Community Learning
Village Research in Nong Waeng Yao, Thailand
Section 1 - Idea 
  In the Beginning, There Was an Idea…
Once upon a time we were sitting around the regional office thinking up strategies for how to make PLAN a learning organization and thought "Why not find out about some communities' processes for learning?" We began with the belief that organizational learning does not only happen among large international organizations, it also happens within local communities.
The action began with a brainstorming meeting at the Thai Country Office. We thought this exercise could be an opportunity for the community to teach PLAN about the local ways of generating, capturing, and disseminating knowledge. We would give community members the opportunity to research their skills and knowledge, and then try to understand the implications for PLAN's development approach. We wanted the community members to participate, but would their ideas be enough? Our first impulse was to hire a consultant to lead the effort. But we realized that in order to learn with and from the community, we would need to throw some of our own methodologies out.
…And Then We Shared the Idea with the Community
We first spoke with the villagers of Nong Waeng Yao to determine their interest, availability, and skills. The community was interested in the project and two members of the community agreed to do the research (one woman and one man).
Community Advice: Who should be the Researchers?
  • People who have been involved with community projects before.
  • People who are self-sacrificing.
  • People who do not have extreme hardship. (The research takes time away from regular work).
  • People who love the community.
"In short, people like me!"
- Prisana Sawadlajhorn (Village Researcher)

1. Idea
2. Community
3. Research
4. Adapt
5. Findings
6. Action
7. After
8. Team
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