How much do we share project decision making power in a meaningful way with communities?
My take-aways from listening to this podcast are:
- You need to be strategic and be clear who the groups you need to engage with are (to reach your goal);
- Ownership is not a feeling, “a sense of local ownership” doesn’t exist, you either have ownership, i.e. decision making power, or you don’t;
- Being process focussed instead of outcome focused;
- Strategically transfer decision making power at a pace that suits the stakeholders/the ones you are transferring it to;
- Building flexibility into your project proposal (during the design/writing stage) to provide meaningful space and time for processes (e.g. relationship building, reflection);
- Recruit your field staff well and protect them against possible ‘failure’ (i.e. not reaching your Key Performance Indicators - KPIs);
- Include KPIs that have to do with time spent on relationship building and time spent in team meetings talking about the structure of the community, the difference of community leaders (are they supportive?), encourage staff to speak to each other as peers (i.e. team building), which helps shift the conversation from outputs to process. Ask your team: are there parts of the community that you feel are left out (of the project) at this time and are important to reaching our goal? Who could be our champions within the community?;
- Other example of measures of success for processes, relationship building and time for reflection: record stories from staff about building relationships with communities;
- Bottom line: prioritise process over outcome.
Much food for thought and makes we want to go back in time and improve on some of the work I've done!
Comments, thoughts, ideas & feedback are welcome and much appreciated!