This is a report from Meshworking for WHO/IPU global Parliamentarians event on Millennium Development Goal 5. It describes a process of multistakeholder collaboration to tackle the complex challenge of maternal and newborn health. Download the PDF here.
The following steps explain the table “Collaboration Process and Architecture for MDG5” on Page 11. The starting point is for a group to align on and commit to a goal, in this case MDGs 4&5. This step requires engaging deep human commitment. This collective realisation and commitment happened for Meshwork for Mothercare members at the Geneva meeting hosted by WHO, when it became clear to twenty people in the room that the goal is achievable through commitment and collaboration. The experience of this conference was designed to demonstrate and presence the possibility and achievability of MDGs 4 & 5 and to call forth the individual and collective commitment of all present to achieving MDG4s 4 & 5 in each country represented and globally.
The second step is to develop a shared story of how the committed goal can be achieved.
In this conference, this step was addressed through presentations including the Chile example and the vision of a template for in-country implementation and mobilisation of local and global resourcThe third step is to develop a template consisting of pillars, conditions, success stories and knowledge base, using the Chile framework as an example. This step was the focus of this conference to develop a framework and template around which different stakeholders can collaborate to achieve the goal. The facilitation process used for the conference focussed on developing pillars, condition and success stories. Subsequent steps were also initiated during the conference.
The fourth uses the template to define a monitoring and evaluation system.
This process was initiated at the conference to produce a simple M&E system which can be developed to monitor progress of the pillars and conditions at country level. The M&E system can also be seen visually as shown
The fifth step is development of communities based on regions/countries and pillars.
This process was begun during the conference, when participants were asked to place their photos and other information alongside their region and later underneath the particular of the template on which they wished to work. The resulting wall display of a meshwork – of pillar names along the top and place names down the side, with participant’s faces placed on the wall, is referred to as a Meshwall™. The same visual meshwork display was also presented within the Gaiaspace meshwork software at the end of the conference. This building of place and pillar-based communities is an ongoing process which will be important in accelerating global and in-country collaboration.
The sixth step aligns stakeholders across sectors to put in place pillars and conditions.
The seventh step trains and supports community members to scale implementation.
These final two steps relate to scaling implementation of the template globally.
The purpose of the online meshwork is to enable further development of the meshwork to take place and to enable the meshwork members to build on the road map and implement the roadmap in country. The online virtual collaboration environment was facilitated by Gaiasoft, a performance improvement and transformation technologies company that develops software products for empowering people to work easily and collaboratively toward change that is positive, meaningful and enduring. Gaiasoft has incorporated meshworking as both a core design principle and a technology-based capability. The online meshwork makes use of Gaiasoft’s sister company product, Gaiaspace, which supports online meshworking dedicated to fast-tracking collaboration and results for positive change.
The virtual meshwork builds on the output and commitment gathered during the conference. Among other things it enables the members of the meshwork to:
These are to be seen as a starting point, from which the Pillars, Conditions and Actions can be further developed, informed by application stories.
Appendix II: Closing Speech of Conference by Ms Daisy Mafubelu
Tweede Kamer der Staten-
Below are some of key questions from the hand-out to gather success stories.
Tweede Kamer der Staten- Generaal
Putting the conference in the light of meshworking, the parliamentarians represent the individual partners and the common purpose consists of improving maternal and newborn health. As explained earlier, in a normal network the level of analysis is that of the individual partners, and the connections between them are motivated by each partner’s individual self-interest. This is reflected by the normal setup of conferences where the participants, will have prepared a presentation that presents the work they have been doing. Although these presentations give insights and explanation on what is going on where, they are static. The level of interaction, cooperation and especially of listening can be improved to become more dynamic. In the case of the parliamentarians and maternal and newborn health, each parliamentarian holds a valuable perspective that personal, cultural and country-specific situation and they will judge from this perspective. They will set out presentations from other parliamentarians in relation to their own situation and may make connections, based upon their individual, or in this case country’s, self-interest. As a result they might miss valuable input as it is not aligned with their perspective, or in some situations they might even find themselves acting defensively when their perspective is questioned.
