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Norad Report 4/2007 Review

Organisational Performance Review of Norwegian People’s Aid Synthesis Report


Norad Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation P.O. Box 8034 Dep, NO-0030 OSLO Ruseløkkveien 26, Oslo, Norway Phone: +47 22 24 20 30 Fax: +47 22 24 20 31 Layout and print: ISBN 978-82-7548-208-0 ISSN 1502-2528


Organisational Performance Review of Norwegian People’s Aid

Synthesis Report

Oslo, May 2007

Review by Stein-Erik Kruse & Kim Forss, Centre for Health and Social Development (HeSo) In Collaboration with Turid Arnegaard Nora Ingdal Randi Lotsberg


Acknowledgement

This review of Norwegian People’s Aid builds on many sources of information. We started with reading through a broad range of documents – plans, reports and evaluations to get a better understanding and perspective of what NPA wanted to achieve and its results. The next step was to interview staff at NPA Head Office in Oslo and in parallel a web based survey was carried out among staff and board members. The collection of information was concluded with studies in two countries: Mozambique and Ecuador. We would like to express our gratitude to all the people and organisations who took of their time to meet us and who patiently answered all our questions in Oslo, Mozambique and Ecuador. We would also like to thank NPA for organizing meetings in Oslo and in particular for efficient support from Eva Haaland. This has been a participatory review – a collaboration between Norad, NPA and two external consultants: Nora Ingdal – a former staff member representing NPA, Turid Arnegaard and Randi Lotsberg from Norad and Kim Forss and Stein-Erik Kruse from HeSo. The Mozambique team consisted of Randi, Nora and Stein-Erik while Turid, Kim and Stein-Erik were members of the Ecuador team. We were well supported with translation and help to understand country contexts by Fernanda Mausse in Mozambique and Cristina Santacruz in Ecuador. It has been a participatory review, but Norad decided to let the two external consultants be responsible for preparing the Country Reports and Synthesis Report. All members have commented on and made contributions to the reports, but Kim and Stein-Erik are responsible for the interpretation of data, assessment and conclusions.


Executive Summary

i

Executive Summary Background Norad has decided to review the organisational performance of major Norwegian NGOs. Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) is one of the five largest NGOs in Norway receiving significant funding from both Norad and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This review is focusing on NPA’s development activities, funded by Norad. According to Terms of Reference, Norad will in dialogue with Norwegian NGOs increasingly focus on strategic issues and results and not on individual projects. The review should make it possible to include findings and recommendations for the dialogue about a new cooperation agreement between Norad and NPA from 2008. The review team has interviewed management and staff at NPA Head Office in Oslo, visited two countries (Ecuador and Mozambique) and two regional offices (Latin America and South Africa). A self assessment survey was sent out to all staff and board members , and we have studied documents such as strategies, programme and project documents and evaluations. The review was undertaken between December 2006 and April 2007. Identity and Strategy NPA is a complex organisation. It is not easy to understand initially as it has many roles and mandates and is working in many different fields. This complexity has several advantages; it makes the organisation flexible, dynamic and effective. But there is a risk that it can lack focus and priorities. Two core values sustain the organisational culture, the idea of international solidarity with marginalized groups and the necessity of political change. Against that background, NPA can handle its various missions and roles, but needs to make a determined effort to communicate its identity to external stakeholders. The strategy document from 2003 covering the period 2004-2007 is an important document for NPA. It is well known at all levels of the organisation. It has provided direction and guidance on NPA’s international work and made an impact on how the organisation is working at country level. NPA has made significant moves towards a rights based approach to development. But the idea of partnership seems more anchored in the organisation than the understanding of a rights based approach. The latter is still in transition. There is a broad consensus among staff that the future global strategy should build on the former with no major changes – only providing clearer direction.

The strategy has been partially implemented and there are significant changes at country and regional levels. Still, there are too many themes and cross-cutting issues. It has been particularly difficult to integrate gender and equity issues, HIV/AIDS and environmental concerns. We found no systematic reporting on the results of the cross cutting issues. The strategic objectives and the mission are clear, but there are a number of strategic decisions that are of a managerial nature, for example concerning country choices, regional structures, systems development, etc. that are not documented as part of the organisation’s strategic choices. Organisation and Resources NPA Head Office faces several financial challenges. The international operations are less affected, but there has been a shift from more longterm financing to shorter contracts for emergency assistance and operational activities. It is mainly Norad that provides long term funding for the partnership and rights based approach development which are the focus of the strategy – and these financial resources make up a smaller share of the total today, compared with 2004. Human resource management is strong at providing incentives and there is a highly appreciated policy for gender and equity. Staff turnover is low and in some cases the competence profile of the organisation does not fully reflect the challenges NPA faces in its solidarity work. In particular, there seems to be a need for people with more administrative and management skills. The approaches to learning and knowledge management need to be developed. They are ad hoc but need to be strengthened, made more systematic, and with targets and responsibilities for achievement. There are many systems in the organisation, but several are not followed or they are applied differently in different parts of the organisation. Large investments in for example monitoring and evaluation have simply not been put to use as they were inappropriate. This reflects poorly on the organisation’s capacity to understand its own formal and informal modes of operation and to define and implement changes. Decentralised application of systems is fine in theory and practice, but there should be reasons and logic to the variety. Reports from partners provide information mainly on activities. These can be made shorter and more effective, but the main problem is that the reports do not say much about project results and achievements of the stated objectives of the cooperation. There is little overall structure to the evaluation activities. Some reports have been


Executive Summary commissioned and those that we saw were of a reasonably high quality. But the weak link is the use of both monitoring and evaluation for aggregate information on results. Financial management systems have changed considerably and are far more effective today than in 2004. The organisational structure has also changed and so have the patterns of communication. The operations in Latin America appear to have become more efficient and effective, with indications of strong team work, mutual learning and strategic development, and strengthened administration. It is less certain if other parts of the organisation has benefited as much from the new regional structure. Partnerships and Alliances NPA has become a partner NGO working mainly with and through a broad range of mainly civil society organisations. Compared to many other Norwegian NGOs, NPA has come a long way in its thinking on what partnerships entail. There is also clear evidence that NPA works effectively with partners and that it is seen as a stable and good partner. Our data also show that many consider that NPA acts in a transparent manner and shares information with others. NPA may have too many partners. There is a limit to how many organisations NPA can maintain a close dialogue and active collaboration with. A partnership is mainly defined in one ideal way for how it should begin and continue without sufficiently distinguishing between different forms of partnerships. The distinction between strategic partners and project partners is not clear. The substantive dialogue between NPA and its partners is weak – to some extent avoiding difficult and sensitive issues. There is a clear message from partners in countries visited that NPA should be more proactively engaged. There is also limited reflection on the mutuality of partnerships - what roles the two sides of a partnership relation should have, what rules should apply to each side and what rights and duties each partner have. The approach to organisational development could be systematised and strengthened. It is a problem that much of what is presented as capacity strengthening is only scratching the surface of organisational change. NPA staff spends limited time with each partner – sufficient for supervision, administrative monitoring and consultation, but not for facilitating and supporting processes of organisational development. It is not always clear whether partnerships for NPA are an end in themselves or seen as instruments to reach other ends. Project objectives refer to strengthening organisations, and thus, when the

ii objectives are accomplished, the result is strengthened organisations rather than achieving purposes outside the organisational realm. Results The review was asked to assess relevance, effectiveness and sustainability of results. These are all three complex aggregate terms and any discussion of them must be grounded in practice and in evidence of results. One major problem is that many of the staff members in NPA are highly process oriented, and while processes are useful instruments it is – in the final end – not the processes that should be measured but what is achieved through the processes. NPA management works to change the process orientation, but this is a hard task where much work remains to be done. Most of the time one cannot answer questions about relevance, impact and sustainability with a simple “yes” or “no”. As much as we found evidence in favour of these three attributes, there are also question marks, and at times we also saw examples of low effectiveness and little sustainability. This suggests that when the organisation seeks to know about its results, it must strive for qualitative and reliable evidence rather than “quick and dirty” measures. It is not impossible to assess and measure progress against the objectives of NPA, but it is a complex task that needs relevant indicators and well planned methods for collecting information. NPA’s ability to provide effective aid The terms of reference state that the purpose of this review is to examine NPA’s ability to provide effective aid, meaning cost efficient use of funds, results in accordance with approved plans, relevance to final recipients, and ability to achieve its own goals. The four abilities we discuss above indicate whether NPA can fulfill these tasks. In sum we found: NPA is a cost efficient organisation. The total number of staff members is low and programme staff handle large amounts of money per capita. Financial management systems are effective and it is an organisation with low transaction costs due to informal systems, strong sense of shared values, and low staff turnover. Results in accordance with approved plans. NPA has several layers of planning. The internal planning system is effective, and there is a frank and useful follow up of results. Planning with partners is focused on the contract with agreements, specified objectives and expected results. These are followed up and the activities are usually well accounted for. However, the reports do not focus on results, and there is not much aggregation from activities and outputs to outcomes and impact. Many staff members, as well as partners themselves


Executive Summary

iii

know about results, but there is little systematic evidence to support their assessments.

program, design a monitoring framework and set priorities for evaluations.

Relevance to final recipients is high. The activities are well in line with international agreements that form the contractual framework for a rights based approach to development. The activities are also well in line with Norwegian policies for development cooperation. The review did not find any examples of activities that were not relevant, but on the other hand there was some examples where the political and social situations had changed and hence what was relevant has also changed.

The review recommends that Norad enter into negotiations with NPA about a new frame agreement from 2008. NPA is assessed to have the policies, organisational systems and resources and partners to deliver effective aid. However, there is scope for improvements and Norad is recommended to follow the progress of NPA in three areas that are of particular importance:

Ability to achieve its own goals. NPA has many goals at programme and project level and in specific partnerships. It cannot reach all of them but it probably reaches many, but exactly how many is hard to tell as there is little aggregate information that is valid and reliable. This review has repeatedly noted that the many of the goals stated in the agreements can be reached in the long term, but are not realistic to state as goals in one year contracts, or even in four year programs. Recommendations The review recommends that NPA revises its global policy and strategy document as a policy document (differentiate between policy and strategy) focusing on: a rights based approach to development, partnerships, a political solidarity perspective and not more than three thematic areas. It is also important that NPA maintains its flexible and responsive support and ability to adapt goals and means to specific contexts. Finally NPA needs to explain and clarify its multiple objectives and different approaches and working methods. Furthermore, it is recommended that NPA prepare brief operational strategies at global and regional levels: providing a holistic overview of all activities within a geographic area irrespective of source of funding, explaining the selection of countries, thematic priorities and partners, justifying the allocation of resources between countries, partners and programmes, and describing the organisational set up and support from NPA including human and technical support It is also recommended that NPA should continue and strengthen its organisational development, first and foremost: knowledge management and organisational learning to ascertain that staff members develop professionally and share experiences; secondly, clarify decision making processes and define responsibilities for key strategic decisions, and thirdly, develop a policy for monitoring and evaluation, reassign responsibility for this function, allocate funds within a four year

• The programming structure and what regional programmes, country programs, projects, and subprojects consist of. The organizing framework needs to be made simple, understandable and transparent. • The ability of NPA and its partners to set goals, objectives, and expected results, that are realistic and that can be achieved within the period of the activities that are supported. • The systems of monitoring and evaluation so that there will be valid and reliable evidence of results. In each of these three areas Norad and NPA should agree on a process of organisational change within NPA, with problem oriented studies, proposals for solution, and implementation of changes. All three processes of change should be completed within the next four year cycle. Norad should ask NPA for regular assessment of progress in these respects. Norad should on their hand make sure that level of funding during the frame agreement period is as predictable and consistent as possible. Thematic and geographic priorities agreed to in the plan should be respected and realistic grant application and reporting requirements clarified – in particular in relation to reporting on results.


Table of Contents Acknowledgement ............................................................................................................. 4 Executive Summary ............................................................................................................i Table of Contents............................................................................................................... 4 Acronyms………………………………………………………………………....………5 CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION ......................................................................................................... 1 1.1. Background ................................................................................................................. 1 1.2. Purpose of the Review ................................................................................................ 1 1.3. Assessment Model ...................................................................................................... 2 1.4. Methods....................................................................................................................... 3 1.5. Limitations .................................................................................................................. 5 1.6. Guide to the Reader..................................................................................................... 6 CHAPTER 2: IDENTITY AND PURPOSE ........................................................................................ 7 2.1. NPA’s International Strategy ...................................................................................... 7 2.2. Assessing the Strategy ................................................................................................ 9 2.3. Making Strategic Decisions ...................................................................................... 10 2.4. Understanding Rights based Approach ..................................................................... 11 2.5. Understanding Partnership with Civil Society .......................................................... 13 2.6. From Strategy to Practice.......................................................................................... 14 2.7. Governance and Leadership...................................................................................... 17 2.8. Concluding Remarks................................................................................................. 19 CHAPTER 3: ORGANISATION AND RESOURCES..................................................................... 21 3.1 Human Resource Management .................................................................................. 21 3.2 Systems and Procedures............................................................................................. 24 3.3.Organisational Learning............................................................................................. 33 3.4 Financial Resources ................................................................................................... 35 3.5. Concluding Remarks................................................................................................. 36 CHAPTER 4: PARTNERSHIPS......................................................................................................... 38 4.1. Assessing Partners..................................................................................................... 38 4.2. Selecting Partners...................................................................................................... 39 4.3. Types of Partnerships................................................................................................ 40 4.4. Quality of Partnership ............................................................................................... 42 4.5. Concluding Remarks................................................................................................. 44 CHAPTER 5: ACHIEVEMENTS AND RESULTS.......................................................................... 45 5.1. Understanding of Results .......................................................................................... 45 5.2. Relevance.................................................................................................................. 47 5.3. Effectiveness .............................................................................................................49 5.4. Sustainability............................................................................................................. 51 5.5. Concluding Remarks................................................................................................. 53 CHAPTER 6: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ..................................................... 54 6.1. Conclusion on NPA Abilities.................................................................................... 54 6.2 Conclusions on Effective Aid .................................................................................... 58 6.3. Recommendations..................................................................................................... 59 Annex 1: Terms of Reference .......................................................................................... 61 Annex 2: NPA – A Description ....................................................................................... 72 Annex 3: References ........................................................................................................ 85 Annex 4: People Met........................................................................................................ 87 Annex 5: Review Questions............................................................................................. 90


Acronyms

ADEC ADEMUCHA AUCC CDDC CDDM CID CONAIE CSO DDC DDP DP ECUARUNARI EO FUDEKI HO IBIS ICCI LOT MAP MICC NGO OD ORAM OW (LOT) PARPA PIA PPA RBA RO RR TUEP UBV UCA UNOPAC UPCS UPCT

Organisation for Human Rights and Democracy Association for Development of Women in Changara Cotacachi civil society Assembly Chifunde District Development Committee Maravia District Development Committee Centre for Identity and Development Federation of indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador Civil society organisation District Development Committees District Development Programme Development Programme Federation of Kichwa people of the Andes External Offices (country offices) Kitchwa Legal Defense Fundation Head Office Danish NGO Scientific Institute for Indigenous Culture Laboratorium Organisational of Terraine Mine Action Programme Indigenous and Peasant Movement of Ecuador Non-governmental Organisation Organisational development Rural Association for Mutual Assistance Organisational Workshop Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper in Mozambique Indigenous Parliament of the Americas Participatory Planning Assessment Rights Based Approach Regional Office Resident/Regional Representative Technicians for Ecology Utbildning för biståndsverksamhet (Swedish NGO) Union of Cooperatives and Associations -Niassa Federation of Popular Organisations in Ayora Cayambe Provincial Peasants’ Union – Sofala Provincial Peasants’ Union – Tete


Chapter 1:Introduction

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CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1.1. Background

Norad has decided to review the organisational performance of major Norwegian NGOs providing humanitarian and long-term development support to countries in the South. Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) is one of the five largest NGOs in Norway receiving significant funding from Norad and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This review has been initiated by Norad focussing on NPA’s long-term development activities. It was agreed during the negotiation of the frame agreement for 2004-2007 that such a review should be carried out before the end of the period. Findings and conclusions from this assessment will be used in the dialogue about a new cooperation agreement between Norad and NPA in 2008. NPA presented in 2003 a new strategy for international development – a foundation for the current frame agreement with Norad (2004 to 2007). The strategy defined a change in overall direction - from NPA providing services through operational programmes to a rights based approach with partners in civil society. NPA had followed such an approach in several countries already, but the rights based partner strategy was now to be adopted in all programmes supported by NPA. The organisation is still in a transition. The change to a rights based partner organisation is not yet completed. This review should assess to what extent NPA has moved in the right direction and will be able to complete the shift successfully. Norad prepared a comprehensive Terms of Reference for an organisational review (Appendix 1). Similar assessments are currently underway or have been completed of three other NGOs (Norwegian Church Aid, Norwegian Refugee Council and Care Norway) based on the same approach, but carried out by different consultants. The review was to be implemented in close cooperation with NPA. The team prepared an Inception Report presenting an interpretation and specification of the Terms of Reference. It also included a plan for how the review would be organised and a description of Norwegian People’s Aid – its policy, organisation, funding and utilization of resources etc. which forms the basis for Annex 2 in this report. 1.2. Purpose of the Review

The purpose of the review is to examine NPA’s ability to provide effective aid.1 By effective aid is meant: • • • •

Cost efficient use of funds. Results in accordance with approved plans. Relevance to final recipients. Ability to achieve its own goals.

