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Organisational viability - SECTOR - Regional Environmental Center by wuyunyi

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									                                      Supporting
                                    Environmental
                                    Civil Society
                                    Organisations
                                   in South Eastern
                                        Europe




    Organisational Viability Support
          Call for Applications
                       RELEASE JANUARY 22, 2007
                        SZENTENDRE, HUNGARY



  The deadlines of this call are relevant for Croatia. For Albania, Bosnia and
   Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro,
Serbia and Kosovo (territory under interim UN administration) only the general
information is valid; the particular deadlines will be announced in March 2007.




                                                                              1
Table of Contents
Summary ............................................................................................................. 3
Background ......................................................................................................... 4
  Call for applications for organisational viability support for CSOs .............................. 4
  SECTOR Programme...................................................................................................... 4
Organisational viability ...................................................................................... 5
  What is organisational viability? .................................................................................... 5
  What is an organisational assessment tool (OAT)? ........................................................ 5
  OAT Components ........................................................................................................... 6
  Organisational assessment process ................................................................................. 7
  Benefits ........................................................................................................................... 8
Application .......................................................................................................... 8
  Target Group ................................................................................................................... 8
  Requirements/selection criteria ....................................................................................... 9
  Application deadline ....................................................................................................... 9
Annex A: Recommendations to CSOs ............................................................ 11
Annex B: Organisational viability support application form for CSOs .......... 13




                                                                                                                                 2
Summary

Call for applications for organisational viability support
Target         Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in seven South Eastern
groups         Europe (SEE) territories: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
               Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,
               Montenegro, and Serbia, plus Kosovo (territory under interim
               UN administration).
               Organisations working on urban environment and
               sustainability issues are particularly targetted.
Available      Organisational viability support aims to help CSOs strengthen
support        themselves as organisations by helping them to assess their
               organisational strengths and weaknesses and then design
               and get part funding for an organisational development plan.
               Hence, the interested CSOs will have the opportunity to:
                  use the organisational assessment tool (OAT) to self-
                    assess their organisational internal capacities,
                  design a organisational development plan (ODP) for
                    the organisation with the aim to strengthen its viability
                  to win a organisational viability grant (OVG) which will
                    help the organisation to implement part of the
                    development plan
               REC will also assist this process by assigning each selected
               organisation a trainer/mentor who will support the CSO
               throughout the assessment process.

Process        The organisational viability support project will run in Croatia
               from January 2007 to July 2008, with the following steps and
               deadlines:
                   Call for CSOs application: release on January 22, 2007
                   Application submission deadline from interested CSOs:
                      March 5, 2007
                   Applications evaluation meeting: March 12, 2007
                   Training of trainers: March 2007
                   Self-assessment process: April- May 2007
                   Design of the Development Plans: May-June 2007
                   Submission of development plans: June 29, 2007
                   Award of viability grant: August 2007
                   Implementation of development plan: August 2007 –
                      July 2008
               The project will also run in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
               the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro,
               Serbia, and Kosovo (territory under interim UN administration)
               starting with Summer 2007. The deadlines for applications will
               be announced in march 2007.




                                                                              3
Funds             The total available organisational viability grant money for
available         Croatia is EUR 35,000.


Support           Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern
organisation      Europe


Donor             Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
                  (Sida)




Background

Call for applications for
organisational viability support for CSOs
The Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC), with the
support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida),
hereby announces the launch of the Organisational Viability Component of the
SECTOR Programme to support environmental civil society organisations (CSOs) in
South Eastern Europe (SEE).

Through this assistance scheme the REC aims to assist in the strengthening of the
internal capacities of a number of civil society organisations (CSOs) in each SEE
country with the aim to make them stronger and more viable institutions by offering
support in the form of:
     an (assisted) self-assessment process,
     assistance for the design of a development plan for the organisation, and
     for selected CSOs, a small grant for the partial implementation of this plan.

The REC will also train a number of local facilitators (speaking the local language)
skilled in self-assessment as well as business planning who will be then available to
assist each CSO in all phases of the process.

