Peer-To-Peer Learning Approaches - Brief Description


In many government bodies, people are often motivated to talk about the experiences they have made in their own working environment. If they come to another region facing similar challenges, they have the opportunity to compare and reflect what is good in their place, and what they can learn from another. While people living in an environment often “get used” to persisting problems, as they are coping with them in their day to day life, outsiders often perceive problems differently.

A single chat between farmers or between local government staff from different areas can induce more change, than many lessons of formal training.

Some of the reasons include:
  • People of the same level speak the same language, have similar practical experience, have much in common with each other and therefore communicate with greater ease
  • The exchange of experience takes place without expectations, hidden agenda or other pressures. It is up to the peers to adopt, copy or reject any practice and opinion. If an organisation is carrying out a formal training, the trainees might feel some pressure to respond in a certain way.
  • Outsiders can give an unbiased advice. It is sincere, can address sensitive problems without being politically or personally motivated. That puts the outside advisor in a neutral position (i.e. which can be accepted by the different stakeholders).
  • Peer-to-Peer learning is demand driven, the most burning issues will be discussed first. Ways of practical implementation gain priority over theoretical discussions.

Peer-to-Peer learning supports the multiplication of good practices, stimulates an exchange of experience from experts of similar working environments from one area or country to another.

Figure 1: The Learning Pyramid