Learning by seeing (exposure visits)
Exposure and site visits are core elements in all of Danida Fellowship Centre’s learning programmes. Our philosophy is that the best learning takes place in real life.
Dorcas Ohenewaa from Ghana and Antony Okeyo from Kenya travelled to Denmark to seek knowledge and inspiration that could help them answer questions on what makes a successful green transition.
While Dorcas Ohenewaa is an Assistant Development Planning Officer at the Tema Metropolitan Assembly in Ghana, Antony Okey is a Research Fellow at the Center for Environmental Governance and Climate Change, at Kenya School of Government in Nairobi.
Together with colleagues from Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Mali, they took part in the learning programme Green Growth, Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability facilitated by NIRAS. Here they explored examples of sustainable ways to support green growth including the use of climate change mitigation and adaptation technologies. As most other Danida fellows participating in our learning programmes, they went on multiple site visits around the country, and got to talk to the people whose job it is to integrate Danish technologies and know-how in practice on a daily basis.
Danida Fellowship Centre has arranged learning programmes in support of Danida programmes in the global South for more than 30 years. It is our experience that exposure to real life examples of the successful integration of sustainable solutions and practices has a positive effect on all learners – no matter the subject. Leaving the classroom to go out in ‘the field’, participants get to experience wind turbines up close, see a waste water treatment plant at work or encounter urban architecture on a walking tour.
An inspirational visit to a waste management facility or a meeting with a peer who has found new solutions to similar challenges can lead to the realisation that some of the new ideas encountered can be used to solve problems faced in the participant’s own context. In our experience, this is what inspires action and change.
Classroom discussions are valuable, but hands-on exposure to applied knowledge and skills is crucial for effective learning. Site visits provide immersive experiences where participants see and interact with new technologies, know-how, and sustainable solutions. This approach inspires innovative thinking, enhances understanding, and improves knowledge retention. Practical applications of theory strengthen motivation and inspire learners. Site visits also encourage reflection, the development of personal observations, and the exploration of different approaches to issues. Additionally, these visits foster networking opportunities by connecting participants with industry professionals and colleagues in “sister organisations” in Denmark. Interactions give participants in learning programmes an opportunity to gain direct inspiration from solutions to challenges made by colleagues within their own fields and to explore how these solutions might be tailored to their own context.
Many of our learning programmes take place in Denmark. This allows the participants to interact with Danish stakeholders in areas where Denmark has longstanding experience and has developed good skills. In addition, we also strive to provide a pro-active learning experience and to showcase real life examples in learning programmes that take place locally where the fellows come from.
Read more and watch the video about the learning journey made by 24 African journalists from media across Africa while taking part in the learning programme “Reporting from the African frontline of the global climate crisis”.
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