THE WALK TOGETHER DESIGN
Walk Together is a design which manages the totality of a change process, particularly, though not only, where different cultures are involved. Its appropriateness in creating or assisting in the regeneration of Indigenous authority and responsibility is well documented. It challenges the long-held belief that external forces are necessary to bring about change by focussing on two key elements:
the centrality of community from the outset of any endeavour to create change
the centrality of partnerships to the overall process of change
Walk Together has a number of elements:
A philosophy of engaging and involving people to take authority and responsibility for decisions
A mission of providing proven principles, processes and strategies to advance the cause of developing shared authority and responsibility
A process of challenge and support using four key tools to prepare, plan, implement and monitor a jointly devised and agreed design for action.
The Walk Together design helps people to progress from always asking the question, “How can we change what they’re doing?” to asking, “Can we learn from or support how they do it or want to do it?”
Mutual Ways is the policy for operating throughout the Walk Together Design. The policy is clear that there is no dominant or controlling entity determining what will occur. The pictorial version of Mutual Ways shown in Tools demonstrates a change from past practices, where government policies dictated how Aboriginal people lived their lives; where things were done to or for Aboriginal peoples, but never with them. In this new way, decisions are negotiated by those engaged in the process, whether it is to establish mutually agreed ways of working, a vision, values, desired outcomes or the strategies to achieve them
THE STRATEGIC ACTION FRAMEWORK
The Strategic Action Framework (SAF) is the road map for change. It encompasses five phases and twenty objectives, each of which must be attended to if the Walk Together Design is to be effective.
The SAF is a guide to developing sustainable projects, a risk-management tool as well as a planning tool. It is a railway line that carries people wanting to achieve good things and helps them navigate towards their vision. Each numbered box is a station through which the train must pass or, said another way, an objective that must be achieved
The four key strategies for the success of a project operating under the SAF are those of Relationships, Facilitation, Objectives and Monitoring. Without any one of these, the process fails.
The five phases up the left-hand side are the levels through which an idea must pass to reach fruition or become reality: what CSC calls embedment, meaning the new practices have become standard practices. The four headings under the word relationships show crucial elements which must be constantly thought about and enacted. And those who in enact in each phase could change.
THE SEVEN SS
The Seven Ss are what Walk Together terms the seven elements for risk management when following the Walk Together Design. Each element can be used to review the overall project or program when issues arise. Alternatively, each elements is a means of helping decide which future actions should be followed. Each needs little explanation but feel free to contact us if you would like more information.
The Seven Ss are:
Small: Start small and grow. Don’t try too much, too soon or too quickly
Strengths: Work with interested, committed people and things the community says it does well
Success: Start with things that have the greatest potential for success
Speed: Work at a pace that keeps everyone involved
Sustainable: Have resources and commitment before you start
Simultaneous: Work with all people all the time
Scrutinize: Monitor and review from the outset
MONITORING AND REVIEW
Monitoring and review is a crucial aspect of the Walk Together Design.
It has two major aspects to it, both of which are part of the work of Walk Together consultants to make happen:
Monthly and Quarterly Progress Reports
Group reviews of progress reports on process and planning for the next stage
Summative reports (ie, what has been achieved) are provided by periodic (probably annual) syntheses of the monthly and quarterly reports, the individual stories of the participating communities, measurement data and an annual external review of some form.
Two types of measurement data are used:
the measurement of identified goals (what is being achieved)
the way the process is being undertaken (how the goals are being achieved)
Because Projects are community initiated, the goals identified must be relevant and understandable to community members.
THE GOVERNANCE WHEEL
The Governance Wheel has been developed by CSCPL to show all the functions that a Board or Council performs. Funding agencies often focus on compliance, particularly in relation to Indigenous agencies, but as there are four key areas and twelve aspects to the Wheel, compliance is only one aspect of governance.
CSC has developed workshops to cover all the aspects of the Governance Wheel. These workshops are customised to suit the needs of each organisation.
Our governance workshops are organised around four strands:
Navigating the Way Forward
Sustaining the Board and the Organisation
Building Capacity for the future
Two important outcomes of our approach to governance training are enabling Board or Council Members to:
evaluate how activities in the organisation connect to it’s purpose
understand that all four strands, working together, are necessary for effective governance.
The relevance of workshop content is assured by using practical examples identified by the participants themselves. Action methods are used to explore the examples. We have found this experiential, facilitative and action-based approach is superior in terms of participant satisfaction to more traditional approaches that focus on the delivery of content via dot points.
Partnerships are a crucial to successful outcomes through the Walk Together Design. The Indigenous groups that Walk Together has worked with have been open about this. They state their need and desire to draw on and learn from the skills of non-Indigenous people and entities. What they don’t want are partners who challenge the basis of who they are: who challenge their identities and seem to be enforcing a form of assimilation.
Working with the Walk Together Design in communities and townships, or across regions, creates the need for partnerships in that locality. A simple yet very practical and effective example is a partnership between a health service and the school in Wiluna to enhance the learning opportunities for children.
Which partnerships are developed, why and how, are the authority and responsibility of the groups undertaking the change process through the Walk Together Design. change. They will know, better than any outsiders, where the strengths and potential for success lies, and how to generate new and exciting steps with partners rather than competitors and rivals