In other words, this review shall not evaluate the performance and results of individual programmes or projects, but assess NPA’s ability to achieve effective aid given its available financial, human resources, tools and working methods. One of the important tasks will be to assess the relevance and results of the current strategy. Does 1

See Annex 1: Terms of Reference


Chapter 1:Introduction

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it provide sufficiently clear direction and to what extent has it been implemented and contributed to more effective aid? After an overall assessment, Norad should be able to: • Determine whether the organisation has the required systems for management and control of its own activities, including expertise with respect to developing and applying methods and systems for the documentation of results and longterm effects. • Determine whether the organisation’s reports to Norad give a true picture of partners and final recipients and provide Norad with an adequate basis on which to assess further support. • Determine whether the organisation is capable of adapting goals and means to each other, and adapting means and goals to the situation and the context. 1.3. Assessment Model

“The performance of the system for service delivery” is to be assessed. What is required is a model for assessing organisational performance focusing on the organisation as a system – a complex and multi-dimensional entity. The following model is based on the analytical framework presented by Norad in the Terms of Reference and should be seen as an interpretation and specification of the middle triangle called “organisational performance” (See Annex 1). We suggest that NPA needs four key abilities to provide effective aid.2 In other words, NPA needs four groups of capacities which to a large extent determine organisational performance. The four abilities are: • AN ABILITY TO BE – to maintain an identity reflecting agreed purposes, values and strategies, and a leadership to direct and manage the organisation. The question is to what extent NPA knows what it wants to achieve – both in terms of having a clear long-term vision and more short-term objectives and targets. NPA is driven by values and principles which explain and justify the formation of the organisation. To be effective NPA also needs a strategy on how to reach its objectives. Finally, leadership is required to direct and manage human and financial resources. With the changing policy and strategy for NPA, this is particularly important. Does NPA have the relevant strategy and leaders to translate intentions into practice? • AN ABILITY TO ORGANISE - to establish effective managerial systems and procedures, and ensure that human and financial resources are available. A strong and clear identity is necessary, but not sufficient for organisations who want to make a tangible impact on society. The question is to what extent NPA has the capacity to organise and establish effective systems and procedures for translating objectives into specific activities. Further, does NPA have the human and financial resources to implement its policies - capable staff able to do the work, and the required financial and material support? For implementing a rights based partner

2

The following model is adopted from Stein-Erik Kruse, “How to Assess NGO Capacity”, Oslo 1999.


Chapter 1:Introduction

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strategy it is in particular important to assess to what extent NPA has the “right” staff and relevant approaches and working methods. • AN ABILITY TO DO - to provide services that are relevant for and valued by its users and/or members. However, the former two abilities are neither sufficient. The question is to what extent NPA is able to deliver and provide services that are valued – an ability measured through an assessment of relevance, effectiveness (ability to achieve agreed goals and objectives) and sustainability. What are the sustained tangible and intangible results of a rights based partner approach? • AN ABILITY TO RELATE - to respond and adapt to new demands and changing needs in society, and retain standing (legitimacy) among its stakeholders. Finally, it is not sufficient to be a “doer” - with a strong ability to effectively deliver services to partners – if the services are not relevant. NGOs are mostly funded by grants from donors (often for a long period of time) and are to some extent protected from a critical review and a need to maintain relevance and quality. The question is to what extent NPA has been innovative - able to respond and adapt to new demands from partners and people involved? The argument is that NPA needs all four abilities in order to provide effective aid, or to be more correct: if an NGO like NPA has a combination of these abilities their chance of success and performance is enhanced considerably. All the abilities are not equally important and all organisations do not need to have an equal share. Strong identity and credibility are more important than accounting skills since the latter can more easily be improved or obtained. The four abilities are each represented by three elements - giving a total of twelve. They form the basis for the review and the questions to be asked.3 The team prepared three questionnaires: One for the interviews of NPA staff in Oslo, one for the selfassessment survey and a third for the two country studies. ABILITY TO BE

ABILITY TO ORGANISE

ABILITY TO DO

ABILITY TO RELATE

• • • • • • • • • • • •

Governance Leadership Identity Human resources Systems and procedures Material and financial resources Relevance Effectiveness Sustainability Standing and legitimacy Alliances and connections Responsiveness

1.4. Methods

The methods were presented in the Inception Report. The most common methods were interviews combined with analysis of documents and observation of meetings 3

The questions and elements are listed in Annex 5.


Chapter 1:Introduction

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and activities during field visits. A self assessment survey was carried out among NPA staff and board members for obtaining inputs from a broader sample of countries and people. During the preparatory phase relevant reports and documents were collected from NPA and Norad – the multi-year application and contracts, policy and strategy documents, progress reports, review and evaluation reports, Norad guidelines, etc.4 Introductory interviews with key staff in NPA were held collecting basic data and information in order to describe NPA’s policies, organisation and programmes. The study phase consisted of four interlinked activities. The first was for NPA staff to assess the organisation based on a web based survey which was sent out to 49 HO staff and board members and 11 people in seven country- and regional offices – altogether 60 participants. 5 The aim was to cover broad sample of key staff at HO, regional and country offices and Board members. 40 responses was recorded or 66% of the total. The overall participant statistics was: According to position: - Managers in leading positions: - Other staff: 18 - Board members - Others TOTAL According to location: - Head Office (incl.Board) - External and Regional Offices TOTAL

11 9 2 40 31 9 40

The response rate could have been higher. On the other hand, we have feedback from a broad range of people from the Board, Head Office and External Offices. 23 participants or nearly 60% had worked for NPA more than 10 years. An almost equal share of men and women responded. Their assessments are incorporated in the analysis in Chapters 3 to 7. The second step was for all consultants to conduct interviews with staff at NPA HO – following up and complementing questions from the surveyand plan the upcoming country visits.6 A debriefing session was organised with senior management after all interviews were completed. The third step consisted of two country visits each of ten days to Ecuador and Mozambique in January and February 2007 – including visits to the Regional Offices in Johannesburg for Southern Africa and Managua for Latin America. The objectives for the country visits were to meet and discuss with NPA partners and assess the capacities and role of NPA. In both countries, we discussed with NPA staff, partners 4

See Annex 2: References The survey consisted of a list of statements covering all four abilities in the assessment model. Respondents were asked to rate on scale from one to five to what extent they agreed or not. 6 See Annex 3: People Met 5


Chapter 1:Introduction

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and independent observers of international NGOs and a seminar with all NPA partners were arranged both places. Mozambique and Ecuador were selected for the following reasons: • They represent different geographic regions. • Mozambique is among the three countries receiving most support from NPA (after Sudan) – mainly because of the Mine Action Programme. • The countries illustrate different histories and ways of working – in Ecuador with and through partners from the beginning and Mozambique with traditionally a strong operational involvement. • Different country contexts in which NPA is committed to a rights based approach. • In Mozambique, NPA has supported a major Mine Action Programme which has now come to an end – illustrating the challenges moving from a staff intensive operational programme to a partnership approach. • In Ecuador, support has primarily been provided to indigenous people’s organisations through a regional programme. The last and fourth step was to collate and analyze data and information from the survey, interviews in Norway, observations from the two country visits – combining the self evaluation with external observations. The two external consultants prepared the draft Synthesis Report which was discussed by the entire team, revised and then submitted to Norad and NPA. The Reference Group has consisted of representatives from Norad and NPA. It has met two times with team members – to discuss the Inception Report in the beginning and the Draft Synthesis Report at the end. Based on verbal and written comments from Norad and NPA, the report was revised and finalized. Utilization and follow up of findings and recommendations is the responsibility of Norad and NPA. 1.5. Limitations

There are several methodological limitations and constraints in a review like this. NPA has offices and works in 22 countries in Africa, Latin America, Middle East, South East Asia and Eastern Europe. All the External Offices were given a chance to participate in the self-assessment exercise, but we have only visited two countries and two regional offices. The two country programmes were selected because they were thought to reflect important characteristics of NPA as a whole, but such findings cannot be generalized and made valid for the entire organisation. We have looked into one corner of the organisation – an important corner, but not the only one. There is also a limit to how many questions that can be adequately answered in a short period of time. We were faced with a comprehensive Terms of Reference with a broad range of complex questions. Total time and resources available were insufficient to address all questions at the same level. During interviews and visits to partners we had to prioritize and select certain issues to be pursued more systematically. Most data and information come from interviews – people expressing their views and opinions about NPA – in other words qualitative perceptions about performance. There is a lack of supporting quantitative data in particular about results – mainly due to weaknesses in the monitoring and evaluation system.


Chapter 1:Introduction

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It is also questionable how truthful partners are when asked about their relationship to NPA. There is no doubt a donor – recipient relationship, and most of the organisations that we visited rely on NPA for some 25-50%, if not more, of their funding.- They are likely to be rather careful about the criticism they give voice to. On the other hand, we were pleased with the openness and frankness in feedback – to a large extent explained by the confidence partners have in NPA. NPA should also be commended for its frankness. The level of soul searching and self-criticism in NPA was often much higher than among external partners. Another limitation relates to language. We had selected a Portuguese and Spanish speaking country while most of the team members did not speak or understand any of those languages. Many of the interviews were done with the help of a translator. That made the interaction slower and more formal, and some of the qualities of direct communication were lost. The survey provided useful and valid information, but the response rate was lower than desirable. It was also said that it was difficult for many to answer all questions adequately. Some of the questions were also not entirely clear – consisting of two questions in one. It was also said that it was difficult to answer the questions because “we are on the right track, but not good enough to say honestly agree”. It would also have been useful if some of the questions had tracked whether people had observed changes and improvements over time. We would also like to mention that our mandate covered only NPA’s development work financed by Norad and not humanitarian aid supported with grants from MFA and other international donors. It would have added value to visit a country presently at war or in violent conflict, to better assess how NPA is implementing its policies in such challenging circumstances. The original suggestion was to include Palestine as a case country, but the security situation in the region made it difficult to visit partners in Gaza and Mozambique and Ecuador were suggested as case countries. We did not find time to carry out a desk study of NPA in Palestine. This means that we have not been able to discuss and assess the strategic linkages between long-term development and humanitarian assistance Despite such methodological limitations, data and information are collected from several sources: written material, staff and countries. We have been able to triangulate methods – combining document review with interviews, observation and a formal survey. We don’t claim that the whole truth about NPA is presented in this report, but an important part of it. 1.6. Guide to the Reader

Terms of Reference asks for a basic description of NPA’s policy, organisation, human and financial resources, etc. This description is to be found in Annex 2. Chapter 2 to 5 contains the main bulk of the report with analysis and assessment of the four abilities. Chapter 6 sums up conclusions and presents major recommendations. There are several annexes to the Report including Terms of References, overview of documents consulted, people met and the organisational overview. The Synthesis Report is based on two country studies. They are presented separately and provide more detailed information, but not necessary for reading this report.


Chapter 2: Identity and Purpose

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CHAPTER 2: IDENTITY AND PURPOSE In our framework for assessing organisational performance, identity and purpose are comprised of three elements: Strategy, governance and leadership. In other words, we want to know to what extent NPA has a clear identity (understanding of what it wants to achieve) and an international strategy defining thematic and geographic priorities. It is also important that key terms in the strategy like partnership and rights based approach are clearly defined, understood and internalized by staff. To translate a policy into practice, it is also essential that NPA has a leadership at HO with the ability to set direction, motivate and manage staff and make decisions in a timely manner and a Board to clarify aims and support direction. Most of the chapter will be about the international strategy. It will be discussed from several perspectives – the meaning of key concepts, how NPA staff and board members perceive the strategy (feedback from the self assessment survey and interviews) and how the global strategy has been operationalized in two countries – Mozambique and Ecuador. 2.1. NPA’s International Strategy

While some non-governmental organisations work according to objectives that limit their target groups (like Save the Children, Norwegian Association for the Blind or Friends of Uganda), it is not so obvious for NPA who their like-minded partners are – who NPA should and could work with and for what purpose. NPA has its basis in the Norwegian labor movement, but labor unions per se are not obvious partners for NPA since the International Office in the Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) has the mandate to work with and strengthen sister labor unions in developing countries. Hence, it has been necessary for NPA to carve out an identity on its own. NPA is said to have an unclear identity and spreading its limited resources too thinly.7 It has involved itself in a broad range of activities in Norway and internationally leaving an impression that NPA can do almost anything from building houses, clearing mines and lobbying for women’s rights. During interviews in Oslo, NPA was characterized as a hybrid organisation – having had several identities – that of a political solidarity organisation supporting liberation movements, that of an emergency aid organisation with a strong humanitarian mine action programme and that of a community development organisation. In a historical perspective, NPA started as a solidarity organisation before the Second World War mobilized by the fight against Fascism in Spain, moved into reconstruction in Northern Norway after the war and provided support to liberation movements in Southern Africa and popular movements in Latin America from the 1980s. With a rapid increase in funding from Norad in the 1990s, NPA became a major development NGO –with a strong operational profile in some countries. NPA was also involved in large emergency operations (e.g. Southern Sudan and the reconstruction in the Balkans) and became internationally known and respected for its mine actions programmes in Africa and Asia. 7

Interviews at HO and Pettersen (2006).


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During the strategy development process in 2003, identified the potential tensions between being a political and rights based organization on the one hand and a more traditional development NGO on the other. NPA tried to sharpen its focus and identify a clearer direction by going back to its roots and identifying its comparative advantages as a political solidarity organisation. The process ended up in a new strategy, but the discussion was not brought to a final conclusion. NPA had worked with partners and rights issues from the early 1980s in Latin America, but now it wanted to adopt a more consistent rights based partnership approach across all countries. The objectives of the strategy are: Long Term Objective (LTO): “Oppressed groups have increased their prospect and opportunity to control their own life and together develop a society that secures political, civil, cultural, economic and social rights for all” Immediate Development Objective (IDO): “Right based organisations, working in areas characterized by conflict and oppression, have strengthened their ability and capacity to mobilize for democratisation and social and economic change”.

According to the strategy and the multi-year application to Norad, NPA would focus on five thematic areas: • • • • •

Democratic Rights (including Right to Participate, Youth and their Right to Participate, Right to Expression and Information and Free Media). Land- and Resource Rights Indigenous People’s Rights Violence Against Women Right to Mine Free Environment

There are also three cross-cutting issues mentioned in the strategy: gender, HIV/AIDS and environment which should be mainstreamed into all NPA activities. Cross-cutting is understood as “issues that are used to assess and appraise all partners and projects”.8 This statement is too vague to make any sense of how the cross-cutting issues should be operationalised – and much less, how achievements could be measured. There is a too long list of thematic priorities and cross cutting issues with links, but not always clear links between them. NPA has not been able to prioritize all its priorities and good intentions. There is also a mix of themes and target groups. It appears to some extent more as a summary of what NPA has been involved in than a strategic set of priorities for achieving a sharper focus. “Right to Participate” or “Democratic Rights” are important thematic areas, but are broad and do not communicate well as strategic priorities to external stakeholders. NPA’s Organizing Principle The underlying and strategic challenge for NPA is to decide on what should be the “organizing principle” for the organisation. There are at least six such principles – followed by other Norwegian NGOs: 8

Page 7 in “Policy and Strategy for NPA’s International Humanitarian and Development Work 2003-7”.


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• Geography – NGOs with a particular geographic target area (The Committee for Afghanistan, Association for Namibia, Latin America Groups, etc.) • Theme – NGOs with a particular thematic focus (The Rainforest, Anti-Racism, Association for International Water and Forest Studies (FIVAS), etc. • Target group – NGOs with a special target group (Save the Children, Association for the Blind, etc.) • Profession – organisations focusing on collaborations with other professional associations (Association for Norwegian Nurses, Physiotherapists, Teachers, etc.) • Ideology and faith based – involving church based organisations like Norwegian Church Aid, CARITAS and Norwegian Missions in Development. • Partner based process approach – focusing on stimulating change processes and organisational development in partner organisations (The Development Fund). It is not clear in which category NPA belongs. NPA has selected certain thematic issues (e.g. indigenous people’s rights and land issues). It has also a strong basis in political values and liberation movements and oppressed/marginalized people are preferred target groups. Some have argued that NPA is about organisational development – stimulating and promoting processes of change through partner organisations. In other words, NPA is an NGO with several “organizing principles. There seems to be two “schools of thought” within NPA on how to move forward. One group believes that NPA has too many priorities and needs a stronger thematic focus. It should be clearer for partners (and donors) what NPA’s thematic priorities are – partly for making sure that people know what NPA is about, but also to ensure that NPA has the most relevant professional skills and capacities for working with such priorities. The other group argues that NPA needs first and foremost to be clear about who the partners are – and be good at building the capacity of such organisations. Selection of thematic priorities will be up to the partners and depend on the political, social and cultural contexts. 2.2. Assessing the Strategy

How do NPA staff and Board members assess issues of identity and purpose? In the self assessment survey they expressed their opinions which are summarized in the following table. The pattern of response and not the exact numbers are the most relevant. To what extent do you agree with the following statements? Purpose The direction of the current strategy (2004-2007) is clear. The rights based approach to development is clearly defined. NPA has relevant tools for implementing a rights based approach. NPA has relevant tools for implementing a partnership strategy. The strategy is understood and internalised by all staff. The strategy is not contested. There is no need to adjust or change overall direction. Values (What the organisation believes in.)

Strongly disagree

Disagree

Agree

Strongly agree

Don’t know/NA

0

12%

69%

19%

0

0

15%

66%

19%

0

0

16%

50%

19%

15%

0

9%

47%

37%

6%

0 0 3%

22% 47% 41%

56% 40% 41%

13% 3% 9%

9% 9% 6%


Chapter 2: Identity and Purpose Staff at HQ are committed to a set of key values. Values are shared among staff. Strategy (Profile of the organisation.) NPA has a strategy which helps to clarify priorities (what to do and where to be). NPA shows an individual identity in what it does. There are certain things that NPA does better than others. Partners in the South have been involved in the development of the strategy. NPA has the right balance between long-term development work and humanitarian assistance. NPA should be operational in certain country contexts. NPA should phase out all operational activities before the end of 2007.

