Engagement and Collaboration
This page is the starting point for coordination and repository of work around the engagement and coordination team.
Read more about what engagement and collaboration at ILRI means, and what this team does in this blog post.

Who are we?Image Today 12-20-08 copy.jpg

  • Bernhard Hack
  • Ewen Le Borgne (team leader)
  • Tsehay Gashaw
  • Muthoni Njiru (now 90% on AVCD project)

As well as a couple of embedded comms staff + other comms staff involved for parts of their time in this team:
  • Beamlak Tesfaye
  • Simret Yasabu

What we do, for whom and why this matters to you too

The E&C team focuses on engaging, collaborating, co-creating. It aims at learning, sharing, picking people's brains to get more insights, get more effective, develop relationships and partnerships. Engagement and collaboration happen through face-to-face meetings/events/bilateral discussions and virtual contacts (via social media and other online processes and tools).
As a team we boast a strong process expertise in e.g. designing, facilitating, documenting and learning from processes.

ILRI's E&C team works both internally (for ILRI's corporate activities, teams and themes that our institute is structured around) and externally with our close partners (e.g. in the CGIAR Research Programs we are involved in, with our CGIAR and other partners) but occasionally also with more distant clients (e.g. to support an event or a collaboration process that hopefully is related to ILRI's work or does not bear high transaction costs).

Our main objective as an E&C team is to ensure all networks, organizations, teams and individuals that matter to ILRI strategically -both inside and outside ILRI- know why and how to engage staff and partners and whenever relevant collaborate effectively.
This means we hope all these people we work with understand the importance of opportunities to engage, build trust with each other, learn together, collaborate, and organize their work in such a way that they can do so as best they can. We strive for this whether our E&C team is a) directly involved in doing all of this, b) intervening in only parts of a process or c) advising/training others to do any or all of these process-focused activities.

As such, the E&C team closely connects to the ILRI's Critical Success Factors (CSF) 'fit for purpose' and 'getting the science right' and, crucially and centrally, 'partnerships'.

Types of products & services that E&C offers

Here are some of the products and services you can expect or request support for, from the E&C team:
  • Meetings and events
    • Design of events and conversations- brainstorming, process management, agenda design (e.g. various events)
    • Facilitation of events and moderation of conversations to encourage participation and encourage everyone to do their best thinking- facilitating open discussions, chart writing, facilitative listening (e.g. various events, coffee mornings, team meetings etc.)
    • Formal documentation of events such as event reports available here (e.g. various events documented on wiki)
    • Informal 'social reporting' of events on social media (e.g. coverage of various events on Twitter, Yammer, Facebook, LinkedIn with outputs on CG Space, Slideshare, FlickR, YouTube)

  • Consultation and engagement processes
    • Design and run consultation processes (e.g. ILRI strategy development )
    • Design and run processes to engage staff and partners around specific activities, events, projects (e.g. OCS roll out, internal communication activities)
    • Set up and run communities of practice (e.g. KM4Dev Addis, CGIAR Comms, Nairobi Dev Comms)

  • Collaboration processes
    • Assess the state of collaboration in a given team or project (e.g. ILVAC support)
    • Organize collaboration workflows (e.g. ILVAC support, ILRI comms work, internal communication)

How can we work together?


You have some job (idea) for us...
Please share it with Ewen Le Borgne and/or Peter Ballantyne first. They will contact the E&C team and discuss the most obvious form of support. If in a hurry or they are not around you can also contact Ben Hack in Nairobi, Tsehay Gashaw in Ethiopia.
PLEASE involve us from the start, not when most decisions have been taken. Our expertise lies in co-shaping a solid process of engagement and/or collaboration. We cannot do this well when we are forced to work with others' nearly finished plans.

We have some ideas to share with you...
We may also identify opportunities to discuss with you and your team. Let's take the time together to discuss these and see how you may benefit, what you would do personally (or collectively) and what we do next, if anything...

Some recent examples of our work


Ethiopia country collaboration strategy
As part of the phase 2 of CGIAR Research Programs, designated lead CG centres (such as ILRI in Ethiopia) have to engage all CG and non-CG partners in aligning plans and integrating activities. In this ongoing process, Ewen Le Borgne has been working closely with DG representative in Addis (Boni Moyo) to organise and facilitate the national consultation as well as smaller follow-up meetings with the CGIAR centres. This work builds upon a first consultation meeting between the whole set of CG centres present in Ethiopia and the entire national agricultural research system of Ethiopia in December 2014.

ILVAC collaboration work flow
The Vaccine team of ILRI asked support from ILRI Comms to build a web-based communication space. Ben Hack and Peter Ballantyne developed a work flow explaining how (what) information should be circulated throughout the team and beyond, to improve communication with other teams and reaching out intended audiences.

OCS communication roll-out
'One Corporate System' is a project, at CGIAR level, to unite/align administrative systems in use in various CG centres. The ILRI Comms team was invited to support the roll-out of the system in 2014 and 2015. The E&C team (Ewen Le Borgne and Angeline Nekesa, as well as Muthoni Njiru and Tsehay Gashaw at a later stage) was tasked to develop a communication plan, set up a platform to coordinate information about OCS (the ILRI-OCS wiki) and to manage the 'AskILRIOCS' inbox. These efforts have helped the OCS programming team to coordinate its work both within the Steering Committee and with the rest of the OCS users and adequately inform everyone and engage them in this ambitious project.

Supporting various events
ILRI Comms - and now more specifically the E&C team has been supporting various events: designing, facilitating, documenting, social reporting, rapporteuring, advising on any of this. See a full list of events we have supported here and for recent examples read:
Some of these recent events have involved Muthoni Njiru, Tsehay Gashaw, Ewen Le Borgne both for MCing, facilitating, documenting, reporting. Some of these events are happening in the context of an ongoing program, where the support is most felt as is the case in Africa RISING.

