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12 April 2017

IMA April Newsletter

Welcome to our April newsletter in which we share:  
•    Our new publication ‘Stories and Patterns of Change 2016’
•    The latest IMA videos
•    International development news and resources and
•    Our upcoming courses in Belgium, the UK and Kenya   

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3 April 2017

IMA consultant Ruth Jolly refects on what we most need to learn about leadership

I’d say we seek to be authentic and effective. To better connect and coordinate action with others. To really flourish in roles we believe in and contribute to purposes we are still inspired by. There are claims that we live in a VUCA world, one that is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. That organisations are not stable structures of a Newtonian mind-set – but complex, adaptive systems. That there’s a compelling call for purpose-driven organisations to organise differently and dynamically. That those identified with management and leadership need to be different from their predecessors. Our Leadership and Management in Development training course provides space to pay attention to these claims as we learn the practicalities of management and engage with concepts of leadership. Good management is helpful and rewarding - the life blood of effective delivery! And certain concepts of leadership translate into liberating organisations and their impact. Joseph Jaworski¹ said,“Before you can lead others… you have to discover yourself”  and Jim Kouzes² maintains the very best organisations’ liberate the leader in everyone.

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8 March 2017

Working with the Aga Khan Foundation and partners

Live news from Tajikistan in Pamir valley - Chris, Giulio and Dani are working with the Aga Khan Foundation and partners on developing ways to identify the ultra poor and design initiatives to bring them out of poverty traps.

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15 February 2017

IMA Stories and Patterns of Change published

This publication Stories and Patterns of Change, is the first in a series we are launching to let organisations and friends know how our work-related learning progresses.  We show examples of our 2016 work around the world, as well as some reflections on patterns we have observed through our facilitation approach.  To receive your own copy please just give us your full postal address. 

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9 February 2017

How do YOU learn?

We believe that learning is an essential process that helps us to develop and adapt to current and new situations through ongoing reflection and sense-making. The focus of IMA work is to foster learning spaces where adults can make sense of concepts, practices and conversations by relating in meaningful ways. And by adults here, we are talking about the clients we work with as well as ourselves. The Honey and Mumford model of four learning styles outlines how everyone has their own particular preference for how they learn. In this model, the four learning styles are Activists (prefers doing and experiencing), Reflectors (observes and reflects), Theorists (wants to understand reasons concepts and relationships) and Pragmatists (likes to try things out to see if they work). In fact most of us are a blend of these four styles. The challenge for us as adult learners, is to be open to learn in ways which we may find difficult or which take us outside our comfort zone. The challenge for us as facilitators of training and group processes, is to ensure that we are aware of and can capitalise on all these different styles with the people with whom we work. Take this Learning Styles Questionnaire to find out your preferred learning style.

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25 January 2017

Madrid-based consultant joins IMA

We warmly welcome Daniel Guijarro, our new senior consultant based in Madrid.  He has over 13 years’ experience in international development and human rights, working in English, Spanish, Arabic and Portuguese; “My approach to facilitation and evaluation is heavily informed by my experience on the processes and flows of knowledge and learning, from grassroots participatory processes into the organisational learning and decision making of INGOs. I draw on my experience of applying participatory and empowerment approaches to evaluation processes and promoting inclusive spaces, where different stakeholders engage and all voices can be heard in constructive dialogue.  I use principles of Participatory Action Research and Power Analysis for facilitation, combined with Double Loop Learning theory to help stakeholders and organisations critically look at the assumptions, mindsets, values and relationships that guide their plans and actions. I am looking forward to working for IMA, a great organisation that is guided by inspiring values that contribute to social change.”

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20 January 2017

January newsletter

Read our new year newsletter.   Includes articles on how we learn and Theory of Change and international development news including scholarships to the African Evaluation Association's conference and the OPEC Foundation.  If you would like to receive it directly to your inbox each quarter sign up and join our 5000+ subscribers.

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15 December 2016

IMA December Update - news and resources

Season’s greetings. As is traditional for our December Update we have a round-up of the year including some highlights of work we have done with INGOs, governments and UN agencies recently.  We are looking forward to 2017 and delivering open training courses in our new location of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as well as returning to our regular locations; Bangkok, Cape Town, Brighton, Brussels and Nairobi.  We also have two new training courses;  Resource Mobilisation and Funding to help NGOs who want to have more control of their organisation’s future, and Advanced Monitoring and Evaluation for Results which is ideal for IMA M&E alumni and others with M&E experience to take their skills to the next level.   We look forward to creating more learning spaces for social change in 2017 - please come and join in! Wishing you a peaceful seasonal break and happy new year from us all at IMA - Chris Grose, Managing Director.   Read our full Update as a PDF and you can also sign up to receive it.

