A second challenge with the current Best Practice processes is that there is little opportunity to interject or exchange Best Practice knowledge from other sectors, including academia, business, or peers from the development sector. Doing so could richly enhance and compliment the knowledge from the communities without superseding it or compromising the bottom-up spirit. The HLP Coordinating Body has started to explore ways to leverage outside organizations to contribute to the Best Practices, but it should expand the effort to ensure ongoing engagement. Outside concepts introduced into the HLP Best Practices would still be subjected to the Best Practice validation process, ensuring that the selection and replication of the practices remain in the hands of the Union Parishads. Having such partners involved in HLP will help the knowledge base of the Best Practices grow, especially as the pro- gram itself expands across the country. Challenges associated with both limited monitoring and channels for outside input can best be demonstrated through the Arsenic Testing Best Practice. During a visit to Chapai Nawabganj, the research ream received an overview of the arsenic testing process, including the indicators established to replicate the process. The UP leadership provided a status of the arsenic testing, reporting the progresses made in identifying contaminated tube wells: from the 3,462 tube wells targeted for technical revision, 691 were actually tested and 423 ended up being arsenic free. While 60% of the tested wells were safe, there was not a clear remediation plan for the remaining 40% that tested positive for arsenic. Further, the UP did not have a clear plan for testing the remaining 2,771 (or 80%) of the wells in the area. By HLP standards, Chapai Nawabganj received credit for replicating the arsenic testing process, despite the fact Arsenic Testing Kit
20 [INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF THE HORIZONTAL LEARNING PROGRAM: ASSESSMENT] that a clear plan for how or whether the implementation would occur did not yet exist. The same situation was identified during the field visit to Shyamnagar. This case presents the need for both improved monitoring and the value that outside partners could bring to the process. For example, the arsenic testing Best Practice process could include additional steps to help UPs know how to better implement and monitor against a target. Further, a stronger monitoring feedback loop in the process could inform the HLP Coordinating Body that Chapai Nawabganj could benefit from partnerships with local specialized agencies that could provide viable alternatives or mitigations to the problem. Tactically, outside partners could help provide capacity to help with testing the remaining wells or providing education to ensure awareness of the problem. Outside partners may also be able to help establish creative alternatives to improving the arsenic testing process and technology. Both of these Best Practice challenges can be improved by allowing for a greater vertical influence on the Best Practice implementa- tion processes. Better leveraging partners across the program can enhance the quality and innovation of the Best Practices without violating the bottom-up participatory approach. The HLP Best Practice processes can be improved to better connect the Union Parishads to the vertical actors and other resources that they may not otherwise have access to. There is an opportunity for HLP to better integrate other organizations into the front ‘innovative’ end and back ‘monitoring’ end of the Best Practices implementation processes. Program Management Processes The Horizontal Learning Program operates with a relatively high degree of procedural and managerial flexibility and informality. The HLP Coordinating Body has intentionally allowed the Horizontal Learning Program and its program management processes to evolve over the past two years. This has been, in part, to ensure the program is led from the bottom-up and to maintain adaptability as the program grew.7 This approach has more-or-less worked for HLP to date because the program is still in its first phase of develop- ment and includes a relatively small number of Union Parishads. However, as the program continues to grow in scope and breadth, these informal processes pose a real threat to the stability and management of the Horizontal Learning Program. 7 Peer to peer “knowledge-exchanges are dynamic, non-linear, and at times, messy pro- cesses” Reeler, 2005.
21 [INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF THE HORIZONTAL LEARNING PROGRAM: ASSESSMENT] The HLP Coordinating Body has maintained this informality in large part because there are clear, inherent strengths in sustaining an organic nature to the program. In many ways the program’s informal- ity reinforces its ‘spirit’ and enabling environment. Informality at the program management level enables it to grow and respond in an agile way and rejects the notion of rigidity or bureaucratic formality. Avoiding formal rules and processes creates a general openness that encourages people to engage by minimizing their barriers to participation and granting space to shape the leadership, structure, and direction of the program. This adds a level of intimacy and connectedness for participants in the program, especially those at the local level. Yet, these strengths are countered by a number of challenges that inhibit the program’s efficiency and pose a risk to it’s future growth and sustainability. A significant challenge with this informality is the often heavy reliance on individuals over processes. Relying on one or two key individuals to serve as the primary operators of a large and growing program sets up opportunities for bottlenecks or burn-out on the part of the individual(s). More critically, this dependency on a person over process puts the entire program at risk should a key individual leave the program — immediately/unexpectedly or other- wise — taking the knowledge of the program away as well. Informality also places the program in ‘reactive mode’ and can result in confused expectations. First, informal processes often affect the Coordinating Body’s ability to plan and manage work effectively because they spend significant time responding to unexpected issues and concerns. These kind of procedural hurdles hinder the program’s ability to move to the next level of maturity. Another challenge is that informal processes can result in lack of clarity, consistency or standards around roles and how the program operates. In addition to hampering the efficiency or effectiveness of the program, this can have the unintended consequence of opening the door to perceptions of favoritism, bias or undue influence if processes or communication appears to differ for some. Taken together, these procedural and management weaknesses pose a threat to the program’s ability to both sustain itself under its current operation and to expand across Upazillas and take on larger membership. This informality can only be so flexible and, as the program continues to rapidly grow, at some point it will break. The problems and risks associated with this procedural informality can be best demonstrated through examining two key HLP manage- HLP Management Processes The Program Management processes include all activities required to facili- tate knowledge exchange and administer the overall HLP program. Knowledge exchange support functions include con- necting members of the program, coor- dinating workshops or documenting best practices. Administrative functions in- clude managing program communication, membership, funding, and technology.
