SERVIR global network comes together in Nairobi for Service Planning Exchange
Published: May 09 2017
The SERVIR global network recently convened a four-day Service Planning Exchange hosted at the Regional Center for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) -- SERVIR’s Eastern & Southern Africa Hub. Representatives from SERVIR-West Africa, SERVIR-Hindu Kush-Himalaya, and SERVIR-Mekong made the trip to Nairobi on April 24-27 along with USAID, NASA, and SERVIR Support Team personnel.
The Service Planning Exchange is the first exchange focused primarily on this theme and is part of a multi-phased initiative to improve and enhance the practical application of the Service Planning Approach by the SERVIR Hubs. In addition to in-depth discussions on the existing four Service Planning Toolkit tools, working sessions were held on communications, Chief of Party (COP) leadership skills, and the soon-to-be launched Service Planning Database.
The SERVIR Service Planning Approach -- a multi-step program management processes first introduced in 2015 at the SERVIR Annual Global Exchange (SAGE) held in Bangkok, Thailand -- aims at ensuring relevance, stakeholder buy-in, and sustainability of SERVIR services across the global network. At the 2016 SAGE held in Pokhara, Nepal, a draft Service Planning Toolkit was introduced, consisting of four tools: Consultation & Needs Assessment; Service Design; Stakeholder Mapping; and Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning.
The 2017 Service Planning Exchange had three main objectives: (1) test and validate the tools in the Toolkit; (2) demo and test the Service Planning Database under development; and (3) closely engage the SERVIR Hubs in revisions to “ground-truth” the proposed tools. To achieve these objectives, the hubs were provided the opportunity to help design and implement the tools in the Toolkit through their testing and accompanying feedback, as well as through peer consultation before and during the Exchange. Breakout sessions were held on leadership skills for Chiefs of Party representing the four hubs and on how to improve communications and outreach across the global network.
Throughout the event, participants shared feedback and lessons learned, providing all hub team members a better understanding of the integrated service planning approach (and how to use the Toolkit as a resource). The feedback provided will also help guide further development of the Service Planning Database to ensure its usefulness and responsiveness to hub needs. In addition, the Exchange provided an opportunity for the hubs to create and/or update other existing documents related to the four service areas based on a standardized approach for use across the SERVIR Global network. Finally, this gathering provided the first opportunity for all the SERVIR communications leads to meet face-to-face and develop a concrete strategy to better coordinate communications and outreach across the network.
Given the success of this Service Planning Exchange, future exchanges are being planned to provide more in-depth discussions on topics relevant to strengthening the SERVIR Global network.