Collaborative management in resilience building projects: Case of Chiredzi and Mwenezi District of Zimbabwe
The aim of this article is to show how collaborative management is important and how it has been embraced in the implementation of resilience building interventions in rural communities. It seeks to unravel the empirical implications of collaborative management and how it has been used in a resilience building project (Enhancing Community Resilience and Sustainability (ECRAS). The recent increased interest amongst development agencies in working with the private sector, and the general increase in the number of multi-stakeholder partnerships is a response to dissatisfaction with the scale, scope and speed of poverty reduction efforts. The complexity and multi-dimensionality of rural poverty calls for an integrated, holistic, sustainable multi-sectorial and collaborative development approach in resilience building. Experiences from the ECRAS project show that effective collaboration across multiple actors should be cascaded to those responsible for actual field implementation. Collaborative management saw the project promoting functional networks among diverse stakeholders through innovation platform, community dialogues, WhatsApp platforms, gender dialogues, participatory scenario planning, community score card, meetings at different levels and all cluster meetings. The process required the project management team to exude adaptive management strategies facilitating decentralised management responsibilities and making extensive use of localized control loops. It also involved smart pooling together of multiple stakeholders from different sectors - with different expertise, skills, resources, powers and interest. Development community-based plans (at ward and village level) were networked and synchronized to tie all partners into the system of planning and control that promoted a common understanding of community needs and collective responsibility. The project championed a high level of transparency and a shared awareness of quality and responsibility among team members. The process was facilitated by a central database that made current and consistent planning data available to all project participants and stakeholders. Basic features for collaborative management in a resilience building project were highlighted.
Keywords: Resilience, Collaboration, Sustainability, Market linkage, Multi-sectorial, Multi stakeholder,
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