Knowledge Management for Development Journal, Vol 13, No 3 (2017)

Holding ourselves accountable to inclusion in development through a Community of Practice: one organisation’s journey towards change

Margo Greenwood, Tracy Vaughan Gough, Andrea Pregel, Kate Bennell

Abstract


In 2015, international NGO Sightsavers created an Empowerment and Inclusion Strategy with three pathways to mainstreaming disability inclusion within portfolio and operations: implementation of human rights policies, equality of opportunities and removal of stigma and discrimination. This inspired individuals within the organisation to form a Community of Practice (CoP) to scale up efforts to achieve diversity in the workplace.
This paper charts the progress of the CoP in achieving its goal thus far: to facilitate a fully inclusive organisation through a coherent approach. It describes the community’s terms of reference, practical set-up and sub-groups, benefits identified for those involved, challenges so far and a discussion of the perceived value to date. Other experiences are raised such as what it means to be a CoP in an organisation deploying a specific inclusiveness agenda for particular groups, maintaining motivation and momentum, relationship with senior management, and establishing a budget. Through sharing Sightsavers’ journey towards change, the paper also contributes to ongoing discussions of how CoP knowledge sharing leads to capacity development.

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