Learning center

Together we can change the world

When people cooperate, the world is changed. Civil society is therefore needed so that people can organise themselves. Organisational learning enables organisations to develop effective approaches and be accountable for their work.

Organisational development
Organisations must develop – and take their place in society

When people work together, they can change the world. That is why people need to meet together and organise themselves. Organisational learning enables organisations to develop effective approaches and be accountable for their work.

The ability of organisations to learn from their experiences is crucial in order for them to contribute to holistic development and reconciliation. This lays the foundation for a just, peaceful and sustainable world where human rights are respected.

What is organisational development?

Most of the organisations we work with operate on a basis of Christian values. Organisations need to reflect on their identity in order to clarify their purpose and engagement with their context. Organisations also need systems for collaboration, transparency and accountability. We support this kind of growth through what we call organisational development.

Civil society consists of organisations

Civil Society organisations can take many different forms and work for different goals such as increased equality, peace and reconciliation, access to health and education. They can be, for example, churches and other denominations, associations and civic initiatives. Together, this diversity of organizations form civil society which operates in the space between people’s private lives and state control. In this way, organisations can influence attitudes in society, hold power holders accountable and demand political change.

Shrinking democratic space is a threat to civil society

We believe that an active civil society is critical in order to see the growth of democracies that respect and protect human rights. Several articles in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantee the right to organise and meet, a right which is closely linked to freedom of speech and freedom of religion or belief.

Currently, however, we see a growing threat to many civil society actors around the world. This shrinking democratic space is a global trend of increased control, restrictions and even violence which limits civil society, its representatives and its work. To counter this trend, we are working with other organisations in Swedish and global civil society in order to expand democratic space.

This is how we work on organisational development

The network - An organisational assessment tool which centres on participation and self-analysis. Designed especially for use with NGOs, and tested by SMC members in organisations all over the world.
La red - An organisational assessment tool which centres on participation and self-analysis. Designed especially for use with NGOs, and tested by SMC members in organisations all over the world.

This is how others work on organisational development

Core Humanitarian Standard - What is quality? The Core Humanitarian Standard provides a valuable lens for identifying organisational development needs for work within the humanitarian sector.
Inspiring Change - Creating more Space for Grace in Organisations
Barefoot Guide - Learning Practices in Organisations and Social Change
Make Space! – A summary of Concord Sweden’s report (2018) - On defending civic space and the freedom of association and assembly
Thematic Focal Point:
Method and learning
Constant learning helps to change the world

In the pursuit of a just, peaceful and sustainable world where human rights are respected, there are rarely simple solutions. Therefore, we encourage ongoing learning, regular reflection and recurring evaluations in the work that we are involved in and support in order to pursue a better world.

Our role in God’s mission is to work for a just, peaceful and sustainable world where human rights are respected. To get there, attitudes, behaviours and relationships need to change.

A learning approach can change behaviours

In our work, there are rarely simple answers to how behaviours should change, or even what is “right” behaviour. Behavioural changes are complex and unpredictable because they are influenced by many factors and are constantly evolving. Therefore, we need a learning approach where we can continuously adapt planning and activities from the lessons we learn from both success and failure.

Prioritise learning!

We believe that learning should be given higher priority in international development cooperation and thus also increased budget space. Therefore, we encourage and support our member organisations to integrate a learning approach into daily work, and to allocate resources for it.

This is how we work with method and learning

Supporting document to the policy for learning and evaluation - Useful questions, answers and explanations to the policy
Resources for educators and facilitators på FORB Learning Platform - Övningar för utbildare och facilitatorer som är användbara i många olika sammanhang, och som kan anpassas till olika tematiska områden

This is how others work with method and learning

Outcome Mapping Learning Community - Website with lots of resources on Outcome Mapping (OM), an actor-focused planning and follow-up tool with actor-focus that enables follow-up of complex behavioral changes.
Outcome Harvesting Community of Practitioners - Website with lots of resources and a forum for Outcome Harvesting (OH), an actor-focused method of follow-up and evaluation that helps an organization identify behavioral changes that they have contributed to, both consciously and unconsciously, and learn from it.
Rapid Outcome Mapping (ROMA) - An introduction to ROMA, a version of Outcome Mapping that focuses specifically on policy change and impact work, from ODI. Among other things, there is a concrete guide to ROMA step by step.
Better Evaluation - An international collaboration for the exchange of methods and practical experiences regarding evaluation. The website contains brief summaries of different evaluation methods and a useful framework for identifying relevant approaches
The learning network ALNAP - "The Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action" with focus primarily on humanitarian work.

Our basic idea

“To become more effective, we need to learn from both success and failure.”

Thematic Focal Point:
Advisor
Anti corruption
Corruption threatens all efforts to create a better world

Corruption is a serious threat to our efforts for a better world as it demoralises both people and political systems. Corruption is prevalent in all countries, but affects people who are already living in poverty and are the most vulnerable. Systematic anti-corruption efforts discourage misconduct, make it easier to find discrepancies and prevent the abuse of power.

In SMC’s core values, the idea of responsible stewardship is central: man is created to take shared responsibility for creation. The Bible not only talks about corruption as something wrong in itself, but also highlights how corruption especially affects the vulnerable and the poor.

Corruption affects those who are particularly vulnerable

Corruption is common in countries with weak democratic institutions and inefficient governments. Development cooperation (also known as aid) brings status and money, this increase in power runs the risk of encouraging corrupt behaviour. Corruption undermines respect for human rights, with the vulnerable usually being the most severely affected. However, development cooperation can also contribute to reducing corruption.

This is how we work to prevent corruption in development cooperation

In our policy for anti-corruption, we use a broad definition of corruption: corruption is the abuse of resources, trust, power and/or position in order to gain undue benefits for oneself, for a relative or for a group.

Together with our member organisations, we work systematically to identify and prevent corruption in the work we support. Our guidelines and codes of conduct are there to help avoid mistakes at work, effectively detect discrepancies and take relevant action; they also help influence values and attitudes about corruption.

Thematic Focal Point:
Head of economy