O projecto MigratED vai a banhos bem merecidos; com o final do ano letivo, terminaram também as sessões nas escolas dinamizadas no âmbito do Projeto “MigratED_migrações, direitos humanos e educação”. Integradas na disciplina de “Cidadania e Desenvolvimento”, várias turmas foram sensibilizadas para diferentes temáticas de equidade social, diversidade cultural e a inclusão social - desmontando estereótipos e aumentando a capacidade de ‘ler os média’. Num piquenique ao ar livre, entre petiscos, jogos e conversas, celebrámos com cada turma o final deste ciclo!Add a comment
O projecto COMENSI - continua a preparar o trabalho local que vai arrancar no final do verão: estivemos em 2 dias Berlim com os parceiros de cinco países Bond Of Union (Itália), Mapping for Change (UK), Prostorož (Eslovénia) e Tesserae (Alemanha) a preparar o COMENSI Toolkit: que vai ser lançado quando voltarmos de férias, numa 4C Talk para fechar o verão e abrir o trabalho na Ajuda.Add a comment
Nowadays CSOs are more and more required - by funders and supporters - to prove their ability to create positive impact. With this in mind, we challenged a number of partner organizations, from the Bosch Alumni Network, to build a new Civil Society Cluster pilot that aims to support CSOs’ effort to prove their impact, while fostering an organizational culture of transparency, sustainability and efficacy.
Funders, policy-makers, citizens - and even CSOs staff - all have moments of concern when questioning the value of CSOs becomes mainstream. The urgency to find instruments of both assessment and accountability, as well as efficient management for the average CSO, is central to civil society's sustainability. Organizations, think tanks and even the OECD now have joined in the discussion, and propose new instruments. Not all are feasible and simple to use, some require a great deal of time and capacity building - not all are adaptable to different contexts, realities and types of CSO.
This Civil Society Cluster pilot's ambition is to gather, discuss and present a digest of different metrics and tools derived from other ecosystems (entrepreneurship, international cooperation, healthcare assessment etc.) in a form of a ‘do it yourself’ toolkit for a broad concept of 'social impact management'.
The desired outcome is to build the capacity of within the cluster and a small step into finding new ways to relate to assessment, funding, transparency and even the sustainability of CSOs.Add a comment
These days, we are in Bologna to attend to a training designed for teachers and educators of the MigratED Project (migrations, human rights and education). For one week, with educators from the five partner countries - Portugal, Italy, Cyprus, Greece and Slovenia - we will been experiencing digital and multimedia tools to promote global citizenship skills in our work with young people.
In Portugal, the MigratED project took off this year, 2018-2019, in four schools and the first period was dedicated to raising awareness about human rights and the issue of migration through the discipline of "citizenship and development" or in the program of " Curricular flexibility ". The training of educators will strengthen this central role of educators to engage young people and share experiences and difficulties between these five different countries.
Participative photography and creative writing were also part of the activities, in partnership with Hopen Project, developed by photographer Elisabete Faisão and resulting from her trips to several refugee camps in Europe, from Calais in France to the Greek islands. From real photographs, about the living conditions of refugees, students from EB 2 + 3 Paula Vicente School set up an exhibition called "Let's Change the reality of the refugee camps", recreating the experience lived by many refugees through drawings.Add a comment
Throughout years, the distribution of mosquito nets was considered one of the most effective methods to fight against malaria. But a study, in 2018, showed that those nets are, many times and across the globe, used for fishing. In Mozambique, the authorities wanted to repel the misuse by punishing the outlaws, with prison sentences and the destructions of their nets. Many women manifested at the police stations’ doors with children by their arms, threatening leaving them there, since they could no longer feed them. In other places, it’s feared that the use of these nets has environmental impacts: the thin net captures premature fish and the insecticide that covers it contaminates the water courses.
This case illustrates how a linear solution for a specific problem has created new and unexpected problems, while increasing the risk of reducing the effectiveness of the solution itself (since the nets were used for other purposes). The study is concluded by recommending a new approach, interdisciplinary and collaborative, to the problem. Probably, such will lead to the reconfiguration of the problem, to reflect on its complexity.
Collective impact is an effort of different relevant agents – individuals or organizations -, which collaborate to solve a social and/or environmental complex problem, capitalizing its different skills around a common agenda of intervention.
