ABOUT NNGO CAT

South Sudanese National organization’s institutional capacity is an item that has been debated in various discussions and has given rise to multiple capacity building initiatives among both National and international actors in South Sudan. Through the periphery of opinions on National NGO capacity in South Sudan, it remains clear that the description of capacity as it relates to National NGOs differs on several levels to the perceptions nurtured by international agencies however what remains firmly unchallenged is the fact that levels of institutional capacity among National NGOs in South Sudan vary tremendously from one agency to another.

The NNGO data verification analysis report relays that between 2005 and 2012, National NGOs have been a part of numerous institutional capacity building initiatives mostly through partnerships with International NGOs, however these trainings were designed mostly with the objective of enhancing the National NGOs capacity as sub grantees to be able to respond to donor programming requirements better and not nurture self-sustaining growth among National NGOs and as such National NGOs often find themselves in a state of limbo when the grant comes to an end. This cycle has on many cases set in motion a donor driven/INGO partner driven agenda for National NGO capacity building. It is paramount that National NGOs as institutions take ownership of their own needs identification mechanisms and organization growth.

Through various round table discussions within the National NGO capacity building working group of the South Sudan NGO forum, it’s been realized that the general opinion among state and non-state actors that National NGOs generally do not have capacity has always had a detrimental effect on National NGO development and opportunities in South Sudan, therefore it became necessary to develop a Nationally recognized capacity assessment tool which would serve as a self-evaluation tool that helps local organizations vet themselves and identify the areas of their institution that need development and support as well as determine what level of organizational growth they have attained and need to attain. Upon that spirit, the National NGO capacity building working group undertook the task of spear heading the process of developing a National NGO capacity Assessment tool that aims at;

  1. Putting in place a common standard upon which NNGO capacity can be measured
  2. Adding uniformity to National organization evaluation
  3. Helping establish the level of capacity building needed by each NNGO
  4. Strengthening efficiency of INGO and NNGO partnerships

The National NGO capacity building working group agreed on eight steps of achieving this goal, that is;

  1. Receiving endorsement from the NNGO steering committee for the go ahead of the process
  2. Conducting a survey among the NGO forum constituents to establish the level of interest to the exercise and adoptability of the final product by the NGO forum constituents.
  3. Amass a task force to drive the process
  4. Develop the NNGO capacity assessment tool
  5. Invite a representative from the NGO quality Assurance Certification Mechanism (QUAM) of Uganda for case study review, best practice sharing and learning from an already existing NGO capacity assessment mechanism in the region.
  6. Present the first draft to the National Directors and Country Directors group for comments and edits
  7. Get endorsement from NGO forum constituents on the final product
  8. Distribute and promote the final product

CAT Progress Cycle


DATE

ACTIVITY

MAY 2012

1st  CAT Meeting

JULY 2012

CAT Methodology discussion

AUG 2012

CAT survey & liaison with QUAM

SEPT 2012

Review CAT survey report & Action points

NOV 2012

CAT Implementation plan discussion

DEC 2012

1st CAT Draft designed

MARCH 2013

1st CAT Working group review of CAT draft

JUNE 2013

2nd CAT Draft review , CAT Work plan review and Implementation strategy discussion

APRIL 2014

3rd CAT Draft review

AUG 2014

CAT Test run

In order to produce a thorough and high quality document, it was agreed by the Capacity development working group that the tool should be tested through Organisational Capacity Assessments conducted on selected National NGOs. Therefore, the CAT was piloted with the help of four National NGOs who volunteered to test the tool against their institutional systems to help, identify its gaps, review and polish the CAT as well as write a report documenting the testing process and findings.

The four volunteer National NGOs were;

  1. The Health Support Organisation (THESO)
  2. South Sudan Grassroots Initiatives for Development (SSGID)
  3. South Sudan Older People’s Organization (SSOPO)
  4. Catholic Radio Network (CRN)

 

The testing exercise established a number of findings categorized into strengths and weaknesses of the CAT and User Guide, and a number of changes were made to the two documents to improve them. Based on observations made during the testing exercise, recommendations were generated to be considered in implementation of the tool.

For purposes of ease of administration/application of the tool, it was agreed to produce a a web based solution to automate the NNGO Capacity assessment process based on Open Web Application development Frame Works and databases.