Community of Practice (CoP)

A group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly (Wenger & Trainer, 2015).

A group of people, networks, or institutions sharing interests, exchanging information or discussing ideas on a specific topic of common interest by interacting on an ongoing basis (PAHO, 2015).

A self-organised group of individuals with common goals related to a process of social learning that occurs and shared socio-cultural practices that emerge and evolve when the members of the community interact as they strive towards those goals. (Hakikur Rahman, 2009). 


What a CoP means (Wenger-Trayner, 2015):

  • A community of members engaged in joint activities and discussions, who help each other, and share information
  • A shared domain of interest – CoP membership implies a commitment to the domain, and therefore a shared competence that distinguishes members from other people
  • Members of CoPs are practitioners and they develop a shared repertoire of resources (experiences, stories, tools, ways of addressing recurring problems), in short: a shared practice


What a CoP is NOT:

  • A name or title to designate a Learning Programme
  • A project team
  • A number of meetings
  • A  website or a learning platform 


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