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orgs and individuals as social entrepreneurs. This case study focuses on the international work of Ashoka and the work of Ashoka Brazil in particular. Ashoka Brazil supports support the social entrepreneurs elected as Ashoka Fellows. It also has a mandate to help "build the citizen sector infrastructure", which extends beyond the one-on-one support to individual social entrepreneurs. The Ashoka McKinsey Center for Social Entrepreneurship (CSE) has also recently been launched and is managed in Sao Paulo, Brazil. This Center provides Ashoka Fellows, the citizen sector and the private sector with a range of opportunities for knowledge and skills-transfer, training, contacts and cross-sectoral understanding.
SECTION B: Logic of the approach Ashoka1 invests in people. We search the world for leading social entrepreneurs and at the launch stage, provide these entrepreneurs—Ashoka Fellows—a living stipend for an average of three years, allowing them to focus full-time on building their institutions and spreading their ideas. We also provide our Fellows with a global support network of their peers and partnerships with professional consultants. Once elected to the Ashoka Fellowship, Fellows benefit from this community for life. Ashoka Fellows are leading social entrepreneurs who we recognize to have innovative solutions to social problems and the potential to change patterns across society. They demonstrate unrivaled commitment to bold new ideas and prove that compassion, creativity, and collaboration are tremendous forces for change. Ashoka Fellows work in over 60 countries around the globe in every area of human need. Ashoka Fellows also form networks around the world. Ashoka facilitates collaborations of Fellows so that they can learn from one another, share valuable knowledge and insights, and leave better equipped to advance their work. Ashoka has bases in various countries and continents including Brazil, Europe, USA and South Africa. Ashoka uses these networks to distill the most effective patterns and unify them into a “mosaic”— a synthesis of the commonalities and intersections of key principles that guide Fellows’ individual solutions. These overarching mosaics are then disseminated globally, and form the basis of our programmatic initiatives specific to each field of work, such as youth development or the environment. In this way, group entrepreneurship not only helps Fellows become more successful, but it also helps Ashoka identify cutting edge trends and implement them more broadly. SECTION C: Processes and methods There are five types of Fellows – Ashoka Fellows; Senior Fellows; Global Fellows; Social Investment Entreprenuerial Fellows; and Invention and Technology Fellows.
Alternative approaches to capacity building – emerging practices abroad All Ashoka Fellows must demonstrate that they fully meet Ashoka’s five selection criteria • • • • • The Knockout test: a new idea Creativity Entrepreneurial quality Social impact of idea Ethical fibre
There are no age, education, class, race, or other such bars to election. Candidates undergo a rigorous search and selection procedure which starts with a nomination and ends with election as a Fellow. Candidates go through an extensive series of in-depth interviews, a judging panel, and a final executive board vote. International staff frequently make site visits to evaluate candidates in their work environment. Nominees are rigorously questioned about practical implementation— the blueprints that will make their ideas come to life—as well as personal background, values, motivations and aspirations. At then end of the selection process Ashoka considers financial need. It provides financial support to those it elects if and to the degree that the person needs such support to be able to pursue his or her vision full-time. As Fellows' ideas take root, their institutions will increasingly be able to pay for their directors—and the level of Ashoka's support typically will decrease. Ashoka Fellows are supported in their country by Ashoka organisations. For example Ashoka Brazil is continuously sourcing and bridging connections - pro-bono and otherwise - with people and organisations that can leverage the impact of the organisations that the fellows have founded or the causes that they champion. Ashoka Brazil also has a mandate to help build the citizen sector infrastructure, which extends beyond the one-on-one support to individual social entrepreneurs. The Ashoka McKinsey Center for Social Entrepreneurship (CSE) has also recently been launched and is managed in Sao Paulo, Brazil. This Center provides Ashoka Fellows, the citizen sector and the private sector with a range of opportunities for knowledge and skills-transfer, training, contacts and crosssectoral understanding. The aim is to strengthen the profession of social entrepreneurship and innovation by building a community of cross-sectoral leaders, programs and innovations. The CSE builds a business-social bridge through Ashoka programs such as the Citizen Base Initiative2 and the Entrepreneur to Entrepreneur programme3, as well as the Ashoka-McKinsey and Company partnership which is a strategic planning initiative carried out in partnership with McKinsey & Co, the consulting firm, which now has a considerable level of expertise in adapting "business solutions" to the third sector and social enterprise. Ashoka created the Citizen Base Initiative (CBI) in 1997 to help citizen sector organizations diversify their financial base so that they learn to become sustainably rooted in their local constituency instead of remaining dependent on foundation and government funding. CBI’s mission is to ‘tip’ the thinking and behavior of the citizen
http://www.citizenbase.org/ see also http://www.citizenbase.org/sites/citizenbase.ashoka.org/files/CBI %20White%20Paper.pdf 3 http://www.ashoka.org/e2e
