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Step 2: Entering into partnership with local agents of change

Next, a GIZ project and local agents of change make an agreement to collaborate on a Dialogue process.

What’s the aim?

To have an agreement between a GIZ project and local agents of change to collaborate on a Dialogue process.

What is this step about? 

After identifying a community in which the Generation Dialogue may be able to unlock change, the next step is to set up a partnership with local actors to implement a Dialogue process and to agree the terms of the collaboration.

A well-designed partnership should marry the ‘insider’ knowledge and commitment of local change agents with the experience and resources of an outside organisation like GIZ. Community actors know who is who: they understand the tensions and lines of conflict in the community, and also where the desire for change lies. Moreover, they are invested in tackling the problem because they are directly affected by it. GIZ, for its part, brings an outside, developmental perspective and a methodological approach which can help to unlock change. It can also provide the resources to make a structured, community-wide process happen.

What do you need to do?

In this step of the process you will build upon what you have already begun in Step 1:

  • Identify and choose your partners. Through your initial visit and consultations, you should already have a general idea of potential partners, but now is the time to go deeper: Which community groups or individuals are actively involved with the topic? What roles do they play? Are they trusted and respected by the community? What skills and experience could they bring to the table? 
  • Put together a Dialogue ‘team.’ Together with your partners, agree on two well-organised, motivated and experienced individuals (one man, one woman) to act as coordinators for Dialogue activities over the coming months. At the same time, identify at least four men and four women who can be effective facilitators of Dialogue Sessions. If the coordinators are willing and have the right skills, consider having them act as facilitators as well to reduce the size of the team.
  • Formalise your agreement. Work out the details of your collaboration and capture these in a Memorandum of Understanding or similar. Think about the division of tasks and responsibilities, budgets, reporting requirements (M&E) and data protection issues (i.e. participant information/photographs).
  • Secure the support of community leaders. Along with your local partners, meet again with community leaders – traditional and/or elected – to explain the Generation Dialogue approach to them. The explicit backing of community leaders will not only reassure community members, but will also make it more likely that leaders themselves participate in and contribute to the Dialogue process.

What resources can you use?

You can refer to these criteria when deciding on a suitable partner organisation(s).

These checklists spell out the attributes and responsibilities of Generation Dialogue coordinators and facilitators.

How do you monitor this step?

Prepare a short written report describing how the partner organisation, coordinators and facilitators were selected (i.e. with reference to the specified criteria), and summarising the key points of discussion with community leaders.

How do you know you’re ready to proceed to the next step?

You have signed an agreement with a local partner or partners to jointly implement a Dialogue process. Local coordinators (male and female) have been appointed and male and female facilitators have been named. Community leaders are informed about the Generation Dialogue process and have given their approval.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • DO make sure that the two proposed coordinators have the time and experience needed to successfully oversee a Dialogue process.
  • DON’T automatically work with the largest and best-known NGO. First make sure they are invested in tackling this particular problem and are trusted by the community.
  • DO ensure that the coordinators and facilitators understand that these roles are not full-time jobs, but rather a new set of skills to enable them to do their previous work more effectively.
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