SECTOR Programme
In April 2006, the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe
(REC) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
launched an ambitious project in support of environmental civil society. The project
— called SECTOR: Supporting Environmental Civil Society Organisations in South
Eastern Europe — aims to promote the development of a vibrant and democratic
environmental civil society within South Eastern European countries in order to
positively influence society towards sustainable development and improved living
conditions in urban areas. This project will last for four years and includes SEK 37
million (EUR 3.7 million) for project implementation, of which EUR 1.73 million will
be in direct financial support for CSOs.


                                                                                        4
In the first phase of the programme, an assessment was conducted among
environmental civil society organisations to formulate a clearer picture of the state of
environmental CSOs in the target region. Many of the development needs identified
through the assessment are being addressed by activities falling under the three
components of SECTOR:
     organisational viability support (the subject of this announcement);
     project support (grants); and
     networking assistance and training.

Through this programme, the REC and Sida are aiming towards:
    strengthened environmental civil society organisations by building
       independent institutions and developing organisations’ skills and viability;
    increasing awareness in communities regarding conditions and possible
       solutions to problems in the environment sector (particularly environment and
       health burdens in urban areas);
    activating actors in environmental civil society by providing information and
       building links between environment and development in other sectors and
       between other stakeholders and ensuring wider participation in environmental
       decision-making at the national and local levels; and
    strengthening environmental civil society to promote positive environmental
       changes through networking, lobbying, public participation, advocacy and
       serving as a watchdog on government and industry.
More information is available at: <http://www.rec.org/sector/default.html>.


Organisational viability
What is organisational viability?
What is meant by organisational viability? Basically it means that the organisation, in
this case your environmental group, has the ability to continue to deliver its projects
and services and reach the outcomes that are intended and foreseen by its mission).
Although a big influence on the viability of an organisation is exercised by external
conditions, the SECTOR Programme focuses only on the CSOs themselves.

What is an organisational assessment tool (OAT)?
The REC’s OAT is an effective method for assessment of internal capacities of an
organisation in the areas of strategic leadership, human resources, financial
management, organisational processes, programme management, infrastructure, and
inter-organisational linkages. This is not a new methodology to assess the capacities
of organisations and indeed many tools exist already – some of them having been
used as inspiration to design this one. However, the innovative aspect of the REC’s
tool is that it is designed considering the particular needs of environmental CSOs in
SEE and that it doesn’t end with the “diagnosis” (self-assessment) process. The
datasheets record the status of the seven capacity areas but also offer various follow-
up (development) scenarios which will help each organisation to plan for
improvement of weak areas and also build upon their strengths.




                                                                                           5
A regional survey of environmental CSOs in the SEE region was performed during
the inception phase of the SECTOR programme. It led to some important conclusions
regarding the state of the CSOs, which in turn led to recommendations for the CSOs’
further development and work. The recommendations made are directed not only
towards CSOs but also donors, development agencies and governmental bodies.

These recommendations together with the more specific ones available for each
country/territory were utilised during the preparation of the OAT and the relevant
assistance package (OAT manual, training component and granting process), which
form the basis of the organisational viability support project.

OAT Components
The organisational assessment tool can be used by any organisation in SEE (see
Target Group for details) that wishes to assess its internal capacities and to design a
development plan. If you represent such an organisation these are the steps you will
follow within this programme:

I. Pre-assessment: In order to qualify for the organisational viability support you
need to fill out an application form (attached to this call). Besides the basic
information needed about the organisation, you will need to show the organisational
motivation and commitment to the process (why would your organisation/staff like to
be part of this support)? Nevertheless, even if you are not selected to be part of the
group that receives assistance from the REC you can use the OAT freely. The OAT is
available together with a manual with clear instructions on its use.

II. Self-assessment: On selection, your organisation will go through the self-
assessment stage. This part is a participatory measurement of organisational
performances through benchmarking of capacities. Your organisation’s staff,
members or volunteers in consensus (with the support of a facilitator) will carry out a
discussion-oriented organisational self-assessment. Although this reflects the
perceived status of capacities and could be judged as subjective, the fact that it is not
an external audit but one carried out internally (with the facilitator’s assistance) will
bring increased ownership of the results and commitment to addressing capacity areas
that need attention and development. Lastly, the main advantage of the assessment is
that it will not only show the weaknesses of your organisation but also its core
strengths, which can be further reinforced and built upon.