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 maximum social impact. CBI envisions building a vibrant, self-sufficient global citizen sector that is as enduring and influential as state, religious, and private institutions. It taps into Ashoka’s network of social entrepreneurs. To accomplish these goals, CBI applies three closely interlinked strategies: Seek innovation: through competitions which identify and invest in innovative ideas for developing a broad citizen base. Competition winners are awarded with an investment to help them refine and deepen their strategy, publicize their success, and empower their organizations to become leaders within the sector. Support innovators: through capacity building organizations develop the expertise and confidence to implement their citizen base strategies. Through private and public sector partnerships, CBI offers workshops and creates learning circles to build fundamental skill sets in planning, management, and marketing. Practitioner exchanges also play a vital role in increasing practical knowledge and building professional networks. CBI encourages competition winners to mentor their peers and offer training to other organizations. Spread innovative ideas: through marketing and communication publicizes the most compelling examples of citizen base strategies. By exposing citizen sector practitioners to inspiring ideas and practical strategies, CBI facilitates and strengthens the citizen sector worldwide. Multi-lingual websites, publications, multimedia and roadshows are among the many channels used to spread the concept and practices of citizen base strategies. SECTION D: Outcomes The effectiveness and impact of the Ashoka Fellows is evaluated using surveys and in-depth interviews. Results are posted online.4 Fellows are reported to have had an impact in terms of systemic change—shifting societal perceptions, encouraging new behavior patterns, and revolutionizing entire fields. Proxy indicators for success include: • • • • 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 the effectiveness of Fellows five and ten years after they had been elected. The study was used as a learning tool for Ashoka to understand and communicate its broader impact on civil society worldwide. Case studies of individual Fellows are also available demonstrating their impact in their particular field. Evidence of outcomes from the CBI are less clear and further exploration would be needed to examine this The theory is that in increasing the number of members supporting the CSO’s mission the greater the resources generated by the CSO which imporves the CSO’s ability to expand its efforts within the community and leads to increased impact which again increases membership.
Alternative approaches to capacity building – emerging practices abroad SECTION E: Learning Ashoka’s approach to capacity building programmes appears to meet our good practice principles. Ashoka is an international network with a variety of methods for capacity building predominantly by supporting leadership skills and development but also by supporting sector infrastructure. The CBI For example it aims to support Fellows within their own context and culture through bases in individual countries and continents. Promoting the importance of leadership and supporting innovative social entrepreneurs might be transferable to the UK. Developing a network of inspirational leaders who in turn develop and support third sector organisations might be an effective way of building capacity in the third sector. However it would need to be well resourced since the Ashoka Fellows are financially supported for three years. Ashoka has also developed links to the private sector and developed partnership initiatives like the Ashoka McKinsey Center for Social Entrepreneurship. These cross-sectoral activities are said to provide mutual benefits to - and deepen the ties between - the social and business sectors may engage the academic and public sectors as participants as well.5 In the UK this type of partnership may be possible with universities and smaller private consultancies who are already working closely with third sector organisations in their local area/region. Case II InterAction Leadership Programme This is a leadership training programme which was run by the British Council and aimed to support emerging African leaders – dynamic individuals searching for alternatives and want to challenge accepted ways of doing things. It aimed to equip and encourage a new set of community leaders who could transform their country and continent. Logic of the approach This is a leadership programme where participants significantly contribute to the curriculum; learning from each other and learning by doing are built into the design; leaders from all backgrounds, sectors and cultures work together to understand the complexity of the leadership challenges they share, as well as the opportunities that are available to make a positive contribution to society. According to the Programme Manager6 the rational behind the programme is that: • • Political actors and other key stakeholders must create environments that support people in achieving their highest goals and potential, within a framework that makes the most sense to them. The role of the leader is to motivate and mobilise people to unleash their true potential, providing support and the framework to protect and nurture it is the role of a leader.
Email correspondence SAMANTHA CHUULA, Programme Manager submission to Europafrica.net http://europafrica.files.wordpress.com/2007/02/submissionbyinteraction.doc
Alternative approaches to capacity building – emerging practices abroad • A connected Africa sees Africans achieve better life and job opportunities and create wealth. Leaders must be able to develop frameworks to achieve this. Creating environments that are in tune with peoples' aspirations is vital in securing interest and support for such structures. The InterAction programme is based on the mutually beneficial principle of developing a modern and forward looking relationship between Africa and the rest of the world based on trust, shared values and mutual interest.
