Organizational development

When you are dealing with machines what matters is efficiency but when you are dealing with people, what matters is effectiveness.

– Venugopal Acharya

Identifying the right team for the job and setting them up for success is imperative to achieving a vision and meeting strategic goals.

Oftentimes, an outside perspective is valuable to help teams to understand what’s working well and how they can improve their performance. Sometimes, big changes are needed, but frequently, small shifts – tweaks to governance models, new skills development – can improve operational performance.

Development of training programs and professional development opportunities are critical components of organizational development. We customize training and professional development programs to meet our partners’ needs through both experiential synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities.

Frequently, we find that organizations identify opportunities for development as a result of our engagement with them in other areas. For example, through strategy development efforts or evaluation work, we have uncovered opportunities for organizational optimization and growth and have subsequently supported our partners realizing these.

Examples of questions we have addressed or are thinking about include:

  • What type of governance structure could effectively support an alliance with a particular value proposition?

  • What reporting structure, including roles, responsibilities and decision rights, enables a given governance model?

  • Are processes and systems effective and efficient in achieving their goals? If not, how can they be improved?

  • What skills and capabilities need to be in place among staff for them to be able to execute their respective roles?

  • How can we optimize skills and capabilities in both funding organizations and their implementing partners?

  • What types of platforms can philanthropic organizations use to share lessons from the field with their partners?
Amy and her team at GIA have been a huge resource for me and my work at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. They are thoroughly professional, well-versed in today’s public health challenges, extremely responsive and timely in delivery. They bring a strategic and thoughtful approach to all of their work, and have been true “thought partners” for me in working through strategy development and solution design.

- Maryjane Lacoste
Senior Program Officer, Family Planning Service Delivery and Quality, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Amy and Katherine from GIA supported Vital Strategies in developing our organisational values over a period of 3 months. We were extremely pleased with their engagement throughout the process, their thoughtful interactions with staff and their inclusive approach. The resulting values they recommended reflected diverse staff input and captured our organisation’s aspirations. Impressed with their listening skills and their attention to our concerns during deftly led focus groups, our staff gave GIA’s engaging and meaningful approach very positive feedback. We would recommend GIA without hesitation.

- Claire Verhaeghe
Director of Global Foundations & Institutional Relations, Office of the President, Vital Strategies

Examples of our work include:

Program Officer Training

GIA custom-designed and developed a synchronous training program to boost team cohesion and tackle soft skills and gray areas of foundation investment making, as well as enhancing program officers’ core skills, such as designing outcomes statements and conducting risk assessments for grants. Participants left the training with enhanced confidence in their capabilities, job aids to support their work and better connectedness to their peers across African countries.

Organizational effectiveness

GIA conducted a landscape assessment of organizational effectiveness (OE) programs in the US and developed criteria for a leading national foundation to enable informed design choices for a new OE program offering. GIA then facilitated decision-making around a stand-alone OE program with the client’s Board of Directors.

Strategic Alliance

GIA developed a value proposition for a strategic alliance and presented it to a large group of global health stakeholders. GIA has since supported the launch of the Alliance, which is now an independent non-profit organization.