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2012 Investment Decisions for African Programs
Transcript of 2012 Investment Decisions for African Programs
Process Assessment and Invesment decisions What's next Investment decisions were made based on the resources available Performance of each team Fit with African programs portfolio An ideal portfolio has a diveristy of investments that are actively testing different ways to create systemic change e.g. a team of EWBers working with government, NGOs and donors vs. Social Enterprises We respect and value the time, effort and passion that goes into new ideas and existing ventures by EWBers. We value existing assets and decided to prioritize investment in existing assets over new assets Performance is defined by two things
1. Progress made in the last 6 months as compared with the goals the team set
2. Progress made in the last 6 months as compared with the graduation criteria expected for each team to graduate to the next level of investment Criteria for new investments Assessment of new teams pitched at the conference Graduation criteria are outlined for four stages of a team
1. Searching stage
2. Prototyping stage
3. Piloting stage
4. Multiplying stage
Ending in an Exit Multiply stage
There are many pathways a team can take to multiply which makes it difficult to define the performance criteria at a general level
Some teams may translate their knowledge and experience into a policy influence focus
Some teams may translate their knowledge and experience into a self-funded business or NGO
Some teams may translate their knowledge and experience to an already existing organisation Piloting Phase
Teams have enough credibility in the sector that partners (donors, national level organisations) are valuing their input on policies, national level projects, key decisions
Teams are testing the repeatability of successful field level innovations
Teams are building efficient internal processes to manage people, knowledge, finances, etc.
The leadership is committed for 2 - 3 years to see the team successfully through this stage Prototyping Phase
Teams are developing credibility in the sector with donors and national level organisations e.g. 'being known as the district people in Malawi
Teams are developing innovations at the field level that have a disproportionate affect on functioning of local government, businesses or non-government organisations
During this stage the team leader has committed for at least 2 years (enough time to get the team from Prototyping to Piloting phase) Searching Phase
Teams are defining the problem they want to solve and how it will lead to systemic change
Teams are developing a Theory of Change (their strategy for leveraging EWB assets to address their problem). The Theory of Change includes an understanding of the key actors in the sector and how they interact
A plan for the next 6 - 12 months is being developed
http://www.aspeninstitute.org/sites/default/files/content/docs/roundtable%20on%20community%20change/rcccommbuildersapproach.pdf 1. Creating systemic change e.g. redefining the way government and donor organisations interact
2. Leverages EWB's unique assets e.g. untied funding and change agents
3. The person who is proposing to lead the venture has a strong record as a leader e.g. strong interpersonal skills, ability to lead people with a compelling vision for change African Programs was allocated an initial $571,000 in November of which $255,000 was allocated to WatSan and $152,000 for the other teams first quarter spending (Nov - Jan) . In January an additional $355,000 was allocated to African Programs.
Therefore available resources are $519,000 for the remainder of the 2011-2012 fiscal year for EWB.
Note - EWB's fiscal year runs from Nov 1st 2011 to Oct 31st 2012. Current teams New investments WatSan Teams do a self assessment of their performance Team Leaders present their assessment to Boris, Sarah and the other African Program Team Leaders Feedback is given to the teams The Performance assessment is agreed upon by Boris, Sarah and the team leaders Boris and Sarah and the rest of the exec (Mark Abbott and George) make decisions on resources available for African Programs Scenarios for investments in new and existing ventures are shared by Boris and Sarah and discussed with Team Leaders Final decision made by Boris and Sarah and shared with Team Leaders Step 7 Step 6 Step 5 Step 4 Step 3 Step 2 Step 1 This was a first iteration of making investment decisions that increased the transparency around decisions with everyone and are more intentional in what we're investing in. We expect this to increase our overall performance and learning. Operational Improvements
We are aiming to make this a yearly decision making process
Next time we want to increase the input that comes from various parts of EWB and our partners as part of the decision. This involves doing some analysis in the field.
We plan to spend some time this year to better understand what we're going to learn from each investment. In order to be effective at creating systemic change we need to be constantly learning.
We will be iterating on the criteria we used to assess the performance and minimum access criteria for new investments.
We plan to increase the clarity on the process overall by improving the tools and making the steps clear for everyone Questions that require significant thought and experimentation this year
Designing a decision making process that maximizes the creative input from many stakeholders while has us making decisions in a timely manner that takes into consideration the overall 'what's best for EWB' as well as individual's situations.