A group of leadership training practitioners from Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and the UK met in March 2004 to begin to articulate what the principles and process for this unique and innovative programme could be. The InterAction Leadership Programme seeks to bring together those with a desire to make a significant positive contribution to society, who are open to learning, openminded, curious, willing to share their own experiences and at the same time actively seeking new perspectives. The programme aims to achieve a balance of diversity in terms of religion, gender, disability, ethnicity, class, sectors (private/public/civil society), and geographical balance (rural/urban and regional/provincial), in order to reflect and impact across society at the country level. People with diverse cultural and historical perspectives are encouraged to become part of the programme. Methods and processes The programme was delivered in 19 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. From Senegal to Mauritius, and Sudan to South Africa and it was hoped that 1,500 men and women would participate. African leadership professionals will deliver the programme in each country, with support provided by a team of ‘Pan-African’ facilitators. A diversity of experiences at the regional, national and personal level made up each individual’s leadership journey. These experiences, which included 15 contact days and a number of interim activities, including the following: • An in-country selection process which determined the year’s class, and also identified potential participants for following years, resource persons, and brought the whole of the participating group into a community that supported joint learning throughout the programme and beyond. After the leaders received their confirmation letter, they prepared for their participation in the programme. One of the first steps after receiving their information packet was to meet their in-country facilitators for a one-to-one session, which aimed to help them to better understand the programme and to plan their own participation. An initial 2-day workshop was held where participating leaders set their own goals for the programme and began to develop a network of peers in their own country and to launch the programme at the country level through a public event. A 3-day Pan-African Event, attended by over 100 delegates representing all 19 countries, provided participants with the opportunity to share their own experiences, to learn from others, and broaden their networks to other African countries. A 10-day in-country programme made up of three interconnected modules was delivered including; deepening understanding of Africa and its issues, leadership skills, gender mainstreaming, coaching and experiential learning.
Alternative approaches to capacity building – emerging practices abroad • Community Network/Twinning Activity. Participants work in pairs to engage their communities in conversation around identifying success and leadership. 3 days in one participant’s community, and 3 days in the second person’s community. Throughout the programme and beyond, participants will be members of a network with a dedicated website administered through British Council offices, to stay in touch with fellow participants, share knowledge and access information.
The leadership learning process captured the inspirational stories of these individuals and communities as they continued on their leadership journey. Outcomes According to the British Council website InterAction has been one of the British Council’s most successful programmes. The British Council no longer runs InterAction but is building on its success and widen the InterAction experience across the globe. InterAction has been replaced by the ‘Active Citizens’ programme which has a broader remit and the new name expresses the main objective of promoting members of society to be active in driving social positive change, together.7 The Programme Manager8 suggests that through building capacity in leadership, managers and leaders can position themselves as effective change agents in organisations and companies. This changes work dynamics and leads to increased job satisfaction and better productivity that in turn contribute to growing economies. She quotes two participants who have benefited from their involvement in the programme: “It works because it’s in line with the real issues that leaders in communities in Africa deal with now. It’s ultimately relevant. It isi directed toward the future in engaging people with shared visions of Africa. There’ll be differences in emphasis, but that community is being built.” – South Africa Participant “Everyday you hear and see the ills and negative parts of life… the programme has forced me to change the way I interact with people and how I do things…I can now do things with the community, with good will and appreciation.” Senegal Participant Each of the events outlined above had outcomes attached. The Programme aimed to be ‘transformational and respectful of the voices heard’. It was expected that this would be achieved at the programme level: • When there is a sense of ownership of the programme by Africans in different countries; • • • When Africans speak passionately about the programme; When local stakeholders are eager to be a part of it as partners and beneficiaries; When the leaders in the programme have the ability to meet their own leadership challenges with confidence, and exhibit transformation in their personal lives, in their organisations and in interaction with the wider society.
http://www.britishcouncil.org/africa-leadership.htm SAMANTHA CHUULA, Programme Manager submission to Europafrica.net http://europafrica.files.wordpress.com/2007/02/submissionbyinteraction.doc
Alternative approaches to capacity building – emerging practices abroad Each participant is enabled to affect change in the ‘space’ s/he occupies in a way that is sensitive to the people around them and that empower people to identify what needs to change; • • • • • • • When African leaders are able to negotiate for the interest of Africa at the global level; When participants have developed relationships amongst each other in the quest for change; When we can point to dialogues that have taken place and that have changed minds; When creative minds are built that are sensitive to the challenges of gender, the weak and the common good; When African leaders believe that they have the capacity to prevent and manage conflicts; When African leaders are challenged to think differently to be able to deal with the complexity of African issues/problems; When the program creates/provides opportunities that increase connectivity, communication and networking among African leaders. In other words, participants form relationships among each other, and seek to be effective at both the macro and micro level. They also actively strive to create linkages between age groups and to transfer skills between generations; When participants explore and strengthen positive social customs and values and work to challenge harmful customary practices. When participants are able to effect change in their own countries, institutions and communities based on participation, consultation and creation of an enabling environment.
