Alternative approaches to capacity building – emerging practices abroad
sector towards innovation in building a broad citizen base of support—people,money, information, and businesses—to achieve sustainability and ensure maximumsocial impact. CBI envisions building a vibrant, self-sufficient global citizen sector thatis as enduring and influential as state, religious, and private institutions. It taps intoAshoka’s network of social entrepreneurs. To accomplish these goals, CBI appliesthree closely interlinked strategies:
: through competitions which identify and invest in innovative ideasfor developing a broad citizen base. Competition winners are awarded with aninvestment to help them refine and deepen their strategy, publicize their success,and empower their organizations to become leaders within the sector.
: through capacity building organizations develop the expertiseand confidence to implement their citizen base strategies. Through private and publicsector partnerships, CBI offers workshops and creates learning circles to buildfundamental skill sets in planning, management, and marketing. Practitioner exchanges also play a vital role in increasing practical knowledge and buildingprofessional networks. CBI encourages competition winners to mentor their peersand offer training to other organizations.
Spread innovative ideas
: through marketing and communication publicizes themost compelling examples of citizen base strategies. By exposing citizen sector practitioners to inspiring ideas and practical strategies, CBI facilitates andstrengthens the citizen sector worldwide. Multi-lingual websites, publications,multimedia and roadshows are among the many channels used to spread theconcept and practices of citizen base strategies.
SECTION D: Outcomes
The effectiveness and impact of the Ashoka Fellows is evaluated using surveys andin-depth interviews. Results are posted online.
Fellows are reported to have had animpact in terms of systemic change—shifting societal perceptions, encouraging newbehavior patterns, and revolutionizing entire fields. Proxy indicators for successinclude:
Are you still working towards your original vision?
Have others replicated your idea?
Have you had an impact on public policy?
What position does your institution currently hold in the field?Surveys were carried out between 1998 and 2004 and sought to capture theeffectiveness of Fellows five and ten years after they had been elected. The studywas used as a learning tool for Ashoka to understand and communicate its broader impact on civil society worldwide. Case studies of individual Fellows are alsoavailable demonstrating their impact in their particular field.Evidence of outcomes from the CBI are less clear and further exploration would beneeded to examine this The theory is that in increasing the number of memberssupporting the CSO’s mission the greater the resources generated by the CSO whichimporves the CSO’s ability to expand its efforts within the community and leads toincreased impact which again increases membership.