Phase 3: maintaining sustainable network delivery and starting solution programmes by confidently inviting other agency heads to the table to explore and develop a shared way forward
The emphasis in Phase 3 is on increasing the scale and scope of partnership programmes to bring about sustainable, city-wide, transformational solutions for children.
This stage is characterised by greater and more strategic connections with other civil society players who have similar goals, and by the network’s influence on government policy and strategy with regards to their elected responsibilities for children. Together these connections build stable environments that we call a Viva Solution, a model of intervention based on a partnership between a network and Viva. The intension is to transform a situation of risk faced by children across the city.
Without these wider engagements in civil society, network impact will be contained within the christian sphere, making it harder to impact the city as a whole. Stakeholders such as business leaders, non-faith-based NGOs, government institutions and international agencies can bring additional resources, influence and knowledge to the network, and can open political and economic doors.
Viva’s relationship with the network now involves a deeper engagement around collaborative initiatives that can begin to form the solution programmes. These are models of intervention that aim to not only address, but begin to actually solve, particular problems faced by children in the locality. Collective action brings advocacy, credibility and influence to engage wider participation and fulfillment of the network vision. On average, a Phase 3 network comprises between 75 and 150 active member churches and organisations representing 25,000 to 100,000 people and a paid coordination team.
Achieving real solutions may take many years, as the needs of children and the influencing factors on their situations will be continually and rapidly changing. The network needs to be flexible in adapting the methods and focus of its activities to stay fiercely relevant, maximising opportunities of bringing meaningful change for children in the city.