African Leadership Project Highlight- 

CollaborateUp specializes in designing and supporting co-creation workshops that bring together organizations to find solutions to development challenges. These co-creations emphasize shared power and collaborative effort to ensure donor organizations build and implement programs in partnership with local communities across the world.

CollaborateUp’s facilitation team recently led the co-creation of a large USAID award to fund a youth education and leadership organization in Africa. The program works to  build economic capacity across Africa by developing and mentoring young leaders across the continent. While this program has been very successful over the years, building numerous programs and fostering illustrative alumni networks, the organization was missing opportunities to streamline operations and maximize their impact. The goal of the co-creation was to discuss how the African leadership program might restructure to better leverage their alumni network, grow their impact, revitalize their curriculum, and enhance their procurement capabilities. In this way, the donor sought to shift the leadership structure from a regional-based model to a central model to streamline operations. CollaborateUp brought together all relevant stakeholders including donors, organization partners, regional leadership centers across Africa, and  program participants and alumni. The co-creation included close to 90 participants and was conducted in a hybrid format to allow virtual collaboration and brainstorming across several time zones and in multiple languages. The CollaborateUp team created a week-long agenda based on the goals and input from the key stakeholders to enable a shared understanding of the challenges and opportunities in transitioning from a regional to a central model. The process included presentations from regional coordinators, and emphasized the voice of program alumni in reimagining the scope to better maximize the program’s potential. 

Co-creation is a challenging process because it requires true collaboration from all members, and the facilitation team successfully applied our process to the considerable challenge of guiding a major program restructuring. Without trained facilitators, it is far more difficult to ensure that everyone’s voice is being heard while remaining “on-track” to address the most pressing issues and program goals. 

Find out more about how CollaborateUp supports co-creation and elevates the perspectives of local communities and individuals: