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A new strategy for CARE in the Sahel

This prezi tells the story of how a group of disparate CARE offices and teams forged a single, coherent strategy for building resilience and fighting poverty in one of the world’s most challenging contexts.

Matt Bannerman

on 17 March 2016

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Transcript of A new strategy for CARE in the Sahel

A new strategy for CARE in the Sahel
Not at the table,
not in the game...

From vision, to strategy, to practice...
DRAMANE: "The idea for the new strategy dates back to the 2011 crisis, after which CARE Mali and CARE Niger began to join their efforts and ideas.

The initiative was catalyzed by CARE’s Vision 2020, and the team began to document the emerging resilience programs in the Sahel."
new skills and new ways of working...

Romanus Gyang
ALP Project Manager, Ghana
Aude Rigot
Regional Emergency Coordinator
West Africa
Omar Tankari
Adviser in Advocacy and
Strategic Partnerships
CARE Niger
Dramane Sidibé
Program Design Coordinator
OMAR: "We have already started to see a difference in our programming. Since the start of 2014 we have developed three proposals with a sub-regional dimension.

These are very concrete examples of how we can put into practice this kind of sub-regional programming."

ROMANUS: "It’s making a critical difference – doing standalone programming is not making an impact.

Coming together, speaking with one another, learning from one another is making more impact – making CARE united and ‘one’, and more focused on our strategic direction
OMAR: "In my view, we will not see the impact of our changes for some time.

Our immediate objective is still to harmonize our approaches. Each country office still has its own culture.

For me our first impact has been to arrive at a uniform, coherent strategy for CARE across all the countries of the Sahel.
OMAR: "Communication has been the biggest challenge, especially in how our senior leaders in the region communicate with the COs, and how the COs then communicate with their staff.

Not everyone was informed or understood what was happening.
AUDE: "When you move to a new system, people are worried about their jobs.

But there are also new opportunities. Pooling resources gives us the chance to bring in skilled technical staff that each country alone could not afford."

OMAR: "The primary lesson is that if we really want to change the way we program, we need to create the space and the resources to meet periodically – and not rely on email or distant communication."

ROMANUS: "If you are working in your own corner you will make mistakes.

If you learn from others you are better placed to make an impact."
DJIMRAOU: "Malheureusement, nous avons l'impression que nous sommes arrivés à un stade où les CO ont peur de perdre leur 'pouvoir' et leur 'souveraineté'."
Reaching out and making connections...
OMAR: "A key competence we must learn is communicating with impact.

We have a lot of rich field experience but we are timid about exploiting it.

We need to develop the skills to express our learning in compelling ways that will influence our audience and change the debate."

AUDE: "The key idea is networking.

We need to get out of our offices, away from our computers, and meet and understand the other actors. We need to advocate with others – we can’t do it alone."
OMAR: "Important sub-regional institutions are looking for climate change expertise from NGOs such as CARE.

We can help them to fill these gaps in knowledge, and in doing so strengthen our relationships and influence."
ROMANUS: "Civil Society and Government have all realized this.

Joint programming yields joint learning and bigger impact as a result."
OMAR: "Within civil society, the existing multi-country initiatives and platforms provide a space to discuss and share ideas between program people.

It is much easier to discuss strategic and programmatic issues at a sub-regional level.
DRAMANE: "CARE was not alone when we set out on this path – it was a joint movement. It’s important to coordinate well - to avoid being isolated.

We must reflect on how we can ensure our participation in the analysis and decision making. This is a challenge for us – to be represented at the sub-regional level."
OMAR: "With some CARE members, we have a relationship of trust.

It’s important that CARE members trust regional and country teams to take risks, to test approaches – creating the space to make mistakes and learn – focusing not only on the results we obtain but also on the processes we follow."
ROMANUS: "CARE International is providing the regions and country offices with a strategic vision – where CARE should be going.

We need this leadership from CI members, and we need support with resources for joint programming.

It’s important for us to see CI members providing practical leadership in this kind of joint programming, so people can feel that we are moving together as one organization."