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9 December 2016

Social protection training of trainers in Kenya

Evidence from around the world shows that a broader understanding of Social Protection, encompassing universal elements, rather than a poverty focus, ultimately contributes not only to enhancing economic and social well being, but also contributes directly to more cohesive societies. The mindset shift is to move from a benefit approach to one of entitlements as citizens. Last week Silvia Capezzuoli lead on facilitating a week-long WFP-funded training initiative for enhancing social protection in Kenya, with content developed and presented by Development Pathways. This training of trainers (TOT) was the starting point of a WFP-supported Learning and Development programme     supporting the Social Protection Secretariat (SPS) core national team to advocate for broader social protection in Kenya. We created an environment where SPS staff felt comfortable with and debated new content. Most importantly, we ensured participants practised delivering actual mini-sessions to familiarise themselves with all materials and skills needed to facilitate the 2-day social protection course themselves as they move forward.  

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14 November 2016

Logframe topics on M and E training

Our M&E participants worked in groups of five on their choice of logframe topics: equal access to education for all in Bangladesh, the 1000 schools development project in Sri Lanka, the emergency seed response project in Ethiopia, mariculture enterprise development project in the Maldives, cross-border maternal health in Tajikistan and Afghanistan and sustainable agriculture to improve food security in Ethiopia.  By the end of the week all six groups had their well thought out logframes displayed on the walls of the training room which they had shared and presented to each other at each stage of development. 

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8 November 2016

Sixteen nationalities on our Monitoring and Evaluation course

Twenty seven very motivated participants from 16 countries join our M&E training in Bangkok; from Oxfam Novib, UNFPA, Aga Khan Foundation, Irish Aid, Bahrain Government, Saudi Fund for Development, Nepal Eye Program, UNOCHA, Save the Children, Sierra Leonean National Aids Secretariat and a group from the Sri Lankan Government amongst others.  Throughout the week IMA trainers Richard Bond and Leigh Dowsett use a wide variety of participatory exercises making the tools taught memorable and fun to practice in groups. 

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14 October 2016

Supporting managers to develop an Ecosystem Approach on Fish Management

The IMA team in Bangkok is at a writeshop with several objectives: to familiarise South East Asian Fisheries Development Centre (SEAFDEC) trainers with revised materials for Leaders, Executives and Decision Makers to work with the Ecosystem Approach for Fisheries Management (LEAD EAFM) toolkit.  Review, provide feedback and finalise LEAD tools.  Through trialing the one day and two hour High Level Consultation (HLCs) agendas, support SEAFDEC trainers in preparation for “Reduction of Environmental Impact from Tropical Shrimp Trawling through the Introduction of Bycatch Reduction Technologies and Change of Management (REBYC) LEAD HLCs in Vietnam 17-18 October and Philippines 25-26 October and SEAFDEC Programme Committee Meeting (PCM) in November.

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30 September 2016

Reflection and Learning Workshop for Food Security Project

We have just returned from working with FAO and the Government of Bangladesh to reflect and learn on a five year project that has been working to improve agricultural productivity in the North and South of the country.  Forty five delegates attended the Reflection and Learning Workshop held in Cox’s Bazar in the far south of Bangladesh.  They used the time together to debate and share stories of change, document lessons learned and celebrate the successes of this five year project.  Chris Grose and Stuart MacLeod from IMA facilitated the event and filmed proceedings.

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25 September 2016

How can ToC and KM dovetail to support your organisational strategy?

The work we are doing with AVERT, an AIDS and HIV prevention not for profit organisation in Brighton, is a good example. AVERT called on us to support their thinking process as they develop their next 5-year strategic plan. As a starting point we explored the team’s thinking around AVERT’s work and reason for being: working globally on HIV and AIDS prevention. We discussed the importance of personal and organisational assumptions, highlighting how much we need to be aware of these as they frame our view of reality and of how social change happens. The team have been developing their Theory of Change over the past few weeks and we are now using our knowledge management approach to look at the knowledge (and information, culture, ways of operating) that AVERT needs to access and to provide, both internally and externally, to support and improve the work it is doing. The workshops have enabled the team to articulate their personal perspectives on how the organisation functions; review operational rationale;  enrich institutional memory and develop new ideas, while all the time fostering ownership of the joint process.

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24 September 2016

Theory of Change informs evaluation approaches

SWECO, Europe's leading architecture and engineering consultancy, contracted IMA to better understand Theory of Change (ToC) as a complimentary perspective in their evaluations and analysis. The one-day workshop at their Swedish headquarters consisted of presentations on our Theory of Change approach, group work on Sweden-related cases, and discussions on how power analysis can support in-depth stakeholder analysis. The workshop was well received by the dedicated team, and proved enlightening for all members, both those who had previously only worked with quantitative approaches as well as those with many years of evaluation experience. The SWECO team plan to use the Theory of Change model for imminent work, planning and designing cities for the future.

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