Joint proposal building and strengthening ownership online

Just Future 4-day international workshop

Over the summer Cordaid asked Perspectivity if we could facilitate a multi-stakeholder workshop for the Just Future Alliance. Purpose: to elaborate the strategic partnership proposal for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to foster joint ownership for the five-year programme starting January 2021. Due to Covid-19, the workshop had to be conducted online.

The partnership consists of six international NGOs with Cordaid in the lead, four international research and network partners, and many local civil society organisations. The programme advocates for peaceful, secure and inclusive societies in six fragile states: Afghanistan, Burundi, DRC, Niger, Mali and South Sudan. With more than 50 participants online each day and simultaneous translation throughout, we were up for quite a task.

In the beginning I was surprised about this large online session, but during the week, I learned that we can make this programme together online. I’m happy with it and learned a lot. – participant

We designed a highly interactive programme of four sessions of half a day, together with a diverse core team. Short presentations by many different presenters were always followed by dialogue sessions in smaller, usually mixed, breakout groups. This enabled all participants to share their specific experiences, knowledge and needs, fostering principles of inclusion, shared ownership and participation. They discussed country-level theories of change and identified common threads regarding advocacy, research, learning and governance priorities, linking local, national, regional and global levels within the programme.

This exercise allows us to see how a problem is often considered local and how much more global it is. participant

All underlying documents and harvest were made accessible online. Conversations and main insights were shared by the participants themselves in Google documents, which produced a rich reflection of the many different conversations that took place.

In total, more than 70 people participated in one way or another in the international workshop. On average, 53 people were online each day. Despite the time differences, some technical connection and translation challenges, the four-day programme delivered valuable insights, established new connections and was for many participants an eye-opener about the possibilities of online collaboration.

This online workshop has been a milestone in building the proposal. – client

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