Effective Organizational Analysis for Humidtropics Action Sites
In 2013, a Situation Analysis was carried out in the Nicanorte Action Site located in northern Nicaragua. A key component of this analysis was an Organizational Analysis, which involved the collection and analysis of primary data about organizational actors active in the Action Site. The purpose of the Organizational Analysis was twofold:
1. Gain a deeper understanding of the current status of different activities, innovations, and future directions of organizations working in Nicanorte to assist in the process of making strategic and collective decisions about the direction of Humidtropics in the Action Site;
2. Generate the baseline data set to monitor and evaluate learning and innovation among organizations at the national level through Humidtropics’ Research for Development (R4D) Platform.
To carry out the Organizational Analysis of Nicanorte, semi-structured interviews were carried out with key organizations active in the Action Site. Using the information compiled from the interviews and presented in the narratives, a more extensive Organizational Analysis was carried out utilizing ten principle indicators. In addition, eleven thematic areas were used to map the convergence between organizational initiatives and Humidtropics’ Intermediate Development Outcomes (IDOs). As per the indicators, data was processed and analyzed by a multiple spreadsheet Excel database. Mostly, frequency distributions and descriptive statistical analysis of the variables were used to elucidate findings about the indicators and convergence, helping us to identify key lessons learned.
The Organizational Analysis generated good quality information about the organizational landscape of the Action Site and its territories, and it was well received by Humidtropics’ Systems Analysis and Synthesis researchers. Other Flagship Projects have expressed their interest about implementing the method in the Action Sites located in Africa and Asia. Encouraged by this, CIAT developed a proposal to implement a Program-wide initiative, entitled Developing Capacity for Effective Organizational Analysis in the Action Sites of Humidtropics. The proposal received financial support from Humidtropics as part of the Crosscutting Flagship Project in 2014 and is currently being implemented within the framework of the Program’s Capacity Development initiatives.
This Program-wide Capacity Development initiative aims at developing the capacity of the members of partner organizations in Humidtropics’ Flagships Projects to carry out good quality Organizational Analysis utilizing a toolbox and an online data platform. To achieve this, the initiative will focus on developing a series of outputs which include:
- Developing an online platform for collecting and processing data for the Organizational Analysis based on survey and semi-structured interviews;
- Putting together a toolbox with the tools (survey, semi-structured interview protocols, online data processing system, and analytical guidelines) so that practitioners can have ready access to the method;
- Training personnel from two Flagships (East and Central Africa, and Central Mekong) on how to use the toolbox;
- Following up on the training and assisting a critical mass of researchers from both Flagships to carry out effective Organizational Analysis;
- Analyzing the impact of capacity building on the quality of the information generated by Organizational Analysis and the use of the information for improved planning of Humidtropics efforts.
If successfully implemented, this initiative will result in improved capacity to carry out a series of Organizational Analysis in different Flagships. These studies will provide an overview of important trends in the existing nature of the work of the organizations in each Action Site. This information will be particularly key for assessing to what extent the organizations are already working towards Humidtropics’ IDOs and, as such, will be very useful for creating awareness whilst making future strategic decisions concerning the implementation of Humidtropics in the Action Sites.
Humidtropics’ Central America and Caribbean Flagship Project is implemented in three Action Sites: Nicanorte located in the northern part of Nicaragua, greater Trifinio area located in the border region of Honduras-Guatemala-El Salvador, and the border region of Haiti-Dominican Republic.
Blog and photo by Falguni Guharay, Scientist, R4D Platforms, Humidtropics and PIM, CIAT