Implementing participatory approach among board members and staffs, MITRA Samaj identified institutional strength and areas of improvement of five CSOs and facilitated them to develop their institutional improvement plan for the next phase of CS:MAP.
On different dates throughout April and May, MITRA Samaj conducted Organisation Capacity Assessments (OCA) of five CSOs of CS:MAP (Civil Society: Mutual Accountability Project) and supported them to develop their Institutional Improvement Plan (IIP) for next phase of the project.
Capacity Development Specialists of MITRA Samaj Karna Bahadur Nepali and Project Officer Mandira Maharjan conducted participatory OCA and identified the strength and areas of improvement of CSOs in 39 sub-domains of main seven institutional domains, which includes Governance, Administration, Human Resource Management, Financial Management, Organisational Management, Program Management, and External Relations.
Processes implemented to assess the organizational capacity in above-mentioned domains included pre-assessment, staff interviews, document review, capacity domain scoring, prioritization and plenary review, and assessment conclusion.
To solicit as much input about the critical organizational strengths and areas for improvement as possible and to verify capacity self-assessment scores to-be produced by the participants from CSOs in the entire OCA processes, the facilitation team started the assessment by interviewing board members and staffs of each CSO—selected on the basis of seniority, gender, and ethnicity—which was followed by reviewing organizational policies and other relevant financial, administrative and programmatic documents.
The assessment was furthered by dividing participants from each CSO into two groups where they were facilitated to read the indicators defined under organization assessment domains distributed to them and were facilitated to determine the stage of their individual organization against the development continuum under each of the capacity domain and sub-domain. The participants were then instructed to score the organizational capacity with the enumeration of half and full points. Following the facilitation in bringing the two groups into a mutual negotiation, the negotiated number, along with capacity domain scores produced by each group were enumerated in Negotiated Score Format and OCA Calculation Sheet.
In the next step, the participants were facilitated to explore each capacity domain and subsection in order to determine areas of highest priority of improvement. Participants were then facilitated to score the priorities from ‘1 to 4’ in an order of lowest to highest priority, followed by agreeing into a mutual conclusion. The negotiated numbers were then entered into OCA Calculation Sheet in order to produce organizational profile highlighting high and low levels of priorities. Displaying in this fashion, the facilitators then led a plenary discussion validating the assessment findings to this point.
On the final day, participants from each CSO were then facilitated to develop Institutional Improvement Plan (IIP) for a year, which outlined improvement objectives that are aligned with CS: MAP’s overall goals.
The participating CSOs were Human Rights Awareness & development Centre (HURADEC, Dolakha), Community Development Centre-Nepal (CDC, Nuwakot), Development Exchange Centre (DEC-Nepal, Chitwan), Indreni Rural Development Centre (IRDC, Kapilvastu), and Integrated Rural Development Society, Gulmi).