The self-assessment consists of a list of statements, or “perfect scenarios,” under a
number of components which cover one organisational area. These areas are:
    strategic leadership;
    human resources;
    financial management;
    organisational processes;
    programme management;
    infrastructure; and
    inter-organisational linkages.




                                                                                          6
Each statement will be assessed by your group and given a score. A final average in
the particular areas will show the current status and clarify where the priority
intervention points are.

III. Datasheet: The data gathered on the existing status of the organisational
capacities and the discussion points made during the self-assessment will be recorded
in a datasheet. Each datasheet will collect the information relevant to each of the
seven organisational capacity areas and will form the basis of the prioritisation of
organisational improvements. Moreover, the datasheet will provide specific scenarios
on how the improvements may be made, such as processes which need to be applied
or improved in the organisation, trainings or workshops for key staff, as well as
specific steps of implementation, investments needs and costs.

IV. Development plan: Your organisation will be able to use the information
provided by each of the datasheets and prioritise the implementation steps which will
ultimately be compiled into a development plan. In addition, the REC has some seed
funds available to assist some of the groups that have developed the OD plans to
cover some of the costs of the improvement measures.

Organisational assessment process

Those organisations that wish to go through the organisational viability support will
be expected to use the organisational assessment tool, after which they can apply to
receive a organisational viability grant to implement some of the activities decided in
the development plan. If your organisation wishes to go through this process you will
be taking the following steps:

Application phase: In order to apply for organisational viability support you will
need to fill out an application form (attached to this call document).

Preparation phase: Following this announcement, the REC will receive applications
from those CSOs interested in going through the assisted assessment process using the
OAT. The REC will then select approximately 10 CSOs in each country. The target
group and selection criteria are presented in detail below. The preparation phase will
also include the selection and training of appropriate facilitators to assist the
organisations throughout the process.

Self-assessment phase: Each selected CSO will go though the discussion-oriented
organisational self-assessment process in a normal workshop setting with the help of a
facilitator provided by the REC. This phase can last from a few hours to a couple of
days depending on the CSO’s capacity to complete all the steps of the self-assessment
and will take place at the CSO’s office/meeting place.

Development plan preparation phase: The CSOs with the assistance of the
facilitator will design a development plan that has as a main objective the long-term
viability of the organisation and will be based on the findings of the assessment. Each
organisation will have available a determined amount of time (several weeks) to
design the development plan and this process will be aided by both the facilitators and
the OAT materials, which provide ideas through suggested scenarios of development


                                                                                        7
as well as helpful templates. The development plans will have short-, medium- and
long-term scenarios, a clear timeline, investment needs and costs.

Selection of development plans phase: In this phase the interested CSOs that have
finalised their development plans will submit them to the OAT team in the REC and
an advisory committee will recommend which should be further supported with an
organisational viability grant. The organisational viability grant will vary depending
on the priorities identified in the development plan and can be up to EUR 7,000.

Development plan implementation phase: In the final phase the CSOs selected will
receive their organisational viability grant and extra capacity-building support, as well
as monitoring and evaluation. This phase can last up to 18 months and the OAT team
will closely follow the implementation of the development plans and assist the CSOs
throughout.

Benefits
There are a number of benefits for those organisations that undertake the
organisational assessment process:
    the chance to evaluate your organisation’s capacities in a participatory manner,
       resulting in a thorough assessment of your organisation’s internal capacities
       (showing strengthens and weaknesses);
    a tailored development plan for enhancement of your organisation’s internal
       capacities for the short-, medium- and long-term, with a clear timeline, list of
       investment needs and cost estimates;
    the opportunity to win a grant for partial funding of implementation of the
       development plan (real core funds for organisational development and not
       linked to project activities); and
    strengthened skills for organisational assessment and making organisational
       changes.



Application
Target Group
Environmental CSOs (defined below) in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia,
the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo
[territory under interim UN administration]. Particular emphasis will be given to those
organisations that work in the fields of urban environment or urban sustainability.