Page 10 0 0

6% 9%

44% 53%

50% 34%

0 3%

3%

15%

66%

16%

0

0 0

13% 0

41% 44%

37% 53%

9% 3%

6%

16%

37%

12%

28%

9%

16%

56%

9%

9%

3% 34%

12% 38%

47% 6%

19% 0

19% 22%

The major findings are: • A large majority agrees that the direction of the strategy is clear (88% either agrees or strongly agrees), but only a minority agrees strongly (19%). • 66% finds the rights based strategy clearly defined, but there are fewer that find NPA to have the relevant tools for implementing a rights based partnership approach. • 56% agrees that the strategy is understood and internalized by all staff, but there is also a significant number (22%) with the opposite opinion – that the strategy is not well understood. • It is also surprising that as many as 47% says that the strategy is contested and that 41% disagrees that there is no need to adjust or change overall direction – meaning that there are still unresolved issues. • There is almost full consensus that NPA staff at HO is committed to a set of key values and these values are shared. • Nearly 80% believes that NPA shows an individual identify in what it does and that there are certain things that NPA can do better than others. One of the respondents wrote that “NPA’s political rights based approach is unique and also the fight against personnel land mines”. • There is much less certainty that partners in the South were involved in the development of the strategy. • 56% agrees that NPA has the right balance between long-term development work and humanitarian assistance while 16% disagrees. • Most surprising is that 66% either agrees or strongly agrees that NPA should be operational in certain contexts and 72% disagrees or strongly disagrees that NPA should phase out all operational activities before 2007. This is surprising because the strategy advocates a non-operational partnership approach for the development programme by the end of 2007. The main explanation for this is probably that the respondents want NPA to continue to be operational in conducting mine action and emergency and relief operations. 2.3. Making Strategic Decisions

The response from NPA internally is that the organisation has moved in the right direction when it comes to understanding of identity and purpose. The strategy document has been more than a paper product. It is well known in the organisation. The strategy has been important for defining new ways of working throughout NPA also at country level. The strategy has made an impact on NPA’s programmes in Mozambique and Ecuador.


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The difficult question is to what extent the strategy provides sufficiently clear direction and where weakness and gaps are. It seems to be consensus among staff that the strategy has served the organisation well, but that it needs to be developed and refined further. There is more disagreement on what the future direction should be and what changes are required to make it a better tool. In our opinion the international strategy is more like a policy document than a strategy providing the organisation with tools and targets for how to translate and work towards the broad goals and objectives. NPA has on the one hand a set of global policies and guidelines and on the other a number of specific country programmes and projects, but strategies for the intermediary levels are to a large extent missing. There is for instance an Andean programme, but no regional strategy for Latin America explaining why NPA is working in the countries they do, what countries are prioritized, how new countries and partners will be phased in, how resources should be allocated between countries and programmes, why the Regional Office is in Nicaragua, etc. There is neither a regional strategy for Southern Africa explaining why South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe make up a region, but not Angola. The same is true at the global level: NPA is involved in a large number of countries in the world for historical reasons, but mainly because NPA has decided to prioritize interventions in those countries. The selection process and allocation of resources are to some extent explained in the multi-year application to Norad, but this plan covers only NPA’s long-term development and not humanitarian assistance. NPA would benefit from preparing brief global and regional strategies providing operational direction for NPA’s overall international involvement. The following chapters discuss the understanding of two key concepts in the international strategy: rights based approach and partnership and selected issues in the translation and utilization of the global strategy at country level. 2.4. Understanding Rights based Approach

NPA adopted the rights based approach as a principle for its international work in 2003. According to the strategy, NPA’s understanding of rights is based on the international human rights instruments. To be a rights based organisation is “to have a credo that people’s human rights must be fulfilled if they are to live with dignity. All people are entitled to equal rights and opportunities, as defined in the international declarations and conventions, these being social, economic and cultural rights, and civil and political rights and the right to life itself”. Central to a rights based approach to development is the protection and realization of human rights. It uses established and accepted human rights standards as a common framework for assessing and guiding sustainable development initiatives. Protecting and fulfilling human rights obligations is seen as the way to achieve development. A rights based approach to development is both a vision and a set of tools. A rights based approach may lead to different outcomes than other development models because it entails another view of action. Rather than pursuing an action merely as part of a development project, such as setting up an income-generating project for example, a rights based approach will also make political demands on


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governments or international actors. It translates people’s needs into rights and recognizes the human rights person as the active subject and claim-holder without ignoring people’s physical needs. The principle of non-discrimination is central to the human rights framework. Within a rights based approach one is good at identifying marginalized and disadvantaged groups. This approach also changes the situation of the beneficiary group from passive aid recipient to rights-holders, empowered to hold responsible actors accountable to human rights standards. Accountability is central to a rights based approach. This approach focus on how things are done. Higher level of participation is required within a rights based approach. It is particularly important to those who have previously been marginalized, such as indigenous peoples in several countries, to make decisions about issues that affect their lives and human rights they want to achieve. There is an important distinction used in rights based approaches between “duty bearer” – those who have the obligation to ensure that human rights are respected, protected and fulfilled, and “rights holders” – those that legitimately can claim rights and entitlements. Accordingly, NGOs have two main tasks: (a) To enhance the capacity of poor and marginalized people to become aware of and claim their rights, and (b) to assist local and central governments to fulfil their obligations. International NGOs with a rights based approach seem to prefer the first task, but the UN definition highlights the need to also build the capacity of duty bearers as well as rights holders. There are “different schools of thought” among NGOs and also in NPA: (a) The only role of civil society is to make people aware of their rights. Civil society organisations should hold people accountable – monitor and report from the grassroots on the use and abuse of power and allocation of government resources. CSOs should not be involved in any service delivery – filling gaps in Government capacity, but build accountability from below focusing on networking, lobbying, monitoring, organisational development, etc. (b) Others argue that the role of civil society depends on the context. In poor developing countries with legitimate governments, CSO should not only help people claim their rights, but also assist governments to fulfil their rights – because governments may not be unwilling only unable to do so. They are poor and lack the resources to do what a Government should do. If you want to make a difference, NGOs should work with the government and not in parallel or contrary to government plans. NPA’s strategy states that “The main form of cooperation is to take place with rightbased organisations. Under specific circumstances co-operation with local government structures can take place. “ This issue is further discussed in an internal memo (19/2005) from Head of Development Section to all resident representatives,


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which concludes that in some cases the identified alternative for NPA appears to be a) NPA as an operative or b) partner with local authorities”. 9 Whether to seek such options would “depend on the local context and concern aspects as legitimacy, performance, and working methods regarding people’s participation.” The memo does also discuss how to work with partner organisations undertaking service delivery – or duty bearer roles. It states that “(…) NPA’s priority of partnership-cooperation in civil society can in this context be formulated as: NPA focus on development of capacities of “rights-holders” to claim their rights. The memo further clarifies that NPA should not support the service delivery undertaken by CSOs, unless certain conditions are in place. Social delivery can be seen as a way to mobilize target groups and making authorities more responsible. Other important aspects to consider are the performance of the state and the political context in each case. One is particularly cautioned against not to contribute to weaken the CSO-role as “rights-holder”. NPA has followed different policies on this issue. In Mozambique, NPA has worked and works with the government as a partner. NPA’s Regional Office in Latin America has a different approach by excluding the possibility to work with governments. “NPA supports the empowerment of civil society, but not the strengthening of governments. In Latin America we have excluded the possibility to have duty bearers as partners” (Memo August 2005) The shift in NPA’s approach has taken time and remains a challenge for the organisation – mainly in relation to how policy should be translated into practice at country level. It has been more problematic in Mozambique than in Ecuador, as will be further discussed in “From Strategy to Practice” below. 2.5. Understanding Partnership with Civil Society

Partnership is the other key term in the international strategy. NPA has a tradition of linking the aims of international work with people’s own initiatives. In practice, this has implied empowering people and communities, as well as their ability to influence the conditions under which they live. This is reflected in NPA’s support to liberation movements and people’s organisations and communities. The term civil society is seen as value-neutral. However, every civil society organisation represents values and policies so when identifying partners NPA will select popular organisations promoting citizen participation. Civil society is defined as “the public sphere in which ideological and political debate take place” and civil society organisations are “formal or informal non-governmental groups, organisations and institutions with a wider objective than profit generation”10. NPA would support a civil society with the following characteristics: • Representing forces and spaces for countervailing the concentration of power and resources. • Contributing to people’s participation and democratization.

9

The memo followed a report commissioned by NPA on ”Operationalising Norwegian People’s Aid’s Rights-Based Approach. A review of lessons from international non-governmental organisations of relevance to Norwegian People’s Aid’s adoption of a rights-based approach”, Overseas Development Institute, March 2005 10 See Partnership Cooperation in Civil Society 2004.


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• Pursuing a “cooperative” globalization by disseminating information, acting as watch dogs and promoting people’s participation in international negotiation. NPA will cooperate with civil society organisations that: • Represents the interests of particular marginalized groups of society. • Exercising influence. • Raising public awareness. • Mediate between conflicting groups. • Holding public authorities and corporations accountable. • Providing social networks for members. In other words, liberation movements and people’s organisations promoting equal rights and opportunities for all are like-minded partners for NPA. When NPA is selecting partners the crucial question is to what extent they represent organised oppressed people. This requires an analysis of the situation in each country to identify the “sphere” within which ideological debate are involved. It is also important that state and civil society are inter-dependent in any attempt at developing democracy. NPA will select partners among rights based civil society organisations mainly popular organisations, social and membership organisations at different levels, but also intermediary NGOs, research institutions and media. NPA differentiates between project partners and strategic partners – for the latter the cooperation goes far beyond time-limited projects. It will focus on more than transfer for financial resources. The role of NPA is to accompany their partners. Issues around partnership will be discussed further in Chapter 4. 2.6. From Strategy to Practice

The critical question for NPA is to what extent the organisation has been able to translate global intentions into changes at country level. What is the experience from Mozambique and Ecuador? How has NPA managed to change direction in Mozambique – a country where NPA used to be highly operational? NPA emphasized several times that the organisation is still in transition, but we found: • A strong awareness about the new international strategy among NPA staff. • A country strategy in line with the global strategy. • Systematic efforts to phase out projects focusing on service delivery and partners with a weak understanding of rights based approaches and finding new organisations with a more relevant profile. • A massive down-sizing of NPA staff from 287 in 2003 to four in 2007 (Development programme staff reduced from 22 to 4, the others were attached to the Mine Action Progamme). However, the country strategy for Mozambique is very general – to a large extent copying the global objectives without a systematic analysis of the country situation. The strategy provides weak strategic direction on questions like: What are the levels of interventions? How will available human and financial resources be allocated to themes and partners? How will local and national partners and interventions be linked? There are also discrepancies between principles and practice, e.g. two district


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development programmes absorb a large part of the budget and fall to a large extent outside the strategy framework. Partners were asked how they perceived NPA’s profile and identity. A large number defined NPA as an organisation supporting community development projects at district level. This is not so surprising given the fact that NPA has up to recently worked as a community development organisation. NPA has not yet been able to fully explain its new profile – even if there have been meetings were the new strategy has been discussed. The country programme has prioritized the strategic themes more than the cross cutting issues. NPA has worked with gender, HIV/AIDS and environment, but the policy of mainstreaming these issues cannot be said to have been a success. The crosscutting issues are in many country programmes invisible. Mainstreaming has led to no reporting on the results of the cross-cutting issues and no proper follow-up. This finding came from both of the case studies of Mozambique and Ecuador, and has also been stressed in several external reviews and evaluations (Zimbabwe, Angola etc) It is also interesting how the international strategy is understood in the context of Mozambique. According to the strategy, NPA should be working in areas characterized by conflict and oppression – in which NPA can take sides and support the oppressed part. NPA is using a political language of conflict and liberation. Mozambique was a country characterized by conflicts, liberation struggle and later civil war, but has been able to move forward from crisis, through post-conflict to development. The question is whether NPA should continue supporting Mozambique since it is not clearly characterized by conflicts – where NPA can take sides for the liberation of the oppressed. This question is more than academic – it pertains to how the global strategy should be interpreted. Should NPA move out of countries that has gone from conflict and crisis to relative peace and development – like in Mozambique? Or should NPA redefine its role and focus its attention on more specific conflict areas where there is a need for NPA’s continued presence? It is not clear if the rights based strategy for Mozambique excludes any service delivery and NPA seem uncertain if any service delivery is “politically correct” and be used to demand better public policies and strengthen the credibility of the organisation - a precondition for advocacy. In Latin America, NPA seems to have excluded any social service delivery. Dynamic Move of Direction At a first glance, the two projects of the Andean programme in South America comply with the global strategy. Both of them articulate a right-based approach. Both long term goals and immediate objectives are expressed in terms of rights, expressed results give concrete examples of capacities that will be used to create awareness of rights, establish rights, and defend rights. The cooperation is dynamic and NPA has moved from development based on political selection criteria and emergency when relevant within capacity and onwards to political assistance – within the same partnership.


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There has also been a similar move at the aggregate level; the partnerships that NPA has started during the period 2004 – 2007 have been with partners at regional and national levels that have a more political agenda based on rights. There has also been a shift when one looks at the subprojects – the rights based activities stand for an increasing share of total budgets. The overall thrust of the global 2004 – 2007 strategy is thus well reflected in the activities in Ecuador. But there are also some discrepancies. First, when looking at the subproject level in detail, there is more or less a correspondence between subproject and partner. Most of the partners have been cooperating with NPA for many years, since the mid- and late 1990s. The shift from development projects to rights based approaches and political work has been slow, and for many of the community based organisations it is a priority to continue developing infrastructure, to generate incomes from productive activities, etc. Second, it seems to be quite difficult for NPA to work with gender issues, not least violence against women, in Ecuador. None of the long-term goals, none of the immediate objectives, and only one out of eight expected achievements relate to empowerment of women. It is also quite clear from our interviews and meetings that major organisations such as CONAIE and ECUARUNARI do not see equity issues as a priority, nor do MICC and community based organisations. The complete lack of attention towards gender equality in these projects should be of serious concern for NPA. Third, the global strategy has HIV/AIDS as a cross-cutting theme, and that does not seem to be reflected in any of the subprojects in Ecuador. If the issue is not relevant, it would of course not be useful to consider any activities in the field. However, other countries in the region like Brazil have had a grave HIV/AIDS epidemic for many years. Ecuador as well as other Latin American countries are in the risk zone as the HIV/AIDS pandemic changes and spreads, and hence it would be prudent, if not always welcome by partners, if NPA in Latin America would comply more with its global strategy. Environment is another cross-cutting theme, and that too is not reflected in Latin America. But land, water and other natural resources are prominent and feature in the rights of indigenous populations. However, the right to land and other resources is not always the same as a sustainable use of these resources. The Understanding of Rights Based Approach Concerning the rights based approach, it is also clear from the visit to Ecuador that NPA's portfolio is well in line with ILO Convention 169 and Norwegian guidelines concerning support to indigenous people (2003). NPA works with indigenous peoples' movements, and the cooperation with them is based on the indigenous people’s needs and priorities, and the strengthening of the indigenous peoples' organisation is a focus in most of the activities. It is necessary to monitor carefully how the rights based approach is articulated within the subprojects. In the partnership with the AUCC, Cotacachi Civil Society Assembly, different activities that mostly can be seen to relate directly to the right to participation were implemented. In the proposal for a new programme for 2007, the


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partners suggest that funds from NPA should be used to develop productive activities, for example in manufacturing enterprises. NPA has not approved the proposal, but it shows that even within a partnership based solidly on a rights based approach there might be differences in understanding and different approaches. As mentioned above, RBA does not necessarily exclude service-delivery, but the issue deserves a higher level discussion from NPA’s side. For example, if NPA supports projects with strong elements of service-delivery, should a certain percentage of budget be earmarked for training in rights based thinking, planning and implementation? NPA in Mozambique has struggled much more becoming a rights based partner organisation given its background and history. The programme has certainly changed, but we are uncertain if NPA is on the best track to become a strong rights based organisation. There are so far too many priorities and too few resources to make an effective transition. 2.7. Governance and Leadership

The self-assessment survey covered also questions about Governance (role of the Board) and leadership at head Office level and in particular to what extent the Board and top management have helped to clarify and communicate a clear direction and take timely decisions. The responses from the self assessment were: To what extent do you agree with the following statements? Governance NPA has a board which clarifies overall aims and supports direction for international cooperation. Members in Norway feel a strong ownership for the organisation. Members influence major decisions in NPA. Leadership The current leadership at HQ has a proven capability to: Set priorities and provide clear direction for NPA’s international work. Direct, motivate and manage staff. Be a good spokesman on behalf of the organisation. Make decisions in a timely manner. Make decisions after proper consultation with staff. Handle internal conflicts well.

Strongly disagree 1 12%

Disagree

Agree

Don’t know/NA

3 40%

Strongly agree 4 16%

2 25%

0

19%

34%

31%

16%

0

19%

34%

31%

16%

0

25%

60%

13%

0

3% 3%

26% 0

58% 65%

13% 29%

0 3%

6% 3%

35% 41%

48% 34%

10% 12%

0 9%

6%

38%

38%

12%

6%

2%

Role of the Board A majority of the respondents believes that NPA has a Board with the ability to clarify aims and support direction for international cooperation, but there is quite a significant group (37%) in disagreement with such a statement. Interviews at HO revealed also quite conflicting perceptions about how important the Board is for guiding NPA’s international cooperation. It was said that the Board consist of members from all over Norway reflecting NPA as a Norwegian membership organisation with members being more interested in local and national activities than international projects. When there is strong international interest in the Board, it is focusing on special areas and countries (e.g. Middle East and Sudan).


