100-Day Challenges do not happen in a vacuum. They emerge out of an opportunity or a need in an organisation, and in the social sector in a system of organisations that have similar or complementary goals (for example – reducing gender-based violence in the country, in a district, or a municipality).
There are typically many actors involved before a group of people are asked to form a team and take on a 100-Day Challenge. These actors play different roles. The precise contours of each role and the types of actors playing it may vary depending on the context. So naturally what follows is a model that needs to be adapted based on the situation.
We will start from the time that a group of people are asked to be part of a 100-Day Challenge team, and work our way backwards from there in terms of the various actors involved. We will use the example of gender-based violence and femicide.
You are a social worker. You received a Challenge Note asking you to be on a 100-Day Challenge team, with a mission of significantly accelerating the response time to sexual assault complaints to the hotline in your district, and ensuring more integrated support to the victims. The Challenge Note invites you and your teammates to participate in a Lift-off Workshop, where you meet your fellow teammates, learn about 100-Day Challenges, set your 100-Day Goal, and develop your 100-Day Plan.
You are a member of the 100-Day Team. You and your teammates, likely to be members of local government departments (including the police) and non-profit organisations working on gender-based violence, will be responsible for the following:
At the Lift-Off Workshop
- Deciding on the 100-Day Goal
- Developing the initial 100-Day Plan
- Electing team leader(s) to keep the team focused and organised, and deciding on other roles on the team
During the 100 Days
- Implementing the 100-Day Plan and measuring its impact during the 100 days.
- Meeting every week with the team to review progress and adjust the 100-Day Plan as needed.
- Doing what it takes to achieve your 100-Day Goal
Towards the end of the 100 Days
- Developing recommendations to leaders on how to sustain and scale the impact.
Based on their discussions about the issue, the focus and the overall strategic context, the mentors prepare the Challenge Note that you received.
The discussions about the idea of using 100-Day Challenges, the focus of these, the team members, and the mentors often happen in a single event that we refer to as the System Leader Design Session.
During the 100 days, these organisational leaders continue to play a role. Often, these leaders come together monthly anyway to review long term goals and discuss strategy. At these meetings, the mentors update them on the progress of the 100-Day team (or teams), and share the insights that are emerging. Leaders consider the implications of these insights on the broader strategy and on policy. And at times, they are pulled in by the mentors to actively support the team and help remove roadblocks in their way.
Until this becomes a natural way of organising for action in an organisation or a system, there is a need for an experienced facilitator who also understands the principles, techniques and practices of 100-Day Challenges. We call this individual 100-Day Challenge Ambassador.
- Facilitating some or all the workshops, system leadership design session, lift-off workshop, etc.
- Coaching mentors and team leaders on their role in the context of 100-Day Challenges
- Drafting the Challenge Notes
- Facilitating 100-Day team meetings
- Drafting agendas and follow-up actions to
Drafting communication messages from
One more note on where all this work happens.
The team, mentors, and system leaders are all local – they are associated with a geographic region such as a city or a district or a municpality. The fundamental premise of 100-Day Challenge work is that people involved in the work are in the best position to know the issues and find the solutions. And their involvement in developing the solutions increases the odds that these will be implemented wholeheartedly. So leaders and others in national ministries or corporate headquarters have an important role to play in shaping policies and long term strategies. But the actors we talked about above cannot be from national ministries or corporate headquarters. They are always “local”!