Exposure visits are organised so that people living in one place can visit another location to observe and learn from the other community’s development activities. The purpose of exposure visits is to learn from the experience of others outside your own community, by direct interaction. Participating communities may be a short distance from one another, or in some cases, in different regions or even different countries. Advantages of Exposure Visits The visiting groups take very seriously lessons which are learnt from people who live in similar circumstances to themselves. Learning takes place in a real life situation, which allows visiting groups to ask questions about the development activity being implemented and get first hand feedback. It is practical, learning from experience (not theoretical). Often broader information exchanges take place between the two groups, beyond the core topic. Maasai women in Kajiado District of Kenya visit a near-by community to learn about donkey harnessing. Practical Action East Africa
How to use Exposure Visits
To ensure a successful exchange visit, it is important that the visiting group is fully involved in identifying the subject matter that they are interested in learning about. Development organisations can help with finding suitable host communities but individual contacts and experiences are also very useful. Think carefully about how participants are chosen. They should represent the whole community and be willing to share their new knowledge when they return from the exposure visit. Ensure that the visiting and host groups are both clear about the purpose of, and arrangements for, the visit. Prepare a programme for the visit. This makes it efficient and cost effective with regard to transport, accommodation and other expenses. Allow adequate time for discussions and demonstrations where necessary. If the two communities speak a different language, a translator should be arranged in advance. Photographs, video or audio tape can be used to record the experience. Consider the possibility of reciprocal visits or longer learning tours involving visits to various locations.
Practical Action, The Schumacher Centre, Bourton on Dunsmore, Rugby, Warwickshire, CV23 9QZ, UK T +44 (0)1926 634400 | F +44 (0)1926 634401 | E firstname.lastname@example.org | W www.practicalaction.org ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Practical Action is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee. Company Reg. No. 871954, England | Reg. Charity No.247257 | VAT No. 880 9924 76 | Patron HRH The Prince of Wales, KG, KT, GCB
E xposure visits
Constraints of Exposure Visits The cost of travel and other expenses can be prohibitive. Visits require time for detailed planning. In some countries cultural constraints may be encountered, for example women’s freedom to travel outside their home communities.
Real Life Story
Learning from Experience in Western Kenya.
In May 2001 a team of 13 women from Valongi Producer Group made an exposure visit to the Keyo Group. The objective of the visit was to learn about the Keyo group’s clay stove production project. The visit started with Esther Ombima, the Keyo Group Chair-lady, explaining how and when the group started and the activities they were involved in. The Keyo women then demonstrated Trying out the stove moulding process the entire production process from clay preparation to firing and all the difficulties involved in the process. Members of the Vaongi Group took the opportunity to have a go at the production processes themselves. Advice on managing the business and marketing the stoves was also shared. Unloading the pottery kiln The Valongi Group asked questions about how the Keyo Group had been able to stay together for several years without any conflicts or splits. The answer given by Esther Ombima was that each member produced her own stoves and was responsible for her own production material; this meant that they were working as individuals but supporting each other as a group. She said each woman contributes 5 Kenyan Shillings per stove to the group account. The Valongi Producer Group members were so impressed with what they saw, they became determined to produce their own stoves for sale. They organised another visit for detailed production training and went on to apply what they had learnt in their home community. Real life stories and photographs by kind permission of Practical Action
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E xposure visits
Practical Action The Schumacher Centre Bourton-on-Dunsmore Rugby, Warwickshire, CV23 9QZ United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)1926 634400 Fax: +44 (0)1926 634401 E-mail: email@example.com Website: http://practicalaction.org/practicalanswers/ This document is based on the Micro Media Card Pack: A Tool Kit for Community Development Workers produced by Practical Action in October 2003. Reproduced as a Technical Brief in September 2007.
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