Analytical Solutions believes that organizational capacity-building and individual skill and leadership development are essential to building solid organizations and healthy communities.
We understand that an effective technical assistance (TA) model should be based on strong, meaningful, and long-term relationships with the individuals, organizations, and communities with whom we work. Establishing these relationships is where we begin our partnership with project and organizational leaders.
1 Assessment and creation of learning/technical assistance plans. We begin technical assistance partnerships by first getting to know the project or organization. We then conduct an on-site (if appropriate), participatory and in-depth assessment of strengths and areas for development. The assessment typically takes the form of a series of discussions with our partners, guided by one of the tools we have developed for this purpose (Assessment Tools). The assessment leads to a discussion of the highest priority TA needs and culminates in a jointly developed plan for training and technical assistance to further the project or organization's development.
2 Direct, one-on-one technical assistance and support. One-on-one TA represents the mainstay of our approach. We maintain regular communication with our partners through site visits, meetings in our offices, phone conversations, and e-mail. We strive in one-on-one sessions to be as responsive as possible to the issues presented, recognizing that we can be most effective if we base any diagnosis or guidance on a thorough understanding of the problem.
3 Group training based on mutually shared capacity-building priorities across projects and organizations. Our philosophy and approach for training encompasses many of the same elements as in our one-on-one TA. In order for training to be effective, Community Partners understands that it needs to begin where individuals and organizations are. Our training provides opportunities for specific organizational and programmatic knowledge and skill development. Community Partners takes the approach that all training should be hands-on, interactive, and create a dynamic learning environment in which information and skills are shared, practiced, and reinforced. Great care is given so that opportunities are created to reinforce technical assistance with training and peer-to-peer learning sessions, and vice versa.
4 Peer-to-peer learning built on formal and informal knowledge sharing and, sometimes, joint action. We recognize that our project and organizational leaders represent a source of wisdom and expertise regarding effective implementation of programs. Therefore, we seek in all of our work to support the development of a peer-to-peer learning community to provide partners with the opportunity to learn from each others' successes, near misses and outright failures. We do this by scheduling formal sessions where specific problems can be addressed and by facilitating informal connections where peer-to-peer sharing makes sense. In some cases, relationships developed through these peer networking sessions lead to joint action.
5 Connecting partners to important resources such as written materials, publications, consultants and other technical assistance organizations. In addition to our technical assistance and training activities, we make available to our partners awide array of other resources including a comprehensive catalog of materials on key organizational development and programmatic issues such as budgeting, board development, program planning and proposal writing. Also, as needed, we connect our projects with a pool of consultants, trainers, and TA providers to provide specific expertise.