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We have not been present in any Board meeting – only reviewed a sample of board documents and minutes from meetings. Hence, it is difficult to assess how strategic issues for NPA’s international cooperation are discussed and decided on, like selection of new countries, thematic priorities and policy documents – issues of strategic importance for the organisation We have reviewed minutes from a small sample of board meeting.11 In the list of items on the agenda, there is usually one or two from the International Department. Most of them involve sharing of information from a specific country (e.g. Zimbabwe 4/2004) or about a new strategy for cooperation with civil society (same meeting). In 3/2006 the phasing out of a specific rather curious project is explained– a hotel run by NPA in Lokichokio. In the same meeting there is also sharing of information about the situation in Lebanon. The meeting (3/2003) was informed about the international strategy. Based on reviewing the minutes it seems that the Board is more a recipient of information from the International Department than an important body for consultation, strategic discussions and decision making. The policy documents presented to the Board are also for information (“tatt til orientering”) and not firmly endorsed as guiding policies for the organisation. We were informed that the policy “Solidarity. NPA’s Priciples and Values”) had been discussed and approved by the General Assembly (2003) while the international strategy was prepared in line with the policy, presented to and accepted by the Board without further discussion. As such it seems unclear what issues and documents should be discussed and approved by the Board and which should only be presented for information. However, it should be noted that the whole Quality Management Systems of NPA is currently being revised. In addition to the national Board for the entire organisation it could be useful to establish a special advisory committee for the International Department – as link between the Department and the Board. Leadership A majority of the respondents believes that the current leadership at HO is able to set priorities and provide clear direction, direct and motivate staff and make timely decisions. On the other hand, top management scores lower on ability to consult. 44% says that the leaders do not consult properly with staff before taking decisions. It is worrying that the same number is of the opinion that internal conflicts are not handled well. There seems to be a good division of labour and responsibilities between the General Secretary and Head of International Department. There has over the years been turbulence around top management in NPA. This seems to belong to the past and there is a good and constructive climate in the organisation. Fears and challenges are mostly related to cuts in income and staff for the organisation as a whole, but not so much for the International Department.

11

Meeting 3/2003, 2/2004, 4/2005, 3/2006.


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The financial worries, however, detract management attention and time away from more substantive strategic issues. To change strategic direction it is not sufficient with a written document – not even a clear strategy and well developed programme priorities. Strong leadership is required – to articulate, communicate and translate priorities to internal and external partners. We are not certain that NPA top management in Oslo has prioritized (or been able to prioritize) such issues and been sufficiently visible and clear internally and externally on issues of strategic relevance for international cooperation. This is also the case in Mozambique. NPA has a new country strategy, but less of the means to implement it and a “strategic architect” for leading the implementation of the strategy has been missing. NPA’s Country Representative is not permanently present in Mozambique and NPA’s visibility is still weak at national level. The frequent organisational moves have not helped NPA to communicate its vision and objectives effectively. The country office provides good operational leadership to programmes and partners, but its capacity is stretched and limited in providing visible strategic leadership. The Regional Office in Managua provided operational guidance to programmes and partners, but are uncertain about their role in influencing and changing strategic directions (e.g. moving in and out of countries). 2.8. Concluding Remarks

The strategy document from 2003 has been an important document for NPA. It is well known at all levels of the organisation. It has provided direction and guidance for NPA’s international work and made an impact on how the organisation is working at country level. NPA has made significant moves towards a rights based partner approach – but more on partnerships than on rights. On the other hand, NPA is still in transition. It is a broad consensus among staff that the new global strategy should build on the former with no major changes – only providing clearer direction. NPA’s identity and purpose is still seen as too broad with too many thematic priorities. The cross cutting issues in the global strategy (HIV/AIDS, gender and environment) are weakly “integrated” and the mainstreaming of these issues must be said to have failed as there are few visible results of the mainstreaming and gender, HIV/AIDS and environment are almost invisible in many country programmes where one would have expected that they be prominent. NPA is still a “hybrid organisation” with multiple identities and sufficiently broad objectives making it possible for the organisation to be involved in a range of activities. We would argue that such hybrids are not necessarily bad organisations, but often the opposite. They can be flexible, dynamic and effective with the ability to respond to new challenges while NGOs with a narrow, clearly defined mandate may not be able to make quick moves and end up as irrelevant. NPA’s Mine Action Programme is a good example. It can be looked at from two different perspectives – either as a strategic irregularity supported by NPA mainly to secure funding and a programme creating tensions between two groups within the organisation. On the other hand, it can be seen as an example of how NPA was able to respond and respond well to a major humanitarian problem, support successful mine


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action programmes and become internationally recognized as one of the leading NGOs in this area.12 However, NPA has become a hybrid organisation with unclear multiple identities more by default than by design. That is a problem, but it is not necessary clearer and better for an organisation to have only one priority. It is fully possible to have several priorities and still be clear about all of them. We would argue that NPA would benefit from a clearer demarcation of its thematic priorities – mainly because the organisation needs professional insights and capacity to deal with all of them and avoid spreading its resources too thinly. On the other hand, if NPA wants to be a solidarity organisation it should protect its ability to be responsive and flexible within a strong clear vision. However, if NPA should succeed as an effective “hybrid” , the management and staff needs to be aware that this is the case and manage the organisation accordingly. In other words, NPA needs to make a choice, build consensus internally and externally, equip itself with the skills and capacities for becoming the organisation it has decided to be.

12

It should be mentioned that mine action has later been included under the Land and Rights thematic heading as landmines limit people’s access and control over land resources, as well as limiting access to basic infrastructure and services.


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CHAPTER 3: ORGANISATION AND RESOURCES This section discusses organisational properties of NPA, focusing on human resources, systems and procedures, and financial resources. An overall observation is that there are big differences between countries and that global systems and procedures play a relatively minor role in the organisation. Differences between parts of the organisation make it even more difficult to assess NPA properly. The Development Section and the Humanitarian Mine Action Section are – almost – each others opposites when it comes to systems and procedures. Where the former leaves many systems ad hoc, not least in respect of planning, monitoring and evaluation, the latter has clear and consistent rules and well articulated systems. The emphasis in the text below lies on the projects and programmes of the Development Section as these are most prominent in the countries that we visited. 3.1 Human Resource Management

Annex 2 contains data on the overall staff composition of NPA, including its different field operations as well as other sections at Head Office. The international operations of NPA employs 22 people in the International Department in Oslo and 40 in the regional and country offices. In this context, when we assess the capacity of NPA to deliver effective aid, it is the work of these 62 persons and the skills they represent that we discuss. Does the organisation have the human resources it needs? Let us first consider quantity. A total of 62 persons are managing global operations at a volume of around 700 million NOK (while there is around 2 500 employed, but these are primarily operational staff employed to execute projects (and primarily in Mine Action projects) and hence not relevant to consider when we discuss the organisational properties of NPA). That is relatively small number of staff compared to the task and the amount of money. It suggests that the organisation is cost-efficient. Many NGOs in Norway, Denmark and Sweden with similar volumes of money employ more staff. It is worth remembering that the work of NPA requires frequent contact with partner organisations and therefore requires time for dialogue. The review has not found that there is any need to reduce the number of staff members and a comparative assessment suggests that the organisation is operating with as little staff as is possible, and further reductions would probably affect the quality of the work done. The table below shows the response in the self assessment in respect of human resource management. According to this, the strongest aspects of the human resource management are; (1) the gender and equity policy,(2) the ability to recruit people with the relevant experience and skills to implement the new strategy, and (3) the ability to provide satisfactory incentives compensations. Our interviews confirm this picture, both in Oslo and abroad.


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To what extent do you agree with the Strongly following statements? disagree

Disagree

Agree

Strongly agree

Don’t know/NA

45%

34%

6%

3%

- Ensure that staff composition reflects fair 0 gender and equity policy

18%

75%

1%

1%

- Regularly train and upgrade the skills of staff

40%

28%

3%

15%

25%

50%

6%

19%

3%

28%

41%

16%

12%

- Attract people with relevant experience and 3% skills for implementing the new strategy - Attract people with good managerial and 6% administrative skills

32%

52%

10%

3%

47%

35%

3%

9%

Human resources NPA has a proven capability to: - Recruit and select people effectively

Provide satisfactory compensations - Avoid turnover among staff

incentives

13%

13%

and 0

NPA’s approach to gender and equity is highly appreciated. The whole organisation has more men than women employed, but that is because the humanitarian mine action programmes have a strong male predominance. If we turn to the Development Section of the International Department there is a predominance of women, while at the field offices there are more men, though with a slight predominance of female managers. As for compensation and incentives, the policy has been to offer competitive wages – not among the highest and not among the lowest in comparison to similar organisations. That has worked well, and as the responses show, a majority thinks that the incentives are satisfactory. The responses in the table suggest some causes of concern. Employees think the organisation is better at recruiting people with substantive skills in respect of international solidarity work than it is at recruiting people with administrative and managerial skills. NPA appears to have an organisational culture that values substantive field experience and promotes people who have such experience. Still, our impression is that many at headquarters and in regional offices combine management and administrative skills with substantive experience, and many have had sufficient management exposure in international work. Nevertheless, the strategic shift means that NPA will need more administrative and managerial skills. The regional structure introduced a middle management layer in the organisation whose job will be to coordinate, motivate and supervise others. Also, the administrative systems need to be developed and these systems have become more complex and demanding over the past few years. Consequently there is a need for more skills in both management and administration, and it is a problem if it is difficult to attract such competences. It is sometimes said that a new strategy could be based on organisational development, that is, the right to organize, and that NPA should provide partnerships to develop organisational capacity. If we consider which skills and competencies it takes to provide practical support in organisational development, these are not widely prevalent in NPA today. There are subjects where NPA needs to learn, such as; to


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analyse and suggest changes in organisational structures and processes, to analyse roles and mandates, develop these and manage change processes. Such skills are needed in the dialogue with partners and would be even more in need if there is a strategic shift towards a higher emphasis on organisational strengthening as a main mission of NPA. The need for competences and capacities change, and while the two paragraphs above say that NPA does not quite have the competences and capacities it needs now and in the future, it is also necessary to remember that competences are not static phenomena. It is more important to consider whether the organisation has the capacity to learn and develop than to ask whether it has the correct mixture of personnel at any given moment in time. The responses in the self assessment indicate that training and staff development is not one of the strongest aspects of human resource management. Opportunities for training are not as good as people expect them to be. A benchmarking figure here is that 10% of working time should be devoted to learning and upgrading of skills, but our interviews show that most people devote less time than that for learning. The field visits point to some of the problems concerning learning. In Latin America, there is a comprehensive approach to training, but it does not specify who is to learn what, and when. The investment in learning could be made more effective if there is an explicit division of labour and assignment of responsibilities to follow development in specific fields. The experience from Mozambique is similar. As in Latin America, NPA’s current staff in Mozambique has practical and relevant experience from working with partners, but not the professional background or training for designing and implementing systematic organisational development programmes. In addition to experience with organisational processes, NPA would also need thematic expertise, like land and resource rights, etc. New competences are not only acquired by learning but also by new recruitment and by making sure that there is a turnover of personnel. Our analysis concludes that there is too little staff turnover and there is a need to recruit younger people to the organisation and people with somewhat different skills. The average age is high at 52 years among senior management and 47 in the International Department as a whole. It would be prudent to plan new recruitments so that some continuity is ascertained even after the time when those who are now in their late 50s or early 60s retire. In sum, human resource management contains both strengths and weaknesses. NPA is a small organisation and it operates efficiently. The staff members are few relative to the large amounts of money they handle and to the programs supported. NPA has recruited people with considerable skills and competencies, but staff turnover is low. At the same time, the need for specific skills has changed with the new strategy and will continue to change, and new combinations of skills and experiences emerge. More important than the static picture of competences is the capacity to learn and acquire new skills, from organisational learning and also from new recruitments. There is a need to assess the mixture of skills, competencies and experiences and make sure that these are developed to respond to emerging needs and challenges.


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3.2 Systems and Procedures

NPA is a complex organisation and it has many different systems and procedures. In this section we discuss; (1) planning, (2) monitoring and evaluation, (3) financial management system, and (4) structures and communication. These four areas do not cover all aspects of systems and procedures, but they cover key organisational processes. Within each field, it is necessary to distinguish between systems and procedures at global, regional and national levels. As for the national levels, the analysis builds on data from Ecuador and Mozambique. But there are sometimes significant differences between these two countries, and there are thus reasons to believe that there are differences between these two and other countries too. As a starting point, the table below indicates that most of the people who responded to the survey have a positive view of the organisation’s systems and procedures. The majority agrees with every statement suggested. In some cases, there is a sizeable minority that disagrees, for example concerning the ability to set realistic priorities and plans, to evaluate, organisational structures and effective communication. In the following we turn to a combined assessment of each aspect of systems and procedures. To what extent do you agree with the following Strongly Disagree Agree statements? disagree

Strongly Don’t agree know/ NA

Systems and procedures NPA has a proven capability to: - Set realistic priorities and

be 6%

38%

47%

6%

3%

9% 3%

19% 9%

66% 81%

6% 3%

0 3%

3%

38%

50%

6%

3%

0

19%

68%

13%

0

3%

40%

50%

7%

0

3%

35%

45%

13%

3%

0

3%

55%

29%

13%

- Support partners and target groups in planning and 0 implementation. 0 - Prepare plans for phasing out projects.

0

57%

30%

13%

33%

53%

3%

10%

- Handle serious conflicts with partners well, e.g. 0 corruption, mismanagement.

17%

50%

13%

20%

plans (not overambitious). - Carry out plans and projects in a timely manner - Monitor and report on activities

- Evaluate - learn from successes and mistakes and change accordingly. - Make sure that effective financial systems are in place - Make sure that an organisational structure is in place with clear division of responsibilities between HQ, regional and country offices. - Establish effective channels of communication between head office, regional and country offices. - Identify and select relevant cooperating partners.

Planning Systems There are many different planning systems. A first and general distinction is between the plans for the programme and project activities submitted to the donors (mainly Norad) on the one hand, and the internal planning systems on the other hand. The internal planning systems cover a broad range of activities. There are operational plans at each unit in the organisation, and there are plans for personnel follow-up, for training activities, and most other aspects of management. The review has not looked


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at all, but selected the operational plans of the regional offices as an example. The regional offices establish one-year operational plans. We examined three such plans and found them to be concrete and down to earth, and they had to a large extent been followed. If they were not followed, this was reported and explained in the end-of-theyear assessment. The targets were realistic and were reached. The planning of project and programme activities is more relevant for the purpose of this review as they relate directly to the capacity to provide effective aid. The responses to the survey indicate that there is a need to look closer at these planning systems. Even though 53% of the respondents agree or strongly agree that NPA has the capacity to set realistic targets and plans, the evidence from the field visits is mixed. We can only say something about this capacity on the basis of our examination of the programmes in Ecuador and Mozambique, but the two points in the same direction. The overall planning structure in Ecuador is confusing13. The activities in Ecuador are part of the Andean program, which consists of two projects, but there is little content at the programmatic level. We have not seen any expression of programmatic intent, that is, of how the two projects may work together to form a coherent whole. We also found little distinction between goals, objectives and expected results at project level. The results expected from the projects are well formulated, but the question is whether they would be better presented as objectives? Furthermore, the goals and objectives of the democracy project could be exchanged and they are tautological. As it is, they do not communicate the strategic intent well. The program approach was not fully developed in Ecuador nor in Mozambique, but unfortunately we don’t know what it looks like in other countries. Steering documents, reports to Norad and management plans, use four terms to distinguish the activities; there is the Andean programme, two projects, the subprojects that each has objectives and expected results, and partners. Most of the time, a partner is equal to a subproject, but not always, some partners have two projects. Also, most of the time, people at all levels speak of subprojects as projects. This is all rather confusing, and it does not help NPA present its activities in a clear and consistent way. Hence, the identity that should characterise the activities in Latin America is not clearly seen because of an overloaded planning vocabulary. But apart from the objectives and expected results, the review did not find any major problems with the activities that were specified in the project documents. At the operational level the plans appeared to be realistic. The activities and the outputs were clear, and they could also be related to expected results within the framework of an agreement with partner organisations. However, these agreements also had objectives, and at this “subproject level� the objectives were often the general objectives of the partner organisation, or some other statement of intent that was far more long run than the one year scope of the agreements. The basis for the contracts was thus relevant in terms of expected results and activities, but unrealistic and too ambitious in terms of objectives.

13

For a detailed analysis of this, refer to the report from the country visit.