And at the societal level when there is a society in which: • There is passion about creating a place in history; • • • • • • • Behaviour is adapted according to certain positive principles; There is a strong sense of Pan-African identity; There are checks and balances respected by leaders and enforced by people; Leaders are able to mobilise available resources and put them to optimal use; There is reduced conflict and improved quality of life; There are high standards of integrity and moral courage; Programme values are reflected in social action.
Learning This programme seems to meet our principles of good practice. It is people centred and recognizes the importance of gender and other power dynamics within the programme curriculum. It focuses on capacity building for leadership and has a clearly defined roles
Alternative approaches to capacity building – emerging practices abroad According to the Programme Manager key leadership skills among community leaders and social influencers can facilitate social change in communities very quickly. There is thus the ambition that building the capacity of leaders will lead to societal change. Further development of the programme could also involve support for community work by InterAction graduates to complement other work within their countries. It is not clear how the programme was evaluated. The programme promoted the use of storytelling as a way of evidencing change and although the programme has ended but these stories are still being collected on the British Council website. More information about the actual outcomes of the programme and the reasons behind the ending of the programme and replacement with a wider ‘Active Citizens’ programme would need to be investigated before a view on transferability could be taken. III Examples of other organisations focusing on leadership programmes Synergos Institute Synergos is headquarterd in New York. It addresses global poverty and social injustice by supporting and connecting leaders so they can work in collaboration to change the systems that keep people in poverty. Bringing together influential people and institutions in government, business and civil society, as well as poor and marginalized communities who are usually left out of the process, Synergos aims to help every part of society work together to create long-term progress. Since 1999 Synergos has had a Senior Fellows scheme. The Senior Fellows are part of an international network of distinguished civil society leaders committed addressing poverty and inequity. Launched in 1999, the current cadre of more than 90 Fellows come from more than 30 countries around the world. The network aims to enhance their skills, knowledge and experience through peer-to-peer learning, regional gatherings, learning journeys, workshops and contact with influential people and institutions. Synergos launched the Arab World Social Innovators Program (the Program)in October 2007 with funding from the US Agency for International Development and other donors. The three-year initiative seeks to identify and support twenty individuals from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Palestine who are implementing successful social projects. Social Innovators are pioneers of change within their communities who offer new ideas, creative approaches and promising solutions to pressing social, economic and environmental problems. http://www.synergos.org/socialinnovators/ PRIA PRIA (India) is engaged in strengthening citizen leadership which is seen as a vehicles for promoting the capacities of citizen associations and promoting visionary leadership at the grassroots, primarily to engage with local governance issues and to practice active citizenship including need-based advocacy. To date, more than 5000 such Citizen Leaders have been nurtured and groomed for taking up challenging roles for engaging and mobilising civil society on a wide range of development and governance issues including deepening local governance, access to information, girl’s education, employment guarantee programmes and livelihood issues. http://www.pria.org
Alternative approaches to capacity building – emerging practices abroad
The Berkana Exchange The Berkana Exchange (Public Foundation) connects pioneering leaders throughout the globe around their shared commitment to making a difference in and beyond their communities. These leaders are developing the capacity to solve their most pressing problems—such as community health, ecological sustainability and economic selfreliance—by acting locally, connecting regionally and learning globally. The Berkana Exchange work with leadership learning centers, places where people gather to develop their capacity as leaders in their organizations and communities. It believes substantive change happens locally through the collective actions of ordinary people and that transformation happens globally when local efforts are connected and people learn together. It is a virtual organisation with workers based in the US. Berkana Institute works with pioneering leaders using a four stage approach: • • naming the community – reduce isolation of leaders and find their broader community connect the community - develop better relationships between leaders by designing gatherings and hosting meetings of people interested in exchanging ideas and resources. Collaborative technology supports communities of practice through dedicated web sites, online conferences, asynchronous conversations and ‘co-created knowledge’ nourish the community - help communities to fill the gaps in their knowledge, leads them to discover, adapt and use techniques and processes that work well in multiple settings. Strong, healthy communities emerge as leaders offer one another new approaches to shared challenges. illuminate the community – focus on efforts of pioneering leaders and develop a high level of public awareness, to attract attention and resources to their efforts, and to encourage others to step forward on behalf of the issues that most concern them.
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