In a meshwork special attention is given to each participant’s unique qualities and how their uniqueness can be enhanced and vitalized through their connection to other unique partners. And the self-interest of each partner is situated in the context of the meshwork’s common purpose. Here the different country-specific perspectives of the parliamentarians are valuable as they provide unique insights, but the perspective for cooperation should not only be that of the country-specific context but of the common purpose: to improve maternal and newborn health. In order to realize effective international cooperation in the form of a ‘community’ opposed to a ‘network’, the parliamentarians should be stimulated to step out but not forget their country-specific situation and align their cooperation towards the common purpose: to improve maternal and newborn health. In this way valuable input that does not necessarily align with their self-interest but that does align with the common purpose will be taken into account and there will be no need to act defensively as discussions align to the same purpose.
Appendix VIII: Lifecycle of Emergence according to Wheatley and Frieze
Wheatley & Frieze (2006) of Berkana Institute writing on the lifecycle of social change movements, note that, when separate, local efforts connect with each other as networks, then strengthen as communities of practice, suddenly and surprisingly a new system emerges at a greater level of scale. This system of influence possesses qualities and capacities that were unknown in the individuals. These qualities and capacities don’t exist until the system emerges, thereby creating greater power and influence than might be possible through planned, incremental change. Instead of developing at an individual level it is better to connect like-minded people and create the conditions for emergence. Bringing together parliamentarians from 35 countries and facilitating an emergence process was intended to develop a roadmap informed by the emergent wisdom of the system. The lifecycle of emergence as described by Wheatley and Frieze involves three stages. These stages can be seen as the lifecycle of a meshwork to achieve MDG 5 globally – from disparate people in a global network to a global system implementing coherently in many countries.
Stage 1: Networks Networks are the first stage in the life-cycle of emergence and are essential for people finding like-minded others. Networks are only the beginning and based on self-interest, people usually network for their own benefit to develop their own work. A network of parliamentarians gathers.
Stage 2: Community of Practice Networks make it possible to find others engaged in similar work. The second stage of emergence is the development of communities of practice (CoPs). CoPs are self- organized. People share a common purpose and realize there is great benefit to being in relationship. CoPs differ from networks where people
do not only participate for their own needs, but also to serve the needs of others. The focus extends beyond the need of the group. Parliamentarians align on a common purpose and develop a roadmap and template for in-country implementation. The role of this Parliamentarians Take Action! event is to begin this process, based on the wisdom of the people assembled.
Stage 3: Systems of Influence The third stage in the lifecycle of emergence can never be predicted. It is the sudden appearance of a system that has real power and influence. The practices developed by pioneering communities become the accepted standard. People,
Politics, Business no longer hesitate about adopting these approaches and methods and they learn them easily.
Appendix IX: Meshworking Process & Integral Model
The underlying pattern of the meshwork process used for the conference can be explained looking at the four quadrants of Ken Wilber’s Integral Model (2001).
Meshworking Process & Integral Model
Because meshworking involves cooperation based on partner’s driving motivations and interest to the common purpose, explored through deep conversation, the conference was designed in such a way that the participants could experience for themselves what the effects are of sharing their ideas and questions with different players in the system. The process started, prior to the conference, by focusing on the intentions (upper left quadrant) of the organizing parties (displayed in figure 1 by the yellow oval), bringing alignment and a common sense on the purpose of the conference: to build toward shared goals and outcomes.
With this common sense of the purpose, structures and systems (lower right quadrant) for the conference were designed based on the ‘Art of Hosting’ methods: World Café and Open Space Technology, as well as the right mix of players were chosen for the system to work effective as a meshwork.
