What are our day-to-day working principles?

Dear friends, we all have these moments in our day-to-day work where we think: "what option should I choose here? What is more important? Am I crossing a line by doing this?"

Well, recently we developed with the Constellation Support Team (CST) some principles for action that can help us in our day to day work to make decisions. These are on the wall here and I have to say they are useful in my daily work and they show our take on development and our own responsibilities.

1. We can identify, but do not commit to outcomes that are not within only our span of control
2. We build in the discipline and rigor in service of creativity and innovation.
3. Before starting a task I ask myself: Who can I involve that would be happy to participate?
4. We build trust by clarifying mutual expectations and commitments.
5. In communication or articles, our goal is to propose an expanded evaluation framework for development.
6. We continuously measure our own progress and take action.
7. The CST is the living example of SALT
8. Our main strategy for change is exposure to local responses
9. Our mode of working is to respond to invitations, not select our own priorities (i.e. countries)
10. Our preferred mode of communication is person to person, ideally face to face.
11. We only engage in partnerships where the practice of SALT is an explicit part of the process.
12. We facilitate sharing and learning only in the context of local responses.

What would be some of your principles for action in your work?

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Comment by rebeka sultana on April 19, 2010 at 7:43pm
Thanks Gaston, I understand it better now. With my experience I found very few people who work in development field acknowledge the power of local response. There was a time when all development aid would focus on hard wares ( infrastructures, logistics etc) then capacity building came ( human resurce targeting 'benificiaries'), It still continues, local response and facilitatioln are largly untapped as you mentioned.
Comment by Gaston on April 18, 2010 at 11:38pm
Hi Rebeka, good to hear from you again.

Well, the 5th deals with what we eventually want to achieve in terms of a shift in development thinking. In our view, it deals with one of the foundation of why the potential of communities remains untapped and local responses are not facilitated at a larger scale. The global evaluation frameworks with its indicators (including UNGASS, GF or even the spending categories of NASA) do not give a lot of space for 'the facilitation of local response aspect of the global response. It mainly deals with the health service provision part and still sees communities as the recipient of interventions. For example, why is it rather difficult (though not impossible) to categorize the facilitation of local responses in the SDAs of the Global Fund? Of course, we can put these things under Behavioural Change Communication (BCC) or in the best case Community Systems Strengthening (CCS). However, it still doesn't really capture the foundational shift in outlook that is required. We think that to really move ahead and acknowledge the capacity of communities and facilitate these responses, we need to rethink these global evaluation frameworks. If we write academic articles on the implementation of approaches rooted in the idea of local responses, this will only bring marginal effects or changes. The foundation needs to change, in other words, the way we look at and therefore evaluate development.

Does this make sense?
Gaston.
Comment by rebeka sultana on April 17, 2010 at 1:10pm
Gaston,
Thank you for sharing the principles of action. I am immersed on thought since i read the 12 principles, some I am already practicing, i liked them. But I did not understand number 5. Would you clarify?

And by the way who belongs to CST?

Regards,
Rebeka

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