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California Foundation for Independent Living Centers

The California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC) hired the Leadership Learning Community (LLC) to integrate learning from a Diversity Leadership Institute (DLI) leadership pilot into the design framework and structure for the Diversity Leadership Institute. LLC was attracted to the opportunity to apply evaluation findings to program redesign and because of our commitment to programs that are bringing together issues of leadership and diversity. We believe that lessons from this project will have value to the field

LLC began this project by reviewing DLI participant evaluations from the pilot program and interviewing a number of key stakeholders. We sought out multi perspectives on the challenges and successes of the DLI’s efforts to develop leadership that would help to increase services provided by independent living centers to populations currently being underserved.

This project incorporated a number of LLC’s consulting services:

Learning Circle Formation: Rather than conduct a focus group LLC convened the former DLI participants in a learning circle to engage them in learning about how centers can provide more inclusive services. The value added of this approach was to provide program graduates with first hand experience of the value of peer learning and consultation in the hopes that they will continue to tap one another.

Learning Lab: In order to design a program that would successfully address the problem of underserved groups, we felt that we needed to learn more from a diverse group of stakeholders in the system about why particular groups were not using services, the impact of the current situation, and current approaches that were making progress. To accelerate our learning we convened a one day learning lab that produced a depth of understanding that informed the design thinking. Please feel free to download the learning lab content and process synthesis.

Consultative Session: After the CFILC has had an opportunity to review the redesign proposal a consultative sessions of 6-10 leadership program staff, funders and evaluators will be invited to participate in a peer review. Key questions will be identified in advance to help participants mine their experiences to offer recommendations. Lessons from the session will be documented and shared with the field.