20 - 24 September 2005
ODI was invited to facilitate the workshop and introduce its participants to the Outcome Mapping methodology.
The workshop objectives were for the participants to:
- Learn a new methodology: Outcome Mapping
- Develop a strategy and a business plan for the network
- Identify methods to monitor the strategy
- Outcome Mapping was presented. Outcome Mapping is a planning, monitoring and learning methodology. It is a process that considers a new understanding of the development process, focusing its efforts on the agents of the process and the changes in their behaviours. Outcome Mapping emphasises the role of monitoring as a leaning tool and allows for a constant revision and improvement of a programme or project's strategies and assumptions.
- The Vision and Mission were discussed and identified. Participants considered what ought to be the ideal long term behaviour of their boundary partners (vision) and the forum's contribution towards the achievement of such change (mission).
- The Boundary Partners of the network were identified. Those people or institutions with whom the network and its members work directly and whose behaviour they intend to change were identified as: National governments, parliamentary groups, local governments, communities, CSOs, firms, universities, donors and the IFRTD (global).
- The Outcome Challenges and Progress Markers were defined for each Boundary Partner. The Outcome Challenges are those defined by the long term vision. The Progress Markers are the gradual changes that the forum might observe in its boundary partners from the short to the long term.
- Using Force Field Analysis participants identified the forces for and against these long term behaviour changes. The analysis allowed participants to identify the forces against change that had not been considered before and establish priorities of action to deal with them.
- Based on the results of the Force Field Analysis long term strategies to contribute to the achievement of the Outcome Challenges for each Boundary Partner were developed.
- Focusing on the following year, and considering their own needs and limitations, the participants repeated the process to define a clear short-to-medium term action plan. The participants worked in groups to develop country-specific short term work plans focusing on one Boundary Partner and in the achievement on the first set of Progress Markers.
- Finally, they identified the Organisational Practices that are necessary for the network to continue to work towards the achievement of the vision.
Some observations on IFRTDAL (post-workshop):
- The Executive Committee is a close and strong group. Its members are capable of interacting and working with each other.
- Its members only dedicate a limited amount of resources to the networks and its activities. This has strong implications in the development of a network identity.
- Its members do not work exclusively on rural transport issues. This has an effect on the resource that they choose to make available to the network.
- The members are, in theory, 'representants' of their countries, but, in reality they are only 'representative' of rural transport sector.
- As individuals, the members do not have the capacity to work with multiple boundary partners in their countries. This will depend on their position in the policy-research process in their context.
- Not all members have the same idea of the role of the network. Some see it as an agent of change while other would rather see it as a network that supports their own activities.
- It is important to define the functions that the network will carry out to make sure that its structure is the best one. New resources and skills will need to be introduced if the network is to become an agent of change. The members would have to be willing to contribute more resources or the secretariat would have to develop its fundraising skills. Similarly, they have to develop communications strategies and networked policy influence and research. If the forum was to become a support network, then it would have to develop its capacity to filter information and knowledge and to support the development of working groups and the provision of resources and skills towards its members. Both supra-functions are very important but require different resources and skills.
- The network requires, in addition to a coordinator, one or more motivators. For the members it seems critical to motivate not only the Executive Committee but also the other members into participating in the network to exchange knowledge and opportunities.