Guest blog written by Jaynnie K Mulle, Meital Tzobotaro, Rosemary Okello-Orale, Stephen Brager, Warren Harrity.
This is a team of five development practitioners who work for USAID and Strathmore University in Kenya. They successfully completed the 15-week Practice of PDIA online course that ended in May 2019. This is their story.
The course provided a number of valuable tools, principles, and practices that are already being put to use. Additionally, a great takeaway is our team that was formed for this course, I am not sure how if it all we would have come together to work on something in a way that this course brought us together, but we are glad for this opportunity to create this team. Specific key takeaways include the emphasis on defining and deconstructing a problem rather that “applying solutions”; assessing the AAA’s and including the development of the authorization space as part of the activity; crawling the design; and appreciating that this practice is hard but rewarding. In many regards this course was a gift that enriched our thinking, refueled our enthusiasm, and helped us to look at our problem in a new and exciting way. Allow us to offer you a gift in return, if you’ve not done so already, read about one of the earliest PDIA practitioners in the “Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.”
Other take-aways from the course include:
- Instead of adopting the solution that other people have to solve a problem, the course helped us to learn how to search for solutions to our problem,
- The 1804 metaphor of taking small steps to solve complex problems,
- The use of the fishbone to identify the cause and effects in problems and how they are interconnected. Most importantly how fishbone allows for prioritizing relevant cause so that the underlying root cause is addressed first,
- The importance of using iteration, and,
- How people are at the center of all PDIA elements