Resiliency+ Roundup September

by PartnersGlobal   September 14, 2020

We appreciate all the positive responses we have been receiving from our Resiliency+ Roundups! It continues to be a rough time for many civil society actors around the world, so the PartnersGlobal team is glad to help curate useful tools and insights as we all confront our own resiliency journeys in the face of a global pandemic, political upheaval and violence in many parts of the world, and the acceleration of the climate crisis.  The PartnersGlobal Resiliency+ Framework offers our civil society partners a lens to focus on building your resiliency around 7 key factors.

Check out some of the wonderful resources that have been inspiring us recently, organized by each of the R+ factors:

Adaptive Capacity: Preparing for the Unknown

In “To Build Emotional Strength, Expand your Brain, Kerry Hannon posits that learning can be a key factor in building the necessary resilience to weather setbacks and navigate life’s volatility.

In this article by XPLANE, Gretchen Daguanno offers a simple exercise for prioritizing projects in the time of COVID-19.  Daguanno argues that adopting a “Start – Stop – Continue” mindset can help with regaining focus, assessing a situation, and determining improvements.

Business Acumen: Entrepreneurial Mindset

In “An Executive Director’s Guide to Financial Leadership,” Kate Barr and Jeanne Bell provide insight on the difference between financial management and financial leadership, and offer eight key business principles to inform financial leadership practice.

Check out these twelve case studies from the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation, showing how business leaders are advancing interfaith understanding and peace. The case studies are organized according to a business’s impact achieved by their: core business, social investment and philanthropy, advocacy and public policy engagement, and partnerships and collective action.

Situational Awareness: Systems Thinking

This short video on “Storytelling to enable systems thinking” by Gene Bellinger, offers reflections on why it is difficult to “sell” systems thinking as opposed to simply highlighting stories about the impact of relationships that we build.

The Futures Cone offers a tool for futurists to easily identify three main classes of futures: possible, probable, and preferable. Joseph Voros builds on this model with additional categories: preposterous, the ‘projected’ future, and plausible. Read more on alternative futures, and the expanded model of the Futures Cone here.

Nat Kendall Taylor and Bill Pitkin offer helpful insights for talking about and understanding systems thinking in this piece from The Communications Network. Taylor and Pitkin highlight six steps for communicators to ensure their audience understands an issue within a larger system, yet still believes they have the power to effect change within those systems.

Connectedness: Greater Than the Sum of its Parts

In this interview by The Forge, Christi H. Ketchum, Donielle Prince, Dr. Kristee Haggins, and Flojaune Griffin Cofer, share their experiences bringing together different constituencies to “challenge the role of policing in schools and communities and (to) build safe spaces for Black communities to heal from racial violence.”

In “Collaborating for Effective Social Activism in West Africa: Experiences, Enabling Factors and Challenges,” researchers highlight several enabling factors to forge collaboration between social justice organizations, such as: shared interest in promoting social justice; visibility and recognition; availability of resources and good leadership styles; amongst others. The paper also includes challenges to collaboration uncovered by their research, and future recommendations.

Networking for Democracy,” by Joe Mitchell, examines the UK’s democracy sector by way of interviews with experts, to learn and share how better networking may help bolster democracy-building efforts.

In a 2017 article, “Platforms as Networks of Assets,” Cassie Robinson shared insights on a network’s usefulness in terms of assets that can be provided to communities. Some of the recommendations regarding an organization’s assets: make use of existing infrastructure, repurpose or reimagine physical spaces, design digital infrastructure at a micro-level, connect local information, be a digital hub for the community, develop shared community intelligence, and co-ordinate for collective impact.

Legitimacy: Radical Transparency and Constituent Engagement

Serving as a source of trust-worthy information for communities during a pandemic is a key aspect of maintaining organizational legitimacy. Read more about how Accountability Lab Mali is addressing misinformation among a diverse population in light of COVID-19.

Global Standard for CSO Accountability has identified four categories of soliciting feedback from communities: complaints, suggestions, monitoring and satisfaction. Each of these types of feedback are more relevant depending on the stage of a project’s life cycle. Consult this resource for more information.

In “Making the most of digital tools to collect youth feedback”, Lily Mackow-McGuire and Belen Giaquinta explain that “community engagement and feedback are important dimensions of shifting power to enable youth-led change.” They also share lessons learned and next steps concerning Model for Change, a youth-led, tech enabled, community engagement approach to gauge commitments by development actors delivering livelihoods programs in communities.

Engaging the Narrative: Intentional Communications

NPTech Projects compiled a list of 46 technology trainings for non-profit staff, board members, leaders and volunteers to take advantage of in September, 2020. Check it out here!

Roadmap for Funders: Investing in Digital Infrastructure, a guide developed by the Technology Association of Grantmakers, NetHope, NTEN, and TechSoup, is designed to provide concrete ways organizations can invest in three core elements of digital infrastructure.

This blogpost by Ted Fickes of Narratives Initiative provides insight on harnessing imagination to cultivate narrative power. Fickes posits that “narrative interventions give people control over the story of their future. We use futures thinking as a way of creating power over the future. We distribute futures thinking as a way to create and distribute power to control the future in an equitable way.”

Resilience Ethos: Embracing Uncertainty

Natalie Boudou, corporate trainer, coach and specialist in resilient and agile cultures, shares important insights on proactive, versus reactive, resilience in “Taking the Pulse of your Organisation: a first step to building resilient workforces during and post COVID-19”.

In this article from We Work, Sam Lee notes that the skill of creativity is necessary for the cultivation of future thinking and should not be exclusive to creatives. “Companies looking to grow must tap into creative energy. It will become essential to driving business forward. Creative problem-solving will enable teams to generate innovation in the workplace in a multitude of ways—whether it’s finding new approaches to problems inherent to the business, developing new products or services to fill a hole in the market, or improving upon existing processes.”

Past, Present, Future Change believe in storytelling’s power to effect change and heal and transform the lives of young people.  The organization offers a downloadable toolkit for facilitators to aid young people in sharing their stories for social change in post-conflict environments.

Tech Accelerate helps organizations to more effectively achieve their mission by measuring the organization’s tech practices using a free benchmarking assessment. The assessment covers various categories and includes resources to help organizations boost the effectiveness of their technology usage, including: leadership, organization, infrastructure, fundraising and communications.

The Digital Nonprofit Ability Assessment is a free resource available to nonprofits. The assessment guides organizations on best practices for beginning a digital transformation journey.