Online Peer Assist Experiments


Online Peer Assist Experiments

We are experimenting with doing online Peer Assists for KM4Dev in this group. We will run a couple of experiments, then debrief our learnings. We decided to use the NING group and then report out on the full KM4Dev list. Everyone is welcome to join!

Members: 22
Latest Activity: May 21, 2015

Introduction to Our First Peer Assist

Our first peer assist will be with Yennenga. Our guest peer assist facilitators will be Alejandro, Bonnie, Catherine, Ednah, Johannes and Nancy. Our goal is to both offer Yennenga a peer assist, and to consider how to do peer assists online. For more about peer assists, check out this entry in the KS Toolkit: Peer Assists.


We think we will start addressing one question at a time, using the comment wall. So we'll post each question, then ask everyone to ask any clarifying questions on that first question. Then we will offer ideas and experiences on that question. Following, Yennega will post what she learned and will do next. Then we'll move on to the next question. At least that is the plan. Here is Yennenga's situation and questions:

To sum up the situation :


Imagine 6,000 illiterate women living in villages across west Africa (Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal). Some grow crops, others transform agriculture product, others are craftmakers or small sellers. Although they work  really hard, they earn very little wage from those activities.

Three years ago, those women gathered into a network; the aim is to strengthen and share their experiences in three main areas : microfinance, environment, and women's empowerment. A team of local facilitators help them. But their facilitation capacities have to be strengthened.

Three months ago, I joined that rural women network, in order to help them better manage the knowledge production and sharing. I would like to start with five actions.


1. To capitalise, map and profile the job of "local facilitator" and then Produce a toolkit for the facilitators (what and how?) Facilitated by: Catherine  


2. Identify and train some of the women in KM (success stories recording and telling for example). Facilitated by: Alejandro


3. Identify and train local trainers in agriculture products conservation and transformation techniques. Facilitated by: Bonnie.


4. To set up a monitoring and evaluation tool that will help assess the evolution of the members of the network. Facilitated by:


Can KM4Dev change the lives of those 6, 000 women? How do I help do all that, in a sustainable and profitable way for the network? I have a voice recorder, a digital camera, a laptop and a skype account. How do I do that, to be able to develop their autonomy in KM4dev and make my presence unnecessary  after two years?



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Comment Wall


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Comment by Nancy White on April 17, 2013 at 5:28pm

While it may be a personal reflection, Yennenga, it sure feels very familiar to me. I still struggle to shift from the paradigm of information presenter/deliverer to facilitator of knowledge FLOW!!! ;-) I'm looking forward to when we begin to think of ideas and share experiences on this question.  I think it could strongly inform what kind of toolkit you create. It is not just content!!!

Comment by J. Yennenga KOMPAORE on April 17, 2013 at 5:19pm

I think we also need some idealism !!!

Your question about participants' participation is really interesting. I know two situations. When the participants just listen; which is not suitable. And when the participants  give their opinion, debate, make testimonies.  What explains those differencies, are maybe the attitude of the facilitators, the gender problem (when women don't want to speak in presence of mem) or the nature of the discussion topic (for example, religon and culture may not encourage participant to speak out their mind). Well at this stage, it is really personnal reflexion that I'm giving.

Comment by Nancy White on April 17, 2013 at 5:08pm

I found it interesting that you are looking to standardize so people all get the same message. This triggers me to ask about the role of the participants. Are they only receiving the messages? Or are they shaping them, giving them local context and adding their knowledge? How do you accommodate for local context? (I have this image in my head of weaving a network of connections that carry both the shared messages, and also the local and unique knowledge? I'm idealistic!)

Comment by J. Yennenga KOMPAORE on April 17, 2013 at 5:03pm

Existing material in the network


Each of the three founder members of the aliniha network has some existing material, generally in french. These are power points, or Word files that they have received when attending tranining. But they have not developped their own material based on the experience/expertise .

Comment by J. Yennenga KOMPAORE on April 17, 2013 at 4:59pm

local facilitator's background and roles . Existing material in the network


Dear Bonnie and Catherine

Sorry about the delay in my answer.  Most of the facilitators are rural women and have been trained/ sensitized in their organizations by attending a variety of meetings and worshops about all kind of topics. They are generalists ! smile. 

