Leadership & Innovation Initiative

The world is changing. International commitments are emphasizing the interlinkage and complexity of development challenges. Following years of intensive dialogues and evaluating the Millennium Agenda, the SDG’s push for collaborative global action to meet nowadays challenges. We have to think differently and transform the way we work to face these challenges without just blueprinting solutions in different contexts.

More and more international agencies focus on innovation and innovative approaches to tackle the complex development issues in development and international cooperation measures that are grounded in the political commitment of the SDG’s. Accordingly, innovation has become an important criterion to assess effectiveness of projects. Furthermore, the complexity of development challenges require new ways of thinking, especially also for persons in leadership position.

Our work further stresses the process level of social innovation, regarding the processes of social interaction in achieving change equally as significant as the outcomes. There are different methodologies to take a creative and/or a dialogical, collaborative approach to shaping social innovation, also focusing on innovation capacities, new ways of thinking and creative collaboration, e.g. through prototyping. Novel ideas are generated by the beneficiaries themselves, in exchange with a diverse group of people.

Based on this background Learn4Dev-members decided 2016 to from a group focusing on questions of innovation in and through competence development for development results in the partner countries. We started to collect information on experiences and discuss methodological approaches in webinars, especially on foresight methods. The members of this group are ITC/ILO, CEF, EU DEVCO, GIZ Global Leadership Academy, FAO and CEFEB, the training center of AFD Group.

The result-perspective of competence development for innovative results: How does innovation happen in practice? What does this imply for development and international cooperation, what are enabling factors? What are the innovation competences needed to drive change?

The process perspective on innovative competence development: How can learning practice be developed further to initiate change (innovative practice) at individual, institutional and systemic level? How can we turn innovation or creative methodologies, e.g. prototyping or Design Thinking, into initiatives for lasting change? What experiences do we have to scale such approaches in regard to its effectiveness, e.g. in MOOCs? How to strengthen individual and institutional innovation competence? How can we effectively advance leadership for innovation – how to advance individual leadership for institutional and social change?

Drawing on the knowledge and practical experiences of the group members, eventually, the innovation initiative of Learn4Dev is interested in developing methodologies further, e.g. method mix and in collaborating in implementation (joining the dialogue measures of others and/or jointly implement a (creative) methodology on a common topic of interest.


List of members:

Tom Wambeke: ITC/ILO

Gašper Pleško Zalar: CEF – Center of Excellence in Finance

Treinen, Sophie: FAO


Elodie Parent : AFD/CEFEB