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MaFI 2012 Workplan (short version)

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The short version of the 2012 work plan for MaFI approved by the SEEP Network (MaFI is a working group of the SEEP Network). It’s objectives are (i) to inform MaFI members and other key stakeholders about the intentions of MaFI in 2012 and (ii) to promote collaboration and synergies with the initiatives of other members. Additional to the initiatives included here, MaFI will continue to promote its classic initiatives, such as the MaFI Ambassadors, MaFI-licious, the Top Influencer Award, Facebook and Tweeter for listeners, and synthesis documents! Thanks again to the SEEP Network for its continued support to MaFI.

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MaFI 2012 Workplan (short version)

  1. 1. MaFI (The Market Facilitation Initiative) 2012 WORK PLAN OBJECTIVES1. To continue improving the efficiency and effectiveness of MaFI’s learning processes2. To influence the debate about rules and principles of international developmentto promote the advancement of facilitation approaches in inclusive market development (mainly with the MaFI-festo Dialogues)3. To further the practice and thinking of inclusive market development facilitation through a systematic process of learning and action-research between market facilitators and complexity experts (mainly through The Complexity Dialogues)4. To produce knowledge products based on MaFI’s learning agenda and processes (e.g. online discussions, webinars and in-person meetings) that inform and build the capacity of field practitioners and are relevant and interesting to other decision-makers such as donors and lead firms.5. To promote in-person interactions and local-global dialogue, learning and coordination (local learning groups)6. To further MaFI’s learning agenda and build capacity of MaFI’s members on Systemic M&E and effective dialogue (PLPs)7. To increase outreach to Spanish-speaking practitioners(MaFI Latina) and members with sub-sectoral interests (Sub-SectoralTask Forces). Note: MaFI Latina will depend on support from Latin American SEEP members. SOME CONSIDERATIONSSome principles underpinning this work plan The SEEP AC should be one of the key reference points for MaFIs learning and collaboration processes. We should be building content for the AC throughout the whole year. Leverage the energy (resources, contacts, opportunities, etc.) of all the members Prioritise minimalistic, low-cost projects and processes. The more financial burden we create, the least sustainable or influential MaFI will be. Strike a balance between: o knowledge products and learning processes o virtual interactions and local (face to face) interactions o reflection and action Maximise economies of scale for learning and coordination for action Demand-led: this work plan is based on a discussion started on MaFI at the beginning of December and takes into account feedback from members.A brief reflection about sustainability:The MaFI-festo Dialogues and the Complexity Dialogues will be projects. This is because they are designed tofunction during a specific period of time to change the "enabling environment" of inclusive market practitioners.Their activities are not intended to be sustainable (though their outcomes will).See summary project documents onSlideshare.At least two PLPs will be designed this year. The total number and themes will depend on the demand andleadership from MaFI members. The PLPs that have been discussed so far are: Systemic M&E for facilitation of Inclusive Market Development Effective Dialogue for facilitators of Inclusive Market DevelopmentThe rest of activities are meant to be highly sustainable (i.e. routines). These initiatives should be light-touch, low-cost and fit into the strategies of members. It is also important to note that not all the ideas here above areamenable to planning; we will have to adapt and act opportunistically at some points. 1 Page
  2. 2. 1. Practitioner Learning Programs (PLPs):1.1. PLP #1: M&E for facilitation of Inclusive Market Development: The break-out group that discussed this topicduring the MaFI Day (SEEP AC 2011) came up with very interesting questions and challenges that make up the coreof this PLP. These questions are also in line with those that networks like The Groove and donors like USAID andDFID are asking. This PLP is synergic with the Complexity Dialogues and the MaFI-festo Dialogues (both of whichcontain fundamental questions about M&E in the context of complex, adaptive market systems): What are we measuring, what for and who are we measuring for? Meanings, definitions, methods and purpose. What impact indicators should we use? How to determine causality when we embrace complexity and systems thinking? How to measure in practice. We need to be honest about how much we can attribute to our interventions/facilitation. Indicators and methods. Donor engagement and influence (linked to the MaFI-festo). M&E must be more flexible and multi- faceted. We need to propose alternative approaches to M&E, pilot them and gather evidence that the alternatives work better than the traditional M&E approaches. We need to learn from outside of our own field. We need to strive for a multi-disciplinary approach to M&E. We could learn from the private sector (e.g. results measurement of challenge funds) and from complexity experts (Complexity Dialogues) "We are desperate for practicality". Briefs and tools are needed.Anuj Jain (Coady Institute) made the following comments, which will be taken into account for the design of thePLP:“[…] there is quite a bit of literature [in most of the points above], a few case studies and a methodology, whichincorporates qualitative and quantitative methods. A literature review and then disseminating what exists would bea good start. What I see is missing from this list is how to disseminate massively so that MANY people in the fieldknow how to use the M&E system developed so that it becomes more broad based, integral to our projectimplementation and not just for a few experts. Aly Miehlbradt has headed a few initiatives-- one with IDE andKatalyst which has some very amazing results and learning on how to use the tools for management. There willalso be the case studies coming out of the SEEP VIP [Value Initiative] with 4 projects in very different contexts”Main activities: Literature review: MaFI members search for articles and papers that can add value to this PLP. Online discussions, webinars and e-consultations involving top experts in the field (including the authors papers identified in the lit rev). Support, networking and guidance to the LLGs who participate in this PLP. Synthesis: With the help of interns and a panel of M&E experts we can synthesise the main issues and solutions. Dissemination via MaFI’s channels and partners, the SEEP AC and the LLG meetings.1.2. PLP #2: Effective Dialogue for facilitators of Inclusive Market Development:This PLP will build upon thediscussions and interest generated by the webinar on effective dialogue that MaFI and Microlinkshosted in 2011 1featuring world-class expert Peter Garrett .The webinar was designed to do a preliminary exploration of the potential applications of Implicate Change in thefacilitation of inclusive market systems. The feedback from the participants was very positive, not only in terms of 21 Peter Garrett is an expert in effective dialogue techniques. He developed an approach called Implicate Change and has used it Pagesuccessfully for many years in very complex and volatile environments such as large corporations and prisons.