22 [INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF THE HORIZONTAL LEARNING PROGRAM: ASSESSMENT] ment process: communication and information management, and meeting and membership processes. Program communication and information management is primarily informal and tends to occur from one individual to another or from one to a group, rather than over a common shared platform. The primary method for com- municating is via personal mobile phone. To the degree that this helps personalize the program and makes people feel connected, this is valuable, however it is not an effective way to communicate and it will not be sustainable as the program grows. This is because mobile phone conversations single thread information and require an infinitely greater effort to support than utilizing a more distrib- uted network of people or technology. Relying on mobile phones also runs the risk of inconsistent program messages passed from person to person. In addition to mobile phone communications, the Horizontal Learning Program has creatively and successfully leveraged the fact that Bangladeshi’s universally own mobile phones by establishing a wide-cast SMS information alert system that can broadcast messages to everyone in the program. Yet, while this is a very effective way of notifying individuals of upcoming events or new program information, it is not a communication channel that allows for the elaboration on, or back-and-forth of, detailed program information. For example, the HLP Coordinating Body has thoroughly and successfully documented Best Practices, processes, meetings and other relevant program information in both Bengali and English. However, it is unclear how the information is distributed and made available to the participants, especially when information changes. Creating a clear method and platform for introducing new and showcasing existing information is important for the future success of the program. The Horizontal Learning Program is exploring the development of a webpage — this would improve the program communications and access to information considerably by creating a standard, centralized location where all participants (or interested UPs) could obtain information on the program. The key to estab- lishing a common platform will be to ensure it is managed and kept relevant by the core HLP team. Meeting and membership management is another operational process where informality poses risks to the Horizontal Learning Program. This is particularly true with Informal Working Team8 or other program leadership meetings. While hosting an open forum can create the sense of inclusiveness and allow for the introduction of outside ideas, it can also create barriers to making real progress 8 For example, the research team attended the HLP Informal Working Team Meeting held in Dhaka on August 6, where two non-HLP mem- bers, a journalist from The Daily Naya Diganta and a representative from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) attended the meeting. There were also numerous Union Parishad representatives who had not previous- ly attended such a meeting. The research team was informed that this meeting attendance was consistent with other IWT meetings.
23 [INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF THE HORIZONTAL LEARNING PROGRAM: ASSESSMENT] in meetings. By including different representatives or non-members in what is considered a leadership meeting makes it difficult to raise issues and challenges, hold candid discussions, or make decisions effectively. Having an open-door policy for these standing meet- ings makes it difficult to progress from meeting to meeting if it is necessary to repeat information or get people up to speed on past meetings or decisions. More importantly, it makes it unclear who is truly responsible for contributing to and making decisions for the program and who can be held accountable for action items following the meeting. This confusion around roles is compounded by who calls and runs the meetings. Overall, the value provided by loose meeting management does not outweigh challenges and confusion presented by it. Finally, the process by which Union Parishads join the Horizontal Learning Program is unclear and could cause challenges in the future. Initial HLP membership was primarily based on existing relationships. It has continued to grow based on discussions among Informal Working Team members concerning the ability of the program to absorb new members and considering the status of the respective UPs. There is not a clear process on how UPs are added to the list for consideration and the queue does not seem to be based on needs or priorities of particular Upazillas or Union Parishads. Instead, new membership seems to be built on relation- ships. This is positive to the degree that doing so helps maintain a collegial atmosphere and strong program. However, the challenge is that as much as HLP leadership may want to have an open door policy, membership is not open to all Union Parishads. Because of capacity and management challenges, the program is not currently able to simply include all UPs that are interested in the program. In Above: Village Committee Meeting, Ghorapakia Village.