We'd like to continue to experience and evolve our understanding of how best to create a functional relationship between the investor (Boris and Sarah) and investee (team leaders) that encourages risk taking, learning and a balanced power dynamic. Process taken January 2012 Exit! Three main factors for decisions Expectations from the investment:
Change creation: Overall, the team is aiming to shift the way water and sanitiation resources are directed in the sector. They are incresing the efficiency of existing resources by encouraging collaboration across donors, government, NGOs and the private sector.
EWB learning: In the next 2 - 3 years we expect to have a significantly better understanding of the challenges of encouraging state effectiveness in Africa and EWB's role. Assessment:
The team is at a piloting stage with strong momentum in the sector. Example - The team is woring with the national government to develop and test a new way to Monitor and Evaluate Sanitation progress made by districts. The investment:
An Investment of $255,000 was made Nov 2011 for the 2011-2012 fiscal year. No additional investment was made in Jan 2012 as the amount allocated to the team as resources in Jan 2012 were prioritized for the other investments. Additional investment may be made in 2012 to support the team to go after additional funding from the sector. AgEx Expectations from the investment:
Change creation: Overall, the team is aiming to affect the way the agriculture extension sector operates. The specific vision for the change is still being scoped but broadly is about facilitating innovation in extension.
EWB learning: The team has chosen to focus on both creating change in agriculture while doing the BEST JOB POSSIBLE at developing EWBers. The major learning we expect from the team is regarding how to best create change in Africa and develop EWBers at the same time. Assessment:
The team made a bold move in November to articulate a new focus for the team - away from purely focusing on developing the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, towards more broadly affecting the extension sector. The team is at the 'Searching Phase'. They'll be spending the next 6 - 12 months further articulating the problems in the sector, their theory of change. The investment:
An Investment of $84,000 was made in January for the remainder of the fiscal year (EWB's fiscal year ends October 31st). This investment will allow the team to do a fantastic job of coming up with a vision and theory of change! The team will be hiring two new APS this summer! AVC Expectations from the investment:
Change creation: The team is aiming to affect the way markets are developed in Africa through assisting the development sector (donors and NGOs) in developing the capacity and relationships required to be successful.
EWB learning: In the next 2 - 3 years we expect to have a significantly better understanding of what it takes to influence a trend in the development sector. The trend is market facilitation. Assessment:
The team is on the cusp of transitioning from a Searching team to a Prototype team due to their tremendous potential to accomplish amazing things in the coming year. Example - The team published resources on an international network on market facilitation. The team is well positioned to demonstrate their knowledge through several market facilitation projects in Ghana and Uganda. The investment:
An investment of $105,000 was made Jan 2012 contingent on meeting two criteria. The first - a successful team leader transition when Mike Klassen's contract ends August 2012. The second - a decision around the team's opportunities in Ghana and Uganda. BDS Expectations from the investment:
Change creation: The team is aiming to provide business development services at a Pan-African level to demonstrate the value of providing more than just financial support to agriculture businesses in Africa. Broader strategies that involve affecting Impact Investing, named the 'next big thing' in Africa, will be developed in the coming year.
EWB learning: The team will bring significant learning on two dimensions: (1) EWB's value to Social Enterprises in Africa (2) Strategies to affect new trends in the development sector. Assessment:
The team is moving to prototype stage will a well defined value proposition that involves providing business development services to Social Enterprises. Impact Investors are willing to pay for this service. The investment:
An Investment of $105,000 will be made for the remainder of the fiscal year (which ends Oct 31st, 2012). The investment will allow the team to capture $100,000 of revenue from Impact Investors. This investment is made contingent of a business plan which must be provided in more detail from Michael Clemitson (newly hired Team Leader Nov 2011). The team expects to hire up to 6 APS this year to meet the strong demand for BDS in Ghana, Zambia, Kenya, Burkina Faso and Mali. G&RI Expectations from the investment:
Change creation: Overall, the team is aiming to shift the way infrastructure resources are directed by donors and the government in Ghana to enhance services to communitieis.
