Welcome to the online course "Working With Government as a Pathway to Systems Change"!

This course developed by Ashoka Globalizer is the newest addition to our library of materials around systems change. We worked hard to collect, analyze and structure the experience of Ashoka Fellows working with government and hope the course will be useful for the broader interested community of social entrepreneurs, funders and intermediaries.

This course was developed thanks to the support and in partnership with PES Latam. For the Spanish version of the entire course and materials, please visit https://academy.vc4a.com/courses/trabajo-con-el-gobierno.

Social entrepreneur and a government counterpart

Get a feeling for the course by watching the intro video

Ready to take the course? Scroll down!

Technical note to the videos:

  • if your internet signal allows, we recommend that you set the videos to be played in HD quality.
  • don't forget that you can change the speed of videos to a faster/ slower one, depending on your need.
  • there are Spanish subtitles available for the videos, and there is an option to turn on automatic subtitles in the English language. If you wish to translate the video's content to your language and add subtitles, please reach out to us.

Module 1: Why to Work With Government & Why This Course

Video 1: Intro & Setup of the Course

This is an introductory video to the course in which we share why we created this course, the course's main components and sources, and some recommended logistics for course participants.

Video 2: Key Concepts

This video covers key concepts we will be using throughout the course and the interconnections between them - for example, we will expore what we mean by a system or a systems change, which roles government can play in systems around us and which approaches can a social entrepreneur take when working with government.

Workbook cover

Workbook

Now it's the time to get to know the Workbook that will accompany us throughout the course.

Please download the Workbook pdf here, save it in the dedicated course folder on your computer and explore it in its entirety. You will be invited to come back to this document to do the worksheets for each module.

The Workbook is created as an interactive document, which means you can fill in your answers to the questions right into the pdf and save them. By the end of the course you will have all your worksheets in one place!

We are now in Module 1, so please turn to pages 4-7 and answer the suggested questions. You might need 10-30 minutes for this task.

If you are taking part in the guided course, come to the next meeting ready to share your answers.

Social entrepreneurs case studies

Case studies

After watching the two videos and answering  suggested reflection questions, you are now about to finish Module 1!

To enrich your experience, we recommend that you take some time and read two case studies of social entrepreneurs who share their experience of working with government:

- Klára Laurenčíková working in the field of inclusive education in the Czech Republic;

- Denis Mizne who worked in the field of disarmament in Brazil.

 

Module 2: Understanding the Problem & Systems Behind it

Video 1: Overview of the Tools

If we don’t want to end up treating symptoms of the problem that might re-appear, we need to put a systemic lens on when developing our intervention. The first video of this module provides a brief overview of the tools we will use, and the following two longer videos provide an indepth acquaintance with them and detailed instructions.

Video 2: Problem Tree

What will help us analyze the problem is the metaphor of a tree. We will compare the big problem we are addressing to a trunk of a tree, its consequences to a crown and its systemic drivers — to the roots of a tree. The main purpose of this exercise is to help you make an informed choice of one of the systems that keep the Problem in place and need to be improved. It helps you scope your work within the many root causes that drive the big problem. This way you can focus your strategy while acknowledging and keeping track of the other root causes.

The Problem Tree tool was adapted from the "Social Impact Navigator: The practical guide for organizations targeting better results" by Phineo.

Workbook cover

It's time to turn to your Workbook again!

Please go to pages 8-11 to get more detailed instructions on the Problem Tree exercise, the template itself and the checklist.

We recommend you do this exercise with your team or, better yet, with the broader circle of your partners and other stakeholders of the system.Or you can come back to this exercise multiple times, every time broadening the circle of participants.

We encourage you not to rush to the System Analysis part right away. If possible, take a couple of days to reflect on your formulations, run them by your colleagues and friends, make some adjustments, if needed.

If helpful, you can turn to a more detailed example of a Problem Tree filled out by the Irish Ashoka Fellow Brendan Dunford in the end of the Workbook.

If you haven't downloaded the Workbook pdf yet, you can do so here. Please save it in the dedicated course folder on your computer and  come back to this document to do the worksheets for each module.