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When we speak of contracts with partners, it is worth mentioning that these are written in the local languages, Spanish and Portuguese. This may seem self evident, but it is not. Many other organisations that we have seen working in Latin America and Portuguese-speaking Africa use English for contracts with partners. This is an indicator of NPA’s ability to make their work relevant for different contexts as well as the importance of having a good communication with their partners. Nevertheless the agreements and plans of operation that we saw in Ecuador and Mozambique were followed. The problem in terms of planning appears at the level of aggregate objectives and their connection – lack of connection – to a programmatic level. The country report from Ecuador recommends that the planning hierarchy is reduced from the present four levels to two, so as to increase the possibility of analysis and oversight, and transparency. The activities in Mozambique had clearer objectives and were found to be better planned. The NPA office had used consultants for internal training in using the LFA method, and this could be seen in the quality of project documents. In sum, there is considerable variety in the capacity to plan as well, and the organisation has strengths and weaknesses. The major strengths lie in the internal operational plans, and in the concrete planning of activities with partners. The major weaknesses lie in the formulation of overarching goals, objectives and expected results at project and programme level. Monitoring and Evaluation NPA has many activities that are designed to provide information for both monitoring and evaluation. Some of these are systematised, or there are fixed routines, while others respond to specific situations and needs for information. In this section we treat both monitoring and evaluation as they are closely related, and many times monitoring feed information into evaluations. And the content in monitoring studies can often be similar to that of evaluation studies. We will first look at monitoring and then turn to evaluation. There are two key components in the monitoring activities; reports from the partners and audit reports. We found quite large differences in respect of how the project activities are monitored, both between countries and within countries. NPA’s partners in Mozambique should report every three months according to the signed contracts between NPA and partners, while in Ecuador they report twice yearly. In spite of the theory of quarterly reports in Mozambique, there were wide variations in the perceptions among the partners interviewed as to how often they report. Some stated that they report once a year, while others twice or three times. In Ecuador there was no such uncertainty, they all report twice yearly. These biannual reports from the partners are narrative in respect of results and activities, and then they report on the use of funds. They follow the same rough outline and that leaves the partner free to report according to their specific activities. The framework is basic and solid, and there is no need to develop that any further. The topics are what could be expected. The partners comment on objectives and results and review activities. Some of the reports that we looked at were excessively long. The partner organisation gave detailed reports of workshops and activities, and some wrote long historical backgrounds to the work they were doing. This seemed


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quite unnecessary, and NPA could provide some guidelines – or good practice examples of what the partners’ reports should look like so they don’t waste their time writing reports that nobody will read or use. Visits to the partner organisation form an important part of the monitoring, but the schedule of visits varies and so does the dialogue. Very often, the focus seems to be on practical issues of money transfers, audits and reports, the date of new agreements. There appears to be less discussion of the substance of the work, whether results are achieved and objectives reached. We return to this under section 4.1, on the dialogue with partners. These need to be more results oriented and could thus provide better monitoring information. Auditing is done regularly. In Ecuador, the partner organisations were audited twice yearly and this was actually because of an expressed demand from the partner organisations. They wanted to have the audits to increase transparency internally and in respect of members. In Mozambique, there were annual audits only and there did not seem to be any reason to change the frequency. In the Latin America programme four cases of fraud or corruption had been detected among partners and in all cases did the regional office take swift action to solve the issues. As an organisation, NPA seems to rely on the audit reports to detect corruption, but often such issues are detected through other means. The response in Latin America to the cases there was fine, but the organisation as a whole may need to be better prepared to handle such issues, to share knowledge and practice, and talk about how they handled such problems. What are then the conclusions to draw from these varied approaches to monitoring? On the one hand, it shows that NPA is flexible. But we are not sure that the variety is due to flexible design and adaptation to partners needs. The different practices in Ecuador and Mozambique were not explained in terms of specific country contexts and needs of partners, and besides, they were in theory uniform in each country. If there was a need for flexibility that would surely be, for example, among the 22 organisations in Ecuador as they are quite different types of organisations? On the other hand, does NPA stand to gain from a more uniform approach to monitoring? As the system stands today, it is hard to see that it would make a big difference. The system as such is good enough, it is the content that can be improved – made shorter, less descriptive and more to the point in terms of results. Turning then to evaluation, this is also a field where practices vary. There is no evaluation unit as such and it could be argued that the organisation is too small to have a designated evaluation function. One person is assigned responsibility of the evaluation function and that is the head of the Development Section. He has many other responsibilities, and we think it would be better if someone else, who could let responsibility for evaluation take a large share of a years work load, had that task. There is no evaluation policy either, and hence there is no clear sense of direction or approach to evaluation. We did not find that there were personnel at the regional or country offices either who had evaluation as a specific part of their job descriptions. NPA has no guidelines for allocation of resources for evaluation. In many organisations, it is considered prudent to devote around 1% of the budget to evaluation, and possibly monitoring as well. Some international NGOs spend some 6


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– 7 % of their turnover on monitoring and evaluation. Given that NPA has an annual turnover of around 700 million NOK, it would be realistic to spend some 7 to 10 million NOK on monitoring and evaluation, and if that much money is wisely and systematically spent, it should be possible to present accurate information on results. NPA has an appraisal and evaluation system, PES (Planning and Evaluation System), which was introduced in 1999 to be tested. There is a handbook but as far as we have seen system has not been implemented in the organisation. Nobody knew the system in Ecuador, and there was no evidence at all that it was in any use. It was not mentioned in Mozambique or South Africa either. When we came to Nicaragua we found that some of the programme coordinators there knew about it and had actually had some training on it. The system had been used in trial form in Nicaragua some three to four years ago, but it has been abandoned since then. It is a problem when the organisation invests hundreds of thousands of NOK in developing an appraisal and evaluation system, and it is not used. Why is it not used? There could be several explanations: • • • • • • • •

The system was only introduced for testing and no formal decision was taken to use the system as the institutional tool for planning and evaluation. The idea that a rating system where complex aggregates like relevance etc. are measured on an ordinal scale could provide relevant information, that people trust and would be prepared to act on, is actually mistaken. The system is complex and requires much time to use. There was perhaps not sufficient training of staff to introduce the system. The system requires full scale application, and if not every project is appraised and evaluated according to the system, then the information makes little sense. To rate all projects according to the criteria in the system is a major task, and perhaps many felt reluctant to give “verdicts”. Information from the system must be required by top management. If there is no demand or interest from top management, people would not be likely to comply with the system. Once the project information is gathered (which never happened) it would take time and analytical skills to interpret and suggest use of the information. As far as we have understood it, there was nobody assigned to manage and develop the system.

There are thus many factors that could have contributed to the lack of using PES. It was a mistaken investment and it is not surprising that the system is not used. That is a common fate of similar appraisal and evaluation systems. However, there has not been any further systems development and as a consequence the appraisal and evaluation activities that do occur are ad hoc. It is said that all projects should be evaluated once in a four year period, but we are not sure whether that is followed and besides we doubt that would be the most relevant choice of how to spend an evaluation budget. So what is done more specifically in Ecuador and more generally in Latin America? The external evaluations are defined in the four year plan of the regional office. This long-term plan can be questioned. Evaluations are most useful when they respond to


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an urgent need for information, for learning, decision support, or indeed for control purposes. NPA does evaluations for the sake of learning but it is still questionable to have a four year plan for evaluation on such a small program. It may be better to allocate funds for evaluation under the four year period, but to define what and how to evaluate within the yearly management plans. The experiences from monitoring and evaluation in Mozambique are similar. There is only a very brief section on monitoring and evaluation in the strategy where it is stated that “for monitoring the programme and partners will have coordinated Participatory Impact Monitoring and baseline studies to assess the planned achievements; and in the area of evaluation, NPA will: • Carry out a mid-term review 2005. • Carry out studies of the thematic areas in 2006. • Do regular visits with dialogue and discussions with partners. • Conduct a final evaluation in 2007. There was a mid-term review in 2006 and also regular supervision and monitoring. What seems to be missing are more in-depth partner evaluations – assessing their capacities and what they have achieved – studies which are required to make higher level evaluations meaningful. The two district development programmes have for instance been supported for several years without any independent evaluation. There is an attached log frame to the strategic plan. It specifies expected outcomes of different kind and there is also a broad range of indicators. A Monitoring Plan is attached to the log frame suggesting quarterly or monthly reporting on 33 indicators within the three thematic areas. We don’t think that the log frame and monitoring plan have been used. The mid-term review of NPA in Mozambique (Rosario&Øygard 2006) has a chapter on results with not much data and information about what NPA has achieved – to what extent partners have benefited from the cooperation with NPA, in what areas and how much. The report states that “there is strong evidence that NPA’s partner organisations in Mozambique have developed, through the partnership with NPA skills and knowledge that are supportive of a participatory and empowered civil society”, but such evidence is not very clear. The mid-term review team should ideally have presented more and better information about progress and achievements for each of the partners. On the other hand, if solid baseline data and monitoring information are not available, a review team cannot easily substitute for such gaps. It seems that NPA in Mozambique faces problems at several levels: The overall result areas are not clearly defined with targets. There is no differentiation between what NPA wants to achieve through the collaboration with its partners (strengthening of organisational capacities) and what the partners deliver to its members and beneficiaries. NPA should focus its attention on the first level and assist partners to carry out the latter. NPA cannot be held directly accountable for results to be created through partner efforts. As such what NPA should report on to Norad is the effects of its capacity building efforts. The reports focus more on selected partner activities.


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There is at least one important exception to this general observation about results. The Mine Action Programme had very clear objectives, a monitoring system with measurable indicators and ability to document results and lessons learned. Most of the indicators, however, were focusing on lower level results – on outputs and outcomes, e.g. no. of mines and acreage cleared etc. and not development impact, like changes in agricultural production, living standards, safety, etc. What about the quality of evaluations? It is common to discuss evaluation quality in terms of utility, feasibility, propriety and accuracy. In Ecuador and Latin America we assessed the quality of evaluation in the country report, and we found several examples of very good evaluation processes. The standards of accuracy, propriety and feasibility were high, but then it varied in terms of use. It took longer to debate them with partners and carry through to decision-making than necessary. The text above has focused on information that go from projects and programmes to NPA, and that is then to NPA’s country coordinators and regional representatives. How is information channelled from there onwards to headquarters and from headquarters to Norad (and possibly to other funding agencies)? The annual report to Norad, which is due the 31 of May each year should contain information on progress towards expected results, that is results expected over the whole project/program cycle. The deviation report for the current year is added, together with the request for next year’s budget within the current framework agreement. The country offices have different approaches to what and how they report to regional offices and Head Office in terms of monitoring and evaluation. In Mozambique, it was said they did not quite know what to report on, but there did not seem to be any uncertainty concerning that in Ecuador. Financial Systems There are three issues in particular to take note of regarding the financial systems, that is, systems of accounting and auditing, systems to manage and transfer funds, and systems to make use of financial information in relation to overall strategies and objectives. First, they change fast and the dominating development during the period that we have reviewed has been the introduction and development of the Agresso systems. NPA has made significant investments in recruitment of staff that are familiar with and can manage the system, and also in staff training throughout the organisation. These developments have taken much time, and it appears to have been more difficult and to have taken longer than expected, but it is accomplished and the new system is a necessary administrative tool. The second issue is that various aspects of the financial systems need to be developed locally, and we have no indication of how much has changed in the different regional offices. The Latin America region has made progress particularly in respect of using internet banking, in channelling funds straight from Norway to the region rather than via the US, which reduces risk, shortens transfer time, and provides better control of the transfer process. This is a major achievement and it indicates that there is a more cost efficient operation now than 3 years ago. The third issue is that much as the financial system - budgeting, book-keeping and monetary transfers - have developed, there are some problems with the architecture of the system. It seems to be difficult to account for accurate expenditures in relation to


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the major themes of the strategy. At the country level, the book-keeping follows partners rather than purposes or kinds of expenditure. If we were interested in quickly finding out how much money was spent on organisational development in Ecuador, we couldn’t get that information from Agresso. Furthermore, there is no information on results in the system (expenditure being linked to level of implementation), hence no idea whether project objectives are reached, whether they are reached more in some areas than in others, or whether most of the funds are spent in areas where the results are reached. In sum, the financial management systems keep track of expenditures and they seem to do that well. The financial management systems change continuously and it is a considerable investment to keep up with changes and to upgrade staff skills at country and regional levels. The system as such appears to be solid. The auditors have accepted the systems and there has not been any failure to have fully audited accounts. The problems is that financial management systems do not provide much information in respect of strategic management for results. They are not yet connected to a system that provides information on risks, challenges and achievement in substantive terms14. There is a long-range need to incorporate information on results in order to provide a modern and adequate management information system. Organisational Structures and Communication The organisational structure of the international development activities is clear. There is basic division of labour between the two main kinds of activities; the Development Section and the Mine Action section. As we have commented on above, the Mine Action projects have their own history and logic and mode of operation. The basic rule is then that there are three tiers to the hierarchy; country coordinators in each of the countries where NPA works, a regional level which a varying number of countries under each regional office, and then headquarters in Oslo. The regional offices report to the head of the International Department. However, there are some exceptions; (1) some country programs are managed from a regional office (for example El Salvador and Honduras), (2) some country coordinators do not report to a regional office but to Head Office in Oslo, (3) a programme such as the Andean programme covering five countries is managed from the NPA office in Ecuador. Taking all these and possibly other exceptions into account, the structure is not all that easy to grasp, or all that clear any longer. Nor is it clear why all the exceptions have to be there. We have no reason to suspect that the structure as such has a negative impact on operations, we think NPA would stand much to gain by having a structure that is more easy to communicate and explain to external stakeholders. The division of labour between Mine Action on the one hand, and development projects on the other hand makes sense. The problem in this context is that the two modes of operations would both profit from learning more from each other. The Development Section could learn from the systems and procedures of Mine Action operations. These could learn from the political aspects and the rights-based approach, and experiences in capacity building, from the Development Section. At times there is 14

NPA responded to this discussion by asking “How can the evaluation team expect that a accounting/economicsystem such as Agresso will provide information on project results (beyond loss/profit)?�. We have seen several examples of integrated systems where financial information and information from monitoring and evaluation are easily accessible and can be correlated, and we think such systems are useful management tools. The Nordic development Fund, for example, has a solid and comprehensive system that provides such information.


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a need to coordinate both modes of operation within a country program, and then closer contacts between the units would be desirable. The organisational culture and image could be strengthened if the two units were clearly presented as different aspects of a coordinated whole. Regional representatives and country coordinators have their job descriptions and the reporting lines are clear. But it is not always clear how decisions are made and which kind of decisions are decentralised to the country offices. It seems as though there is an expectation of consensus building round several operational decisions. The operations in Latin America face several challenges and strategic opportunities. Should the regional office move to Ecuador? Is there a need to close operations in some countries in order to expand in others? To what extent can budgets be shifted between countries? It seems that it is not clear who would take such decisions, and in practice that means that there has to be a consensus by managers in both Oslo and in the field. When 47% of the survey respondents disagree with the statement that there are clear structures and lines responsibility, they probably have such issues in mind. Within the Development Section there are two titles, geographic advisers and thematic advisers. Formally speaking, the title is clear. Advice is advice and could not imply any responsibility for operations and for results. But in the interviews we asked the advisers for their responsibilities and many said they were responsible for quality assurance. But can the advisers assume responsibility for quality when the operational decisions are taken by regional and country representatives and by the management of the division? If the advisers responsibility is said to be for the process of quality assurance only rather than for the results, that is perhaps possible but it is also rather meaningless. The problem is that a large share of the total staff has job descriptions and roles that divest them from responsibility for results and that is not an optimal organisational design. The major change in organisational structure has been the introduction of a regional level in the organisation during this strategic period. The experiences from that appear to be different in Latin America and Southern Africa. In Latin America it has been possible to reduce the number of staff somewhat but not much. The major gain stems from increasing team work, joint strategies, joint evaluation and learning, and in the long run, a comprehensive view of challenges and opportunities in the region. There was concrete evidence of how country management gained substantially by being integrated in a regional framework. The experience from Mozambique is different and there the review team concluded that we were not convinced that the current arrangement with a Regional Representative in South Africa is an optimal solution for NPA. It was meant to reduce the number of country programmes reporting directly to Oslo and increase regional cooperation, but also to ensure and strengthen NPA’s strategic profile and presence in the region. The main problem is that too many roles and responsibilities are combined in such a position. On the other hand, it is interesting that NPA has embarked on such a comprehensive organisational restructuring – all regions except the Middle East have undergone the same changes of closing down country representatives and replacing them by regional representatives - without a solid feasibility study of the consequences of such changes.


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NPA is a decentralized organisation with a need to keep the organisation together, maintain coherence and consistency across countries – and use a Regional Office for such a purpose. However, there are various mechanisms to ensure such coherence: a. Through elaborate rules and regulations guiding NPA programmes. b. Through strong shared values and ideology. c. Through recruitment of staff from within the organisation or from likeminded organisations. d. Through strong leadership training, supervision, follow up and support from headquarters. If Country Programme Managers were upgraded to Representatives, there is a danger of fragmentation increasing the need for coordination. In the South African context, NPA has not followed (a), but (b) and (c) and if a stronger (d) was added, it should not be impossible to counteract the forces of fragmentation. Hence, we suggest that the Regional Advisors in Head Office become responsible country programme officers with an active involvement in country strategy and programme preparation, supervision and quality control and ongoing professional dialogue with the country representatives. Country Representatives can still formally report to the Head of the International Department – if such a status is required, but the actual reporting line should be the Regional Coordinator. The experiences with a regional structure seem to vary a lot, certainly between Latin America and South Africa, and thus in all likelihood between these and other regions too. We do not have an opinion on which direction NPA should go, but it would be important to assess the experience closely, possibly very early during the next strategic period from 2008 onwards. The structure itself is closely related to the patterns of communication. A fairly large minority of 35% of respondents to the survey find some kind of problems with communication systems. The evidence from the two field studies point in different directions. The Latin America programme had developed a dense network of communication between the country coordinators and the regional office, and between the country coordinators. It was a well integrated, de-centralised communication network. The communications with headquarters were focused and clear, and followed the formal reporting structure. The problem was rather that thematic advisers were little involved in the programs and did not contribute much to project and program development. The communication patterns within the South African region could not be assessed yet, as the regional level was introduced only in 2006 and it is too early to tell how the patterns of interaction will develop. 3.3.Organisational Learning

In the self assessment we also asked about NPA’s ability to respond quickly to new needs, if different analyses are carried out and a culture of learning is embedded in the organisation. The staff and board responded as follows: 59% agrees that NPA is both resilient, but also able to respond quickly to new needs. Political analyses and assessment of conflict sensitivity analyses are carried out only to a varying extent. A majority (55%) says that NPA does not have a strong culture of learning – a statement which to some extent conflicts with the belief that NPA responds quickly to new needs.


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75% believes that NPA has managed to adjust programmes in line with the international strategy while 13% disagrees. 56% agrees that NPA has been able to adjust the organisational structure to different contexts and forms of assistance. To what extent do you agree with the following statements? Responsiveness NPA responds quickly to new needs. NPA is resilient – not swayed by new winds. A culture of learning is embedded in the organisation. Political analyses of the role of partners are systematically carried out. Risk-assessments and conflict sensitivity analyses are carried out. NPA has managed to adjust the programme portfolio in line with its international strategy. NPA has been able to adjust organisational structures and operational modes according to different contexts and forms of assistance.