By changing the structure (lower right quadrant) a culture (lower left quadrant) was created (arrow 1 in figure 1) that represented an environment for open discussion. The culture (lower left quadrant) of open discussion in turn enabled the participants to speak in a free manner, addressing the matters that from their intentions (upper left quadrant) concerned them most and act (upper right quadrant) accordingly (arrows 2 in figure 1).
In other words by changing the structure and thereby the culture, a space was held in which the participants could act from their intentions, thereby contributing to the personal alignment (arrow 3 in figure 1). Next to the personal alignment the conference also focused on the values alignment (arrow 4 in figure 1). Following the principles of a meshwork, attention was given to aligning the participants’ intentions (upper left quadrant) to the collective common purpose (lower left quadrant): to improve maternal and newborn health, resulting in the roadmap with pillars, conditions for success and actions.
During the conference the first step towards an international parliamentarian meshwork for mother care were taken. In order for the meshwork to emerge and develop the online virtual environment is created. The virtual environment builds forth on the space that was created during the conference. Looking at the principle of the integral model that states that all four quadrants are interdependent, in time the mission alignment (upper right quadrant – lower right quadrant) and structural alignment (lower left quadrant – lower right quadrant) will be strengthened.
The changes in behavior, acting from the problems that concerns them most, on its turn will again affect and align to the structure and systems. The structures and systems in time will align the new emerging culture. In other words all four quadrants, which are interdependent, change simultaneously realizing a spiral movement (see figure 2) towards a resilient meshwork in which each participant acts from their intentions and utilize their uniqueness in order to contribute to the common purpose, for which they are supported by the existing structure.
Developing a roadmap and meshwork for Millennium Development Goal 5
Building a template for in-country implementation and a global collaborative network to accelerate achievement of MDGs 5&4
Parliamentarians Take Action on Maternal and Newborn Health The Hague, 26-28 November 2008.Jasper Bets, Morel Fourman, Peter Merry, Anne-Marie Voorhoeve Version 1.1 meshworking” – a highly effective collaboration of people and organizations, introduced by Dr. Don Beck, CHE Global, to achieve a shared purpose. This event “Parliamentarians Take Action!” used a rigorous process to develop pillars, conditions and success stories as a roadmap for in-country achievement of MDG5. The roadmap draws on experience of Chile in achieving MDG1 on poverty reduction and on the EU funded MIDIR project global best practice research findings. This roadmap provides the framework for collaboration within and between countries and the basis for in country monitoring and evaluation of progress and inter-country benchmarking and peer learning by finding what works, systematizing and replicating solutions. This case study introduces CHE’s term meshwork, provides a summary of the facilitation and knowledge capture process used, introduces Gaiasoft’s technology support for meshworking and large-scale change, and provides candid insights from facilitators on what worked and how to improve on it. In conclusion, continuing this process will significantly improve the synergy, speed and cost effectiveness of achieving MDGs 4&5.
