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In 2017, QED initiated a crowdsourcing effort to encourage staff connections and generate ideas to improve products and services. As a growing, global organization it was becoming evident that QED staff were increasingly decentralized even though they were often doing similar work with similar clients and partners. They had a lot to learn from each other but there was no forum to build relationships and share experiences, resources, and requests.
To solve this, we spent time talking with staff in the field and observing behavior patterns to determine the best tools and approaches to foster collaboration and knowledge sharing. A crowdsourcing platform was implemented, carefully tested, and shared with all staff in various locations around the world who participated in ideation campaigns on specific topic areas.
Ten campaigns have now been completed and our team has learned a great deal. Engagement between field staff has increased and more regular outreach and communications products exist to share information across QED's entire portfolio. Hundreds of ideas have been discussed and many innovations have been developed as a result--whether small "tweaks" to existing practices or elaborate tool development to enhance the delivery of MEL activities. Crowdsourcing is now just one of the ways in which QED fosters a culture of collaboration and knowledge sharing, but it was a great and effective place to start.