Strongly disagree

Disagree

Agree

Strongly agree

Don’t know/ NA

3% 0 3%

31% 10% 55%

56% 77% 32%

3% 13% 6%

6% 0 3%

0

31%

41%

6%

22%

3%

22%

44%

6%

25%

0

13%

75%

6%

6%

6%

25%

53%

3%

13%

Processes of Organisational Learning NPA has quality guidelines for working with civil society, but there are few operational manuals providing technical and practical guidelines for how to do a capacity assessment or design an OD programme. It is a problem that much of what is presented as capacity strengthening is only scratching the surface of organisational change. NPA staff spends limited time with each partner – sufficient for supervision, administrative monitoring and consultation, but not for facilitating and supporting processes of organisational development. The interviews in Managua indicated that NPA Latin America has a systematic approach to organisational learning. Learning is assigned a high priority, in theory and in practice. The following modes of learning were identified: • • • •

Visits to partner organisations and dialogue. Participation in workshops and seminars. Peer reviews and self-evaluation processes. Evaluation.

It is good that practical encounters with partners are put at the top of the list. This is likely to provide a better source of learning than, for example, reading evaluation reports. While the role of learning is well expressed, and the modes of learning are identified, it is less clear what the Latin America team should actually learn. Programme coordinators have their regional responsibilities, but there is no division of labour when it comes to substantive areas of work. There is, for example, nobody with a special mandate and responsibility to learn about, transfer to the others, and follow the frontier of knowledge in respect of gender, youth, organisational development, or even evaluation. NPA staff hesitate to take on the role of experts in particular fields, but if the organisation is to make a real contribution, they need to develop the substance of the partnership dialogue and offer advice and solutions (without imposing their will). It should be possible to divide labour, set up targets for learning, and thus develop the


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substantive competence. Learning, after all, has to be about something. It is not enough to say that it is important to learn and identify the arenas where it occurs – it can be substantiated more. NPA claims to be good at organisational development which would require: • Staff with relevant training and experience. • Guidelines and manuals for translating theory into practice. • A systematic diagnosis of partner capacities and constraints before any interventions. • A clear and long-term plan for how to increase capacities and reduce gaps based on an agreed diagnosis, • A system for monitoring progress and evaluation and documenting results. NPA staff in Mozambique have practical and relevant experience from working with partners for many years, but not the professional background or training for designing and implementing a more systematic OD programme. NPA has general guidelines for working with civil society, but no operational manuals providing technical and practical guidelines for how to do a capacity assessment or design an organisational development programme. An intervention should be based on a systematic diagnosis of existing capacities and what the organisational problems or constraints are. We were informed that NPA had carried out such an assessment of partners in 2003, but this document had a different purpose. It does not contain a sufficient assessment of partner capacities for guiding what interventions are most effective and providing a baseline for monitoring organisational change. NPA staff spends also a limited time with each partner – often not more than three to five days in a year which is sufficient for supervision, administrative monitoring and consultation, but not for facilitating and supporting processes of organisational development. 3.4 Financial Resources

The question to be answered here is whether NPA has the capacity mobilize the financial resources to sustain a level of operations that is desirable by members, board and management, and stakeholders in the environment within which it operates. The achievements here must be considered good when seen over a longer period of time. NPA grew rapidly from a total turn over of 50 Million NOK in 1986 to 619 Million in 1996. In 1996, Norwegian donors provided 392 Million (MFA 226 Million and Norad 124 Million) while international donors provided nearly 177 Million (mostly USAID and UNHCR). If we look at the frame agreement period the following numbers and trends were identified in the Inception report of the review: •

• •

Funding of international activities has been five times or more than for activities in Norway. Funding for Norwegian activities dropped significantly by 28% from 2004 to 2005. The figures for 2006 are preliminary but indicate a further steep decrease. The aggregate international funding has increased from 529 Mill in 2002 to 706 in 2005. During the frame period the funding from Norad has actually decreased from 205 Mill in 2002 to 112 Mill in 2005 – or with 45%. There are two major


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reasons – funding of the GAP allocation and the Mine Action programme were taken over by MFA. Norad is still an important donor for NPA, but much less so than in the past. Funding from MFA has increased (for political priority areas like Lebanon, GAP, Myanmar, Iraq, Balkan and Russia) with 123% between 2002 and 2005 or from 123 mill to 275 mill which means that NPA in monetary terms is becoming more an emergency organisation than a long-term development organisation. NPA has also a large number of significant international donors – 37% of all funds in 2005 came from international donors out of which USAID was the largest. In other words, NPA is less dependent on Norad funding and increasingly of emergency funds some MFA and international donors. Resources mobilized from individual donors and other groups in Norway have increased slowly, but quite significantly between 2004 and 2005. However, it represented only 2% of all funding to international activities in 2002 and 8% in 2005. In other words, NPA is heavily dependent on external donors – Norwegian and international.

In Norad’s review of NPA in 1998 (Agderforskning), it was referred to a persistent problem of low liquid assets. There has been an increase in fundraising in Norway, but the problems seem to remain. The management review that was undertaken in 2006 concludes that NPA as a whole (not only the international operations) have significant economic problems arising out of the low level of internal capital and poor financial results (p.11, Omstillingsprosess, Norsk Folkehjelp). The organisation has received incomes from gambling machines, but these will be lost from 2007. The report suggests an action programme to cope with these changes, but as that primarily affects the organisation as a whole and operations in Norway, we do not discuss it further here. But the figures in the bullet points have implications for the strategic nature of NPA’s international operations. As an increasing share of funds come from emergency operations it may be difficult to sustain an administrative apparatus that is primarily geared to long-range partnerships and rights based approaches to development. It is primarily Norad’s contribution that finances the strategic work in these fields. If these trends are continued, it is reasonable to ask whether NPA can continue to devote as much attention and resources – as a share of its total staff – to the rights based approach and to partnerships as it does today. The strategy 2004 – 2007 puts a strong emphasis on partnerships and rights based approaches, but the funding for these activities have not increased significantly, and it seems to be more difficult to find resources for these parts of the strategy than for emergency assistance and other operational activities. As a consequence, NPA has done more of the latter than one would expect from the strategy (which does not exclude these, but it is not where emphasis and the political clout lies). 3.5. Concluding Remarks

This chapter has dealt with NPA’s ability to generate human and financial resources and to organise these through systems and procedures, structures and processes. As for financial resources, NPA as a whole is in a critical situation and faces severe


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financial challenges. The international operations are less affected, but there has been a shift from more long-term financing to shorter contracts for emergency assistance and operational activities. It is mainly Norad that provides long term funding for the partnership and right based approaches which are the focus on the strategy – and these financial resources make up a smaller share of the total now than in 2004. NPA does have the capacity to recruit skilled people. Still, staff turnover is low and in some cases the competence profile of the organisation does not fully reflect the challenges NPA faces now and in the future. In particular, there seems to be a need for people with more administrative and management skills, and skills to engage in a more substantive dialogue with partners. The approaches to learning and knowledge management need to be developed; they are ad hoc but need to be increased, made systematic, and with targets and responsibilities for achievement. There are many systems in the organisation, but on the whole, several of them are not quite followed or they are applied differently in different parts of the organisation. Large investments in for example monitoring and evaluation have simply not been put to use as they were inappropriate. This reflects poorly on the organisations capacity to understand its own formal and informal modes of operation and to define and implement changes. Decentralised application of systems is fine in theory and practice, but there should be reasons and logic to the variety. The reports from partners provide information on activities, and while these can be made shorter and more effective, the basic information on what has been done is there. The problem is that it does not say much about project results. There is little overall structure to the evaluation activities. Some reports have been commissioned and those that we saw were of a reasonably high quality. But the weak link continues to be the use of both monitoring and evaluation for aggregate information on results. NPA has been able to adjust and respond to new challenges, but processes of organisational learning are weakly embedded in the organisation. There is a culture for frank open internal self-critical assessment, but not always the same ability to conclude discussions and stick to agreed decisions. NPA has certain “anarchistic” tendencies – meaning strong individuals operating in a relatively loose, decentralized and fragmented organisation without always a strong and consistent leadership. There is to some extent scope for creative entrepreneurs in NPA, but there is also a danger that organisational problems linger on without being addressed and resolved. Financial management systems have changed considerably and are far more effective today than in 2004. The organisational structure has also changed and so have the patterns of communication. The operations in Latin America appear to have become much more efficient and effective, with indications of strong team work, mutual learning and strategic development, and strengthened administration. It is less certain if other parts of the organisation has benefited as much from the new regional structure.


Chapter 4: Partnerships

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CHAPTER 4: PARTNERSHIPS This chapter deals with various aspects of NPA’s ability to relate – mainly cooperation with national partners at country level. 4.1. Assessing Partners

Partnership is a key concept in the international strategy outlined in Chapter 2.5. According to its strategy, NPA will not implement any programmes, but work through and with national partners. The selection of partners, the types of partnerships and the quality of the cooperation become essential for NPA since it is the partners that are responsible for creating results. This chapter is mainly discussing linkages with partners in the South. We have not collected any information from external partners in Norway or internationally (UN, USAID, international NGOs). As such, there is not sufficient information to assess all questions about partnerships. The responses from the self-assessment were as follows: To what extent do you agree with the following statements? Standing (legitimacy) Stakeholders show respect for and have confidence in the organisation: - Members in Norway - Partners in the South - Other Norwegian NGOs - Politicians in Norway - Norad - Other donors Alliances and connections NPA works effectively with other NGOs in Norway. NPA works effectively with international partners. NPA works effectively with Southern partners. NPA has the right partners for implementing the strategy. NPA is seen as a stable partner in the South. NPA maintains stable relations with donors. NPA shares information about its activities with others. NPA has no major rivals or competitors.

Strongly disagree

Disagree

Agree

Strongly agree

Don’t know/ NA

3% 0 0 0 0 0

9% 0 6% 3% 0 0

44% 61% 65% 66% 75% 73%

16% 32% 10% 12% 9% 6%

28% 6% 19% 19% 16% 22%

0

13%

66%

6%

16%

0 0 0

0 3% 3

72% 58% 53%

12% 26% 19%

16% 13% 25%

0 0 3%

0 3% 6%

63% 69% 66%

28% 19% 19%

9% 9% 6%

9%

53%

16%

3%

19%

A large majority of staff and board members are confident that NPA is well respected and trusted among its members, partners in the South, other Norwegian NGOs, politicians and not least Norad with the highest score (84%). There is also a strong belief that NPA works effectively with partners in the South, that NPA is seen a good partner, maintaining stable relationships with donors, being transparent and sharing information with others. Partnerships – Ends in Themselves or Means to an End It is not always clear within NPA whether partnerships are an end in themselves or seen as instruments to reach other ends. The global strategy presents overarching goals and states that partnerships are means to achieve those goals. The partnerships are not ends in themselves. At the regional level, and in both Ecuador and Mozambique, it seems as if the table is turned: the partnership processes take the place of being ends in themselves. The objectives of both the Mozambique country


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strategy and the two projects in the Andean programme refer to strengthening organisations as an immediate goal, and thus, when the objective is accomplished, the result is strengthened organisations rather than achieving purposes outside the organisational realm. This is a dilemma for NPA that needs to be discussed further, in connection to the development of a new global strategy. It has wide implications for how the organisation sets objectives, identifies partners, monitor and evaluate the process of cooperation. 4.2. Selecting Partners

It is quite clear that in Ecuador and Latin America - it is NPA that selects partners.15 There are of course arenas where organisations meet; workshops, etc., but by and large, the partnerships explored had started because NPA saw an opportunity to work with these organisations. Does that build a lopsided relationship already from the beginning? Could it open for a more equal relationship if partnerships could emerge on the initiative of the Ecuadorian organisations – on an explicit demand from them? In Mozambique, NPA was implementing projects directly until 2003. When shifting to partner-based cooperation, a process was initiated to assess the existing partners as well as a limited number of potential new partners in accordance with the new partnership approach. For this particular selection process, the institutional capacity and competence of existing partners were assessed. These were partners that to a large extent had contacted NPA, but for a few it was NPA that had selected them. About half of the “old” partners were kept and new organisations identified - in particular at the national level with the capacity for advocacy and ability to hold public authorities accountable. NPA has a number of strong partners in Mozambique, but not yet the “right” strategic mix and some partners (District Development Committees) being outside the strategic framework. Contacts are established with national partners, but joint programmes and activities are still to be worked out. There is also no system in place for a continuous assessment of partners – to what extent they are in line with the defined selection criteria.16 In other countries where there is more organisations to choose from (e.g.Palestine), NPA does not approach organisations and ask them to submit proposals, but leaves it for potential partners to approach NPA with proposals, or – as the team heard about recently, NPA had advertised in the newspapers about available funding to allow for equal competition and access for groups or organisations that have not previously heard about NPA. For reaching youth groups and young organisations this seems to have been a useful tool for allowing a greater variety and diversity among applications, but could also complicate the process of finding appropriate partners.17 Too Many Partners? In Ecuador, NPA has 22 partners according to the 2006 report on the Andean programme. There are 13 partners listed under the project “Indigenous peoples rights” and nine partners are listed under the project “Democracy”. There is a need to reduce the number of partnerships, both to focus the programme on organisations that have a 15

NPA’s selection criteria is mentioned in Chapter 2. See Chapter 3.2. in case study from Mozambique. This is particularly for organisations in the West Bank and not Gaza, where NPA is one of the main international organisations known among most local organisations.

16 17


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rights based approach and work politically, and to reduce the administrative overheads and quality of cooperation. In Mozambique NPA has 9 partners, which is considered a more manageable number. NPA’s capacity to follow up the partners, not the least with regards to shifting to a rights based approach and cross-cutting issues is limited and will be discussed more in detail in other parts of this report. 4.3. Types of Partnerships

In all the documents that we have seen on partnership in NPA, there is one and only one ideal way of how the relationship should begin and continue. This approach builds on mutual respect, tolerance, flexibility, as well as on some very precise requirements – as zero tolerance for irregular financial management. In the increasing literature on partnerships in development cooperation it is often common to distinguish between different types of partnerships. Guidelines from NPA Head Office distinguish between project partners and strategic partners.18 The first seems to be “limited to practical cooperation about projects” while the relation with strategic partners “also includes affinity beyond project cooperation ….. including ongoing consultations and dialogue on policies and strategies” (NPA 2003). Project partners are more specific and time-limited while strategic partners are long-term and institutional. It is important for NPA to work with different partners and distinguish between various types of partnerships, but the definition above does not in itself make it easy to know which organisations should be categorized as “strategic” as opposed to “projects” – since NPA seems to have a dialogue with all partners. NPA and partners at country level do not make reference to the two types of partnerships – possibly because nobody wished to be or called a project partner – in other words an “unstrategic” partner. A project partner can (and should) also be strategic – in the sense that they play an important role in implementing the strategy – even if it is short-term. If the aim is political change – there is often a need for a broad range of partners both short- and long-term depending on their capacity and ability to initiate and support change. If the aim is organisational development or strengthening of civil society organisations more in general, then a long-term perspective is important. It seems that the type of partnership described by NPA policies is applicable to strategic partnerships in particular, while there is not much guidance on how staff at country level should approach more short-term and instrumental partnerships, whether they are called project partnerships or something else. The country strategy for Mozambique does not differentiate between partners funded by NPA and other types of more short term alliances, like national coordinating bodies (international NGOs, bilateral agencies and UN organisations). NPA has neither made any separation in its country strategy between more long-term strategic partners and project partnerships. At present NPA in Latin America speaks of some partnerships as being more strategic, while others are called project partnerships. The distinction is that the 18

See NPA’s Partnership Cooperation in Civil Society 2004, p. 6.


