Fiona Cooper talks about her experience leading the research for round two of CARE's Learning From Failure initiative, and…I know this will surprise everyone…we haven’t stopped failures yet. We do have some hopeful signs that we’re failing better. Fiona talks about the importance of looking internally, acknowledging that everyone fails, and finding ways to be honest about failure in a sector that's not really comfortable with it.
Clement Bisai from CARE Malawi talks about what he and his team are learning about how to do better remote data collection. Focus, listen to communities, and reflect regularly are his key takeaways. Don't expect to outsource everything. Digital remote data collection may be the best way to work in COVID-19, but we're already learning how to do it better.
Hazem Fahmy from CARE Egypt talks about the journey from being a country office to becoming an independent member of the CARE family. What are some of his key lessons? First, don't spend all your time planning--test out actions and adapt. Second, learn to listen for what people aren't telling you; trust is critical for organizational change. Third, keep your principles firmly in mind as a north star. It can be easy to lose track of why we're transforming in the excitement of growing a business.
Tatiana Bertolucci--CARE's Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean--talks about what she learned closing the CARE Brazil office. We need to engage with curiosity and treat organizations in the global south as powerful allies, not people who merely implement our agenda. We also need to invest in more diverse boards. "There is knowledge everywhere if we will listen to it." Another lesson is "scream for help sooner" when something is not working.
Find out why Randy Villegas from UC Santa Cruz is rethinking is definition of vulnerability when it comes to undocumented youth in California. They certainly face extreme challenges, but what he has seen youth organizers do in the context of COVID-19 has Randy wondering, "what if it's elected officials who are vulnerable if youth keep being activist?" Learn more from Randy's work with young people, and lessons like "you need to be there even when it's not an election year," "stop the flyover organizing," and "youth are brutally honest."
Deyanira Nevarez Martinez from UC Irvine talks about the challenges of doing research in COVID-19, and the importance of contingency and risk management planning. How would you plan if you thought everything might go wrong? What are your alternatives for each step of your process? When COVID-19 turned everything upside down, Deyanira talks about strategies for moving research forward. Deya's research is in California, but she's got advice that can apply for everyone in the world.
Salah Hamwi from CARE Turkey talks about lessons learned in fighting rumors and misinformation about COVID 19. "We're fighting against time," he says. You have to get good information out first so that rumors don't have the space to grow and spread. Using digital platforms, getting leaders involved, and using evidence to shape your programs are all other key steps.
Ryan Shepard talks about launching CARE's first US-focused project, creating jobs and feeding kids impacted by #covid19. It wasn't an easy lift and "depended on a lot of things all going right at a very uncertain time." What are Ryan's takeaways? Listen for the truth that will make you stronger, even when people's feedback is discouraging. Believe in the core of what must work, constantly refine the details, and make decisions true to your principles.
Puji Pujiono of the Pujiono Center and Victoria Palmer from CARE Canada talk about their paper based on the Sulawesi response in Indonesia.This time, they talk about what organizations can do once a crisis has already started to have better success with partners, and help them achieve their goals rather than hurt them.
How do international NGOs create problems when they team up with local activists? It's the CARE of 1000 papers, where our processes are so focused on reducing risk that we bury local groups under the weight of our expectations, and don't give them the support they need. Puji Pujiono of the Pujiono Center and Victoria Palmer from CARE Canada talk about their paper based on the Sulawesi response in Indonesia, where we learned a lot about what we can do BEFORE we reach out to local partners so that we're truly helping response and empowering those partners. Stay tuned for part 2, where they discuss what we can do once a crisis hits.
Jay Goulden talks about designing a data system to collect information on pandemic response in 78 countries--a first for CARE. He says act quickly, iterate fast, and think what your system might need to be in two weeks or a month as the situation evolves. He also talks about reducing burdens on over-taxed staff, streamlining systems, and connecting data collection to data use. Oh--and make it beautiful to look at.
Holly Radice talks about how people have limited bandwidth to adopt new things in crisis, and how cash transfers in Ebola failed at digital solutions because of unrealistic expectations. Her recommendations: do everything you can to adapt and expand existing systems to push out cash safely, examine your context very carefully and frequently to see what market approaches work, and start planning now for cash transfers during recovery in a few months. Be empathetic to participants and financial service providers, and respect that everyone is affected. Finally, stay in touch with partners and cash working groups to find solutions that will support everyone.
In this translation from the French Episode, Sandra Georges from CARE Cameroon talks about the CHAMPS project, and how they have had to move from "make others do" to "do together" to "let others do." It involves changing the way we think about partnership, gradually handing over responsibility, and believing local teams and communities about what approaches work best.
Alfred Makavore, a key responder in CARE's Ebola response in Sierra Leone in 2014-2015, share's lessons about how to improve our COVID-19 response. "At first, we thought it was just a clinical problem, and we treated it like that." Alfred encourages teams to think beyond a clinical response, to understand what communities are facing, and to build trust. "We have to push aside the panic." Engaging governments, setting up local coordination, and trusting field teams to make decisions are some of his key recommendations.
Daniel Almeida from CARE's Latin America Regional office warns, "Don't lose sight of the real reason you are doing this work." He's talking about how to do advocacy more effectively in partnership with social movements. Do your political economy analysis, have clear communication with partners, invest for the long term, and expect to fail. He tells teams, "not to expect to have results that are 100% things that they showed in the design." Learn more about this work from the recent paper: CARE International Advocacy and Influencing.