A Community of Practice to Discuss Global Scale Up

November 4, 2010

In June I wrote about some of the scale-up work I was doing with the Helping Babies Breathe. In August I wrote about a collaboration with  Amy Sample Ward of NetSquared to launch a GlobalScale wiki and  to shepherd the creation of a community of practice on this topic area.

The Helping Babies Breathe program has now been ‘scaling up’ for four months since my last post.  Some of what we are learning includes:

(1)   Communication and coordination: There needs to be continued and effective mechanisms for communication and coordination.  In the case of HBB a coordinating group has been set up with a representative from each member of the alliance  Each representative in the group needs to take seriously this responsibility and allocate the time to communicate with others within the organization they are representing.  When they don’t, their own organization loses an opportunity for increasing their knowledge base, and the group misses information that might be useful to others.

(2)   Cross-border information exchange (especially ‘headquarters vis a vis field’): There is always a natural gap between those who work in offices, headquarters or in some ways are responsible for coordinating the ‘global picture’, and those who are implementing a program locally.  There needs to be additional effort placed on getting information from the field to headquarters and from one field project to another.

The NetSquared program ran a series of “camp” pilot programs this past June-August..  More will be shared as NetSquared reflects on these pilots, but some of what they are learning includes:

(1)  Sharing lessons is helpful to all.
(2) Vetted participation secures trusted engagement.
(3) Providing a toolbox for organizers gives organizers resources they need.
(4) Resources need to be shared
(5) Providing mentorship helps organizers grow.

As Amy and I shared information with each other about these programs and others involved in some aspects of global scale-up, we were cognizant of the many more people who were facing similar challenge and how much more effective we could all be if more of us were  involved in discussing, sharing and learning.  The Global Scale project aims to create a resource for NGO practitioners where guidelines, lessons learned, tips, links and other help for ‘scaling up’ effective programs can be found.

If your organization is involved in some aspect of global “scale up” please join us in this Community of Practice!  Join the GlobalScale wiki  and/or our e-mail list and share it with other colleagues who you might also be interested. We hope you will ‘come in’, introduce yourself and help us to build this community.  Together we can enhance all of our learning!