Segment: Philanthropy World - Episode 20 May 2020

Topic: Working in Collaboration vs Work in Silos

Editor: Hasan Al-Akraa

Appreciation to:

1- Ms May Wong

Group Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Manager

Taylor's Education Group

2- Ms Murshidah Said


Love & Respect Transformation Center

3- Mr Syahrir Azfar,

Chief Operating Officer

Global Peace Mission (GPM) Malaysia


Research has proved that collaborative work is more effective than silos work. In the world where resources are limited, especially for non-profit organizations, collaborations are considered a great benefit to run the projects. Collaboration can be in terms of exchanging ideas, sharing knowledge, sharing resources, partnerships and many others. However, there are also several challenges faced by organizations when it comes to collaborations. Some people prefer to work in silos and some find it hard to do so. This webinar has discussed various points highlighted by our speakers in relation to working in collaboration vs working in silos.

Focus of the Discussion: To understand the advantages and disadvantages of working in collaborations and working in silos:

  1. What is collaborative work?

  2. What is silos work?

  3. What are the challenges of collaborative work?

  4. What are the challenges of silos work?

  5. What are the benefits of collaborations vs silos?

  6. What are some strategies on collaborations?

Discussion Points:

A. Develop a Community Model

  • Training community leaders & representatives

  • Create a set of guidelines and SOPs to follow when doing collaborations

  • Involve people from other sectors (economics, law, health, etc…)

B. Impact Measurements through collaborations

  • Clear goals, visions and missions between all parties

  • Involvement of government agencies for bigger impact

  • Usage of effective impact measurement tools such as the methodology of “Hour Glass”

C. Involvement of Volunteers

  • Provide a platform for volunteers to join the projects

  • Create collaborative work schemes for the volunteers

  • Exchange volunteers with other organizations

  • Train the volunteers on the benefits of collaborative work

D. Exchange of Resources (win-win situations)

  • Exchange ideas, resources and other materials that the other organization may not have, and receive something in return

  • Usage of a joint resources has a bigger impact rather than fewer and limited resources

  • Increases the awareness, words and followers of all organizations involved

  • Leads to increase of donations and public trust

E. Beneficiaries First

  • Always remember the objective of the project

  • Different missions in the collaboration may lead to failure of the project

  • Ensure the meets of the beneficiary is met at every collaboration

  • Professionalism must be practices even when doing charity work

  • Avoid crisis with other parties for a greater results

F. Benefits of working in Silos

  • Making own decisions within the organization

  • Avoiding collaboration politics

  • Better management and project overall coordinations

G. Make collaborations a serious matter

  • Get things signed on papers rather than vocal

  • Create an agreement to be signed by all parties involved to avoid future misunderstanding

  • Divide tasks accordingly and be clear on each party’s job scope

  • Implement related policies when doing collaboration

Philandure Edge considers collaborations as a very effective tool to a greater impact. No matter how small or big the collaboration is, it always has a wider reach compared to silos. However, while taking on collaborations as a serious tool, organizations must always be prepared for common challenges that could happen and may lead to the failure of the whole project. Therefore, a proper collaborative model that includes policies, guidelines, tasks, missions and visions are highly important in order to achieve the goal and manage the expectations between parties involved.