Implementing participatory approach among board members and staffs, MITRA Samaj identified institutional strength and areas of improvement of eight CSOs in advocacy and facilitated them to develop their capacity development plans.
On different dates throughout June, MITRA Samaj conducted participatory workshop to identify Advocacy Readiness Index (ARI) of five CSOs of CS:MAP (Civil Society: Mutual Accountability Project) and supported them to develop their capacity development plans.
Program Manager Latshering Glan Tamang, Capacity Development Specialists of MITRA Samaj Karna Bahadur Nepali and Dabal Kaji Rokaha, and Project Officer Mandira Maharjan conducted participatory ARI and identified the strength and areas of improvement of CSOs in 12 sub-domains of main three domains, which included, Advocacy Goals, Plans and Strategies, Conducting Advocacy, and Organization Commitment.
Under the main pillar ‘Advocacy Goals, Plans and Strategies’, MITRA Samaj focused on assessing the CSOs’ institutionalisation of advocacy vision and mission, along with identification of advocacy plan and strategies. Similarly, under ‘Conducting Advocacy’, the assessment focused on identifying institutional strength in building constituencies, coalition building and linkages, advocacy messaging, engaging government and decision makers, advocacy avenue, outreach and media, and research. Last but not the least, the assessment also focused on assessing institutional leadership and board commitment, along with funding for advocacy initiative and sustainability in line with advocacy as major core working area.
Before the assessment, the assessment team from MITRA Samaj brief about CS:MAP and methodologies of the assessment. Following the introductory session, a set of advocacy index questionnaire form was distributed among the participants. Taking a few minutes, the indicators listed and divided into different sections were comprehensively explained to the participants so as to ensure that they have a broad understanding of what the competency areas are and the kinds of information they should be thinking while scoring.
After participants concluded with a score in the respective indicators, the facilitators produced questions and probed in detailed to gather evidence of CSO capacity in the respective ranking of the competency areas. The discussion helped the participants to rethink about the benchmarks and place themselves in the appropriate rank after coming into a negotiation. Notes of enough evidences shared by the participants were documented.
The facilitators led the participants into a discussion to identify and list down the areas of weaknesses based on the scoring, along with noting down the possible solutions in the respective areas of improvement. A brief narrative was documented that explained the strength, weaknesses, progress and recommendations in each of the identified areas. In this fashion, capacity building plan was developed, which included competency area, priority, challenges, recommended actions, means of verifications, responsibility, timeframe, and estimated cost and source.
The participating CSOs were Human Rights Awareness & development Centre (HURADEC, Dolakha), Development Exchange Centre (DEC-Nepal, Chitwan), Society for Humanism Nepal (SOCH Nepal, Kathmandu), Indreni Rural Development Centre (IRDC, Kapilvastu), and Integrated Rural Development Society, Gulmi).