In essence, context monitoring is how you intentionally seek to understand where you are, how the context impacts you, and how you can impact the context. This allows you to make proactive decisions, and be less likely to be overtaken by events. The vast majority of context monitoring is intuitive and informal; yet the intangible culture that our staff have, informal networks and cultural insights are rarely documented. This knowledge allows World Vision to function in fragile contexts.
The case studies in this publication seek to articulate some of that knowledge and share a few examples of where World Vision has documented and strategically used some of that insight to make big decisions on operations and strategy.
Over the last few years, teams In South Sudan, Zambia and DRC translated local insights into intentional and anticipatory decision-making. These case studies show how it was designed and implemented and highlight some lessons learned from the process.
Examples include how senior management anticipated significant national events, such as elections, then commissioned context analysis and subsequent monitoring to inform and guide their crisis management plans. They highlight examples of holistic actions based on a shared understanding of the current and anticipated context. They also note the imperative but also the challenge of using soft skills to listen effectively across cultures.