Video 3: System Analysis

Once we are clear about the system we want to focus on, we will map it out, analyze its five main elements and highlight which of them need to change in order for the system to produce better results. For this we will use the tool called 5R Framework. By the end of this exercise, you should be able to clearly formulate your targeted systems change in just one sentence.

The 5Rs framework was adapted from "The 5R Framework in the program cycle" by USAID.

Workbook cover

Workbook time again!

Please turn to pages 12-20 to get more detailed instructions on the System Analysis tool we will be using - the 5R Framework. There you wil also find the template, the checklist and examples.

You can find a more detailed example of a System Analysis done by the Irish Ashoka Fellow Brendan Dunford in the end of the Workbook.

We recommend you do this exercise with your team or, better yet, with the broader circle of your partners and other stakeholders of the system. Once you finish the first iteration of the Problem Tree, don't rush to the System Analysis part right away. If possible, take a couple of days to reflect on your formulations, run them by your colleagues and friends, make some adjustments, if needed.

If you haven't downloaded the Workbook pdf yet, you can do so here. Please save it in the dedicated course folder on your computer and  come back to this document to do the worksheets for each module.

Social entrepreneurs case studies

Case studies

After watching the three videos of this Module and finishing the suggested exercises, you are now about to finish Module 2!

To enrich your experience, we recommend that you take some time and read another two case studies of social entrepreneurs who share their experience of working with government:

- Dorica Dan working to improve the system of care for people with rare diseases in Romania,

- Biplab Paul imporving the access to irrigation water for farmers in India and across the Global South.

 

Module 4: Our Role Towards Government

Video

After we developed a clear understanding of which decision and by whom could become part of our systems change journey, we move on to clarify our own role in enabling it.

Firstly, we explore how supportive of our targeted government-related change are the stakeholders in our decision-making chain and whose opinions and behavior must be influenced to move the needle, using the tool called Power-Mapping. We use the tool called Power-Mapping to clarify who supports the change, who opposes it and who is neutral/undecided, especially among those holding the critical decision-making power.

Next step is to figure out how to move the powerful opponents to become less opposed, passive opponents or even allies, or how to move powerful neutral players to become allies. For this we need to understand the underlying reasons for their current position. We choose a stakeholder to focus on and analyze their awareness of the problem, willingness to take action and capacity to implement. Depending on where they score low, we decide what our role would be.

We close the module putting together a one-sentence statement summarizing our findings.

 

The Power Map tool has been adapted from the Power Analysis Presentation by Scope LA.

Workbook cover

Workbook time

Please turn to pages 31-33 to fill out the Power Map exercise and figure out who of the stakeholders involved is supportive of the change, and who opposes it.

Continue to pages 34-36 to get a better understanding about the under underlying reasons for these positions.

If you haven't downloaded the Workbook pdf yet, you can do so here. Please save it in the dedicated course folder on your computer and  come back to this document to do the worksheets for each module.

Social entrepreneurs case studies

Case studies

After watching this Module's video and finishing the suggested exercises, you are about to finish Module 4!

To enrich your experience, we recommend that you take the time to read another case study of a social entrepreneur who shares his experience of working with government:

- Flaviano Bianchini supporting communities across the world to protect their rights for healthy environment.

 

Module 5: Tactics to Build Awareness, Willingness and Capacity

Video 1: Navigation

In the previous modules we clarified which government counterparts hold the power to advance our targeted government-related change and what it is that stands in the way on their side – lack of awareness, willingness or capacity.

Now we proceed to explore tactics that can be employed to overcome these barriers. The videos of Module 5 provide a rich palette of examples of tactics that have been employed by social entrepreneurs worldwide and have proven themselves well.

If you haven’t read all 8 case studies yet, it’s high time you do it. Most of the presented tactics stand for constructive cooperation, while there are also some tactics employed for confrontation (see Flaviano’s case).

Video 2: Tactics to Build Awareness

This video focuses on tactics used to build the government counterparts' awareness of the social problem and perhaps even its own role in keeping it in place. We will talk about establishing credible evidence, "packaging" and delivering it.

