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Create task force teams of different skills to achieve a common goal.

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Create task force teams of different skills to achieve a common goal.

Create task force teams of different skills to achieve a common goal.

Posted on August 13, 2019 by Lillian Holmes

Authoring Organizations: Pacific Institute
Consulting Organizations: 2030 Water Resources Group
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
PVH Corp
Universal: Yes
Last Updated Aug 13, 2019

Overview

Task force teams are bound by a common goal (e.g. water security) but each member tackles different components of the solution, such as land management, education, or infrastructure provision.

Benefits

Task forces can bring together people who wouldn’t normally work together. Together, team members can implement solutions with many benefits that address multiple root causes of a problem. For example, improving the water quality of a local water source may be linked to pollution prevention through land management and solid waste management. The land management addresses erosion and prevents siltation of the water source; the solid waste management averts contamination from chemical or domestic waste.  Individually, these different functions might not have overlapped, but both serve the common goal of water security.

Guidance

  • When identifying partners to form a team, seek partners who can help address the root cause of the local water challenge.
  • Provide joint design workshops for these partners so they can contribute ideas about the best approach for a task force.
  • Clearly define roles and responsibilities for the different members of the task force so they understand their contribution to the common goal.
  • Monitor and evaluate the task force work against objectives and adapt partners’ contributions if necessary. Remember the outcome to be achieved, not simply the outputs.

Example

The Protecting Lake Hawassa (PLH) partnership in Ethiopia has an overall objective of improving water security for the residents and businesses established around Lake Hawassa. The partnership sought to reduce sedimentation of the lake by undertaking Afforestation and Soil Erosion Control (ASEC) which planted trees on the upper catchment area of the lake. As part of this project, the partnership created a task force team to develop a strategy to reduce sedimentation and soil erosion. The team identified sites for afforestation and consulted with communities to understand how they might improve the livelihoods of communities who depended on farming and small-scale commercial forestry (for charcoal) from the land needed for afforestation. The team took this step to ensure that local communities would not be adversely impacted by the loss of cropland for afforestation. The task force included the district offices Hawassa Zuria Woreda (SNNP Region) and Shalla Woreda (Oromia Region) in their activities so that these offices could maintain the work longer-term. The partnership trained district office experts and communities on how to conserve soil and water. To support the community, the partnership provided nursery fruit trees, introduced poultry and beekeeping, and promoted water harvesting technology to reduce dependency on farming on the upper catchment area of Lake Hawassa.

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This lesson learned reflects the beliefs and experiences of the author, not necessarily the Pacific Institute, CEO Water Mandate, or UN Global Compact.