Social Enterprises can offer innovative ways to deliver services, such as healthcare, education, or energy, to the poorest populations. Unfortunately, many governments are unaware of the potential of the social enterprises and struggle to effectively collaborate. The World Bank Social Enterprise Innovation Program aims to identify and scale innovative solutions in service delivery to the 20% poorest populations in Africa and South Asia. One of its pillar focuses on building capacity of the governments on how to support local social enterprises.
In 2015 – 2016, I was tasked to design and deliver a course on social enterprises for the policy officials in several African countries, which included: research and learning experience and teaching materials design. I conducted interviews with a few dozen potential course participants led research, synthesized insights, piloted the course with the government of India in December, 2015, redesigned the course based on the pilot insights and deliver the course in Liberia for 40 government officials including eight ministers, in June, 2016.
The course used a mixture or lectures, role plays, design activities, ecosystem mapping and field work to help the policymakers work in groups to conceptualize and prototype new programs, services and policies that can address these real needs. At the end of the week, the policymakers presented their ideas, a few of which are currently considered for an implementation.