Tenure and Development Community of Practice established

Following up from the Learning from Complexity workshop it has been agreed to establish an online Tenure and Development Community of Practice (TCoP) to bring together researchers, practitioners and policy makers to explore complex tenure problems and identify solutions.

An online collaboration site has been established using Wiggio - a free group collaboration platform which enable synchronous and asynchronous discussion, uploading of documents and more. The TCoP is open to all interested in understanding complex tenure practices in rural and urban settings and who seek to find practical and affordable ways to strengthen tenure security for poor and vulnerable households.

Phuhlisani is moderating the TCoP. If  you are working in this field either in South Africa or elsewhere you are welcome to participate.

What is a community of practice?

 “Communities of practice are distributed groups of people who share a concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area by interacting on an on-going basis.”[1]   

Key components

According to Wenger et al there are three key components of a community of practice

The domain:

A community of practice is not merely a club of friends or a network of connections between people. It has an identity defined by a shared domain of interest. Membership therefore implies a commitment to the domain, and therefore a shared competence that distinguishes members from other people.

The community:

In pursuing their interest in their domain, members engage in joint activities and discussions, help each other, and share information. They build relationships that enable them to learn from each other.

The practice:

Members of a community of practice are practitioners. They develop a shared repertoire of resources: experiences, stories, tools, ways of addressing recurring problems—in short a shared practice. This takes time and sustained interaction.

Defining characteristics

The following are classic characteristics of a Community of Practice (CoP)

•        It is self-organizing

•       It is informal

•       It spans organizational boundaries involving outside organizations and individuals

•       It draws on diverse membership

•       It is voluntary, based on trust

•        Members share best practices in reusable knowledge base


[1] “Cultivating Communities of Practice”, by Etienne Wenger, Richard McDermott and William M Snyder, the Harvard Business School Press, USA, 2002, 284 pages

Understanding complexity
Understanding complexity
Posted: 12/9/2010 (5:46:05 AM)

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