Fundamentals of Strategic Advising in Reform Environments
Step 5 of 10: Lesson Two - Working with Local Actors
Slide 14 of 16
It is important to recognise the level of expertise and knowledge of both the advisor and the local counterpart. This will help building a complementary relationship.
The three guiding principles for providing advice are: local ownership, sustainability, and do no harm.
In order to follow these principles, it is important to have the following key personal characteristics: respect, humility and empathy.
Without trust and respect, it is unlikely that substantive advice and recommendations will be readily accepted.
In order to create credibility and legitimacy, it is important to establish yourself as resource and that it is clear you are the right person for the job. This will then lead to informal authority which reinforces your relationship with the counterpart.
Context changes - acknowledge socio-economic, political, cultural and logistical realities on the ground. In addition, recognising the underlying causes of a certain problem or phenomenon will help mitigate varying levels of indirect negative consequences your programming may have.
As an advisor, you should aim at creating host country and institutional capacity that will remain in place and be effective even after you leave.