An initiative is of collective impact when it is regulated by five conditions. First, it follows a Common Agenda for the social change, which emerges when all the involved recognize that certain problem is important and urgent, agreeing on an action strategy to solve it.
The common agenda can only move forward when there is a consensus relative to the group of instruments that will be used to measure the progress towards the expected results and to learn with success and failure: the Shared Metrics.
Thirdly, the common agenda operationalizes itself in a plan of action, where will be assigned distinct functions to each partner, in order to capitalize its competences and to reinforce the activities of the remaining: Synergy Activities
The relationship is good when exists a Continuous Communication, clear and rigorous, through routines and communication channels.
But the collective impact is only viable when, at the base of its components, it exists a Support Structure. In other words, an organization that coordinates the effort of the remaining entities and/or individuals.Add a comment
We have been watching in Europe (and all around the world) an increasing wave of violence and radical movements. Privileged targets of these nationalist and xenophobic movements, the migrants and the minorities suffer each time more moral attacks and episodes of social exclusion. This tendency, per se already serious, is even more preoccupying since it exists a profound fracture between those who justify these episodes, in the light of necessity to guarantee a bigger safety, and those who reject them completely, for being antidemocratic acts above all, harmful to human rights.
In this process, the digital platforms, next to mainstream media, play such a significant as an ambiguous role, which contributes not only for the conflict resolution, but also its spreading. This is because, on the one hand, social networks are used by various sensibilization initiatives that aim to fight against the racial hatred phenomena, but on the other hand, the networks themselves are spreaders of false information, originating violence acts and hatred crimes.
With the aim of promoting a counter-narrative that defends the importance and the respect for the human rights, it was created a consortium led by the Italian ONG GVC and integrated by seven other institutions, representatives of five European countries: Italy, Greece, Portugal, Slovenia and Cyprus. In Portugal 4Change works in partnership with Universidade Lusófona. The objective is to promote a counter-narrative that defends the importance and the respect for the human rights.
From this collaboration is born the MigratED project, that aims to involve teachers and trainers of schools and institutions from the Lisbon region in an effort of general and interpersonal consciousness, bringing together the mainstream and digital media and having as main tools the “participative video” and the work between pairs of the younger participants.
Knowing of the challenge that teachers and trainers face in the use of digital tools but also keeping in mind their fundamental role in the true change of mentalities, MigratED wants to facilitate the involvement through digital means and the approximation to the migration topics to support and effective and fructuous work with their students – teenagers between 15 and 20 years old defined as the main target of this project.
All the participants are involved in the production of sensibilization materials, workshops and conferences, a process that will end with the participation in the Cinema Festival Terra di Tutti, an annual event in Bologne, which uses the movie and video as tools to promote social questions and the human rights.Add a comment
Activities, results, changes, impact. What comes first and how does it define everything else? What is the strategy that is behind the interventions in social organizations?
Let us go in order. I propose you an exercise. Imagine being able to stop, for a moment, all the daily errands and having time to do what really matters: dreaming. Yes, dreaming! I am not talking about a trip to the Caribbean or win the lottery. The type of dream I mention is another, humbler, perhaps, but not less challenging. I ask you to imagine that all your efforts to improve the lives of the people you work with are finally rewarded. I give you a moment to celebrate, since you should be felling a great satisfaction. Now, ask yourselves what are the changes that need to occur for that success to be no longer a dream.
This method of induced oblivion, that puts the immediate needs in second plan, creating enough room to challenge our pre-conceived notions about the meaning of the word impact, is called the theory of change/changing theory (?). Contrary to what the name suggests, it is a very practical process that a allows us to explain how the changes in life of one or more populations occur in time and relate themselves, following various paths. It also enables us to identify which interventions are necessary for those paths to be travelled by, as well as which metrics and indicators are used to measure the distance travelled. But even more important, it shows how a vision or purpose inspires a long-term change and how it guides a group of paths made of intermediate changes.
How does it work? The theory of change/changing theory organizes itself in four steps, which we will analyze below.
