GIIL has been a founding partner of the IDIA Training Course on Managing Innovation for Impact. This training course, with the generous support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has been building the capacity of innovation managers from various parts of the ecosystem since 2018. With excellent participant feedback and over 100 training alumni from 30+ countries, this initiative constitutes the main vehicle through which the learning from IDIA and its partners are translated and disseminated to benefit the field: innovation funders, practitioners and adopters around the world. The course is also an important channel through which GIIL researchers and staff from IDIA agencies can join with other local and global actors to test and provide feedback on the practical validity of innovation tools, policies and partnerships in a continuously changing environment.
Our goal with the training is to partner with development professionals to develop the mindsets and competencies that efficiently translate their ambition into impact at scale. We do this by curating and convening diverse cohorts to collectively explore and apply innovation tools, scaling processes and systems thinking that will make a difference for the communities they serve.
Three fundamental principles provide a core reference point for informing the (continuous) development and delivery of training curricula:
- Respect for contextual sensitivity.
- Awareness of power dynamics.
- Mobilizing diverse social resources.
The value of our training depends on our ability to continually listen to, predict and respond to the changing needs of our participants (before, during and after the course – including our alumni network). Through a range of feedback loop mechanisms and participant-led discussion, our aim is to ensure that the skillsets, tools, frameworks and relationships that participants explore and apply are as close as possible to their day-to-day priorities, responsibilities and opportunities.
A comprehensive and coherent curriculum –
Our training offering is designed to immerse participants in a coherent experiential ‘arc’ split into three phases.
Part of our commitment to respecting contextual sensitivity is to ensure the participant cohorts we create and the location where the training takes place reflect a particular context / region as far as possible. For example, while our training cohorts intentionally include a diverse mix of funders, doers and other actors who play a part in the innovation and scaling process, we balance this diversity by some level of continuity among participants in terms of their sector interests (e.g. health) or regional location. This ensures that the training itself is able to both debate shared challenges at a level of meaningful depth, while also exposing participants to new actors, mindsets and approaches that they may not have come across before.
Personal agency & leadership –
With much of the training focusing on helping participants build their confidence and interrogate their own biases and assumptions around innovation and scaling, the training helps individuals enhance their current / potential leadership skills – including when to step aside and let others lead.
Community & ecosystem –
Our training and alumni network is contributing to building a critical mass of connected individuals across different sectors, industries and countries with the skills to both advance innovation and scaling within their contexts and to also bring others on board for the journey.