Shared Action Learning (SAL)

Achmat points at one of the lot's micro-spaces and shares his ideas for the future development of the area

The team and co-developers collaboratively brainstorm improvements for the Canterbury Street Lot

Shared Action Learning is a form of asset-based community development. To enhance the success of the project and provide a more community centered approach, each team at the Cape Town Project Center works with a group of co-developers. Our co-developers were selected from the street community by Jesse, our sponsor liaison. This hand-picked group provided valuable insight into the opinions and beliefs of the street people. Each person working on the project (both WPI students and the street community) was afforded the opportunity to learn from the other, adding to the benefits of the IQP and enriching the community through the lessons learned by those who participated. The core premise of Shared Action Learning is for the experience to be rewarding and educational for all.

By utilizing aspects of asset-based community development, Shared Action Learning fosters positive projects that bring about a lasting a change. Teaming up with our co-developers gave the street community ownership of the project’s development and outcomes. This was not only crucial to completing the project, but also to creating a lasting impact that would actually prove to be beneficial in the months and years to come. Collaboratively working with co-developers prevents perpetuating the practice of outsiders swooping in to save the day and then leaving, resulting in work that neither desired by the community nor sustained.


For more on Shared Action Learning, click here.