The definition of an environmental civil society organisation: an organisation
officially registered as such or an otherwise clearly identifiable group of citizens or
other public association that:
     does not act as an official governmental body;
     is a not-for-profit entity (i.e. non-commercial);
     functions at the local, regional, national and/or international level;
     has a main purpose related to the promotion of one or more of the following:
     protection and conservation of the environment;


                                                                                          8
      the sustainable use of natural resources and renewables;
      traditional cultural values and knowledge leading to a decrease in society’s
       environmental impact;
      environmentally friendly development, policies and projects;
      governance principles leading to the creation of an enabling environment for
       environmental protection and sustainable development (e.g. anti-corruption
       measures, transparency, accountability, and public participation).
      has a presence in public life, outside of family structures, expressing the
       interests and values of their members or others, based on ethical, cultural,
       political, scientific, or philanthropic considerations.

Requirements/selection criteria
The SECTOR Programme aims to promote the development of a vibrant and
democratic environmental civil society in South Eastern European countries, in order
to positively influence society towards sustainable development and improved living
conditions in urban areas.

You are encouraged to apply for the organisational viability support if you are:

      a civil society organisation (see definition above);
      based in the following territories of South Eastern Europe (SEE): Albania,
       Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslavian Republic of
       Macedonia, Montenegro, or Serbia, including Kosovo (currently under UN
       interim administration);
      registered and active for the past two years (minimum);
      working at the local level and have a proven record of work with/for the
       community;

      working in the urban environment and/or sustainability field(s) and can
       demonstrate a continuing programme of activity in this/these issue(s);
      willing (motivated) to go through the whole assessment process and
       implement the recommended changes;
      willing to work closer and be more relevant to citizens in their communities;
      willing to serve as a model for effectiveness and sustainability of civil society
       organisations in the future; and
      able to share the knowledge gained during the process with other similar
       organisations.


Application deadline
In order to be considered for organisational viability support please complete the
attached application form (Annex B) and send it together with a copy of the official
registration of the CSO and the financial statement of your CSO for 2005 and 2006 to
the relevant project manager in the REC country office in your own country/territory
(see the local language announcements for contact persons).
The deadlines presented in this call are relevant only for Croatian CSOs. They have to
apply by March 5, 2007 to REC Croatia.



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Contact person:
Dalia Matijevic
REC Croatia
E-mail: Dalia@rec-croatia.hr
Tel: +385 1 4810 844

More information on the REC’s organisational viability support can be obtained (in
English) from:
Adriana Craciun
REC HO Szentendre
E-mail: Adriana@rec.org
Tel: +36 26 504 068




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Annex A: Recommendations to CSOs

Recommendations based on regional survey and analysis of the
environmental CSOs in the SEE region

The following recommendations were made for the improvement and
development of CSOs
   Many CSOs could benefit from assessing their strategic leadership
    capacities and internal administrative procedures and development and
    implementation of appropriate organisational development plans which will
    improve their effectiveness and efficiency.
   Further capacity building and support to help CSOs to comply with donor
    requirements should be provided, or a “watering down” of requirements
    should be considered. Contacts and dialogue with donors about
    programming and implementation to be able to get involved more
    efficiently is important. Yet, CSOs need to adhere to their missions and
    goals and not vary their activities to follow funding opportunities.
   Where applicable, CSOs will need to prepare strategies for the funding
    conditions that will prevail after EU accession. They will need to work more
    on self-financing approaches, especially in the countries where this is
    feasible (e.g., Croatia). Promotion and awareness raising of self-financing
    strategies should be performed by support organisations to encourage
    further diversification of the resource base. CSOs should take greater
    advantage of tax opportunities for corporate and individual giving (e.g., in
    Montenegro). Information campaigns and training programmes are needed
    to improve the understanding of the legal framework for taxation.
   CSOs need to build their capacities especially in fundraising,
    communications, networking, and self-assessment. Significant assistance
    is needed for fundraising strategies so that they can contribute to
    broadening their resource base.
   CSOs need to develop their communication and PR in order to build a
    better public image (e.g., to attract more public support and volunteers for
    the organisations). CSOs need to overcome communication gaps and
    raise awareness about their role in society by being more transparent and
    accountable. They need to develop advocacy skills to assist the
    community in their needs, get closer to the public and involve citizens
    when designing and carrying out their activities.
   CSOs must take steps to demonstrate to the wider community the benefits
    of the groups’ activities to the environment. CSOs should enter into
    dialogue/discussion with authorities about developing/using formal and
    informal ways of CSO involvement, cooperation and presentation of
    different decision-making and advisory bodies. CSOs and municipalities
    should be more active in creating conditions for better cooperation at local
    level. The capacity of NGOs needs to be increased to have more