EWB learning: In the next 2 - 3 years we expect to have a significantly better understanding of the challenges of encouraging state effectiveness in Africa and EWB's role. This needs to be further defined with the team. Assessment:
In January 2012, Janna Hamilton stepped down as Team Leader. The team is currently looking for a new team leader or generally, people who are interested in taking a leadership role and have an idea for a change they'd want to lead to promote good governance in Ghana. Otherwise, the team is making strong progress with positioning, credibility and adding value in the sector through Evidence Based Decision making. The investment:
An Investment of $64,000 was made to allow the team to operate until the end of the fiscal year. This investment will help the team further develop their theory of change and set-up the next team leader. For more information on the next steps with G&RI contact Sarah Grant (firstname.lastname@example.org) or their team's representative Alex Joyce (email@example.com). Voto Ghana Expectations from the investment:
Change creation: SMS Surveys is aiming to offer a polling based service to governments, donors, businesses in Africa on a more efficient basis than their current ways of collecting information. The ultimate change will be increased access to information to help donors, governments and businesses made better decisions.
EWB learning: EWB has limited experience in investing in Social Enterprises. Learning is expected from SMS Surveys that will allow us to develop a better strategy regarding investing in Social Enterprises. Assessment:
SMS Surveys is in the Searching phase with a 6 month business plan, a solid leader (Louis Dorval). The first 6 - 12 months will involve a lot of learning as the need for SMS Surveys from donors, government and NGOs and how to fill that need is tested on the ground. The investment:
No financial investment was made in SMS Surveys as it's expected that a Social Enterprise should be able to acquire resources eleswhere. An APS will be hired to develop SMS Surveys for the next 1 - 2 years as it was recognized that EWBers are the most valuable contribution SMS Surveys needs during it's initial stage. AfriLEAD Expectations from the investment:
Change creation: AfriLEAD is creating a movement of youth in Ghana who are super engaged in social justice and have the skills and network to create change in their own communities.
EWB learning: EWB still has a lot to learn about youth development as a systemic change, both in Canada and Africa. Assessment:
The leader of AfriLEAD, Peter Awin, is a Ghanaian youth himself and has a strong vision for change in Ghana. AfriLEAD needs to better situate itself within the other leadership development initiatives in Ghana to build credibility and develop a way to capture local resources. The investment:
Due to EWB's limited theory of change for African leadership development and already broad scope of changes in Africa, plus the limited resources available no financial invesment was made in AfriLEAD. However, opportunities to take Junior Fellows and receive coaching from EWB's network were made available. African Leadership Program Expectations from the investment:
Change creation: This program is a bit different from the rest of the teams listed here. That's because it's being invested in as a Program that's INTERNAL to EWB. Similar to the JF Program, the African Leadership Program enhances EWB's existing work through - bringing amazxing African leaders with whom we work with and help them become stronger change leaders and engaging EWBers and corporate partnerships in Canada in a motivting and meaningful way.
EWB learning: This program is still new to EWB. This is the first year we're formally articulating it as a re-occuring program. We hope to be actively learning about the benefits of the program (testing what we're assuming) and in how to best African change agents. Assessment:
We ran the program quite successfully the past two years and are starting to see the benefits in terms of partnerships in Canada and the African Leader's work. However, it runs the risk of being quite a large financial investment for EWB (the size of 2 teams) and time investment for the folks in Africa. The investment:
It will be expected that the program be entirely self-sufficient in terms of funds. EWB will provide some initial funds to help the Program Leader make fundraising progress from now until June. By June, we'll check in on fundraising progress and determine what it means for the scope of the program. Kumela Education Expectations from the investment:
Change creation: Kumela has the ambition of creating a next generation of African engineers that are committed to solving problems that matter. Their theory of change involves first running engineering competitions at schools in Africa to engage engineers in social problems, better stimulate their creativity and link them to industry.
EWB learning: EWB has a lot to learn regarding leadership development in Africa. Assessment:
Kumela has been operating for just over a year now with initial success in Zambia and Malawi demonstrating the value in engaging engineering students in problems that matter. There is a strong team of people in Zambia and Malawi who are willing to lead this, coupled with support from Toronto-based entrepreneur, Shannon Puddister. The investment:
Due to EWB's limited theory of change for African leadership development and already broad scope of changes in Africa, plus the limited resources available no financial invesment was made in Kumela However, opportunities to take Junior Fellows and receive coaching from EWB's network were made available. Multiply Pilot Prototype Searching Multiply Pilot Prototype Searching Multiply Pilot Prototype Searching Multiply Pilot Prototype Searching Multiply Pilot Prototype Searching