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Preparing video

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Each group was then asked to produce short videos (max 2 minutes), to share the main findings of the previous activity. The perspective of  clients and of providers had to be captured.  They had to convey strategic points, rather than the details of a deployment. They could for example focus on:

  • Impact of the deployment
  • Value of deployments
  • Most significant learning

Before starting action, we reviewed again the guidance provided in previous workshops on how to capture good videos.

The videos where then shared and commented for feedback. We had some technical issues, but we managed to solve them!

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Participants were divided in 4 groups, to look at past deployments in depth (in Bangladesh, Bolivia, Horn of Africa, Nepal).

Each group was composed of

  • people who had direct experience of the deployment (either as “clients” or as “providers”): they could share their experience first hand.
  • People who were not involved in the deployment – and acted as “interviewer” and “note taker”.

To support the interviewers, we suggested the following questions (but each group was free to add, change, adapt questions):

1. What activities were conducted as part of your deployment?

2. State two or three specific outcomes that were a result of the deployment for:

  • The country office/consortium: How has your agency’s country office/consortium benefited from the deployment?
  • Your own professional development:  What did you learn? And what did you gain from the experience?

3. What follow-up was/should be done after the deployment? And for what purpose? (e.g. sustainability, acting on recommendations, liaising with the Standing Team for additional support etc.)

4. What were the three biggest successes?

5. What were the three biggest challenges?

6. If the deployment was to happen again, what could be done differently?

7 What did you learn about the Standing Team model, and how can it be improved?

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Standing Team member Faten believes that working for the Child’s Rights program at Save the Children – helping to create more accountable programs for Palestinian children – has been one of the most interesting and useful experiences in her professional life.  Last fall she participated in the Standing Team Accountability and Impact Measurement Fundamentals workshop in Jakarta.  This was Faten’s first introduction to many of the key concepts of accountability, and she describes it as the starting point of a “breakthrough” in her work. She states that upon her return:

I was back full of energy to transfer this learning to colleagues and partner organizations. I called for several briefing sessions for staff at different levels in my organization, and I conducted a four day training for Save the Children staff and partners in Gaza, where there is a high need for accountability in the context of emergency.

Trainees from partner organizations were very impressed with this learning, and requested access to the training material in Arabic in order to conduct a similar training for their staff and volunteers.

Thank you Faten for sharing your experience!  We would love to hear from more of you.  How has the learning from past Standing Team workshops contributed to your work?  Share your thoughts as a comment on this post or email sarnason@care.org or klove@care.org if you’re interested in drafting a blog submission!

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The CARE Standing Team are committed to sharing learning with all of us, and we are lucky that they have submitted another dispatch about their meeting! Angela submits this piece to us:

The Standing Team meets just once a year, so how do we make the most of our time together? how do we learn from each other?  how do we train up the newer members?  how do we move forward accountability practices?  I’ve captured here some of the tricks that help make great use of short time.

Talking accountability over dinner

Our workshop has a multi-purpose design beyond the accountability theme, and allows each and every one of us to design and deliver a session across the week.  We pair up a more seasoned member with a newer one in a “buddy system”.  Typically, ahead of the workshop, a needs assessment is done to determine what the interests, challenges and expectations are around the theme and an interactive session is designed around this.  We learn a lot about various aspects of accountability, emphasising the practice.  Today we looked at feedback, complaints and response mechanisms, as well as ways in which we review CARE’s performance in emergencies and against our humanitarian accountability framework. Different to other workshops – and a key feature of ours – is that facilitators also receive feedback on their session design and delivery, so as to build their skills in facilitation and workshop design too.

prop from workshop session

Today I’m left astounded by the thought and creativity that goes into the design.  Modelled on the famous tv programme, we played “Who Wants To Be An After Action Review Expert”.  Whilst the million dollar prize may not materialise for some time (where’s the accountability there?!), we were left with a brilliant example of smart session design.  Well tailored to the afternoon hump session, participants were lured in turn into the bright orange corona of a hot seat to answer questions on conducting after action reviews.  The questions were thoughtfully designed and drew out rich conversation on what after action reviews are (and are not!), the lessons learned from the previous reviews conducted by the facilitators, the key questions that are being debated within the organisation (to draw comments and insight from the participants to feed into the debate) and tips and tricks for facilitating after action reviews.  A great example that a cleverly designed and delivered session can achieve a lot in a short time and still be fun: everyone’s a winner.

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Some time for ourselves… to look back at what we did and what we learned.

A questionnaire to fill in.

And then, setting in a circle, we share our learning and our funniest memories from the workshop.

  • Tabulation/analysis matrix
  • Workshop facilitation
  • How to organize reports and gear them toward different audiences
  • Making new friends
  • Eating new kinds of food
  • Digging deeper into roles and responsibilities and each step of an evaluation process

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