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strategic partnerships are long term, with organisations that are broadly based political movements, often working at national or regional levels. Other partnerships would be short-term and more directed to reaching specific objectives. It seems that the modalities of funding are based on a project relationship. NPA is funding a specific project or an activity in the partner organisation and seems to be extremely reluctant to provide un-earmarked institutional support to any of its partners both in Ecuador and Mozambique. We don’t know if this is caused by lack of trust in the partner, fear of not being able to report to Norad or any other reason. Networks and Alliances Whereas the partner organisations could be seen to form a network, it is quite clear that NPA does not want to foster a special NPA network in Latin America or in Southern Africa. That would suggest dependence on external resources and on the donor function that is not desirable. On the other hand, it could be that NPA de facto creates such dependencies by fostering new regional initiatives (a new regional programme in Southern Africa). The word network could also be used to describe contacts with other organisations, the public authorities, the UN system, and other international NGOs. In Ecuador NPA has contacts with organisations such as IBIS, UBV, Heifer, OXFAM, etc., but the contacts are informal and not very frequent, while in Mozambique NPA was only found to have some links with one organisation (HelpAge) which was funding the same partner as NPA. Some cooperation with Save the Children Norway had also taken place. The Mid-Term Evaluation of the programme in Mozambique (2006) recommended that NPA should improve coordination with other “donor partners” with the aim to improve efficiency and impact of institutional capacity building as well as funds allocation. In some cases there is a pragmatic cooperation around subprojects. NPA in Ecuador and IBIS have jointly commissioned evaluations of projects they were both involved in, and Heifer and NPA has both supported UNOPAC. There is no move to formalise contacts, to merge projects, or to coordinate reporting systems. This was discussed at the workshop with participants in Ecuador, who definitely dismissed the idea. Apparently the advantages with streamlined reports, larger scale of operations, etc. does not offset the disadvantages that may come from a more centralised and less flexible process of cooperation. The other NGOs in Ecuador respect NPA and see them as a serious, committed and reliable actor. Some expressed that they would like to work more with NPA. The relationships to the partners in Ecuador have priority over the relationship to other international NGOs. It would be odd to shift that priority. On the other hand, there are instances when aid could be more effective, also for the partners, where an investment in NGO cooperation would benefit all. In the case of Ecuador, it seems likely that the few like-minded international NGOs on the scene should be able to benefit from closer cooperation, but any such initiatives should be taken together with the Ecuadorian partners and with full transparency into the process and dialogues. One of the reasons for NPA Mozambique moving its head office from the provinces to the capital of Maputo was to be able increase its visibility and influence at national


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level. The move was done quite recently, and this probably explains why NPA was found to be a less known development actor in the capital among the various civil society forums than in the provinces of Tete and Manica where it used to be based. 4.4. Quality of Partnership

In the recently completed self-evaluation in Latin America, much of the focus was on partnership. First, NPA commissioned external consultants to undertake independent studies of partnerships. Second, in each country NPA organised a workshop with its partners to jointly discuss the findings of the external evaluators. Finally, in the internal workshop of the self-evaluation, various aspects of partnership were discussed thoroughly and documented in the report. In Mozambique, NPA was commended on their willingness to provide flexible support and not imposing their own ideas. NPA was seen as an exemplary donor and partner. Any issue could be discussed with NPA.19 In addition to financial support, NPA supports exchange visits between partner organisations in the Southern Africa region and provides capacity-building, advice and support on financial and management issues. NPA’s annual partnership seminars whereby all partners are invited were commented as an indicator for NPA’s transparency towards its partners – and something not practised by other international organisations. By creating an arena for partners to meet, NPA encourages dialogue between partners which would also relate to funding, criteria for funding, NPA’s financial management, level of salary etc. In other words a wide range of issues would be discussed between NPA partners and some would be raised as enquiries for NPA to elaborate on. The mid-term review from Zimbabwe (2006) pointed out that NPA was seen as taking its responsibility of being accountable towards both its partners and their target group quite seriously.20 NPA partners in Ecuador expressed a high regard for NPA’s efficiency and effectiveness, and not least for the flexibility they showed in implementing projects. When we look at the details of the dialogue some questions must be raised. The capacity and skills of the staff varies and it is obvious that sometimes they don’t have the capacity to provide full support to the partners. There is a tendency for the dialogue to focus on the administrative aspects of the relationship rather than on the substantive. While NPA had phased out of one project in Ecuador successfully, it was also phasing out several other partners and it seemed that these processes were more difficult. In addition, as the NPA had 22 partners in its two projects in the country, there was a wish to reduce the numbers even further. There is no general approach to “exit” or guidelines on how to terminate projects and partnerships. These processes are important for remaining goodwill and there is a need to develop that competence in the organisation. In the Latin America four cases of fraud or corruption had been detected among partners and in all cases did the regional office take swift action to solve the issues. The causes varied and hence the possibilities to either prosecute individuals or organisations, or to solve the problem in other ways. As an organisation, NPA seems 19

A recent partnership evaluation in Tanzania confirmed the same finding that “Norwegian NGOs were rated among the more supportive and preferred Northern partners, better at listening and less likely to impose agenda than CSOs from some other countries” (Chapman 2006). 20 Matsvai/Ingdal (2006), Mid-Term Review of NPA in Zimbabwe – The Rights-Based Approach Strategy 2004-7


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to rely on the audit reports to detect corruption, but often such issues are detected through other means. The response in Latin America to the cases there was adequate, but the organisation as a whole may need to be better prepared to handle such issues, to share knowledge and practice, and talk about how they handled such problems. The team found few indications of NPA actively raising awareness around issues of corruption. Anti-corruption is mentioned in the contracts with a separate clause, and NPA stated that when they sign the contracts they discuss the issue with the partners. NPA believes that it has close monitoring and would ‘easily follow-up and discover’ if corruption took place. Although NPA shared with the team incidences of corruption among partners (one case mentioned was investigated by the police and the person who had embezzled funds had to repay), this had not led NPA to develop policies for preventing corruption. NPA HO has worked with developing standardized partnership contracts specifying all rights and duties of the two parties. In all countries of work, these contracts are translated into the local languages (Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic etc). In some countries, like Mozambique, NPA has offered training on the use and understanding of contracts as a tool in partnership cooperation. The idea has been that when roles and duties of both sides are well known, partners should also set demands on NPA – on issues like transparency, advocacy for their cause etc. in order to strive towards making the partnership as ‘equal’ as possible. Proactive Dialogue with Partners The goal for NPA in Ecuador is to visit each partner three times per year for a review of activities, and as far as we could find out, that is also done. Sometimes these visits are done by external consultants and sometimes by the programme coordinators. The question is what the NPA representative and the partners actually speak about during these (and other) meetings . The review team did not have any opportunity to sit in and listen and hence our assessment is made on what the partners say, and how NPA accounts for the dialogue. The partners are generally very satisfied with the partnership. They complement NPA for its understanding, for useful support, for flexibility, and for the respect they show. There is no doubt that the programme coordinators and other representatives in practice live up to the standards of what a good partnership should be. But as the partnership evaluation done for the self-evaluation show, the Ecuadorian partners also suggest that NPA at times could be more proactive, and that it could engage more with the partners. During the interview we asked, for example, how NPA had commented on the results the partners had achieved. We also asked whether there had been any dialogue around the empowerment of women, as for example in the case of ECUARUNARI with respect to the nomination of women of members to Councils. In most cases, the NPA had not interfered, out of the respect for the partner organisation. Would it be possible for NPA to be more actively engaged in the dialogue? It would first of all depend on the technical capacity of NPA staff, and we are confident they would have the capacity to provide good advice. Second, would it violate the idea of a good partnership by being too closely involved in the activities? In our opinion the


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answer would be “no”. On the contrary, to provide advice on how to solve a difficult task that one helps fund is an example of good partnership, going beyond the provision of funds but still with respect for the partner. Third, so why would the dialogue not be more substantive? Probably because of time constraints. During the visits there are many more practical and concrete things to discuss around auditing, money transfers, timing of events, etc. Hence, the substantive dialogue suffers. 4.5. Concluding Remarks

NPA has become a partner NGO working with and through a broad range of mainly civil society organisations. Compared to many other Norwegian NGOs, NPA has come a long way in its thinking on what partnerships entail. There is also clear evidence that NPA works effectively with partners at country level, is seen as a stable and good partner, being transparent and sharing information with others. We have insufficient information about how NPA works with donors and NGOs in Norway and internationally. NPA may have too many partners. There is a limit to how many organisations NPA can maintain a close dialogue and active collaboration with. A partnership is mainly defined in one ideal way for how it should begin and continue without sufficiently distinguishing between different forms of partnerships. The distinction between strategic partners and project partners is not clear. The substantive dialogue between NPA and its partners was found to be weak, especially in Ecuador – to some extent avoiding difficult and sensitive issues. There is a message from partners that NPA should be more proactively engaged with its partners. There is also a need to reflect more on the mutuality of partnerships - what roles the two sides of a partnership relation should have, what rules should apply to each side and what rights and duties each partner have. It is not always clear whether partnerships are an end in themselves or seen as instruments to reach other ends. Project objectives refer to strengthening organisations, and thus, when the objectives are accomplished, the result is strengthened organisations rather than achieving purposes outside the organisational realm. NPA should also be aware of a possible contradiction between a partnership and rights based approach. NPA has actively phased out support to “old” partners because they are not found sufficiently rights based and searched for new partners with a more “relevant” profile. On the other hand, NPA also aims to develop civil society and NPA could have followed another strategy – trying to build right based thinking into the work of existing partners in stead of seeking new rights based partners only – in order to recognize the value of historical relationships. Some organisations will not change and may be abandoned while others may see the importance of a rights perspective and expand its work and perspective based on practical experience and high credibility at local level. The strong thematic focus may have caused confusion about the goal for working with partners. Some have defined partnership as ends in itself – almost independently of what is the core values and work of the organisations.


Chapter 5: Achievements and Results

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CHAPTER 5: ACHIEVEMENTS AND RESULTS In this chapter we discuss results. The emphasis is not on the results per se, but on NPA’s ability to deliver results and to report on results. Knowledge of results is closely connected to the systems for monitoring and evaluation. As we have seen above and in the two annexed country reports, there are several monitoring and evaluation activities. Some aspects of monitoring and evaluation are subject to routines and other aspects are more ad hoc. There is a lack of policies and practice to guide the systematic collection of evidence on results. Even so, there is a lot of material coming out of self-evaluation exercises, commissioned reports, mid-term reviews, and from the narrative reports submitted by partners. These sources will be used to exemplify achievements, but it must be emphasised that it has not been part of our mandate to assess results at the level of specific projects or programmes. 5.1. Understanding of Results

All of the interviews in Oslo concluded with a question on what the respondents would say were the most successful results that NPA could point to. Everyone gave an answer even if they often found it difficult to quote only one example and they often needed to explain and qualify the successes. Much as the information was interesting, it also showed what people perceive as results. The vast majority gave examples of success such as: “The meetings we organised were very good. They led to interesting contacts and exciting network opportunities and they were well organised.” “That we no longer focus on quantities of mines or square kilometres of de-mining, but that we focus on impact” “That we have better tools for implementation now, better instruments, and that we have a clearer understanding in our own organisation” The way results were presented focused very much on the process of working, either on the relationship to the partner and the activities being implemented, or even sometimes on the working processes of NPA itself. The question is how interesting these processes are in themselves, and specifically how interesting they are for those who contribute funds to NPA. We would assume that for most stakeholders the results of NPA must be described in terms of whether the work of the partner organisations contributes to an improved situation for the beneficiary group. It is not the processes that are the most interesting, but real changes in organisations and changes for the people with whom the organisations work. Some few respondents described results in such terms: “there are several examples that I have seen when indigenous peoples have been able to defend their rights to land, when their organisations have become stronger and they can make themselves heard in and influence local politics, for example in municipal assemblies” “in Chile the livelihoods of local fishermen were threatened as the government wanted to give quotas of fish to foreign companies (Norwegian). NPA helped local fishermen organise and demonstrate


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against this, and we also supported with activities in Norway. They won the case, and can continue to fish as they have used to.” The latter two are concrete examples of how the support has made a difference in people’s lives and it shows how a rights based approach has been successful. It does not describe the process of cooperation. It describes the result in clear and practical terms. It is a challenge for NPA to make its staff at all levels think in terms of results such as these. The results are often there, but there is a need for practical – and critical – thinking to understand what the processes have led to and to give voice to these new situations. The problem in respect of seeing results comes from the very first formulation of problems and objectives. We have commented on NPA’s ability to set priorities and develop realistic plans. At the concrete level of activities that are specified in agreements with partners. At the aggregate level it becomes more difficult. Sometimes the results expected at aggregate levels are abstract and difficult to measure within reasonable budgets for evaluation. At other times these objectives restate the partner organisations general objectives and purpose, and hence to asses them would not be a valid assessment of NPA´s results. So the problem with knowing about results stems from the way objectives and results are defined in the first place. There are in principle two ways to define objectives and results. One approach is to describe what you are going to do; for example to strengthen an organisation, to contribute to respect for human rights, to build networks, to develop infrastructure, etc. The other approach is to describe what you want to achieve, that is, to express what the situation should be like when the action is over. Both approaches have their strengths and weaknesses. It is often easier to define processes than to define end states. Also, if one is not careful with the choice of words the distinction can become meaningless – the process of strengthening an organisation or the end state of a strong organisation are about equally vague. The difference is that it is easier to specify what a strong organisation means and to develop criteria for when the result has been achieved. Expressing objectives as end states makes it easier to assess progress. NPA, as so many other organisations, needs to change its culture when it comes to talking about results. The strong and dominant process orientation, which is also vague and abstract, needs to be changed into a focus on how the efforts supported affect the target group and/or how framework conditions are influenced. Several of the persons we interviewed at Head Office and in the field offices are well aware of the problem and are keen to improve the quality of objectives. There has also been progress; the projects in the Andean programme do present results as end states to be achieved, and some of the subprojects have followed suit, even though most remain with results that are still expressed as processes. A log frame is attached to the strategic plan. Also in Mozambique, the programme and project coordinators had worked out elaborate log-frames with results and some preliminary indicators for measuring the results. Again, the challenge in Mozambique was to come up with verifiable indicators that could measure organisational development. There is a need to increase the speed of transformation and to make sure that expected results are expressed in concrete terms that can be assessed –and when relevant, also measured.


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5.2. Relevance

The review team concludes that the overall objectives in NPA’s strategy for the 2004– 2007 period are relevant; they are well anchored in international agreements and they connect to Norwegian policies for international development cooperation. The partnership approach, such as it is operationalised in NPA, sets a good example in avoiding most of the common mistakes and shortcomings in capacity building. The experience from country visits show that the programmes and projects are relevant, but they also demonstrate that relevance needs to be assessed continuously. What was relevant yesterday may not be equally relevant today or tomorrow. In Ecuador, for example, there is a need for a much stronger emphasis on indigenous peoples’ rights to natural resources for NPA’s activities to be fully relevant in light of the present political and social situation there. In Mozambique, NPA needs to reassess relevance of interventions and alliances given its intention to increase dialogue at national level. The relevance of a regional programme for Southern Africa and its relationship to the national programme also needs to be explored. However, the purpose here is not to assess relevance as such, but rather to find out how NPA itself assesses the relevance of its work and whether it has the systems and procedures in place to make sure it funds relevant activities. The table below presents what the respondents to the self assessment survey think about the relevance of NPA and its work. It is notable that 100% agree with the statement that NPA’s assistance is relevant and beneficial, and 94% agree that it is consistent with partner and country needs. A very large majority at 90% think that the organisation is stable and consistent, that it is not much influenced by fashions and short-lived trends. It is a good sign that people express confidence in their organisation and in its achievements, and also that many still think that there is scope for improvement. This example of strong support for the relevance of the work done demonstrates peoples’ sense of identity and belief in shared values that was discussed in chapter 2. To what extent do you agree with the following statements?

Strongly disagree

Disagree

Agree

Strongly agree

Don’t know/NA

3% 0 3%

31% 10% 55%

56% 77% 32%

3% 13% 6%

6% 0 3%

0

31%

40%

6%

22%

3%

22%

44%

6%

25%

0

13%

75%

6%

6%

6%

25%

53%

3%

13%

0

0

81%

13%

6%

0

0

75%

25%

0

Responsiveness and relevance - NPA responds quickly to new needs. - NPA is resilient – not swayed by new winds. - A culture of learning is embedded in the organisation - Political analyses of the role of partners are systematically carried out. - Risk-assessments and conflict sensitivity analyses are carried out. - NPA has managed to adjust the programme portfolio in line with its international strategy. - NPA has been able to adjust organisational structures and operational modes according to different contexts and forms of assistance. - Programmes and projects are consistent with partner and country needs - Partners perceive NPA support to be relevant and beneficial.

The responses show that 81% think the organisation has adjusted the project portfolio to the new strategy. The team found this response to vary between continents and


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countries. In Ecuador and Latin America most of the partners were the same but the overall approach in the strategy was well integrated into activities. But there were also significant aspects of the strategy that were hardly integrated at all, such as the cross cutting issues of gender, HIV/AIDS and environment. The latter was also the case for Mozambique, although to a lesser degree. Even though a majority agrees that organisational structures and modes of operation are adjusted to different contexts, there are also many who don’t know or who disagree. We saw examples of flexible structures and processes of cooperation, but the question is whether these are properties of the individuals working there or whether it is the organisation itself. We would tend to think that it is more people’s ability to be flexible than the organisation as such that is designed to allow for flexible local responses. It is also interesting to note that 90% agree that NPA is resilient and that it is not moved by trends and fashions in development cooperation. NPA assumes many roles and operates in different modes, and hence it could at times be seen to shift in response to opportunities for financing. But a strong sense of core values, based on solidarity and partnership, ascertains that these responses to opportunities do not violate the identity and the core of organisational values. This capacity to balance change and stability needs to be made better known and better communicated internally and externally. We have discussed organisational learning above, but it is recurrent theme throughout the report, especially since a significant majority of 58% disagrees that there is a culture of organisational learning. This calls for the attention of NPA’s management, in order for the organisation to be relevant, effective and to help build sustainable capacities. Many lack opportunities for professional development and there are no systematic approaches to learning. Much of the organisational learning takes place ad hoc and through the practical activities, such as meetings with partners. As much as learning from practice is useful, it may not give sufficient insights into the overall relevance of activities. Many of the issues to learn about go beyond the partners’ direct experiences. On the other hand, it is likely that most learning will occur in partnership, and NPA could ascertain that it works with partners that can contribute with knowledge and research evidence. In Ecuador, we saw how NPA partnered with research organisations. That would be a mutually beneficial relationship, where these organisations help NPA assess political context and challenges, and thus feeds into NPA’s organisational learning. In Mozambique there were much learning generated from partnership meetings and seminars, some of the lessons learnt were noted down in reports, but was not found to be “digested” in the organisation – and much less, transferred to other parts of NPA globally.21 One exception to this must be mentioned, the Young Voices programme of Southern Africa involving youth from South Africa, Zimbabwe and a few youth from Mozambique is issuing newsletters about what they have learnt from each other during the programme. Political analysis, conflict analysis and risk assessment are important tools to assess relevance and produce results that are relevant. However it is uncertain how common 21

E.g. Report from Regional Seminar – Southern Africa, May 2006


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such instruments are. During the interviews in Oslo, several respondents stressed that NPA’s policy of keeping globally agreed analytical and operational tools to a minimum was to ensure maximum relevance at country level. It is worth noting that there are considerable differences between those working with Mine Action projects and other parts of the organisation, where the former have more elaborate routines and procedures and more formal systems. This may explain the apparent contradiction in the survey response. Even though many respondents agree that such instruments are used, the interviews in Ecuador and Nicaragua indicate that though assessments are done they don’t usually follow the formats established centrally. The risk assessments appear to vary considerably as the country studies show, and that we also discussed in chapter 3. At times they were also more of a formality than a significant probing into the real risks and challenges. Risk assessments are meant to be tools that help managing risk, but then the level of analysis need to be better. NPA does not appear to be either better or worse than other organisations. This is a very difficult task and experience from other organisations suggest that when catastrophes occur, risk management systems have often not been of any major help either in warning about the event or helping the organisations cope with it. NPA’s level of effort in this field is appropriate and until there is more substantive knowledge and methods in this field, it does not make sense to undertake any further investments in systems and assessment formats. 5.3. Effectiveness

Effectiveness is defined as whether objectives are met. Is it possible to know whether NPA’s objectives have been met during the 2004 – 2007 strategic period? Does NPA itself know, and if it does, what kind of information and evidence does it have? It could be useful to reflect on the practical experience from the two country visits. The table below shows the immediate objectives of the two projects in the Andean program were, that is, the objectives that are to be achieved by the end of 2007: Indigenous peoples’ rights in the Andes region Strengthened indigenous Immediate objective movement with proactive capacities, ability to influence normative frameworks, public policies and practices that guarantee the recognition and enforcement of collective rights. Source: Deviation report 28 06 2004.

