Learning for Sustainability (LfS) - Introduction


This LfS portal is a reference guide for those working to support social learning and collective action around sustainability issues. Annotated links provide direct access to hundreds of key resources internationally.

Efforts towards sustainability in any field are built on processes for communicating, learning, and sharing knowledge, engaging people in their multiple roles as individuals, and as members of communities and organizations. This portal (formerly NRM-changelinks) is designed for those wanting to improve collaboration within a range of governance, organizational and management settings. It is aimed at supporting adaptation and resilience within a decision-making environment characterised by change, complexity and uncertainty. The site highlights the wide range of networks, processes, tools and skillsets required to support constructive collaboration. The site structure also highlights how these different elements can be combined in practice, and collectively brings links to several hundred annotated on-line resources together in one easy to access site.

The terminology and concepts are used holistically, and the focus is on highlighting ways in which the different elements interlink and interact. The areas covered can be accessed directly from the left menu bar, and can also be accessed through the sitemap. The site can be used to visit a number of areas briefly to think about how they interlink, or it can be used to find resources that expand on any one area or element.

A central section links the reader to a range of guides, tools and checklists to address issues involved in managing multi-stakeholder participation and engagement initiatives. Lessons are drawn from different sectors including agriculture, the environment, HIV/AIDS, public health, climate change, disaster management, and conservation. A new page in this section now covers tools, tips and techniques for facilitators and other social engagement specialists. Other sections provide links to best and emerging practice in specific areas including social learning, systems thinking, adaptive management, network building and mapping, dialogue, knowledge management, and planning and evaluation. Research links cover action research, participation, integration and interdisciplinarity.

Each section listed in the menu structure brings links to complementary resources together. Each resource is listed with the name of the site and a brief description of the content (in the main taken from the site's own description). You will also notice that, when you click on a link, the site will open in a new browser window. In most cases, these sites provide information on - and links to - a host of relevant topics in addition to the one they are listed under. Therefore, once you arrive at a new site, additional searching of a menu or file hierarchy can often prove fruitful.

The Internet is vast, it is continually growing and changing, accordingly this guide represents only a sample of what is available. Moreover, because people tend to move their sites around the Internet periodically the actual address at any given time may be different from that shown here. Thanks in advance for e-mailing any corrections or suggestions for additions and improvement.

The material here is all freely available for use, please acknowledge the source where appropriate. Thanks to all those of you whose whose comments and suggestions have helped improve this site as an Internet resource. The views expressed in this site are my own, and are not necessarily those of any supporting organisations, groups, or individuals. For more about the background to this site it is suggested that you visit the about this site page.

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Will Allen
This site is researched, written & maintained by Dr Will Allen.

Site update Managing collaborations - outcomes, action research and evaluation Read more >>

Action research blog post - evaluating and learning from collaborative initiatives Read more >>

Outcomes posting Managing for outcomes - a 4-part blog series Read more >>

Complicated or complex Management implications: operating in complex adaptive systems Read more >>

Theory of change Links to latest reports Read more >>

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