Study visits


Brief Description (including a definition if possible)

A study tour, an exchange visit or study visit, is a visit by an individual or group to one or more countries/areas for knowledge exchange. Study tours provide an opportunity for key stakeholders to learn relevant, good development practice from their peers. Study tours allow for a high level of interaction among participants and exposure to the topic of study. Consider using a study tour if you are looking for a personal and in-depth learning experience.

Study tours require in-depth planning, not only in terms of the venue and logistics, but also in terms of the overall assembly of activities and participant engagement before the actual visit. For a study tour to be successful, it is best to involve all participants (hosts and visitors) in the planning, in order to understand the expectations of both knowledge recipients and providers, and reach consensus on the objectives of the exchange. This requires sufficient lead time as well as appropriate activities that support the identified capacity development goal. (Source: World Bank)

When to use

  • There is a need for in-depth interaction among participants.
  • Decision-makers need to see first-hand what is possible.
  • Technical people need to learn first-hand how to do something
(Source: World Bank)

How to use

Study tours and exchange visits can facilitate horizontal learning and networking between a range of people working on rural development at different levels. This is particularly useful for people to see how others have undertaken to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment, and overcome some of the challenges involved, with opportunities to discuss, debate and question approaches. (Source: IFAD/FAO)

Tips and Lessons Learnt

(add yours)
Based on the experiences of recent years, the lessons to be learned for both men and women are the following:
 It is advisable to clarify the expectations of both male and female participants so as not to cause dissatisfaction, and undo the positive effects of the visit as a result;
 It is crucial to ensure that the exchange visit is not based exclusively on theory;
 Failure to respect the programme or timetable has a direct negative impact on the quality of the exchange visit and therefore damages the overall impact of this kind of support;  It is important not to overlook the debates and discussions that arise after the visits. These observations can enrich the experience of the exchange visit itself;
 In order for feedback to be effective, the visitors need to respect their commitments to report back made upon selection;
 Feedback should be given by the host group as well as by the visitors.
Source: FAO - Exchange visits: Advice for improving the impact - http://www.fao.org/docrep/019/aq213e/aq213e.pdf

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