- Reduce by two thirds the mortality rate among children under
- In high-fertility countries in sub-Saharan Africa, women have a one in 16 chance of dying in
- Reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality
- Achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive
MIDIR EU Global Best Practice Research FindingsThe approach to large-scale implementation was confirmed by a global best practice review and research project, the “Multidimensional Integrated Risk Governance” or MIDIR project. This project, a coordinated action in the Sixth Framework Programme of the European Commission, reviewed 14 risk governance projects and frameworks to identify common themes to develop a comprehensive framework for large-scale risk governance. One of its key outcomes is use of Gaiasoft’s approach to developing templates for scaling including measures of change with linked case studies or ‘positive proof points’. This systematic approach allows rapid scaling of successes based upon a shared template and matches people with shared interests across organization boundaries to increase the value of knowledge sharing for every participant (MIDIR Report 2.4, 2008, MIDIR Report 1.2, 2007). The findings of the MIDIR project and the Gaiasoft tools that support it can be used to support a (local-provincial-national-international) meshwork and as a way to fast track global implementation of what is found to work at local levels. The roadmap developed for in-country implementation of MDGs 4&5 is developed for scaled implementation. The same approach can be applied to other global challenges, for example other MDGs, sustainable cities and global climate change response. Art of Hosting’ (Art of Hosting, 2008). Objective was that the participants could experience for themselves what the effects are of sharing their ideas and questions with different players in the system, the richness of having meaningful conversations with a large variety of perspectives (see box Holding the Space). Prior to the conference the organizing parties (WHO, IPU, Dutch parliament team and CHE) focused primarily on getting the right mix of players into the system and to be clear that the focus of the conference was to build towards a shared goal and outcomes. CHE and Gaiasoft worked together to develop the process and supporting technology for the meshwork, consistent with the Collaboration Process and Architecture for MDG5 on page 11. In this macro-design the following Macro Design Principles were used:
- The more involved the participants are, the more likely they are to own the outcomes and act on them
- The quality of relationship built will strongly influence the quality of action that emerges
- The complexity of the issue requires requisite diversity
- Participants may need to reach out to other sectors in society in order to be effective
- Developing and reinforcing a framework for shared understanding through organisation of physical space, collaboration processes and supporting technology
- High-level political support boosts belief in achievability
- For impact to be sustainable beyond the event itself, there must be a strong follow-up mechanism
- This is not just a one-off event, it is part of a long term process whose success will be measured in the achievement of MDGs 4&5 in countries and globally
- Identify and align around the need and purpose which is to achieve MDG5).
- Identify the core pillars that would support a bridge to success at country level
- Identify the conditions of success for each
- Identify stories of success in the different
- Identify next actions for the
Collaboration Process and Architecture for MDG555 This table is a Gaiasoft framework adapted for MDG5 with Center for Human Emergence Netherlands and the Hague Center for Global Governance, Innovation and Emergence. The framework is copyright © Gaiasoft IP Ltd. 2006-2008. International Patents Pending. All rights reserved. Holding the Space To introduce the concept of meshworking, ways to create an experience were used, where the participants could interconnect and experience for themselves how it feels to focus together on joint pragmatic actions for greater impact and influence, building on their own expertise and practice. Methods of ‘Art of Hosting’ where introduced (see Appendix VI) for meaningful conversations (Art of Hosting, 2008) and ideas built on Wheatley and Frieze’s ‘growing towards system of influence’ (Wheatley & Frieze, 2006, see Appendix VIII). In order for the meshworking process to work, the participants needed to be encouraged to cooperate freely and openly in a space where they could really ‘meet each other’. Systems and structures were altered in order to create an environment/culture in which participants could interact free of perspective and address the matters that concern them most (see Appendix IX for a description of the process using the Integral Model). In order to ‘hold this space’ the conference used as little formal protocol as possible. No formal seating; no platform for speakers to sit on; a transparent rostrum as support, not to hide behind; enough mobile microphones; music instead of ringing buzzers; drinks always available; food which is tasty, diverse and simple (no haute cuisine etcetera); round tables; break-out sessions in circles; sharing experiences instead of classroom presentations with beamers; presentations of site visits on simple tables close together; and a last lunch as a walking buffet with opportunities for networking and also the opportunity to share final impressions and the opportunity to say good-bye.
- See Appendix IV for the conference draft
- Political Commitment
- Financial Resourcing
- Health System
- Cultural Practices
- These organizations among other included Rabobank Foundation, Waternet, International Confederation of Midwives, KNOV the Dutch Court Audit and the city of the certain ways to make it more useful to others who might want to find it. The categorization involved one question based on the four quadrants of the Integral model8.
