Root Change introduces collective impact initiatives to advance Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities in Colombia
Root Change, in partnership with the Afro-Colombian and Indigenous Program (ACIP) is piloting a first-of-its-kind effort with two organizational networks promoting Afro-descendant and indigenous human rights, autonomy, and political representation. In this pilot project, part of a 5-year USAID-funded program, each network received Root Change's technical support to organize and expand their members into two Collective Impact initiatives. Similar to our work in Nigeria, these initiatives have introduced a new model of coordinated action to broaden the range of actors working around an issue while focusing their common agenda and approach.
To facilitate this network evolution, we have simultaneously launched STARNet, STAR Mobile, and STAR Assessment to map relationships, collect and integrate feedback, and evaluate and plan for improved ecosystem coordination. Together these tools are helping develop new collaborative behaviors in which members exchange knowledge and align activities to meet the urgent needs of Colombia's ethnic minority groups. This project comes at an important moment for Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities in the Cauca and Chocó regions, which have suffered disproportionately in the internal conflict and are now mobilizing to influence the peace and post-conflict processes.
Mapping agricultural value chains and empowering civil society in East and West Africa
Through a collaboration with the USAID-funded Africa Lead Program and the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme Non-State Actors Coalition (CNC), Root Change is mapping agricultural value chains and engage non-state actors in national policy-making processes in East and West Africa. Integrated mapping and sensitization workshops conducted by Root Change and Africa Lead will train non-state actors in how to grasp strategic opportunities by leveraging partnerships, while also building their knowledge of the role they play in national policy-making.
Two pilot mappings in Tanzania and Senegal are enhancing Lead's objectives under the Feed the Future Initiative as well as supporting the CNC in its work to coordinate support for the African Union's newly reaffirmed agricultural policy objectives. In June of 2014, the African Union met in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea to propose a targeted series of goals for the coming decade that will support agriculture as a mechanism to improve livelihoods across the continent. Root Change's work engages civil society actors whose contributions are critical to these improvements and teach them skills and techniques to sustain momentum around this work into the future.
Root Change taking action in Ebola crisis in West Africa
In an effort to prevent the further spread of Ebola in West Africa, Root Change worked with ChildFund International and Medic Mobile , to create an SMS-based monitoring and response system with a particular focus on helping those most at risk. Using Root Change's Community LINKs model and Medic Mobile's technology platform and tool suite, the SMS platform is designed to help coordinate efforts of Community Health Workers, ChildFund staff and other responders in providing care to orphans or unaccompanied children.
The Community LINKs model, a systems approach for developing an SMS platform originally designed to strengthen the local capacity of healthcare providers working with Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Namibia, has guided the development of this new program. The SMS platform will specifically be used by Community Health Workers and other responders to report cases of unaccompanied children to make sure they receive the assistance they require and be placed in one of ChildFund International's Interim Care Centers where they can be kept safe from contracting the disease.
Root Change launches eight collective impact initiatives for advocacy in Nigeria
Root Change is using the principles of collective impact to design a series of capacity development interventions to support 8 national advocacy campaigns. This innovative approach has been widely tested and proven in the United States to promote coordination of actors across sectors to achieve a common advocacy goal. One of the main elements of the collective impact approach applied in Nigeria includes supporting a lead CSO, or "Anchor" organization, to facilitate and convene a cluster of 15 to 30 diverse actors (across civil society, the private sector, government, academia, etc.) to develop a common agenda and advocacy strategy around a recognized social issue.
Launched in 2014, SACE is a 5-year project funded by USAID and PIND supporting civil society in advocating for reforms that improve transparency, accountability, and increase inclusive governance in Nigeria. Our approach aims to build the social capital of Nigerian CSOs and coalitions to develop networks of relationships founded on trust, reciprocity, information exchange, and coordination. To facilitate and promote these behaviors we have launched STARNET and STAR Mobile tools to identify strategic partners and improve communication and feedback within the cluster. Our work has been featured in Foreign Policy's reporting on advocacy from civil society for open and responsive governance.
Support for ChildFund's local partnership strategies in Senegal and Tanzania
Root Change has launched local systems analysis platforms in Senegal and Kenya to support ChildFund's evolving local partnership strategies. The two platforms, Diisoo Connect and Nawiri Connect, are mapping the relationships between NGOs, government, and local associations working to improve the lives of vulnerable children and youth. Through Diisoo and Nawiri, ChildFund and other actors in the ecosystem describe and explore the organizational relationships around such areas of critical concern as: child protection, early childhood development, health and nutrition, youth empowerment, and others.
This work equips ChildFund and their partners with statistics backed by organizational network analysis to inform high potential partnerships and coordination. Our ecosystem strengthening approach allows actors at all levels (international, national, and local) to better understand their role in the system of actors supporting children in a given country. With this information in hand, ChildFund and their colleagues are building denser and more diverse networks to develop, share, and scale solutions for children.
Local Governance Barometer pilot improves service delivery in rural Nepal
In Nepal, Root Change collaborated with Sajhedari Bikaas to pilot the Local Governance Barometer (LGB) for improving service delivery to citizens through Village Development Committees (VDCs). LGB is an innovative tool that takes a systems approach to problem solving and builds on the strengths of citizen engagement and social accountability tools. Implemented by Pact Nepal, Sajherdari Bikaas is USAID's five-year project that aims to improve the ability of targeted communities to better direct their own development. LGB was designed to create a partnership between VDCs, NGOs, citizen's groups, and service providers to inspire them to act together to improve service delivery at the local level. The tool establishes a feedback system to support the VDCs in their role as the convener and coordinator of service delivery for citizens.
Through the LGB process, community members with different points of view come together and collectively map to understand how service delivery works in their VDC. Community members then work together to create a "Joint Action Pact" - a voluntary agreement to act in a certain manner to improve coordination and relationships with each other. This serves as a foundation for building trust between citizens and service providers and promoting collective problem solving and action. The second stage involves data collection on the perceptions of citizens and service providers on the components of service delivery. In the last stage, citizens and service providers come together to discuss the results, identify priority areas, and develop a tangible plan of action to honor their Joint Action Pact for improving service delivery.
Root Change supports advocacy in Serbian civil society with STARNet mapping
Root Change, working in partnership with the Institute for Sustainable Communities to support their Civil Society Forward (CSF) program, visited the home offices of CSF grantee Otvoreni klub Nis (OK Nis) in southern Serbia to conduct a training on advanced use of the STARNET platform. OK Nis will use Root Change's mapping platform not only to track the impact of its Roditelj plus batine minus child protection campaign, but also as an integrated outreach tool for logistics and awareness building.
The 4-day workshop was designed to train OK Nis in using STARNet to manage and monitor networks as a network administrator, building a unique capacity and creating local ownership of one of the powerful tools Root Change has made part of its signature approach to development.