Successful networks are more process oriented in their management, rather than deeply rooted in hierarchical bureaucracies. They also focus on value creation for members and their beneficiaries, rather than succumbing to self-defeating competition, both internally and across organizational boundaries.
It’s important to note that CSO Networks are made up of diverse membership that comes with different strengths, values, interests and weaknesses; the leadership of a Network thus has the mantle to ensure that this diversity is managed and harmonized so as to facilitate growth. Leaders should put in place systems and processes that enable a Network to learn and rise above the ever increasing challenges. Learning happens at three levels;
- Single loop learning that interrogates actions without considering underlying issues of improvement or results into abrupt change in rules and principles. This happens frequently.
- Double loop learning that interrogates actions and experiences by asking deeper questions that enable getting insights about issues. This happens in months time.
- Triple loop learning that interrogates actions and experiences by taking very deep questions about beliefs, principles, values etc. This happens after a number of years.
Therefore Organizations require facilitative leadership to enable them turn their flaws into solutions so as to sustain themselves amidst the changing realities. Mosi Kisare, Executive Director of EASUN says “Learning is at the core of all interventions and processes”. To better understand CSO leadership, EASUN organized a 3 day course for CSO Network leaders from 19th -21st April 2017 in Moshi Tanzania. Themed on Leadership for Effective Learning and Sustainable Networks, the training brought together about 15 participants from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to explore leadership and governance, focusing on strengthening the purposefulness, identity management and sustainable collaboration for effective networking.
Three Organizations from Uganda participated in this training i.e Uganda National NGO Forum, KiCK- Uganda and NAWOU-National Association of Women Organizations in Uganda. EASUN based in Arusha Tanzania exists to offer capacity building for CSOs in the region an opportunity that the sector can take advantage of to grow in strength. From the training, there was renewed energy and commitment to support the growth of the Networks in the region. Participants also appreciated the new knowledge acquired from the training especially the need to provide good leadership to enable Networks grow which requires innovations, maintaining vibrancy as well as putting in place systems and processes to enhance learning.
Story By Ninyesiga Robert