Distance makes the WOP grow stronger?

2021 - Webinar: Challenges and Opportunities of Peer-to-Peer Learning in a COVID-19 Context.

herausgegeben von:

GWOPA / UN-Habitat


The current health crisis has confronted the WOPs concept with unique challenges of its own. This webinar, jointly convened by GIZ, WaterWorX and GWOPA/UN-Habitat, brought together WOPs project managers from different global regions to showcase best practices and lessons learnt in overcoming challenges related to COVID-19. The discussions focused on illustrating how to keep up necessary WOPs momentum for positive change and finding opportunity in the situation.

Main take away messages

The distance between partners has affected progress in projects, particularly those that are in their initial stages of development. Those projects in which partners have been working for some time, are better able to continue interaction and collaboration from a distance in a more agile manner.

  • The challenges posed by the travel restrictions have triggered innovations in the way of working among partners, notably with greater reliance on virtual means and, at times, recruitment of local experts who are able to provide the needed expertise in the absence of the mentor utility on-site.
  • Relying on virtual communication is only suitable for certain staff and certain topics, most notably those who are familiar with the technology required and working on topics that do not require onsite direct support and training.
  • The range of virtual initiatives put in practice by partners is extensive and has highlighted how WOP partners can rely on virtual means of communication to keep the support ongoing, although face-to-face communication is still necessary, particularly for some tasks and especially at the beginning of the projects. In many projects, before COVID restrictions, the support from specialised staff from the mentor company would mostly be limited to the times in which the person was at the project location. This frequently caused a loss in momentum in a specific improvement area. The travel restrictions have allowed partners to adopt other means and explore solutions to maintain momentum between missions.
  • The COVID crisis and the reaction of partners have demonstrated the flexible nature of WOPs, especially where partners are able to adjust their planned activities and allow for more urgently matters to be addressed.
  • For partners, navigating through these difficult times has, in many occasions, strengthened relations and brought partners closer together.

Recording of the webinar at Youtube:







GWOPA / UN-Habitat

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