Text by Ibrahim Soetomo
The Pasuruan-based creative hub, Pasuruan Youth Forum (PYF) has published ‘Community Leader Academy’ (CLA), a toolkit inspired and adapted from the British Council’s Creative Hub Leader’s Toolkit. As part of the Creative Hub Leader’s Toolkit Hack programme, this kit acts as a module for leaders and initiators in developing organizations and giving impact to communities.
PYF started in 2018 as a platform for youth to access capacity and self-development programmes. Alfin Nurul Firdaus, the founder of PYF, said that one of the major problems in Pasuruan community life is sustainability. A lot of them struggle with how to start and maintain their organisations. "After I founded PYF, a lot of my friends asked me, ‘How do I start a community?’" she continued. But at that time, Alfin didn't have a rigid answer, nor a guideline. She then sought development programmes useful not just for friends or communities in Pasuruan, but also for PYF.
Alfin had once participated in Active Citizen Social Enterprise (ACSE), a training programme for social enterprise held by the British Council Indonesia. There, Alfin learned how to make PYF sustainable. She, along with PYF, also participated in the Creative Hubs Academy (CHA) in 2019, which she found more relevant and suitable for her initiative as she learned how to build a stronger community. Through this programme, she got to know the Creative Hub Leader’s Toolkit.
Alfin then shared the toolkit with her friends, but they found it hard to relate. While the kit offers a lot of tools, it lacks concepts and background studies relevant to their environment. This is where the hack commences. By mixing tools from the original British Council toolkit with relatable case studies, PYF then created ‘Community Leader Academy’ (CLA) with the subtitle ‘Inkubasi Pemimpin Organisasi Sosial’ (Social Enterprise Leaders Incubation), along with an academy of the same name.
The CLA kit comprises three main topics: Management for Social Organization; Theory of Change and Measuring Impact; and Stakeholder Mapping and Funding for Social Organization. Each prompt begins with a conceptual and case study. "We developed the kit by adding background studies. I think it will become more relatable to my friends," Alfin said, "They need to understand the problems before filling in the kit. It is like attending a lecture class where we can brainstorm before working on the field."
The CLA kit guides us to preparing a strong organizational culture where every individual is a leader. Ever since Alfin came back to Pasuruan four years ago after attending college in Surabaya, she has witnessed communities one by one slowly going inactive. This was due to a lack of funding, human resources, and supervision. There was also a concern when the communities stopped working once the leader or founder got married, whereas they could actually proceed. "We aim to create a system that is not leader or founder-based," Alfin added in response, "So no matter who the leader or founder is, it can still be maintained."
CLA took roughly one and a half months to make and is currently being upgraded and translated into English. Alfin found topics from the original kit, such as mapping stakeholders and sustainability, applicable. CLA takes a module format, and the upgraded version will contain materials from fellow leaders, speakers, and mentors, as well as from books on organizational development.
The topic Theory of Change and Measuring Impact take up the biggest portions. Before attending CHA, Alfin admitted that most of PYF’s programmes are one-time events without monitoring and evaluation. After learning the Theory of Change in CHA, they are consistent in determining short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals through their programmes. The kit will assist us in mapping our goals and impacts, as well as charting an effective community work strategy.
Through this topic on change and impact, we can also see the focus of PYF as a hub that drives social change. PYF tries to prepare the Pasuruan community, especially the youth, to become future leaders. Since its foundation, PYF has held programmes with a broad spectrum of topics ranging from business and entrepreneurship, digital literacy, education, and the environment. Alfin and PYF prepare Pasuruan youth to innovate and have positive impacts in their region, which is full of potential through consistent guidance and monitoring. Thus, PYF needs guidelines such as the Theory of Change in order to fulfil its goals and succeed.
Pasuruan is an industrial region. The main stakeholders are the government, enterprises, and corporates. PYF had collaborated with them for youth development programmes as part of CSR implementation. In the kit, PYF put a prompt on mapping stakeholders and invited us to map funding sources and business models.
PYF had distributed CLA to friends, colleagues, and participants for a try-out. They held two classes; the first was intended for communities in Pasuruan, and the second was for communities in East Java. During the latter class, PYF felt a positive impact directly. "One of the participants from Gerakan Majapahit Muda was able to solve problems directly. It was on the topic of Funding and Fundraising," Alfin added.
PYF will make the Creative Leader Academy class their major programme. As for the kit, they will implement the responses and evaluations accumulated in the classes to the upgraded and translated version of the kit, which is still in partnership with the British Council. PYF had a full chance to adapt and innovate with their kit based on the original one.
Alfin often participates as a facilitator in social and community development events, either formal-governmental or casual. On all those occasions, she will distribute the kit. She also attached the kit to PYF’s website and social media accounts to make it more accessible. As hoped by the British Council through the Creative Hub Leader’s Toolkit programme, with the upgraded and English version soon to come, it will surely reach broader audiences, especially future leaders and initiators, as hoped by the British Council through the Creative Hub Leader’s Toolkit programme.