What we do differently from today...
OMAR: "We have the strategy documents and each country has been through its process.

Now what we need is a strong lead from the region to say clearly to each country: this is now our approach, our vision 2020 and our sub-regional strategy, let’s move forward with it together. We need to hear that clearly."

DRAMANE: "We have already identified the learning themes in our resilience strategy for the Sahel: governance and conflict resolution, urban vulnerability, women and resilience, the vulnerability of pastoralist peoples.
These themes cut across all the countries in the sub-region – learning in these themes will help make concrete the Sahel strategy."
AUDE: "I hope in 2020 CARE in the Sahel will be able to really link our emergency and development work – we are not there yet.

I hope we can be agile and flexible."

ROMANUS: "What we need from here is action, we need to take action."
OMAR: "We have to say: from today, this is what we want to do differently – and this is how we will implement and measure it."
ROMANUS: "The Sahel is a region that has the same features in terms of ecology and livelihoods – and similar ways of doing things.

So we need to take a coordinated approach to program design."

AUDE: "At the regional level there is recognition that we need to treat the Sahel as a region.

Everything is linked and there are many cross-border issues.

A regional analysis of the needs and the requirements is essential."

OMAR: "Our principal partners have adopted a sub-regional strategy.

They consider the Sahel as a homogenous region, and they see increased resilience as the best way to fight poverty. CARE was obliged to follow suit, in order to be part of this movement and not be left behind."
ROMANUS: "Government, Civil Society, NGOs and donors are all playing this game.

Everybody is faced with resource constraints. The way to go is to come together and pool resources and effort."

AUDE: "CARE has done cross border work before, but we have tended to have an internal focus. Because we have done well, we do not try to innovate.

Outside CARE, people are moving quickly to form alliances and consortiums, but we were not part of these in any systematic way."

AUDE: When I arrived in the region the change process was ongoing

The regional team engaged me in the sub-regional context and humanitarian analysis. There was a lot of space for me to express my concerns and my ideas about what is going on in the humanitarian context.
Prepared by Matt Bannerman for the ECSA RLT October 2014
DJIMRAOU: "Ce processus a été une grande opportunité pour les CO de regarder au-delà de leur seul espace national et d’aller vers une perspective plus large offerte par le sahel qui est une entité cohérente et pertinente pour le développement de programmes à impacts plus grands."
RBM: "Il ya un processus qui tend vers le changement de paradigmes dans l’approche CARE.

On est passé à un stade où les partenaires étaient de simples récipiendaires des paquets technologiques de CARE à une nouvelle approche de « faire faire » par les organisations de bénéficiaires.

Cet état de fait favorise l’appropriation des technologies. C’est une approche qui s’inscrit dans un esprit de coresponsabilité entre acteurs, susceptibles de garantir la durabilité des actions."
Djimraou Aboubacar
ACD Program Quality
CARE Niger
DJIMRAOU: "CARE doit devenir plus visible et plus influençant en organisant sa présence dans des sites de grande convergence régionale comme Abuja au Nigeria et Dakar au Sénégal."

AREN: "[CARE devrait] s’engager ouvertement dans le plaidoyer pour une exploitation rationnelle et durable des ressources naturelles par les Industries Extractives pour prévenir des conflits (insécurité) éventuels."

AREN: "[CARE devrait] multiplier/diversifier le partenariat avec les ONG internationales et les autres partenaires techniques et financiers pour développer des projets spécifiques pour répondre aux problèmes d’insécurité au Sahel"
RBM: "Les organisations membres du RBM constatent qu'il s'avère difficile construire un véritable partenariat permettant d'offrir aux organisations d'éleveurs les moyens d'exercer une influence sur le processus de formulation et de mise en œuvre des instruments de politique publiques.

CARE peut accompagner les OP à mener des concertations internes et formuler clairement leurs points de vue et propositions, en vue d'engager des négociations avec les autorités, avec pour objectif d'améliorer le processus de formulation des programmes nationaux et régionaux."
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