"The Moment you stop learning, you stop leading" - Rick Warren

Welcome to the toolkit which will take you through the different approaches to setting up and running Learning Sets (LS) for Secretaries of Ministries.This toolkit presents a guide to setting up of Learning Sets. It is hoped that the guide will be of use to those commissioning, running and participating in Learning Sets on a continuing basis.

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The toolkit is set out as follows:

  • 1. Defining a Learning Set and its key characteristics

  • 2. Getting a Learning Set going

  • 3. Setting up the programme

  • 4. Evaluation

  • 5. Appendices

Defining a Learning Set and its Key Characteristics


"The Learning Set initiative is a structured method enabling small groups to address complicated issues by meeting regularly and working collectively".

"Learning Sets are one of a range of personal development tools which can be used to learn new ways of working, share experiences and help with problem solving. As with all learning methods they suit some people and not others, depending on individual learning styles, preferences and so on".

Small groups of 15 - 25 people (the set) meet on a regular basis to find ways of understanding and solving their role challenges, problems, etc. The sessions are structured to give everyone “air time” about their individual issues/challenges. During a participant’s “air time” other members of the set will attentively listen to the participant presenting the issue and will ask questions to help them better understand and begin to resolve the issue themselves. Set meetings are not about solving a problem for someone else, but helping them resolve the issue themselves through effective questioning, reflection and if appropriate the suggestion of options. The challenges/issues should not require specialist knowledge from set members eg. about a subject discipline.

Between set meetings each participant is charged with the responsibility of “taking action” and learning from the results. Sets have a trained facilitator to ensure that participants are asking effective questions, helping each other to resolve issues, take action and learn.

No Document Title Date Added
1 How to Create Innovative Thinking through Civil Servants Education 2016-10-10
2 Sharing of Experience and Best Practices by the Civil Servants Educational Institutions in the Participating Countries 2016-10-10

Suggested topics to focus in a "Learning Set"

  • Role of Secretaries
  • Working with a Minister
  • Challenges faced by the Secretaries
  • Handling the Procurement Process
  • Papering Cabinet Papers
  • Capacity Building of Personal in the Ministries and Agencies Under the Ministry