Komms Klinics and other support to internal capacity development on communication and knowledge management
Komms Klinics training & coaching services have been running for several years and the person leading it (Tsehay Gashaw) has been working on developing an engaging training program, including specific sessions on engagement and collaboration using social media and other tools.
These services are also used in support of specific units (e.g. dedicated training for Africa RISING, HumidTropics, Livestock & Fish, LIVES)... E&C coordination...


E&C coordination


E&C Team meetings

Virtual (routine) team meetings are basic progress meetings checking the tasks we know we have at hand.
Face to face (special) team meetings involve a majority of team members face-to-face and focus on specific agendas.
Our activities etc. are tracked on Asana.

Other meetings and conversations:

Projects and initiatives on our agenda

See the full list of these projects and detailed activities on Asana
  • Roll out of communication and engagement for OCS (see the OCS wiki for more information about this)
  • Engagement campaigns
  • Livestock Live Talk seminars to revive in collaboration with research (DDG) and P&OD training activities
  • Internal communication
    • Information centre revamp and launch (NBO)
    • Coffee mornings / morning coffees
  • Engagement around events generally. Specifically in 2015:
    • ILRI IPM (done)
    • KMC4CRP3 + Process Arts Share Fair (done)
  • Reviving the induction program (online, like how we introduced the campuses?)
  • On the 'back burner':
    • Contributions to Komms Klinics overhaul
    • ILRINet
    • Regional engagement - how do we support our regions to do better (and include comms/KM as part of their work/approach).
  • Engagement and Collaboration / CKM communication campaign
  • E&C coordination:
    • (CKM) E&C service packs:
      • Collaboration platforms and support
      • Event facilitation and support
      • Social engagement and support
      • Internal communication support
    • E&C work plans


Planning 2015-2016

Engagement and collaboration
Engagement and collaboration plan and delivery packages described and aligned to institutional, project and program needs
in progress
· Institutional, project, CRP and program events (approx. 30) and strategic processes supported (design, facilitation …)

Ongoing event support, focusing particularly on strategic events for ILRI — institutional, project, CRP and program events (approx. 30) and strategic processes supported (design, facilitation, documentation…)
http://maarifa.ilri.org/social-reporting/
· Social and other interactive web media and applications used to enhance quality and reach of ILRI interactions with partners and stakeholders
One innovation process share fair focused on cutting-edge engagement and collaboration processes
Share fair took place
· Collaboration tools and support help staff work in teams across ILRI, CGIAR and CRPs and with partners
Event facilitation training for ILRI staff provided
Sam Kaner course
· Internal social media review and updated guidelines produced
CKM team capacity developed in virtual facilitation and communities of practice
awareness raising thru IPM and L&F exercises
· Institutional seminars run or supported by CKM and wider comms team
Internal communication campaign organized about effective engagement and collaboration processes within ILRI and programs
part of overall train and explain plan
virtual/blended collaboration/facilitation service package developed
Updated social media engagement processes and support


Social and other interactive web media and applications used to enhance quality and reach of ILRI interactions with partners and stakeholders


Collaboration tools and support put in place to help staff work in teams across ILRI, CGIAR and CRPs and with partners
CRP proposal process support workspaces set up

Social learning and participatory communication approaches assessed and supported in at least one project
CCSL-AR

Status of engagement and collaboration in ILRI teams (and opportunities to support these) assessed
Ben has some deliverables here

Standard approach on engagement campaigns in support of awareness and advocacy developed and endorsed across CKM


Consortium suite of collaboration tools (Sharepoint with Office 360) assessed
CRP Livestock pilot

Asana collaboration support tool piloted and assessed


Infocentre space in Nairobi re-organized to support sharing and collaboration


Dedicated support provided to OCS communications


Virtual discussion platforms for ILRI & L&F use
April and May 2015; learning to be documented

Institutional internal comms mechanisms and content sharing supported


Contributions to Accenture program management project











Review and planning presentation 2014-2015:
Review and planning presentation 2015-2016:

E&C KRAs for 2016

Resources about engagement and collaboration

About event / process facilitation:
And keep track of the list of events we are supporting at: http://maarifa.ilri.org/social-reporting/


About collaboration:


collaboration plan and delivery packages described and aligned to institutional, project and program needs
Ongoing event support, focusing particularly on strategic events for ILRI — institutional, project, CRP and program events (approx. 30) and strategic processes supported (design, facilitation, documentation…)
One innovation process share fair focused on cutting-edge engagement and collaboration processes
Event facilitation training for ILRI staff provided
CKM team capacity developed in virtual facilitation and communities of practice
Internal communication campaign organized about effective engagement and collaboration processes within ILRI and programs
Updated social media engagement processes and support
Social and other interactive web media and applications used to enhance quality and reach of ILRI interactions with partners and stakeholders
Collaboration tools and support put in place to help staff work in teams across ILRI, CGIAR and CRPs and with partners
Social learning and participatory communication approaches assessed and supported in at least one project
Status of engagement and collaboration in ILRI teams (and opportunities to support these) assessed
Standard approach on engagement campaigns in support of awareness and advocacy developed and endorsed across CKM
Consortium suite of collaboration tools (Sharepoint with Office 360) assessed
Asana collaboration support tool piloted and assessed
Infocentre space in Nairobi re-organized to support sharing and collaboration
Dedicated support provided to OCS communications
Virtual discussion platforms for ILRI & L&F use
Institutional internal comms mechanisms and content sharing supported
Contributions to Accenture program management project