Since the publication of the Associative Project in 2019, there had been a strong desire at CartONG to work on a strategic document that would guide the future action of the association while offering enough flexibility to adapt to new constraints or opportunities. After 15 years of existence, this momentum was seen as a new step of a larger consolidation and development process for the organization.
Staying true to its values, CartONG therefore undertook to work on its very first multi-year strategy in November 2019, using a collaborative approach facilitated by the association's Board and management team. The final document, formally approved during the General Assembly of June 2021, thus represents the collective vision and ambition of CartONG’s employees, members, volunteers and Board members for the next three years.
December 2019 to June 2021: a few key milestones
Initial reflections were launched during an informal session at the November 2019 Get-Together – which brought together the association's members, volunteers, staff and Board members – to explore what CartONG might look like in the future.
The development of the strategy was then formally launched by the Board at the June 2020 General Assembly, with a presentation of the process we would undertake. In total, the development of the strategy followed 5 main steps, which we invite you to discover in the document on the left - click on it to open it in full.
Our ambition for the next three years
This first strategic document is composed of three main sections:
The strategic areas and objectives chosen by CartONG echo the challenges faced by our organization and the sector in an ever-evolving digital world. They are meant to help CartONG advance forward and upward, on both operational and organizational levels, while allowing us to retain core elements of our organizational culture, such as our values and the way we work. Here is a quick summary of each of them.
1. Make organizations and local communities more autonomous in their use of Information Management technologies and processes
This first strategic area aims to help humanitarian, development and social action actors – particularly local organizations and communities – better navigate the world of Information Management. This will be achieved through training and awareness-raising activities, the production and dissemination of resources, as well as the diversification of our partnerships and the formalization of new technical collaborations and exchanges. We will also seek to work more frequently with local organizations and communities to increase our impact.
2. Take a human-centric approach to better respond to the needs of Information Management practitioners, especially in the field
The second strategic area is all about CartONG gaining a better understanding of the needs of Information Management practitioners, particularly in the field, to ensure that the tools, products or processes we design, implement or recommend are most appropriate for the context in which they are intended to be used. This will materialize in an increased use of the Agile method and of human-centered approaches in our projects, as well as participatory and collaborative methodologies. CartONG will also seek to position itself on topics deemed key to the organization, through new activities and collaborations.
3. Stay on top of technologies to continue to fulfill our role as a technical support organization
The choice made for this third strategic area was to invest in our technical teams to give them the keys to our future success. This means ensuring that our team stays on top of technologies, methodologies and processes related to our field of expertise, whether it be newly available technologies and tools, or continuing to work with the low-tech tools used by the majority of humanitarian and development organizations in the field. This will require more structured processes for tech watch and the development of technical activities, more widespread technical testing and quality control for all projects that require it, as well as further training and structuring of our internal learning mechanisms.
4. Reinforce our organization to support the strategic areas
This fourth and final strategic area stands apart from the other three. It aims to solidify the foundations of CartONG - still a young organization - in terms of its governance, management, human resources (paid and volunteer), business model, monitoring and evaluation and IT infrastructure. This internal consolidation effort aims at allowing CartONG to implement its ambitions in the long-run, while preserving its values and identity.
To go beyond this very brief overview of our strategy, we also invite you to consult the abridged version of the 2022-2024 CartONG Strategy which explain the reasoning beyond the choices made and details how this first strategy will allow us to accompany humanitarian, development and social action actors in the face of the new Information Management challenges of an evolving sector.
The CartONG team is already at work, developing the first action plan of the strategy for the year 2022. In parallel, a group of several people is also working on the Monitoring & Evaluation plan of the strategy in consultation with the different stakeholders.
Although this is CartONG's first strategy, it is not intended to be the last! A review process will be undertaken in 2024 and will serve as the basis for a new multi-year strategy. Moreover, throughout the next three years, the implementation of this first strategy will be the subject of many moments of exchange, whether with all the employees, members, volunteers and members of the Board of the association (during the Get-Togethers, at each General Assembly, etc.), or within the framework of more restricted circles gathering the people in charge of its implementation.
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