What We Know About Collaboration: the ECB Country Consortium Experience
Drawing on the recent experiences with collaboration and learning, the ECB project has shared a new resource What we know about collaboration: the ECB Country Consortium Experience.
The resource discusses the benefits and challenges of collaboration, and identifies 10 key factors for success which include practical suggestions and recommendations. Areas covered include defining common aims and objectives; clarifying roles and responsibilities; funding the process; and managing crisis within the consortium.This learning draws on the practical experience of national and international staff after more than three years of country-level consortium work.
The 10 Key Factors for Success captures ECB Project learning in the area of consortia building and can be used as a reference for developing a consortium or for strengthening an existing collaboration among emergency response agencies and other key partners.
The resource is aimed at humanitarian and emergency staff working for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other stakeholders including UN institutions, local partners, communities, government actors and academia.
Itself the result of a collaborative process, the multiple recommendations were identified following interviews with ECB consortium members in five different countries and then shared with other members of the humanitarian community at five regional ECBinter-active learning conferences for comment and feedback.
Robert Francis Garcia, Advisor to the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response, Oxfam GB, Philippines supports the release: "What we know about collaboration presents key lessons in consortium-building in a succinct and well-organised fashion. It is focused on general principles, but also offers clear direction on further reading and additional references. It is a useful basic tool for teams starting or further developing cooperation projects".
The twelve toolboxes provide additional guidelines and approaches that could be tested to help a multi-agency consortium to build trust, accountability, leadership and simulation skills that will support collaborative initiatives to develop and thrive. A final appendix highlights a broader range of ECB Project resources organized by three core themes – Accountability & Impact Measurement, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA), and national staff development.
A series of examples of collaboration initiatives from the ECB Project’s five consortia in Bangladesh, Bolivia, Indonesia, Niger and the Horn of Africa underscore important points.
For example in Bangladesh, 20 NGOs collaborated on an advocacy campaign on behalf of those affected by Cyclone Aila. In the Horn of Africa, multiple agencies and partners developed simulation programs and training of trainers workshops in Kenya and Uganda. Participants from over twenty humanitarian agencies furthered their understanding of where to focus future co-ordination and emergency capacity building efforts and identified key skills gaps in their agencies.