                                                                             11
    cooperative projects between CSOs and the government at different
    levels.
   CSOs need more expert staff. This can be accomplished either by training
    existing staff or by hiring. Thus donors and support organisations should
    help ECSOs, through aid programmes, to cover staff salaries, staff
    development etc.
   CSOs should proactively build a common platform to lobby with the
    authorities in order to be accepted as partners. They should seek to
    establish cooperative bodies or regular forums for dialogue at the national,
    regional and local levels. Rules and criteria should be developed regarding
    the different bodies for cooperation with the CSOs in case they are
    established.
   To improve their image, CSOs should become more transparent, build up
    their professionalism, and develop their areas of expertise. In order to
    secure the citizens’ trust, CSOs should strive to be more visible,
    accountable and transparent and show the results of their work.
   CSOs should strengthen their know-how in education about the
    environment and sustainable development; forestry; rural development;
    tourism, sustainable tourism and eco-tourism; and waste issues.
   CSOs should be encouraged and trained to exert pressure on the
    government to keep and disseminate accurate data on the state of
    environment, environmental permits and environmental impact
    assessment reports.
   CSOs need to make more efforts to work with companies – particularly
    foreign ones – to increase corporate philanthropy and awareness of it.
    CSOs should look for ways of forming partnerships and with the private
    sector early on for initiatives or on issues of mutual benefit and to reach
    win-win outcomes.
   Support organisations need to provide tailored capacity building for CSOs
    in order to respond to their specific needs. Donors and support
    organisations should encourage cooperation and communication among
    environmental CSOs in order to foster better relationship and less
    competition.




                                                                             12
Annex B: Organisational viability support
application form for CSOs
Application is available on-line at www.rec.org. Application review starts March 12.
The deadline for applications is March 5, 2007.


NGO information:
CSO name
Country
Fields of activity




Registration
number
Registration date
Telephone
Fax
E-mail address
Web site
Postal address




Bank name
Account number
Bank SWIFT code
Name of
executive
director/president




Information relevant for the assessment process
Type of organisation
(i.e. association, foundation,


                                                                                   13
public organisation, etc.)
Number of full time staff
(paid)
Number of part time staff
(paid)
Number of members
Number of volunteers
Information about your CSO
activities highlighting the
following

      work with/for the
       community

      work in the urban
       environment and/or
       urban sustainable
       development fields

(max. 250 words)



Plans for future work in the
areas mentioned above
(max. 250 words)




Information about your
NGO’s financial status
(i.e. annual accounts, income
per annum, expenditures, any
fixed or movable assets,
income-generating activities,
etc.)


                                14
Previous organisational
assessment processes your
CSO has undergone
(dates, type of assessments,
results)




Motives for undergoing the
REC organisational viability
process
(150-250 words)




Signature of the executive director/president

____________________________________________________________

Contact person (if different):

____________________________________________________________




Submitting application
Please submit the following documents by March 5, 2007:
1. this application form with all fields completed and with a signature clearly visible
   (scanned signature is acceptable);
2. a copy of the official registration of the CSO; and
3. financial statements of your CSO for 2005 and 2006.

Send documents as e-mail attachments to Dalia Matijevic <dalia@rec-croatia.hr>
or by fax to (385-1) 481-0774. Receipt of your application will be acknowledged.
You may send hard copies of the registration and financial forms if convenient to:

Dalia Matijevic


                                                                                     15
REC Croatia
Djordjiceva 8a Br.
10000 Zagreb
Croatia




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