Connecting local responses around the world
Hello dear friends,
Here is a comment from ADB on our draft final report:
"Sustainability of country teams: The outline for sustainability is not easy to grasp. Perhaps because there are no clear cut institutional arrangements on the ground. If possible it would be good to supplement this part with how CST is supporting sustainability of the country teams. Maybe briefly explain key resources required to ensure sustainability".
What would be your suggestion as a response to this question. We know that country teams have found different modalities for their sustainability!
1. What do you see as the key resources for your country team/network to sustain?
2. How can CST support sustainability of the country teams?
And, as we are all players towards the same dream, lets add:
3. How can country teams support each other?
4. How can country teams play a role in the sustainability of the (global) Constellation?
I very much look forward to your input in those big questions!
Some of my ideas on this:
One of the reasons for this is that there is no one outline for sustainability. Based on the ‘Starfish model’ there is a decentralized structure that allows for each team to find their own way towards sustainability. The most essential part is that there is ownership of the strategy and the way forward. This means that there is a different institutional arrangement on the ground in each country. Currently, 12 country teams (6 in Asia) show 12 different strategies for sustainability.
The CST’s task is to facilitate in each country the development of the vision, strategy and sustainability strategy not direct it. This is what happened in each of the countries so far with the limited resources available. There is no financial relationship and each country team is responsible for its own sustainability strategy, driven by local ownership. Nevertheless, we have seen that there is value in sharing of (sustainability) experiences between teams, which is currently facilitated mostly virtually. The core vision and mission of country teams are similar to that of the CST, but different in scope. Country teams can learn from the sustainability strategy of the CST. Whether or not to adopt this learning is up to the team. Currently the CST is working on a survey to explore the vision and direction that the CST must take according to the various country teams. The main question is: What should be the strategic priorities for the CST and how can it even better support the various country teams? The results will be ready in September 2011.
The key resources required differ per context, but a few common areas emerge in multiple teams:
- Technical resources, mainly in terms of partner relationship building, marketing, proposal writing and contract negotiations;
- Human resources. Many teams do rely on voluntary or partly paid staff. At least one paid staff member over a guaranteed period helps to think in more medium-term plans instead of short-term survival.
- Logistical resources, mainly in terms of a permanent office space, internet and phone connection and possibly hosted by an existing NGO or even a NAC;
- Travel costs. Individuals within the country teams are often dispersed around the country. Financial resources and time are necessary to allow for regular face2face interactions.
- Credibility. As start-ups, the country teams still have to build up a track-record. An example is the funding opportunity of the Global Fund, which required both a solid institutional capacity and track record to comply for Sub-recipient or sub-sub-recipient.