 Based on general observation, I will say that the main types of training are : (1) attending worshops where an "expert" make oral presentation on a given theme. Sometimes the "expert" will speak in french, and what he/she says is translated simultanuously in the local language. So the people attending the training, just come, sit, listen and remember what he/she can. When they go back in their villages, they organize another meetin to share on  a oral basis what they have learnt.


(2)For other topics, observation is the way of learning. For gardening for example. Facilitators can assist to field demonstration and ask questions.  Sometimes they travel to another village or in one of the two others countries coverd by the aliniha network.


As far as the topic ofenvironment is concerned, video debate is the main tool used by facilitors to sensitize rural women. For the topics related to women empowerment, interactive theater performances are used. local facilitaors in Burkina Faso have their own theater group and can create and perform for their target groups.


Aliniha methodologie is on process and KM is supposed to play an active rôle in that process in order to create approches and standartized tools; that will make it possible for all facilitators of thealiniha network to deliver the same message content and technical procedures.  The facilitators toolkit is expected to play that role and even clarify what is expected from a facilitator during a session.


I hope it's a bit clear !


 Video watching or interactive per

Comment by Catherine Fisher on April 17, 2013 at 3:17pm

I understand Yennega is out and about this week so not able to respond instantly.  Lets give her some time to respond to questions about the role of facilitators and move into sharing advice and experience towards the end of the week.   

If you have any more questions of clarification please ask now.   greetings from a briefly sunny london! 

Comment by Catherine Fisher on April 15, 2013 at 5:32pm

Hi everyone, its a great honour to be part of this discussion and hear about your work Yennega.   I've agreed to facilitate the first question, great to see discussion already underway - this is going to be easy!   So to recap we are looking at this action:

1. To capitalise, map and profile the job of "local facilitator" and then Produce a toolkit for the facilitators (what and how?)

We are starting with questions of clarification then will move onto offering ideas and action.  I would like to add  a couple of other questions to those asked by Bonnie and Johannes about the local facilitators.

What kind of training/support/development have they had so far?

Are they using standardised tools and approaches or creating and developing their approaches as they go? (probably a balance between the two but do you have a sense of what that balance is?)

If anyone else has questions of clarification, please speak now!  (Hold onto your advice until later if the week if you can..)   

Comment by Bonnie Koenig on April 15, 2013 at 4:38pm

Yennenga - I agree with what everyone has said so far re: the strength of  the Aliniha  program and the information you have shared thus far. Congratulations to you and your peers on nurturing the program to this stage.  I think we are all eager to learn from each other through this process. 

Questions I would have at this point have to do with the roles of the facilitators.  For example.  What would be the main goal(s) of the kind of sessions the facilitators would be facilitating? That would help us to know what to include in a facilitators toolkit.

Comment by J. Yennenga KOMPAORE on April 14, 2013 at 8:19pm

Hi Johannes


There's about 24 local facilitators. Women in the great majority.  Some are literate in french, other in their local languages. So, I'm in touch with the 24 facilitators, and they are supposed to transfer facilitation capacity they have and will acquire to other women in the villages. And most women in villages are illeterate.


The three main organizations that created the network do have some literacy material on their activities. But there is no material for the women in their villages on the three main topics covered by the network : environement - social credit - women empowerment.

The core group of 24 facilitators, rely on oral transmission.


I hope my answer helps.

Comment by Johannes Schunter on April 14, 2013 at 5:35pm

Hi Yennenga, this is great info to start with, kudos to this project!

Do I understand correctly that at this stage, we are focusing on question 1: " To capitalise, map and profile the job of "local facilitator" and then Produce a toolkit for the facilitators (what and how?)"? Nancy, correct me if this is not the case.

My quick question would be: Can we assume all the facilitators are literate? If not, what is their level/percentage of literacy?

Regarding the member network of  6,000 illiterate women, what pockets of literacy can you hope to find there, in order to recruit additional volunteers for those types advocacy efforts that would rely on literate middlemen/women?


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