Annabelle Poelert via web
Today I facilitated a workshop on the Akvo Theory of Change (ToC) for Akvo's East Africa team. It was an interactive session in which the team got to learn about the ToC methodology and got to know Akvo's ToC in-depth, while getting the opportunity to provide feedback.
Akvo's ToC was born a little over a year ago, when me and two other Akvo colleagues, Geert and Christien, were challenged to come up with an organisational ToC during an Monitoring&Evaluation workshop. With the guidance of Anita, Akvo's specialist on planning, monitoring, and evaluation, we came up with a first very basic draft version of a ToC for Akvo. During the past year we have invited people from across Akvo to give their input on the ToC, to make sure it represented a common understanding of how Akvo's tools and services lead to our partners becoming more effective and enabling them to achieve a more equitable and sustainable society - making the world a better place. The ToC was taken to the next level during a week long meeting of the Akvo PME team. By now, people from all different layers and locations of Akvo have had a chance to give their feedback and alter the ToC, making sure everyone from Akvo can relate to the ToC.
Thinking about how Akvo can achieve positive change that leads to impact is a great exercise that helps to put our daily work in a bigger perspective. However, the ultimate goal is to integrate the ToC in planning of Akvo's activities and monitoring of our work. This will allow us to become better at what we do, while monitoring if change really happens the way we believe it to happen. It is very likely that we will gain new insights along the way, that will require us to adapt the ToC.
In East Africa we are currently exploring how we can integrate the ToC in the planning of our activities and the building of our staff's capacity. As a concrete first step, I will make an inventory of our team's capacity, to find out to what extend we can provide the services that we believe we need to provide around our tools, to make sure our partners become even more effective in the work they do. The capacity assessment will give us an overview of where the strengths of our team lie and in which areas we need to build more knowledge and experience.