This Resource Mobilisation for Research (RMR) programme was created by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) as a space for organisations to develop and share their capacity building journeys. The rationale was to give the cohort the opportunity to strengthen and evaluate their organisational development and to articulate their journey as a change story - all of which assists organisations in strategically positioning themselves.
During an 18 month period (2013-2015) the IDRC’s Resource Mobilization Program supported the advancement of a cohort of four health research organisations in East Africa: Kilimanjaro Centre of Community Ophthalmology (Tanzania); Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Institute (Uganda); Africa Mental Health Foundation (Kenya); and Research for Equity and Community Health Trust (Malawi).
Inyathelo was brought on board by the IDRC to work alongside the participating organisations as they implemented their RMR grants. The IDRC’s approach was therefore twofold:
- it provided an opportunity for organisations to expand their capacity by providing financial resource (the grant), and
- it provided the services of a capacity building organisation (to mentor).
The programme unfolded over the course of 18 months and the primary means of support was via remote interaction, bookended by two sets of site visits in 2013 and 2015; an opening capacity building workshop using the Advancement framework as an anchor in 2014; and a concluding workshop in 2015.
The change stories are centred on capacity building milestones, informed by the Advancement framework, agreed to at the first workshop. They reflect the activities made possible by the RMR grant to achieve the said milestones and share the learnings encountered during implementation. The thread that runs through each of their narratives is the passion these organisations have for their work and the resilience they’ve developed through the seasons.
Some conclusions shared by the cohorts:
-- Implementation of important changes in an organisation requires resources, commitment and time.
-- Networking and building relationships opens up vast opportunities for learning and support - that cannot be accessed when working in isolation. It brings far more than just financial support.
-- Succession planning needs to be foregrounded, as changes senior leadership may affect an organisation's advancement.
-- Resource mobilisation skills are a must for institutional development.
-- Proper resource mobilisation requires time, monetary resources and appropriate skills.
-- Resource mobilisation is no longer about grantwriting only but includes the amplification of Reach's voice and visibility. in its external environment.