Most civil society organisations (CSOs) small and large, in the South and North spend significant time on understanding what key stakeholders need, value and offer. Often however, these efforts fail to serve their main purpose: better decisions! For this we need:
► systematic two-way dialogues captured in digital format
► actionable, in-time data from key stakeholders
► data-based decisions (not tribal tactical knowledge based decisions)
What we want to achieve
While most agree with this in principle, there is a fear that it is difficult to achieve in practice. With this project, we want to prototype ways in which CSOs can become more stakeholder-data-driven at low cost.
Six piloting organisations …
Research is great – testing is better. We will work with 350.org, BRAC, CIVICUS, Greenpeace, Restless Development and TECHO on this challenge. Each will set up a systematic dialogue with a key stakeholder group to generate actionable digital data for better decisions as summarised below.
… and a data science firm
The digital age offers vast new opportunities to use data in a more systematised, in-time and low cost manner. Christian Franz and his team from CPC Analytics will work with each piloting organisation to make sure we build on this opportunity. CSOs have several underutilised types of quantitative and qualitative data, and some information may be missing entirely. Christian will offer his expertise to help establish practices and tools to collect and analyse in-time, comparable stakeholder data to inform decisions. These can be collected digitally or face to face and translated into comparable digital data.
Timeline of pilots
The pilots will run from May to December 2017 and will include several online interactions. All pilots will meet in Amsterdam in September to present their initial findings and to exchange with other Accountable Now Members.
What does success look like?
► Six CSOs will have gained very practical and specific knowledge on how to improve their stakeholder dialogues and people-powered decisions.
► A broader network of involved CSOs will have gained insights on how to improve stakeholder-data based decision making in CSOs across the world. This will be captured in an interactive report and made accessible freely.
► Participants in the six pilots and other CSOs on a similar trajectory will have started to form a community of practice around stakeholder-data driven decision making. The foundation is laid to take the project to scale.
How did we get here?
In 2015 Accountable Now formed a Working Group of Members and Non-Members to innovate civil society’s responsiveness to people and partners for collaborative impact. Among them were thought leaders from 350.org, 38 Degrees, Amnesty International, Greenpeace International, Jhatkaa and others:
Berkman Center for Internet and Society Harvard University
Climate Action Network (CAN)
Digital Humanitarian Network
Institute for the Future
International Civil Society Centre
Making All Voices Count
OPEN (Online Progressive Engagement Network)
Tactical Technology Collective
CSO Action Guides
The new principles of people-powered accountability informed the development of six CSO Action Guides for Board Members, Strategy Directors, Chief Executive Officers, Chief Operations Officers, Campaign or Programme Directors and HR Directors. The Action Guides advise on how to mainstream responsiveness to stakeholders in daily business.
Throughout 2016 we published blog articles by CSO experts on how to pro-actively engage stakeholders for greater impact.
Engaging empowered stakeholders for social change