Organizations’ “tensiometers”

by Sep 16, 2016

Lately I’ve working and evaluating different UN Agencies. I’m still not utterly used to their mandate and I’m discovering the unique role they (can) play in the world’s politic panorama. As any organization, but probably more so, they are confronted to many tensions they have to accommodate. They need to calibrate the balance between the different forces they are surrounded by.

For example, each of them have their own mandate that they are meant to serve, but at the same time, their role is to support the national and sovereign governments to achieve their objectives and priorities. That’s a first common tension every UN agency in the world has to deal with. But there are many others: they are supposed to work with governments, but always to make them more accountable to the citizens. So how they distribute their financial resources and time between state and civil society is stance they have to make. And they are supposed to work at policy-level, but they should be in touch with the reality and the field. That is another tension they live with.

So as usual, in order to first of all understand it myself, and second to provide them with a “photography” of how they are perceived after the evaluation, I created an equalizer of tensions or a “tensiometer”.

That way during the debriefing session, I can explain the different dimensions in which I see they are confronted, how I would position them, and the analysis I make of it. The tensiometer implies no judgement, just a like a snapshot. But there have been interesting conversations around whether they should reposition themselves in some of the of the levels.

Anyway, since it looks like a potentially interesting tool, I thought of sharing it with you.

You want to see more Visuals?