Workbook cover

Workbook time

Please turn to pages 37- 40  to explore which tactics to raise awareness can be applicable in your case. Also we encourage you to take the time and draw lessons from history by analyzing which tactics have been already tried and what you can learn from them.

If you haven't downloaded the Workbook pdf yet, you can do so here. Please save it in the dedicated course folder on your computer and  come back to this document to do the worksheets for each module.

Video 3: Tactics to Build Willingness to Act

This video focuses on tactics used to build the government counterparts' willingness to take action and receptiveness to a proposed approach. The main tool used in this video is Empathy Map.

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Workbook time

Please turn to pages 41- 44  to explore which tactics to build willingness to act can be applicable in your case. Again, we encourage you to take the time and draw lessons from history by analyzing which tactics have been already tried and what you can learn from them.

See the end of the Workbook to get an idea how our Irish Ashoka Fellow Brendan Dunford has filled this exercise for himself.

If you haven't downloaded the Workbook pdf yet, you can do so here. Please save it in the dedicated course folder on your computer and  come back to this document to do the worksheets for each module.

Video 4: Tactics to Build Capacity

This video focuses on tactics used to build the government counterparts' capacity to implement a proposed change. We will look into capacity in terms of both human and financial resources.

Workbook cover

Workbook time

Please turn to pages 45- 47  to explore which tactics to build capacity to implement can be applicable in your case. Also we encourage you to take the time and draw lessons from history by analyzing which tactics have been already tried and what you can learn from them.

See the end of the Workbook to get an idea how our Irish Ashoka Fellow Brendan Dunford has filled this exercise for himself.

If you haven't downloaded the Workbook pdf yet, you can do so here. Please save it in the dedicated course folder on your computer and  come back to this document to do the worksheets for each module.

Social entrepreneurs case studies

Case studies

After watching the videos of this Module and doing the several recommended exercises, you are about to finish Module 5!

To enrich your experience, we recommend that you take some time and read one more case study of a social entrepreneur who shares his experience of working with government:

- Johannes Lindner who is working to advance entrepreneurship education in Austria.

 

Module 6: Working With Government Canvas

Video

In this module, we will bring together into one canvas the pieces of strategy we were working on in the previous videos. In addition to summarizing your key thoughts on strategy, we will also explore some implementation details.

The purpose of this exercise is to provide you with a birds’ eye perspective on your advocacy strategy and plans. This will be no rocket-science but rather structuring and systematizing the information that has been in your head already, and identifying and filling some implementation gaps.

Working With Government Canvas can be a convenient format to share with other stakeholders in your system in order to collect feedback and find partners.

Workbook cover

Workbook time

Please turn to pages 48-49 which will help you bring together the pieces of your strategy of working with government.

If you haven't downloaded the Workbook pdf yet, you can do so here. Please save it in the dedicated course folder on your computer and  come back to this document to do the worksheets for each module.

Social entrepreneurs case studies

Case studies

After watching this Module's video and finishing the suggested exercise, you are about to finish Module 6!

To enrich your experience, we recommend that you take the time to read another case study of a social entrepreneur who shares his experience of working with government:

- Amitay Korn who is working to enable access to citizens rights for diverse population groups in Israel.

 

Module 7: Vernissage of Helpful Resources

Video 1: Overview

In the final, 7th module of the course we explore resources that might be helpful in case you need additional support in the topic of working with government after completing this course. The main message of this module is that you are not alone and there is a growing body of organizations willing and able to provide support.

From all the potential challenges that could stand in your way, in this module we talk about four: 1. the lack of knowhow for developing an advocacy strategy or on particular aspects of advocacy, 2. loneliness or the lack of hands in the advocacy journey, 3. actually connecting to government and navigating within its corridors, 4. assessing progress in our advocacy endeavor.

The module offers an overview of some organizations around the world that provide support to citizen initiatives willing to effectively interact with government. There is also a more extensive list of organizations we provide in the Workbook which includes helpful toolkits, books and other materials for individual learning.

