­Innovation of development cooperation

The Spindle is a platform where Dutch development organisations and their international partners work together to innovate development cooperation. All kinds of people and organisations coming from civil society, corporations, government and knowledge institutions, young initiatives, start-ups and social enterprises pitch ideas for solutions, approaches or technologies for innovation.

After 2.5 years, The Spindle wondered how effective their platform has been. That is why they asked Nele Blommestein, an experienced Sprockler user, to do an Outcome Harvesting review using Sprockler.

82 harvested outcomes

Nele guided the core team of The Spindle in formulating ‘outcomes’ as concretely as possible. The definition she used was simple: an outcome is a change in a social actor, which is observable. Nele then designed an ‘outcome inquiry’ in Sprockler and The Spindle staff entered all their outcomes in the tool. This resulted in an impressive list of 82 outcomes.

What do The Spindle members think?

The Spindle was interested in what these outcomes meant to their platform members. That is why Nele presented the outcomes to several people and asked for a response. They appreciated the manner in which The Spindle has made connections, thereby increasing their chances of reaching a common goal. Some commented that The Spindle is valued for providing support in a practical way, sharing knowledge, and adding weight to topics that need to be put on the agenda.

“We believe that social innovations have the potential to make the world a better place, and in our case a safer place. The added value of The Spindle lays in structuring thoughts, asking questions and challenging the current proposition.”

Unexpected outcomes

The future exploration trajectory, which The Spindle did together with Perspectivity, was unexpectedly one of The Spindle’s most influential activities. Piloting innovative solutions would lead to actual pilots, but it was unexpected that these pilots were also an inspiration for organisations to pay more attention to innovation.

“The inclusion of GameUP! [Oxfam Novib’s project team] in the Spindle led to an increased interest in gamification within Oxfam Novib, beyond the staff taking part in the Summer Labs.”

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