STEP 1. Formulate the vision and the long-term change
Here it is important to distinguish between “vision” and “long-term change”. The vision is located in the long term and translates an aspiration or purpose, formulated in a broad way. For instance, “A discrimination-free society based in gender”. Also located in the long term – but formulated in a specific way, measurable, reachable and delimited in time – is found the long-term change. For example, “Gender equality in every decision post in the next decade”.
STEP 2. Build the path(s)
Once established the vision and also the goal or long-term change, the necessary pre-conditions will be defined in order to achieve that goal. This process is called chronologically inverted mapping of changes. This way, the crucial clues are given for the development of the projects and organizations, keeping the focus on the vision e long-term change that is wanted – and not in the already implemented activities or to be planned.
STEP 3. Operationalize the Theory
After identifying the changes, it is necessary to identify and associate the indicators. These are extremely important, for they allow us to prove that the change happens and to what extent. It is only in this phase that are drawn the intervention strategies that can converge in the changes’ succession.
STEP 4. Writing the Narrative
The narrative is a summary of the theory, which presents the map of changes, explains its rational and assumptions and presents arguments for the specific intervention logic.
Since it clearly results from this journey, the theory of change is a planning and evaluation tool that allows: engage both interested parties (stakeholders) in the planning of change; shift the focus of the intervention from what is already being done toward what needs to be done; represent processes of change based in what really happens and evidences; integrate activities and strategies and, finally, assign the effective impact to the intervention made.
Although it is normally followed by other methodologies, the theory of change is the starting point for the majority of 4Change’s interventions. And there is one point that was not mentioned until now: the development of a theory of change is a collaborative and creative process that, above all, is fun. For remember: “If it’s not fun, you’re not doing it right.”
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For organizations, the necessity of dealing with change invariably brings a feeling of apprehension. And that is natural, for them are not always equipped with the resources needed to understand the increasing complexity introduced by the continuous acceleration of the social processes. Still, as Confucious said, “It is better to light up a candle than to curse the darkness.”
In that way, although in the area of social economy organizations have increasingly invested more in the implementation of strategic planning activities, the path to go is still long. To prove it is the emphasis put by the social investors, both public and private, in the using of organizational diagnosis tools. Recent examples of that are the governmental program Portugal Inovação Social and the program Cidadania Ativa, that provide support to civil society organizations promoted by the Gulbenkian Foundation. But it is clear that both at an international level and Portugal, this list could continue to be a reference to more initiatives.
This is in part because in the drawing of a social intervention, might occur that, while trying to implement short term activities and present results that can be used as levers for financing release, it is created a tendency to shorten paths. Not always, for instance, is made a pre-evaluation of an elementary resource: the intrinsic and distinctive capacities of implementational organization. The organizational diagnostic, in spite of being considered necessary, is sometimes forgotten. This is a crucial point, since it is mainly through the level of capacity of an organization that we can identify its ambition limits, which concerns the creation of social impact.
To that end, when we internally analyze the main methodologies of existing organizational diagnostic to, afterwards, define a 4C Diagnostic methodology, designed from the requirements of the Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation initiatives in Portugal, we kept a fundamental idea: the organization must be faced with a complex and evolving system, therefore, capable of learning. Peter Senge speaks of “learning organizations”, in which people have space to develop their competences, generating the results that they desire and innovating, without loosing sight of the collective. This concept bridges the gap between the complexity and the engagement of people: one cannot live without the other.
These two ideas – complexity and engagement – allow the comprehension of why it is important to diagnose the capabilities of an organization, in order to: identify the needs to improve; and implement the accountability.
In addition to allowing the identification of institutional strengths and weaknesses, the institutional diagnostic encourages the participation of different stakeholders, while exploring other informal factors that affect the behavior of the organizational system and facilitates the monitoring of capabilities throughout time. It is, therefore, a valuable tool for organizational learning.
In the case of 4C Diagnostic we chose to analyze, in an integrated and participative way, 4 different typologies of capabilities that, together, contribute to the global capability of the organization to create an impact and promote changes: strategic and mobilization capacity; implementation capacity; relationship capacity; renovation and adaptation capacity.
Finally, it is important to mention that, besides being a powerful tool for strategic planning, the organizational diagnostic is an opportunity to invest in the organizations empowering. The aim is to reinforce its organizational capabilities and management competences, focusing on making them better prepared to generate social impact and attract social investment.Add a comment