In the bonus videos to this Module you will find self-introductory videos by ecosystem organizations that provide support in the topic of working with government.

Workbook cover

Workbook time

Please turn to pages 50- 55  to explore the different types of support offers, tools and organizations that we have identified in the ecosystem.

Use the worksheet to reflect on whether there is any type of support that you could benefit from at this stage.

Bonus Video 1: The Good Lobby on the types of support they provide to social entrepreneurs

Learn more about the trainings on lobbying tools, matching with pro bono experts in the legal field and other opportunities that The Good Lobby, founded by the Ashoka Fellow Alberto Alemanno, offers to social entrepreneurs.

Learn more at www.thegoodlobby.eu.

Bonus Video 2: The Good Lobby presenting their Citizen Lobby Toolkit

In this video Jesse Colzani, Pro Bono Manager of The Good Lobby, presents the Citizen Lobbyist Toolkit. Jesse sheds light on the five main avenues of citizen participation - administrative, legislative, judicial, political and campaigns - illustrates each avenue with a real life example.

Learn more at www.thegoodlobby.eu.

Bonus Video 3: Beautiful Trouble sharing its tools to develop effective PUBLIC CAMPAIGNS

In this video Nadine Bloch, the Training Director of Beautiful Trouble, presents multiple useful toolkits and training opportunities for those social entrepreneurs interested in designing effective public campaigns and harnessing the power of creative activism. The toolkits can support social entrepreneurs in building up a true public movement for change which is a prerequisite for a sustainable change on the side of government as well.

Resources mentioned in the video:
The website with resources: tactics, stories, principles, theories - https://beautifulrising.org
Beautiful Solutions Book: bit.ly/bsol2020
Card Deck: https://beautifultrouble.org/shop/carddeck/
Beautiful Trouble website: https://beautifultrouble.org/
Subscribe to their newsletter: bit.ly/GetInTrouble
 

Bonus Video 4: The Epps Peace Incubator on their support to startups in working with government

In this video you can listen to Paul Heidebrecht from Waterloo, Canada speaking about the efforts of the Epps Peace Incubator to help social startups scale their impact by teaching them to think and work politically.

Understanding how various levels of government work and can be fruitfully engaged equips social entrepreneurs to identify opportunities for program partnerships, to tackle regulatory hurdles, and to influence priorities and policies.

Bonus Video 5:  VillageReach and Spring Impact on their tool to support government ownership of solutions

In this video you will get to know about the tool that has been co-created by VillageReach and Spring Impact, in collaboration with government, funders and social impact organizations from 16 countries.

The tool has three sections:

  • Setting out: preparing for the  journey and embracing radical collaboration among government, social impact organizations and funders;
  • The Mindset: understanding the mindset shift required to let governments take the lead in identifying problems and designing and implementing solutions for use in the public sector;
  • The Journey: exploring the five stages of this journey to scale, including how to mobilize collaborators, and how to co-create, execute, re-align and eventually embed solutions into the public sector.

Learn more about the tool here: http://www.villagereach.org/work/transition/journeytool/

 

Developed by Ashoka Globalizer

For the past 10 years, the Ashoka Globalizer accelerator has worked with over 350 leading social entrepreneurs across the globe to help refine their strategies and increase the positive impact of their work – through embracing the systems mindset and opening up for collective action, rather than growing own organizations indefinitely.

In 2018 we established a Systems Unit with the aim to capture and analyze learnings Ashoka Fellows make on their journey to systems change and share results with the interested community in the form of knowledge products – from social entrepreneurs to social entrepreneurs.

This online course complements other knowledge pieces on systems change developed by the Globalizer team, including:

 - 5 case studies of systems changing social entrepreneurs in the “Systemic and Empowering” Report;

- the Ashoka Systems Change Podcast;

- The "Embracing Complexity" Report with recommendations for funding systems change

- online course on Systems Change for social entrepreneurs.

If you are interested in partnering with us for developing new knowledge products or have feedback on any of the existent ones, please feel free to contact us.

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