- Have easy access to participant’s contact information and profile
- Find quickly and easily, the most-relevant people, groups, ideas and other information and resources
- Collaborate and develop communities-of-interest so that effective engagement and appropriate exchange of ideas, opinions and knowledge can take
- Monitor and evaluate progress and development using scorecard templates
- Share with others, in safe privacy or complete openness (depending on user preferences), any communications, information and
- Learn from and contribute to a library of the meshwork’s best
- Report and display the status on projects and goals from many
|Pillar||Conditions for Success||Parliamentary Action|
|Political Commitment||Accurate data Transparency Media awareness International pressure Awareness in Political Parties||Speak out in parliament and publicly for MDG 5 Champion MDG 5 and identify other parliamentary champions who will lead the way Build cross party coalitions Adopt a motion in parliament on MDG 5 Question government and call Ministers to account on their commitments Hold briefings and hearings in parliament to convince and engage MPs and political leaders Organize public events to sensitize the wider public and strengthen national commitment|
|Legislation||Support for safe motherhood Shared language Partner support and coordination||Identify one or several parliamentary committees to take the lead on legislating or reviewing legislation to facilitate maternal health Hold hearings with government, civil society, private sector and other actors to identify legislative gaps, challenges and solutions Initiate a review of existing laws to address gender discrimination and eliminate legal obstacles that limit women’s access to health care services|
|Financial Resourcing||Health Budgeting Gender Budgeting Insurance System Free Services Taxation support||Liaise/work with the budget/finance committee to pay particular focus on Health and MDG5 Ask questions to Government during the budget debate and make MDG5 a budgetary priority Hold hearings with women and health associations on needs and priorities prior to the budget debate|
|Ask that responsible ministers regularly report to parliament on use of funds on MDG5 so as to monitor work done Ensure that national budgets are gender-sensitive; sensitize and inform MPs on gender sensitive parliaments and train parliamentary staff Ensure that the national budget process makes use of sex-disaggregated data Organize a raising awareness/media/ event on MDG5 to put pressure during the budget debate|
|Health System||Human Resources Quality Care Reproductive Health Rights Information and Data Training||Use parliamentary oversight mechanisms (oral and written questions to government, enquiries, hearings, parliamentary committee work) to ensure accountability and meet health objective set|
|Availability of Services Budget Allocation||During the budget process, pay particular attention to health allocations, ask questions and monitor allocated amounts and their effective use|
|Support sufficient funding to build independent national statistics institutes; liaise with UN and other sources to access data|
|Review legislation; start a debate in parliament on gender discrimination, especially harmful traditional practices|
|Education||National Strategic Plan Budget allocation Education||for||Use parliamentary oversight mechanisms to regularly monitoring and evaluate government work on education|
|Training Teachers Midwives||and||Request sex-disaggregated data to closely monitor the situation of girls|
|During the budget process, pay particular attention to education budgetary allocations, ask questions and monitor allocated amounts and their effective use|
|Organize events with the media to educate the public on maternal health issues|
|Engage with communities Ensure that human rights and gender equality are part of the school curricula|
|Cultural Practices||Media support Linking culture, human rights and legislation Accepting cultural realities||Raise awareness in your constituencies and hold debates on harmful traditional practices Speak out publicly against them; set the example Debate harmful practices in parliament, within the framework of human rights standards and initiate legislation, if needed|
|Partnership||Common objectives Mutual respect Identify needs Inclusive approach and Cross- level co-operation Information Sharing||Build cross party coalitions Hold regular meetings with various partners (breakfast meetings with Ministries; regular sessions with civil society organization etc) Engage men parliamentarians on MDG5 Reach out to communities, grassroot organizations and local partners|
PARLIAMENTARIANS TAKE ACTION ON MATERNAL AND NEWBORN HEALTHThe Hague, Netherlands, 26-28 November 2008
ADDRESS BY MS DAISY MAFUBELU
Assistant Director General, Family and Community Health World Health OrganizationClosing speech of conference
The Hague, 28 November 2008Excellencies, Honourable Members of Parliament, ladies and gentlemen,
