Volunteer organizations grow organically: a good idea for voluntary activity in one communityspreads to another as people and ideas move between communities. This process of diffusion isfacilitated by one or more common, indigenous forms of voluntary organization which provide theorganizational structure for the new service.
This is how most currently strong NationalSocieties developed over time,
but it is a slow, organic process that takes years. With currentongoing health disasters such as HIV/AIDS in Africa, National Societies are faced with
having todevelop massive ongoing service delivery capacities at the local level where currently only sporadiccoverage exists.
This paper suggests a methodology for a National Society, with externalsupport, to develop country wide service delivery units and support structure in acomparatively short period of time.
This methodology suggests a different approach to organizational change than the one traditionallyemployed by the International Federation.
It is based on a dynamic, entrepreneurial approachto developing services and structures rather than the traditional approach of systematic topdown “capacity building”.
The most obvious equivalent to this process outside of a RedCross/Red Crescent context is the systematic spreading of McDonalds restaurants across differentcommunities and regions.At the heart of the concept is the
systematic development and diffusion of relevant knowledge.
It seeks to use both external and National Society knowledge to create success in the form of asustainable community unit that provides Red Cross/Red Crescent services. It then proposesrefining this knowledge in other situations and communities. Based on the refined model, it foreseesthe country-wide replication of this knowledge, creating service delivery units in every community inthe country. Building an appropriate support system to service these units is the final stage in theprocess.This concept proposes a major change process for National Societies - one which Board and SeniorManagement must fully accept and give 100% backing to.
Without the total commitment andbacking of leadership and senior management, this process cannot work.
For the NationalSociety, the successful results of the process will include an effective service delivery presence inevery community, meeting community needs and being repaid by increased community support andrecognition, both financial and moral. With increased community service delivery and support,reliance on external financial support will decrease. The risks are those of any major changeprocess: difficulties in changing mindsets and attitudes within the National Society and outside, aswell as a possibility of overall failure.
This paper describes a process that maximises the chances for successful development of sustainable service delivery units while minimising the risks and the costs of such change.
The paper aims to provide a clear outline of the process and developmental reasoning behind it.
Design, Test, Duplicate