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WARMU Program Quality Forum. October 2009. From S é gou PQF to Accra RAC. What are we doing this afternoon?. We have been tasked by the PQF to: Share PQF highlights. Convey PQF passion and commitment Solicit your reflections/resolutions. Take back your message to PQF.

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Warmu program quality forum

WARMU Program Quality Forum

October 2009

From Ségou PQF to

Accra RAC

What are we doing this afternoon
What are we doing this afternoon?

We have been tasked by the PQF to:

  • Share PQF highlights.

  • Convey PQF passion and commitment

  • Solicit your reflections/resolutions.

  • Take back your message to PQF.

Content of the half day pqf at rac
Content of the half day (PQF) at RAC

  • General Highlights on PQF

  • Highlights of PQF reflections.

  • RAC reflections & resolutions

  • Conclusion

General highlights of the pqf
General highlights of the PQF

  • 4 ½ days of practical reflections inspired by the calm of the Niger river and the resolve of Touaregs.

  • A lot (of practical work) has happened since Istanbul Program conference: CARE Mali opened up their program and showed us an overall coherent program framework and their impact indicators at CO and program levels.

  • With the Program Approach, issues are definitely complex, at the same time, we tend to complicate things that are simple (partnerships, impact measurement)

  • We are not starting from scratch, many of the challenges identified overlap with good practices in place.

A number of take aways
A number of take-aways…

  • Partners, strategic ones, are asking (and will continue) to ask “tough questions”, about our coherence (systems, attitudes, motives).

  • In terms of impact measurement, COs and partners must reflect on ways to ensure analysis, knowledge generation and learning after data collection.

  • With the Program Approach, CARE will go as far as its passionate talents can go! As deep as its leadership culture can go! Let’ us take bold steps in our People Management, limit distractions, and promote constant reflection and problem solving.

Program approach pa legitimacy and identity
Program Approach (PA): Legitimacy and Identity

  • The program goal is not CARE’s goal; it is a joint, shared goal, hence program sustainability is guaranteed. One CARE Mali partner said, “With or without CARE’s funding, we will continue to work on the changes that we are jointly seeking.”

  • Our Theories of Change lead us into the Socio-Cultural Change arena: shining a light on, and catalyzing change around social injustices is a role for CARE.

  • To earn our legitimacy as agents of social change, our identity will be (and is being) affected.

  • COs move at different paces, with similar pathways of PA. Internal coherence is key (within CIMs, in particular).

Reflection: As leaders how do you feel our identify and

legitimacy is changing? What is the ‘new CARE’?

Why is this important in relation to our impact?

Partnerships accountability new type of relationships
Partnerships: Accountability, new type of relationships

  • Fewer strategic and successful partnerships linked to ToCs & based on an understanding of how organizations contribute to social change.

  • Identify partners who are strategic for our impact groups.

  • Our CARE systems (resource mobilization, operations support, sub-granting, program monitoring) were relevant to the “projects”-based view of our work.

  • The CARE-Partners image of scale and power (elephant & mouse) has to change, starting with our strategic partners. Mali examples: budgeting, planning joint journey, new types of sharing, learning and visibility.

  • More internal coherence is required, e.g. , between compliance projects & the Program Approach (CARE USA).

  • CARE depends on big resources for viability. We demand accountability in our funding relationships with partners. We are perceived as (disproportionally, unnecessarily) highly demanding and this causes tension and mistrust in our relationships with partners.

Reflection: How can we ensure that our accountability demands

from partners and our ways of working with them enhance

the new kinds of relationships required in the Program Approach?

How can leadership help manage and mitigate the tensions?

Impact measurement from the gourd to carrot
Impact Measurement: From the gourd to carrot

  • Impact measurement for social change is simpler than we make it, provided we become “a wise” organization as opposed to a data organization.

  • For CARE, MDI+ means applying MDI to our specific impact populations. We know that those we work with and for are likely to be excluded from many national MDG achievements.

  • Social change is a big undertaking. We can’t do it alone. So we what can we take credit for? The tension between attribution and contribution is manageable, moving from the gourd to the carrot?

Reflection: CARE has tried for years to be a good learning

organization with good impact measurement – yet we have

continued to collect data without using it. If it did not work

before, what will be different now? What is your role?

Talents for change passion energy
Talents for Change: Passion & Energy

  • Program Approach require new competencies, attitudes, stable and passionate talents.

  • From individual leadership & accountability to leadership and accountability culture of a values and principles-based organization.

  • Tensions and pressures drain staff energy and passion for change.

  • PQF is a diverse mix of optimists, pessimists and realists, who share the aspiration for change, and live tensions associated with our current model.

Reflection: Staff morale and energy needs to be maintained,

our lack of coherence between CI members, with partners,

with our diverse projects is tiring – what is your role to

enhance coherence and motivate staff?

Rac reflections re solutions to manage tensions
RAC Reflections & Re-Solutions to manage tensions

From RAC small groups:

  • CARE legitimacy, Identity, Visibility

  • Managing/mitigating tensions

  • Impact measurement and Learning

  • Talent Passion and Energy

  • Business model (not discussed in this session)

Conclusion pqf commitments
Conclusion: PQF commitments

  • The Program Approach is our #1 priority, coherence=bottom line.

  • Each CO made specific plans:

    • In our partnership work, we will have a differential approach (fewer strategic partners, and a range of implementing partners).

    • To manage tensions: We are prioritizing interdepartmental collaborations that are guided by PA and problem solving.

    • With Impact measurement, we are steadily pushing ahead with baselines, supporting creativity, analytical and learning culture.

    • On Talents passion & motivation: We will prioritize their partnership competencies (as facilitators, activists, reflective thinkers, networkers)

    • We will invest available financial resources in a way that builds coherence, not stand alone projects, CIM portfolios.

Thank you my view
Thank you: My view…..

A CARE that has fully embraced and humbly reflects the PA implications (of coherence and change) will become a credible herald of social change for the partners we work with, and thus making an irreplaceable contribution to the promotion of social change and end of poverty in societies we work in/for.

Knowledge hierarchy gourd carrot simplify demystify our language

Changes in Knowledge Hierarchy

Knowledge Hierarchy (gourd & Carrot): simplify/demystify our language

From this triangle/mindset …….of frustrations:






Resources (Human, Financial, Technological)

To such a triangle of hope harmony




Performance : Program & Program Support

To such a triangle of…………. Hope & Harmony


Credible CARE