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Learning Capacities

The more a cooperation system like a local government has fixed structures, processes, rules and rituals, the more targeted and efficiently it can act. The greater the degree to which cooperation systems can use the mechanisms of variation, selection, and stabilisation, the more sustainably they will achieve their strategic objectives and results. 

This tool should be used in situations where you need to strengthen the sustainability i.e., adaptability of a cooperation system. 


Reviewing learning capacity of a cooperative system and understanding what resources the system processes in order to proactively assimilate inputs and continue developing.


Step 1: Clearly define the cooperation system’s boundaries  

Start by identifying the boundaries of the cooperation system as the object of observation and evaluation. Boundaries that are drawn too widely can rapidly result in inaccurate negative judgements. If they are drawn too narrowly, some dimensions of observation may perhaps appear more positive than is actually the case.  

Step 2: Rate learning capacity based on questions  

This questionnaire proposes seven key factors for rating the learning capacity of a cooperative system. The more positive the rating, the greater the learning capacity. 

Step 3: Define activities to strengthen learning capacity  

Enter the strengths and weaknesses of the cooperation system as regards learning capacity in the form. This will allow you to identify suitable approaches and activities for fostering learning capacity 


Learning Capacity Rating Questionnaire


You or your workshop participants will need a sound knowledge of the cooperative system and its actors. 


1 to 2 hours


Analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of learning capacities and identification of possible activities to strengthen them


GIZ (2015): Cooperation Management for Practitioners. Managing Social Change with Capacity WORKS P. 229-231.