  3. 3. the discussions themselves, but also because it made it clear that there is real demand for these skills and potentialfor practitioners to apply them in the facilitation of inclusive market systems.Implicate Change is based on systems thinking, participation of a wide range of stakeholders and iterative learning;three of the main tenants of effective facilitation. The rationale, approach and techniques are highly compatiblewith the ideas in the MaFI-festo and in the Complexity Dialogues.Gianluca Nardi (CARE) said: “This looks super interesting-- If this is an action point for MaFI, it would be great to seehow this would be rolled out, how do we disseminate the learning and the methodology to make the learningavailable to as many as possible. Then it becomes part of the lexicon and our way of work instead of just areference and footnote in a report”.The hypotheses here are: (i) Implicate Change can help facilitators of inclusive markets to become more effectiveat engaging public and private actors in the upgrading of their own market systems; and (ii) Implicate Change canhelp the market actors to collaborate more effectively towards the implementation of concrete strategies andactivities to make their market systems more inclusive, productive and efficient.The idea here is to start with a small group of practitioners in a specific region (e.g. Eastern Africa) who commit toputting their new skills in practice in a concrete project and to sharing their lessons periodically with all MaFImembers.MaFI members and LLGs will contribute to the design of the action-research process.Main activities: 2 Selection of beneficiaries (they are expected to cover all or part of the costs of the training ) Online discussions, webinars and e-consultations involving Peter Garrett and the trainees Support, networking and guidance to the LLGs who participate in this PLP (i.e. those to which the trainees belong). Synthesis: trainees commit to distilling their experiences and lessons in reports or diaries that will be used to produce a document about concrete applications of Implicate Change in the field of inclusive market facilitation. Dissemination via MaFI’s channels and partners, the SEEP AC and the LLG meetings.2. Local Learning Groups (LLGs) and the Global LLG Network:Main activities: Finalise the production of an LLG Facilitators Toolkit: this is being done in collaboration with Microlinks and with the support of Debora Randall (who is facilitating an LLG in Kigali). The toolkit will contain basic tips, checklists for successful meetings, ice-breakers, conflict resolution guidelines, effective "hooks" for different types of stakeholders, etc. Promote the connection, training, peer-support and peer-learning between LLG facilitators through a Global Network of LLGs. This network will create opportunities for their members to interact, learn and collaborate virtually or in person. A key space to bring as many LLG facilitators as possible will be the SEEP AC but other spaces such as regional conferences can be explored too. Training workshops to the LLG facilitators to facilitate their meetings more effectively (e.g. a training sessions during the SEEP AC and other regional/local spaces).VIP treatment to LLG facilitators: MaFIis looking for ways to give preferential treatment to members who go theextra mile to contribute to the goals of MaFI and SEEP (e.g. the low-cost Top Influencer of the Month Awards). 3 Page2 PLP resources can be used to funding some logistic costs and production of syntheses.
  4. 4. Given the strategic importance of the LLGs, it would be appropriate to have a small fund to do this. Part of thefund could be used, for example, to partially cover travel and accommodation costs to attend the SEEP AC.It is possible to come up with criteria and a formula to objectively determine which LLG facilitators can benefitfrom this fund. Some indicators that can be used are: Number of LLG meetings facilitated during the year Number of people who they managed to engage in each meeting Number of organisations attending (diversity) Number of knowledge products produced by the LLG group (e.g. videos, or syntheses) Number of dialogues promoted between the LLG and the global MaFI network (on LinkedIn) Distance from the SEEP AC venueNote: most of the ideas linked to the LLGs are highly dependent on the number of LLG facilitators and their levelsof ownership and leadership. Precise funding needs and opportunities will be assessed as the initiative movesforward.3. MaFI-Latina (implementation dependent on funding from Latin American SEEP members):The objective is to improve knowledge sharing between Spanish- and English-speaking practitioners. This idea hasbeen proposed by several Latin American members in the past and reiterated by some of the participants of MaFIDay during the SEEP AC. The main challenge is time limitations for the facilitator of MaFIto facilitate this group aswell. However, using the lessons learned in the past, it is possible for the facilitator to pilot this idea during theyear and, if it takes off, provide basic training and mentoring to another facilitator.It is not recommended for MaFI-latina to become a subgroup of the current MaFI group on LinkedIn. Subgroups inthe current MaFI platform on LinkedIn have been used before and they create excessive noise, confusion andcomplication for users. Instead, it is better that MaFI-Latina becomes a new group in LinkedIn. However, in orderto minimise fragmentation of learning and good flow of knowledge between the two groups, a translation systemthat allows the discussions to flow between the two groups almost in real time will be needed. 4 Page