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SCALE+ methodology to build community resilience in Mali

September 13, 2017

Mali’s Mopti region is chronically vulnerable to seasonal climate shocks from droughts and floods, and it borders the conflict-prone northern areas of Timbuktu and Gao. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is investing in the Mali Resilience Portfolio to assist the Mopti region by increasing resiliency, addressing humanitarian needs and offering protection from conflict-prone areas. FHI 360, with funding from USAID, will support this portfolio through the new Community Resilience in Mali/Mopti (COREM) activity, which is part of the Feed the Future Catalyzing Partnerships for Scale project.

COREM, which began in May 2017, will provide programming to improve collaboration and stakeholder engagement. Team members will work with the Mali Resilience Portfolio coordinator to unify the resilience activities of USAID/Mali Mission, the USAID Sahel Regional Office, implementing partners and other funders, local authorities and stakeholders.

Fundamental to this work is the System-wide Collaborative Action for Livelihoods and the Environment (SCALE+) methodology. SCALE+ is based on systems thinking, a way to better understand how diverse forces and structures influence a complex development issue so that groups can work effectively toward an agreed-upon objective. For example, FHI 360 will facilitate a Whole-System-in-the-Room workshop, a SCALE+ exercise that brings together stakeholders from the entire system to get an all-encompassing perspective on challenges and to collaborate on potential solutions. SCALE+ principles and techniques assist stakeholders in thinking more broadly about the greater systems in which they operate. The relationships between the stakeholders who are involved in these sectors, and, in many cases, not yet involved, impact the resiliency of vulnerable populations in Mali and in the Sahel region.

FHI 360 will increase the effectiveness of COREM by conducting partner meetings for stakeholders to learn about the current portfolio and identify areas of synergy to be explored at the upcoming workshop. The next partner meeting is scheduled for this month.

COREM marks an expansion of FHI 360’s work in Mali. FHI 360 and its partners are also implementing the five-year USAID/Mali Civic Engagement Program, which supports democratic governance. In 2014, FHI 360 concluded the five-year Mali Education Decentralization Program, which assisted the Government of Mali in strengthening the education sector.