Living our values in pursuit of the system we want – KCDF and GFCF test a new way of working
What will it take to shift from the broken international development system we have to the system we want? This is something both of our organizations have put a great deal of thought into. While we certainly don’t have all of the answers, increasingly, we are using the language and concepts of systems theory to articulate our approach, which makes clear that to truly #ShiftThePower and change the way development is delivered, there cannot be just one organization moving in that direction but rather numerous groups of people, and configurations of organizations, pushing towards this change from different angles and starting points. To put it plainly, we need to get over the egos, logos and siloes that too often dominate our work, and instead find new ways of collaborating based on movement generosity that elevate us all.
With this in mind, we are excited to announce that KCDF and the GFCF are embarking on a six-month experiment, to test a new way of working between our two organizations. What will this look like in practice? We have signed a loose memorandum of cooperation to guide our new partnership, which will see KCDF providing staff time and capacity to the GFCF in several key areas, including advancing the #ShiftThePower agenda. This arrangement will allow for KCDF to engage more deliberately in broader global debates around philanthropy and in shaping the thinking around durable development, while for the GFCF it means new skills and perspectives are added in to the mix.
Our hope is that this might provide a model of working which sees capacity increased and competencies shared across a #ShiftThePower “system”, populated by a constellation of different actors working in different ways towards shared goals. More deliberate collaboration between such actors, we think, will also build a more resilient system – one where resources, skills and networks can be pooled, based on mutuality and collective action.
We are only just getting started with our new arrangement, but we are committed to sharing our experiences as we go – the successes, hiccups, misunderstandings, high points and everything in between. Watch this space!
By: Jenny Hodgson, Executive Director – GFCF and Janet Mawiyoo, Executive Director – KCDF