PeaceNexus Foundation

The Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (South Africa)

January 26, 2015
  • Organisation:
    Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation
  • Where:
    South Africa

The Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) is a multi-disciplinary institutewhich dedicates its expertise to building reconciliation, democracy and a human rights culture, and to preventing violence in South Africa and across the region.

Strongly committed to organisational learning but recognising the internal challenges affecting practices in this realm, CSVR sought PeaceNexus’ support to unblock internal obstacles and build a more coherent, yet still adaptable learning framework. Working closely with an internal team, an external consultant facilitated exchanges within and between all the CSVR programmes and contributed to organisational workshops where the learning agenda was discussed as part of the broader strategic review.

Through the organisational development process, CSVR developed a series of new tools to better measure the impact of its work, in particular on its advocacy objectives. Each department articulated their theory of change and fed into the design of a shared knowledge agenda. The leadership buy-in to the process helped promote a stronger embedding of learning objectives within organisational systems. For example, project proposals will now more systematically factor in monitoring, evaluation and learning deliverables and related budgets. M&E and learning are also included in job descriptions and performance appraisals. An Organisational Learning working group bringing together representatives from the different departments has been created to further carry this agenda, while a specific Knowledge and Learning Manager position has also been created.

CSVR is committed to further building on these internal achievements as well as sharing lessons more widely with external audiences, peers and partners.

The process provided a great combination of external expertise that was very neatly matched to internal organisational capacity and commitment. Not anticipated at the start, we have seen an enthusiastic take-up from staff members across the organisation who previously had not fully bought into the learning, M&E and knowledge management goals.”

Hugo van der Merwe, Head of Research, CSVR