24 [INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF THE HORIZONTAL LEARNING PROGRAM: ASSESSMENT] fact there are more UPs that want to participate than the current program can accommodate. Allowing some and not others into the program can create or reinforce perceptions of favoritism and politicking. This undermines the core principles of Horizontal Learning and can result in loss of legitimacy in the eyes of partici- pants. Having a clear process for applying and joining HLP would help to mitigate potential issues with favoritism and would help the HLP Coordinating Body better plan and manage new members in the future. In summary, it is critical for the Horizontal Learning Program lead- ers to allow the Union Parishads to drive and own the Best Practice processes while balancing the need for the HLP Coordinating Body to strengthen and own the Management processes. There are clear, separate roles required to manage these two process levels and such distributed ownership does not need to be in conflict. In fact, strengthening and clarifying the management processes to better support the exchange of knowledge will likely increase the overall effectiveness of the Best Practice implementation. Further, creating clear, sustainable management processes will better enable the Horizontal Learning Program to grow to a large scale. PRinciPles The above analysis of the Horizontal Learning Program’s structure and process presents strengths and weaknesses of its organiza- tion and practices. The outcome of the HLP assessment thus far reveals the importance of establishing connections and engaging in active participation. The following discussion will focus on the fundamental principles that guide those structures and processes and ultimately, shape the culture of the program. Focusing on the organizational culture of HLP is a useful lens for identifying the values and ideas that define the program’s rules of engagement. The application of these principles fuels one of the primary goals of the program — empowering local government officials by recognizing inherent capacities. The Horizontal Learning Program coordinators and participants place emphasis on creating a positive environment for exchanging ideas that originate at the local level. This culture is established through the use of affirmative language and constructive feedback. The underlying idea is that UP Chairmen are more likely to exchange knowledge in an environment that appreciates and rec- ognizes the contributions they make while addressing community
25 [INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF THE HORIZONTAL LEARNING PROGRAM: ASSESSMENT] needs. Recognition from the HLP network can lead to a sense of self confidence as Chairmen advance towards their development goals. Many of the principles behind the culture of HLP flow from a theory known as Appreciative Inquiry.9 Appreciative Inquiry was first introduced to the HLP through the Coordinating Body during the program’s pilot phase. This introduction signals the important role the Coordinating Body has in designing HLP culture. It is critical to note, however, the introduction of Appreciative Inquiry and its successful integration would have been unlikely had the central tenants of the theory not resonated with already existing ways of communicating and interacting at the local level. Several program documents and almost all program participants interviewed identified “ ‘appreciative inquiry’ as the most important element under the horizontal learning process.”10 By and large, this belief demonstrates that the principle of creating a positive environment acts as the fuel to powering the HLP. Focusing the Horizontal Learning Program heavily around the prin- ciple of appreciation does present a potential weakness that should HLP MEMBER1 HLP MEMBER2 Appreciation Participation Recognition 9 Appreciative inquiry is a theory and practice that was developed in the early 1980s by PhD candidates in Organizational Behavior at Case Western Reserve University. Since its creation, the concept and methodology has undergone mutations and interpretations so that the term takes on various meanings. 10 Report on the National Dissemination Work- shop. Dhaka, October 30, 2008. [Figure 8] HLP Principles The fundamental principles of participation, recog- nition and appreciation guide HLP’s structure and processes. As HLP members participate, they utilize recognition and appreciation to build relationships, ultimately shaping the culture of the program. While important on their own, it is the integration of all three that facilitates knowledge flow across the network.
26 [INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF THE HORIZONTAL LEARNING PROGRAM: ASSESSMENT] be considered as plans for the future program are unfolding. When HLP participants qualify their language so that it is only positive, important lessons or learning opportunities may be ignored. Creat- ing space for open discussion in areas that need improvement could compliment the culture of constructive exchange. Setting a tone and striking a balance between constructive vs. destructive feedback will be an ongoing challenge for the HLP leadership. However, it will be important for the program leaders to look more openly and critically at programmatic challenges and issues in order to more effectively grow the Horizontal Learning Program.
27 [INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF THE HORIZONTAL LEARNING PROGRAM: KEY INGREDIENTS] 4KEY INGREDIENTS There are a number of critical elements within the Horizontal Learning Program that capture its essence and lay the foundation for implementation in other contexts. Assessing the structure, process, and principles reveals three key elements that constitute the program: networks, bottom-up participation, and appreciation. This section defines and deconstructs each ingredient within the context of HLP in Bangladesh. It demonstrates why each one is critical to the program’s success by applying it to an alternate scenario. By highlighting the importance of all three key ingredients, this section shows how the integration of all three is necessary to successfully replicate HLP in an alternate context. Networks: A complex network of vertical and horizontal connections where individuals and institutions share knowledge and build valuable relationships. In the context of Bangladesh, the HLP network enables people to connect and build trust through the exchange of tacit knowledge. The HLP network brings together actors that share similar life experiences and development goals. The network works best in hierarchical and bureaucr
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