Recently our franchisee in Ghana, Theatre for Social Change, hosted the first peer visit for our franchisee from Tanzania, Restless Development. Three staff members of Restless Development Tanzania went to Ghana to visit the program there, interact with young people and other stakeholders. They also have strategy meetings to identify recommendations for further improving the implementation of the Journey4Life in East and West Africa.

The Board of Franchisees has the mandate to decide over the learning agenda of the network, and for 2018 it was decided to organize two peer visits between franchisees, on top of the annual partner meeting that has been taking place in Amsterdam for many years. Although contextualized to each context, all our franchisees implement our youth empowerment model, the Journey4Life. Because of the similarities in approach, an exchange visit provides ample opportunity for learning about the best practices, challenges and creative solutions of other franchisees.

Buy in from stakeholders
The visit turned out to be not just valuable for mutual learning, but also for getting more buy-in from different stakeholders such as school and health clinic staff: meeting an organisation from a different country which also implements the same program led to more interest in the model.
Experiencing a different political context and how others adapt to it was mentioned as one of the main learnings as well.

How to reach young people better
What will our franchisees do differently after this visit? Theatre for Social Change learned from Restless Development Tanzania how to strengthen its referral system, meaning how young people are referred to health clinics, and is also planning to engage parents more continuously throughout the program. Restless Development was very impressed by how theatre can be used for delivering information to young people about sexual and reproductive health, and will explore how this can be integrated in their current programs.

Scaling up impact
Since 2017, Dance4Life has been investing in making its global franchisee network a space for learning, innovation and exchange. We believe that connecting the expertise of our franchisees allows for rapid learning and thus scaling up impact.