Transparencies for special presentations made at the SLA Forum
IMPROVING POLICY CONTENT AND PROCESS
- Better understanding of livelihoods and impact of policy on livelihood strategies leads to improved policy choices
Macro-meso-micro linkages between policies and livelihoods
- Building community capacity to participate in the policy process leads to more relevant and improved policy
SL-friendly policy processes
POLICY DISCUSSION, THURSDAY EVENING
The discussion covered:
- the importance of capacity-building for participation in the policy process and training consciousness that local knowledge is valid and can affect the policy process (necessary not just at community levels but also in some countries for senior civil servants);
- the need to form partnerships and coalitions with interest groups, the media and the private sector to lobby and influence policy;
- the need for case studies to identify critical decision points in policy-making;
- policy as a political process, not just a technical one;
- the important role of democratization and conflict mediation;
- policy process support as a medium- to long-term process and the possibility of better short-term returns from impact analysis, with which to inform policy makers;
- the need for more analysis, possibly through case studies, about what is distinctive about policy impact on livelihoods, as opposed to poverty or food security.
The pattern of relationships between an organization and its clients will tend to replicate the pattern of relationships within the organization
Where have we tended to focus?
If we want to adopt SL approaches, what are the implications for us?
- How do we make SL approaches and principles a part of the way of doing and thinking in our organizations?
- What needs to be adjusted in our organizations to make SL approaches mainstream: style, systems, skills, shared understanding, culture, structures (or none of these)?
Key words emerging from our SLA debate: what are their organizational implications?
- Long-term but dynamic relationships
- New partnerships
- New skills (conflict management, policy processes, transformation of organizations...)
Internalization of SLA: five stages of change
At the start
- What are the driving forces for internalization of SL approaches - internal or external (e.g. DFID's White Paper, policy, focus and paradigm; reassessment in some agencies of effectiveness in alleviating poverty - sense of crisis)?
- Where does it start, at what level (e.g. HQ or field [senior or middle]) and does it matter?
- Who drives it? One person, a team of people? Where do they get their mandate?
How do you build acceptance and understanding of these approaches?
- How important is senior management's commitment to new ideas and processes of internalization?
- How do you build a shared understanding? What processes can be used (e.g. pilot projects, workshops, training, dialogue with other organizations in same-change process)?
- How do you deal with resistance to the approaches?
- How do you avoid it becoming seen as an idea imposed from HQ on the field - or perhaps vice versa?
- What other forms of communication can be used - websites, newsletters, working groups of interested individuals? How effective are these at developing broad-based understanding?
What is needed to implement SL approaches?
- How fundamental are the changes actually required in the organization? Is it an evolution or should it be a revolution?
- At what levels are the changes required: strategy, design of projects/programmes, structures within the organizations, new skills, recruitment processes?
- What are the implications for the staff at the front line or interface of your organization with partners (e.g. how do you develop the understanding and commitment of donors working through consultants process or develop implementing NGOs' understanding with their field staff)?
How are lessons learned?
- How do you build learning on SL into change of practice within organizations? What are the mechanisms and processes?
How is the approach changed?
- What methods can you employ to ensure that it is an organic approach and not a static "fad"? How do you capture adaption and lead to changes in policy and practices?
Moving forward: changes in external relations
- What are the implications for partner organizations - particulary government agencies (sectorally organized)? How are ideas af SL brought into dialogue with them?
From what we have learned: how much do these elements contribute to change?
- Create a sense of urgency
- Form a powerful change team
- Create a vision
- Communicate the vision
- Develop systems that empower the staff
- Plan for and create short-term wins
- Consolidate change
- Institutionalize changes