From where we are to where we want to be

October 27, 2015 by Tamara Simić

Since its establishment in 2001, the CEF has become an internationally recognized knowledge hub for the SEE region: we combine topical expertise and in-depth knowledge of countries in the region and focus on creation and sustainability of an enabling environment that stimulates knowledge exchange among our constituency.

In our work we follow the World Bank’s approach for designing and implementing results-oriented knowledge exchange initiatives, more thoroughly described in the planning guide “The Art of Knowledge Exchange”.

For those of you, who did not yet manage to follow the link displayed to your right under our learning picks, let me summarize what the guide is about and how you can put it to practice.

Knowledge Exchange (KE) is one of the most powerful means of sharing lessons learned. It offers its users access to practical knowledge and probated solutions. Practitioners of KE feel empowered to make things happen; as a result, good practices spread and better outcomes are achieved.

The guide on KE enables the exchange of results-oriented knowledge (a method derived from 100+ exchanges financed by the World Bank’s South-South Facility). It introduces us with the Bridge Model, which helps in connecting two points: where we are and where we want to be. Connecting these two points means bridging the knowledge gap.

The CEF practices the Bridge Model in its learning activities, which helps us in:

  • Considering KE within a broader development context;
  • Ensuring that the initiative is stakeholder-owned and demand-driven;
  • Determining the challenges to reaching a solution and reflecting on the change processes needed to address these challenges;
  • Identifying individuals who can play effective roles in bringing about needed change;
  • Choosing the right mix of instruments and activities;
  • Implementing in an adaptive and learning-focused manner;
  • Measuring and reporting the results.


The Bridge Model consists of the following five steps:

  1. Anchor – identify the goal, challenges, and capacity-development objectives (or what is expected to change as a result);
  2. Define – the right people who will make the change; determine capacity outcomes (how participants want to change, which translates into new knowledge, enhanced skill, enhanced connectivity); identify knowledge providers who will share experience;
  3. Design – ask 3 questions: (1) who are the participants who will act on what’s learned; (2) what are capacity outcomes and progress indicators (what do participants need to learn and how to measure progress); and (3) how to determine the best mix of instruments, delivery modes, activities to realize capacity outcomes;
  4. Implement – assemble the implementation team and prepare a plan; guide participants along their learning journey; invest time into orchestrating engagement and building relationships. Simultaneously document and track the results;
  5. Measure and report results – synthesize the implementation date, measure effectiveness across the obtained results, and report them.​
5 steps of bridge model

5 steps of bridge model


Lesson learned:

The knowledge gained with practicing the Bridge Model can be used to design future exchanges. This guarantees constant improvement in the flow of future activities. It is essential to take a moment to reflect on what went well and what could be done differently next time. Success rests on achievement of targeted capacity outcomes.

Useful tips:

  • As KE facilitators, we should avoid centralizing roles in ourselves. This frees us up to monitor the engagement and react as needed;
  • In order to be effective, we should concentrate on how our results-focused projects should be designed.

We should strengthen relationships between knowledge seekers and providers, and help them become collaborators for change.



The World Bank. The Art of Knowledge Exchange. Accessed July 13, 2015 at: