Catalyzing Change 2022 – A Guide to building Catalytic Network

Collaboration is the bedrock of the impact sector. This report will empower you with learnings to build the catalytic networks to achieve SDGs.

Catalyst 2030 have created a report on ‘Catalysing Change’ to foster collaboration in attaining Sustainable Development Goals. We have an ambitious target to achieve the SDGs by 2030. To achieve this global target, we need global collaboration to establish this change. The development sector requires constant churning of ideas to deliver the impact. This report provides a direction on one of the key aspects of the development sector, i.e Collaboration.  

Social entrepreneurs, NGOs, non-profit organizations, and Civil Societies can borrow learnings from this report to make their impact base within their organizations. This article will analyze these learnings that can enrich the development sector.  

What is a catalytic network?

The report defines a catalytic network as, a ‘Global, distributed, cross-sector network of individuals and organizations who are united by their values and principles, and working together to achieve collaborative action’. The concept was formed based on the principles of Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of community-based constructive action.  

The impact created by the developmental sector needs to reach the last mile. But the processes that are in place take the top-down approach where only the voices of the upper pyramid are heard creating an imbalance. This report’s learning follows a bottom-up approach where collective voices are heard and are not shadowed by the powerful.   

This kind of network runs across countries and sectors. It is essential to dissolve these rigid boundaries as impact sectors need expertise and collaboration from everyone who wants to empower livelihoods. As the report phrases, these are ‘networks of networks’ with the members connecting tissue to an already existing network.  

Seven Learnings 

Following are the seven learnings that will help in cultivating catalytic networks.  

  1. Unite with values 

Before forming any collaborations, the organizations should look for a shared set of values aligning with the other organizations. 

  1. Power the Collective

These collectives are formed through assembling, convening and facilitating emergence. The report observes that frequent convenings in small groups can accelerate the process of collaboration.  

  1. Broker with Honesty

An honest broker will foster relationships bridging the balance between privileged and non–privileged people and organizations. They will foster relations by understanding the need of every stakeholder and connecting them with people or organizations that can help achieve their impact goal.    

  1. Link many Locals

Collaborations from the locals will harness grassroots expertise and knowledge. Therefore, the report recommends forming a bottom-up approach for collaborations. 

  1. Lead from the last mile

The report recommends giving the leadership hat to local communities who understand the problem and the communities to bring that change. 

  1. Resource Change 

Resources should be distributed in a decentralized fashion where local communities are given enough funds and resources to carry out their project deliverables. 

  1. Catalyse Systems Change

To create a sustainable impact, it is important to undergo a root cause analysis of the complex social problem. This needs system change where we are not curing merely symptoms but its causes too. 

These learnings will help social entrepreneurs to revive their collaborative strategy to build catalytic networks. These networks will be beneficial to share learning, knowledge, and resources to achieve SDGs.

To know more, read this report!

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