Supporting communities of practice – A Journey to effective problem-solving

Resource type
Journal Article
Supporting communities of practice – A Journey to effective problem-solving
In contexts of scarce resources, varied assets, and diverse communities, engaging local stakeholders in the problem-solving process is critical to develop interventions for HIV prevention and treatment. Communities of practice (CoPs) – groups of people organized around a key purpose and a delivery point – can develop expertise in identifying their local community’s key challenges and selecting viable solutions. We propose a framework, adapted from the CoP model developed by Etienne Wenger, for systematically understanding the stages a CoP may go through as it develops its capacity to identify and solve problems and implement good practices. Our framework is based on the experience of practitioners of the LISTEN model (Local Initiatives Scaled Through Enterprise Networks) in eight local-level CoPs in Kenya and Eswatini. LISTEN seeks to help CoPs integrate continuous improvement processes, data, and human-centered design into their development and solutioning activities. The four stages in our framework for a CoP’s problem-solving journey are: 1) Community Identity: Identify and understand the CoP’s purpose and goals, and build rapport with its members and leaders; 2) Quick Win: Use a process of human-centered design to obtain a rapid and clear success in addressing a problem that the CoP has identified for itself and which it can tackle with its own resources; 3) Stewardship: Support the CoP in addressing more complex or long-term issues, including links to other CoPs at the local-community or higher levels to disseminate knowledge and obtain resources and support, where needed; and 4) Evolution: Support the CoP as it transitions into potentially new structures or functions. For each stage of the framework, we describe the kinds of support that may be provided to the CoP in the LISTEN model, and the types of tools that could be developed to assist them in problem-solving and in disseminating sustainable solutions.
Gates Open Research
Journal Abbr
Gates Open Res
18/03/2021, 19:06
Library Catalog (Crossref)
Hanschke, C., Baer, J., Gangaramany, A., Verheijen, J., Kilonzo, N., Okiya, B., Ranji, L. K., Amolo, S. A., Zwane, S., Nkambule, R., Buluma, V., Ojoo, S., Kim, S., Kibwana, S., Dybul, M., & Kretschmer, S. (2021). Supporting communities of practice – A Journey to effective problem-solving. Gates Open Research, 4, 110.