- This has been a truly inspiring meeting. I am very pleased to see that this WHO initiative to improve maternal and newborn health gained momentum here in The Hague. The initiative to work more closely with you, Honourable Members of Parliament, was launched last year with the first parliamentarian meeting that took place in London upon the invitation of the parliament of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth Secretariat. This year, it continued here in the Staten-Generaal and we are extremely grateful to the Parliament of the Netherlands for having hosted this important conference. My special thanks go to Ms Chantal Gill’ard whose personal commitment and charming facilitation of this meeting made us all feel at home here in this historic assembly room in The
- I also want to thank our second partner, the Inter-parliamentary Union and its Secretary- General Mr Anders Johnsson for their cooperation and support, and in particular Ms Kareen Jabre, who helped us during the last three days to stay focused on the role of parliamentarians and the scope of their responsibilities when we looked at how we can ensure maternal and newborn health for
- And there are more partners who have been helping. I would like to thank the Dutch ministers and parliamentarians who have been grabbed by Chantal’s spirit and a special thanks goes to Minister Bert Koenders for his support and commitment to make a difference for women and newborn in countries and to Minister Ab Klink for pushing the issue of maternal and newborn health on the global level. I want to thank UNICEF, UNFPA, the World Bank, as well as the international and Dutch NGOs for their active participation in this
- I believe that this is just a beginning. I very much trust that that you will go back to your countries with new ideas, a new action plan and the knowledge that you are not on your own but that there are many fellow lawmakers who are striving for the same goals and are often facing the same And that many institutions from civil society as well as the
- We all agree that maternal and newborn health is not a technical but a political Here in The Hague it has become again very clear that you as parliamentarians have a key role to play in the achievement of Millennium Development Goal 5 and the prevention of the needless deaths of mothers and babies. You must take action, join forces with old and new partners, solicit political commitment, lobby for higher health budgets and hold your governments accountable for their pledge to reduce maternal mortality by three quarters by 2015. These are only some examples how you can make a difference and we at WHO will be at your side “beating the drum” for the survival of mothers and newborns everywhere in the world.
- other parliamentarians from different cultures, countries, continents
- private sector companies
- non profit
- general public (at the exhibition)
- governmental support from the ministries of Development Cooperation and of Health,
- House of Parliament, including the president
- different departments of WHO
- UN organizations
Parliamentarians Take Action for Maternal and Newborn HealthThe Hague, The Netherlands, 26-28 November 2008
Parliamentarians Take Action for Maternal and Newborn HealthThe Hague, The Netherlands, 26-28 November 2008 Stories of Success
Please complete the following information about your story of success, so that others can find your example when they are looking for something that would meet a similar need.Name: Country / Organisation: Story Title:
- Which Pillar for Maternal and Newborn Health does this story contribute to?
- Which Success Condition for that Pillar does this story contribute to?
- Which of these four areas does the project primarily address (circle the appropriate letter(s) ):
- Individuals’ attitude
- Individuals’ behaviour
- Collaboration, culture and relationships
d. Systems, structures and institutions
- Who are the core partners in the project and which sector do they come from (eg Governmental, Civil Society, Private)?
|Principles of Meshworking|
|Requisite System||Identify and engage the requisite system. W needs to be in the room?|
|Motivation and Intentions||Elicit and take into account the diversity of underlying motivations and intentions|
|Already There||Assume that everything we need is already there|
|Critical Areas||Identify, align and focus existing resources on critical areas|
|Common Interest||Uncover the common interest between stakeholders by identifying a higher goal|
|Unique Contribution||Make explicit and honour the unique contribution that each stakeholder is already making to the purpose of the meshwork|
|Synergy||Transform friction and conflicts of interest into synergy and co-creation (rather than consensus and compromise)|
|Sense of Belonging||Support and nurture the sense of belonging to the meshwork|
|Own Goals||Continually illustrate to the stakeholders how their participation in the meshwork helps them achieve their own goals/purpose|
|What is Right||Focus on what is right rather than who is right|