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: Dec 14, 2020

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 May 16, 2015 at 2:05am

Is it time to try another online peer assist? Any one have a challenge they want some peers to assist with? 

Comment by Nancy White on May 31, 2013 at 4:24pm

Will do!

Comment by J. Yennenga KOMPAORE on May 31, 2013 at 3:54pm

Nancy, ok for the picture ! WOuld you please report to the main list? I'm not very sure of what should be posted there.

Comment by Nancy White on May 31, 2013 at 3:37am

Fantastic reflections and harvest, Yennenga. I'm busily imagining this now in your context. Now I want PICTURES! Can you share a picture from your upcoming meeting (after the meeting, that is?) And thank you for playing along with us! We need to now cross link this back to the main KM4Dev list. Would you like to do that or would you like me to ?

Comment by J. Yennenga KOMPAORE on May 30, 2013 at 6:27pm

Bonnie, I'm sure you've been active in "silent listening and suport". Knowing,that you and others silent particpants were reading , surely encourage others to participate. It's not funny to talk alone : one need to be listened ! So thank you bonnie for registering to the peer -assist ! It was challenging to be one vs the world, but extremely productive. And I recommand this peer assist to anyone who need quick and deep inputs. I also recommand it to persons that feels overwhelmed by a work and don't know where to start.

Comment by Bonnie Koenig on May 30, 2013 at 6:16pm

Wow, Yennenga, you have done a remarkable job of using the input you have received and providing feedback to the process!  Bravo!  You are an inspiration.

I have not been as active in the process as some of my colleagues since the beginning stages, partly as I have been busy but also because I felt that so much good advice was being given to Yannega that there would be a limit to how much could be absorbed.   Yannega alluded to this a bit in her feedback that sometimes it felt like her as a 'one person team' vs 'the world'.  As this was a test, I wonder if next time around we should have fewer facilitators/respondents/assisters? But as a first try, kudos to everyone who participated.


Comment by J. Yennenga KOMPAORE on May 30, 2013 at 5:01pm
Comment by J. Yennenga KOMPAORE on May 30, 2013 at 4:59pm

Ideas/contribution harvest (2/3) :

  1. Idea of workshop :
  • Ask facilitators to share with each other a time when their work wnet really well (for example, using appreciative enquiry approaches) then trying to draw out the factors that contributed to that success. Take time to celebrate those successes!
  • Use this discussion to begin to generate ideas for topics for a toolkit(perhaps through some kind of card sort exercice to prioritize.
  • Ask people to self organize into groups to begin to share ideas and examples that could form the content of each section of the toolkit.
  • Use a digital camera and voice recorder to get as much A/V material of the examples and case studies you can.
  1. Using visual methods
  2. Socializing contents
  3. Others ideas
  • Using sheet of papers, start by drawing the desired outcome. Then, draw the steps to get there. You can add text, audio and video interviews to complete. In the end, you can even do a play that acts out the plan through its implementation.
  • Use a river of life method and brings  stacks of magazines with pictures to help illustrate their ideas. The basic method is exploration of past, present and desired future
  • Story tell it
  1. Lending local facilitators a camera and asking them to take pictures during their work. A photostory that can be discussed together.
  2. Inside the toolkit : a collection of ideas and approaches that can be used. Include post it notes, masking tapes to stick things to wall, different colours markers, pens, pictures that can be used for ice breakers, items to make funny noises to bring a session to an end.
  3. Capture, make meaning of, share and apply local knowledge,
  4. The process of story telling – of story validating –
  5. The power of storytelling and images
  6. Include in the toolkit some tools and ideas on: what is a good story? How to tell a good story? How to frame a good narrative? – How to ask interesting questions and engage audience?
  7. Use drawing to describe technical practices
  8. Contact Eva for further discussion on mapping
  9. Bringing key drivers to the front as an objective of the local  knowledge capture
    1. Liberating Structures spark inventiveness by minimally structuring the way we interact
Comment by J. Yennenga KOMPAORE on May 30, 2013 at 4:56pm

Ideas/contribution harvest:

  1. The process of being a facilitator; how can that be understood and facilitated?
  2. What do each organization expect as far as facilitators role is concerned
  3. One toolkit on content and one toolkit on process (support and inspiration on how to be an effective facilitator)
  4. Include interesting case studies
  5. Who are the facilitators:  background? Literacy level? Training?  Financial level?
  6. Who are the network’s members: level literacy? Are some of them willing to volunteer?
  7. Is there a musical or storytelling culture?
  8. Literacy forms as such as drawing, handicrafts can be knowledge building  and sharing vehicles
  9. What is the main goal of the facilitators during a session?
  10. Are they using standardized tools or approaches? Or creating their own approach?
  11. The role of participants: are they only receiving the message or are they shaping them and giving them local context.
  12. Idea of organizing write shops to build local content. That would unable to build home grown identity
  13. Inspiring  sense, confidence, autonomy and trust among facilitators
  14. Understanding the physical assets they have to work with
  15. Supporting facilitators work to be about knowledge flow and sense making, not information sharing.
  16. Considering gender and other power issues and identity in their work
  17. Learning from the existing methodologies (theater forum) the facilitators are already using
  18. What are the facilitation assets? Infrastructures such as: backyards? Demonstration lands? Chairs and tables? Supplies : boards, office supplies, notebooks
  19. Give simple ideas to facilitators about organizing groups and activities in ways that help to counter balance inequities
  20. Facilitators being able to help people to reflect on how they learn, assess info, who they trust and why
Comment by J. Yennenga KOMPAORE on May 30, 2013 at 4:54pm

Yennenga’s feedback  : very productive!!

Dear friends

Thank you so much for all your contributions.

On the content

Below are all the ideas you kindly offered to me during the peer assist. Each one of them is very important for me. Most of them are refection fertilizers. The clarification part at the very beginning has been for me the richest part. But reading the ideas/suggestions list, you will see that it has also been productive.

What is really interesting is that contributions were not general and abstract. They were relevant and appropriate to my Aliniha context.

There’s also the list of websites I’ve extracted from your contributions and that will allow me to make further research and benchmark. I’ve been on all of them, but need to take more time for that.

Finally, I think that together we have succeeded drawing the basis of a kind of vision of what a toolkit for local facilitators can be.

On the process

It has been really challenging for me. When I first posted my request on the main list, I didn’t expect that much interest and solidarity. To be reactive to the questions was like a high level sport party with a team made of one person and a team made with all the entire world. SO I needed top level concentration because I didn’t want to miss any idea ball !

What comes next?

I’m now using this huge brainstorm results to create/inspire the “processes and tools” part of the  toolkit. During the peer- assist-, we have created the content with the local facilitator during a writeshop. It consists on 12 best practices sheets.

Next week I’ll attend a meeting with aliniha’s board members. I’ll report to them the questions you asked in the clarification part and we will try to answer them together.

Two core activities will put an end to “toolkit activity”:

  • The creation of an interactive poster for knowledge sharing . Please don’t ask me what it is, I just don’t know yet! It will be a place to unhide contents and exchange local knowledge.
  • The first knowledge sharing tour in coming October. Here also, I have to imagine with Aliniha’s members  what it should be. The toolkit might be launch there. By the way, you’re all invited to take part and learn from that.

Merci beaucoup !!





Members (22)


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