Multicultural Centre for Women's Health
Adele is a passionate advocate for immigrant and refugee women’s rights and wellbeing with extensive experience in research, policy analysis and strategic advocacy. As the the Executive Director for the MCWH Adele was seeking a tangible solution to grow the organisation in a new direction. Repa introduced Adele and MCWH to appreciative inquiry.
Adele, why was The Multicultural Centre for Womens Health interested in approaching Repa Patel?
We first approached Repa to facilitate the development of our Strategic Plan adopting an Appreciative Inquiry (AI) methodology. We had never used AI before but were interested in two main aspects: first that it took a different and positive approach to strategic development and second that it seemed to be an approach that we could adapt to our context as a specialist and diverse NGO.
How did you feel that Appreciative Inquiry would benefit MCWH specifically?
Our objective was to develop a Strategic Plan that was both visionary and practical. We needed to move MCWH forward into a new direction to suit rapidly changing circumstances, and we needed to make sure that the plan could be effectively implemented within the organisation. Engagement and consultation was also important to us.
What was Repa’s role in the process?
Repa guided us through a process which enabled us to engage our important stakeholders in thinking positively about the future of our organisation. The AI questions were very different from those we had asked stakeholders before, which generated a different set of answers on which to base our own direction.
The positive AI approach helped us identify our organisation’s strengths and uniqueness and better articulate the ways that we could apply those strengths across the organisation and into the future. Unlike other approaches we had used before, there was no need to focus on ‘gaps’ or deficits, which was a refreshing difference.
Repa’s facilitation of the two-day planning session moved us effectively from dreaming through to practical application, and her inclusion of yoga and meditation techniques kept us energised and engaged.
How is MCWH tracking now after the planning sessions?
We are now implementing the final year of our Strategic Plan and our evaluation is showing that it has been an amazingly successful plan. The organisation has grown and consolidated, and all our staff are motivated and clear about their important role in building the future of the organisation.
As we prepare for the next phase of planning I would definitely recommend adopting an AI approach facilitated by Repa.