Democracy: the right to participate in the Andes region Proactive participation of indigenous organisations in local power structures, allowing indigenous peoples to link their interests with those of other sectors, and thereby promote local and regional development policies based on respect for diversity, the enforcement of collective rights, and inter-cultural spaces.

Is there now, approaching the end of the four-year period, any indications that these objectives are met? There is hardly any doubt that the indigenous organisations are still weak and fragmented. When the Ecuadorian constitution was reformed in 1998, the indigenous movement played an important role and had many of its objectives met. Some of those who comment on the indigenous organisations say that the movement as a whole was stronger in the late 1990s than it is today, ten years later. On the other hand, in mid February 2007 CONAIE and its allies were able to organise major protests and demonstrations that influenced the decision to have a referendum concerning a new Constitution. This was a demonstration of strength and there are also other indications that the indigenous movement whether fragmented or not, can


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exercise power and influence the national policies. But whether it has grown stronger or weaker cannot be attributed to NPA. The partnership may have helped shape some particular capacities and it has provided a platform for debates, analysis and network building. The major events on the national political scene are caused by many factors, and so is organisational strength. NPA´s partnership is likely to have contributed to the development, but they were certainly not the major cause. An argument around whether the two objectives are met can certainly be made, but it takes a rather skilled political analysis. There is certainly no easy linear connection between cause and event, and any credible statement around the impact of NPA’s work would have to be built around non-linear social change, multiple causalities, and uncertainty. Anything else, such as possibly measures on an ordinal scale, would simply appear naïve and less than trustworthy. Turning to Mozambique, the country strategy 2005-09 identified the following goals: Long term development objective

Rights based organisations working in Mozambique have strengthened their ability and capacity to mobilize for democratization and social and economic change

Immediate development objective

NPA partners and their constituencies have skills and strategies that enhance the capacity of the civil society to influence policy and decision making that affect their lives

These objectives are somewhat similar to those of the projects in the Andean programme. They are broad and it is difficult to measure to what extent NPA has been able to achieve the two objectives above, but it is not impossible to assess progress. The long-term objective is the expected impact NPA is hoping to contribute to – along with other organisations intervening in the Mozambican development context. The immediate goal should, however, be measurable and the guiding principle for all NPA’s interventions in the country. As NPA in Mozambique has soon come half-way trough its strategic period 2005 - 2009, it is reasonable to ask how it will measure the effects. Operational indicators can be worked out for both of the objectives, but as far as we have seen, no such indicators have been selected. In both of these cases, Ecuador and Mozambique, there is a need to think thoroughly about how to assess and/or measure results and to plan for data collection and analysis. The table below shows the responses from the self assessment in respect of effectiveness issues. There are many who doubt that NPA has made special efforts to measure effect (48), and also many who lack indicators of progress (35%). There were also many who did not know or who found the question not applicable to their work. But many agreed that special efforts have been made and that there are indicators, and perhaps there are different experiences in different parts of the organisations. Our field visits did not provide us with any examples of either special efforts to measure or assess results. In some cases, as described in the country reports, we could see indicators developed. But they seemed impractical and were not much used. The PES (the evaluation system) builds on indicators, but as we have described above the system is not in use. To what extent do you agree with the following statements?

Strongly disagree

Disagree

Agree

Strongly agree

Don’t know/NA


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Effectiveness - NPA meets its short-term targets in annual work plans. - There have been special efforts to measure the effects of advocacy work and capacity building efforts. - Success indicators are established for your area of work. - NPA achieves its objectives. - NPA contributes to strengthening knowledge and capacity among partners. - NPA contributes to building civil society in a country (not only individual organisations). - Achievements of NPA compare well with other similar organisations.

0

6%

71%

10%

13%

6%

42%

29%

3%

19%

0

35%

52%

6%

6%

0 0

6% 3%

81% 62%

3% 35%

10% 0

0

6%

55%

32%

6%

0

3%

62%

23%

13%

A large majority of 81% agree that short term targets in work plans are met. The annual agreements that we looked at and discussed with partners are concrete and from what we could see the activities were done. But it is not equally clear that objectives were met and expected results achieved. The narrative reports from partners focus on activities and the samples we looked at did not say much about results. However, it was a small number of agreements and we have no sense for how common such findings would be. As we have said, the narrative progress reports are quite detailed and they give NPA good insights into how organisational capacities are strengthened. There are good reasons to think that there is more and better knowledge on that subject coming out of partner dialogues and progress reports than comes out of evaluations. One question in the table is whether NPA contributed to building civil society in a country. Fully 87% agree or strongly agree with that statement. It seems likely that individual organisations do get stronger, but we have actually not found any systematic argument in favour of that achievement, but on the other hand we found nothing to the contrary either. It seems that we have to deal with beliefs rather than evidence-based results. While it is fine that people believe in a mission and in success, a somewhat critical and perhaps also humble approach to the task could be useful and a good starting point for organisational learning. Finally most people think that NPA compares well with similar NGOs. The input to this review from discussions with partners seems to be that NPA is among the most appreciated funding organisations. It is flexible and tolerant, but also helpful and supportive. It does not tolerate poor financial management, but it can help sort problems out. NPA is seen to have a long-term commitment and it is in the long term that objectives are reached. 5.4. Sustainability

The questions around sustainability refer both to NPA itself and to partner organisations. The financial base has been discussed previously, and many consider that the organisation has become too reliant on external funds. On the other hand, all would recognize that there is no way that membership fees or voluntary contributions could make up for the funds allocated from Norad and from other international funding organisations. In chapter 3.3 we have discussed the issues of NPA’s financial resources and hence we now turn to the sustainability of field operations.


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The question then is whether the results are sustainable, whether the partner organisations can continue activities when projects come to and end. The question cannot be answered at a general level; it has to be grounded in practice and in concrete evidence. First we would like to point to an example from Mozambique. The Mine Action Programme has been NPA’s largest programme in Mozambique and from one perspective the most visible and significant achievement22. NPA started demining operations in Mozambique in 1993, as part of the general United Nations peacekeeping operation. In 1999, a donor report estimated the problem to be solved by 2006-7 and recommended that NPA should start planning for a phase-out by then. A phase-out strategy was adopted in 2003 and the build-down of the organisation started. From then the remaining efforts were geared towards surveying and identification of the remaining problems. Operations ended in November 2006 with a formal hand-over from NPA to the Mozambican government. There has not yet been a final evaluation of the Mine Action Programme assessing to what extent objectives have been achieved, but such an evaluation is planned. MAP has to a large extent been successful in clearing mines and reducing human suffering from accidents in the three provinces. NPA was considered a major actor in the area of de-mining in Mozambique and respected as a professional and effective organisation. Much less information is available about to what extent long-term objectives are reached – sustained improvement of socio-economic living. NPA’s monitoring has not captured such changes and has focused on outputs and immediate outcomes of clearing mines. It seems unlikely that NPA has been able to build longterm sustainable capacities. A study has been carried out (Knudsen 2005) explaining NPA’s history in Mozambique as a history of technological transfer from a highly advanced country to a pre-industrial society where national authorities had collapsed. This discusses some of the problems of capacity building and results. Even though there is no evaluation, there is a lot of “evaluative information” and many opinions on impact and whether this has been successful or not. It would not be too difficult to use this for a final and concluding assessment on de-mining in Mozambique. Our assessment of activities in Ecuador was similar. At a first glance, sustainability might appear to be low. The activities financed by NPA are for the most part not sustainable. If the support was withdrawn, the activities NPA finances would come to an end. In some cases, the partners would perhaps be able to find other donors, but substituting one donor for another is not the same as building sustainable structures and processes. In our opinion, the notion of sustainability means that the partner organisation should not need external support to continue activities. Organisations in Ecuador such as ECUARUNARI and CONAIE appear to receive some 25 – 50% of their budget from NPA. If NPA withdrew, they could not cover such a budget shortfall by either government contributions, funds from members, or income generating activities. When other partners, such as FUDEKI, PIA, or CID are assessed, the conclusion is the same. But the fact that the activities would be terminated does not necessarily mean that the capacities as such would not be sustainable. Within a popular movement such as CONAIE, ECUARUNARI and 22

The following is based on Knudsen’s (2006) analysis of NPA’s Mine Action Programme in Mozambiqe.


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MICC, the local contribution is working time and political commitment. If the cooperation has supported to analyse roles, suggested modes of governing structures, or build leadership skills, these can certainly be exercised without any further funding. The indigenous women who have learnt leadership skills will in all likelihood continue to make their voices hear in local assemblies, the young people who have become engaged against criminality and drug abuse can continue their work. To exercise the skills does not always require any funding, and hence many of the capacities are in themselves sustainable. With some exceptions and reservations and at times depending on how the concepts are interpreted, the review finds that the subprojects in Ecuador are both relevant and effective, and that the capacities created are sustainable even if the activities that produce these capacities would not occur without external support. But NPA needs to develop its approach to sustainability. It seems as the concept of partnership will develop in the future and there will be a sharper distinction between different forms of partnerships. Increasing the number of strategic partners implies that NPA will move in and out of partnerships more frequently, and as partnerships will end it is vital that both partners are prepared for what will happen afterwards. Both NPA and its partners need to develop their analysis of sustainability and to cope with the issues. 5.5. Concluding Remarks

The analysis in this chapter indicates that the activities funded by NPA are relevant, effective and sustainable. The responses to the self assessment show that staff members of NPA strongly believe that this is the case, and the survey shows that people have a strong belief in the results of NPA. But there is relatively little in terms of formal systems and procedures to ascertain relevance and to assess results, and there is no doubt that NPA needs to invest time and resources in these fields. Relevance, effectiveness and sustainability are all three complex aggregate terms and any discussion of them must be grounded in practice and in evidence of results. One major problem is that many of the staff members in NPA are highly process oriented, and while processes are useful instruments it is – in the final end – not the processes that count but what is achieved through the processes. NPA management works to change the process orientation, but this is a hard task where much work remains to be done. Most of the time one cannot answer questions about relevance, impact and sustainability with a simple “yes” or “no”. Much as we found evidence in favour of these three attributes, there are also question marks, and at times we also saw examples of low effectiveness and little sustainability. This suggests that when the organisation seeks to know about its results, it must strive for qualitative and reliable evidence rather than “quick and dirty” measures. We do not think it is impossible to assess and measure progress against the objectives of NPA, but it is a complex task that needs to be meticulously planned.


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CHAPTER 6: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 6.1. Conclusion on NPA Abilities

The assessment framework from Chapter 1 implies that NPA needs four key abilities to provide effective aid – capacities which to a large extent determine organisational performance. The argument is that a high score on only one or two of the abilities is not sufficient. It is the successful combination of all four which provides the basis for high performance. The discussion in chapters 2 through 5 has partly built on the self-assessment by NPA staff and board members. The figure below sums up their aggregate assessment of the organisation. If all had agreed with all statements, the figure would have been a perfect quadrate, with one corner at the end of each scale. That is of course an ideal state that organisations seldom if ever reach. The figure below indicates that, according to the self assessment, NPA’s strengths lie in the ability to produce results and in its ability to engage in partnerships. It is also thought to have a good ability to be, but its relative weakness lies in the ability to organise. The largest worries are around lack of stable and predictable funding and recruitment processes and the highest scores on cooperation with partner organisations23. Ability to be

Ability to relate

Ability to organise

Ability to do Each of these abilities must be understood against the background of how the ability has been assessed through our questions in the survey. However, the review builds on four sources of data; the self assessment survey, data from country visits, interviews at headquarters, and study of documents. Even though there are some discrepancies, by and large, the data points in the same direction. The strengths of the organisation lie in its ability to do relevant work, to work practically and concretely with partners. It has a strong identity in that work and a set of core values that are recognised internally and externally. NPA’s relative weakness lies in its systems and procedures, a fragile financial basis, it’s many times informal channels of communication and what appears to be an ad-hoc approach to selection and assessment of partners, political-, risk,- and conflict analysis, monitoring and evaluation. The principal question mark refers to the ability to do, that is the results and achievements. While the review cannot produce any evidence in respect of overall 23

Average scores have been found based on survey responses, but only major trends have been mentioned here.


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results, it seems that NPA itself cannot really do so either. Hence, when staff members express a strong belief that the activities produce good results this is an opinion based on their own practical experience, but it is not systematised or evidence-based. • Ability to Be NPA has a strong identity based on a set of core values and beliefs grounded in international solidarity. The organisational approach to rights based development and partnerships is known and partially well understood in the organisation. The global strategy for the period 2004 to 2007 is widely supported, but it is more understood as a working document that needs to be refined and further developed. Both rights based development and partnerships are complex concepts and there is a need to develop the understanding of them, follow-up how they are applied in practice, and deepen the knowledge of what they mean – in particular the rights based approach. These tasks require a high degree of intellectual leadership and conceptual clarity from management. When the current strategy was adopted, the organisation had to change many of its projects and programmes. The strategy is ambitious and it builds on a number of strategic dimensions. The programme and project content appears to have changed fast and in line with strategic emphasis towards rights based cooperation. But looking at the strategy as such, there are too many priorities and cross cutting issues (HIV/AIDS, gender and environment) and there has not been a consistent follow up of these. The attempt at mainstreaming gender, HIV/AIDS and environment into all programmes is found to have failed as these issues tend to get much less attention than the thematic priorities. NPA can assume several roles in the field work; it can provide emergency assistance and it can work operationally in, for example, humanitarian mine action, but its main task is advocacy and rights based political work. This is a strength that makes the organisation flexible and responsive, but it is also a weakness as it may find it difficult to present and communicate a clear identity to external stakeholders. The review concludes that it is important to build on the existing strengths, but it is also necessary to devote more attention to communicate overall vision and objectives both internally and externally. The new strategy should play an important role in this, but it must be less complex and extensive than the 2004 – 2007 strategy. It would also be useful to distinguish between a policy and a more operational strategy document and not try to combine the two. • Ability to Organise NPA is a knowledge based organisation and as such human resource management is one of the most important functions. During the strategic period 2004 – 2007 the total number of staff in the International Department has been around 60. It has not been difficult to recruit or keep employees, if anything personnel turnover appears to be low. There is rather a need to recruit staff who are younger and who have more administrative and managerial skills. The gender balance is appropriate and the approach to gender and equity is strongly supported by staff members in Head Office. The weakest aspect of human resource management is the lack of a comprehensive approach to organisational learning and knowledge management.


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The systems and procedures of NPA are of many kinds and of differing qualities. There are also examples where systems are in place, but not used or used by only parts of the organisation. The review team found that there had been significant progress in financial management, where the systems had become more cost effective and more reliable in the past two years. Projects are followed up in Agresso, but that system does not appear to provide adequate information on aspects of strategic management and it is not developed to provide monitoring data or other forms of information that relate to strategic dimensions. NPA has tried to introduce systems in risk assessment, partner analysis, and in evaluation. These systems have not been implemented and the reason is often that they been overly complex, standardised to the extent of becoming irrelevant, and not really supported at higher levels in the organisation. This has lead to a waste of effort and missed opportunities for more relevant approaches to these tasks. On the other hand, NPA’s decentralized system allows for development of more specific tools at country level. With NPA’s limited human resources, it is a challenge to ensure that tools remain relevant and of high quality through changing approaches and policy environments. The financial resource base of NPA’s international engagement is weak. The organisation relies to a large extent on the framework agreement with Norad which has a long term nature and is quite flexible, but also on (short term) projects financed from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.24 NPA has also attracted project finances from other international organisations, but these are earmarked to projects and does not alleviate the lack of own funding to sustain the NPA as a whole. Its main challenge is to develop sources of income and financing that can reduce its dependence on external agencies. • Ability to Relate The partnership approach is one of the major strengths of NPA and it provides one of the core values of the organisation. This is such a strong value that it is not always clear whether partnerships are an end in themselves or seen as instruments to reach other ends. At times staff members appear to be too focused on capacity building and the issue of how capacities are put to use is left to the side – with consequences for understanding of and accounting for results. NPA works effectively with partners. It is seen to be a good partner, it is transparent and shares information with others. The main critical finding during the review was that the dialogue with partner organisation is too cautious. NPA is keen to be perceived as non-interfering and to show respect for the partners’ independence and integrity. In our view it should be possible to provide advice, give criticism, and enter into a more substantive dialogue if the partnership is solid and based on shared interests and values. NPA may need to shift its approach and encourage staff at all level to become more involved in substantive discussions with partners. Examples of such issues can be gender equality, HIV/AIDS, anti-corruption work, and how to work in a highly politicized conflict environment – even if such issues might be perceived to be sensitive. 24

The exception to this is MFA’s funding of the Lebanon programme which has lasted for more than 20 years, and to some extent the MFA funding of Sudan.


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There are many kinds of partnership. The difference between strategic and project partnership is not clear. Some partnerships are long terms and others short term, some organisations are popular organisations with large numbers of members, others are small NGOs. Some partners are political movements, others local governments engaged in operational activities or do research. There are national organisations, regional and community based partners and even central government for Mine Action Programmes. All these different types may imply that the partnership should be started, managed and possibly phased out and ended in different ways. NPA does not articulate any consequences of the differences, but effective management needs to cope with quite different situations and this could be better supported through organisational policies around various types of partnership. NPA has guidelines for working with civil society, but few operational manuals providing technical and practical guidelines for how to do a capacity assessment or design an organisational development programme. Much of what is presented as capacity strengthening is only scratching the surface of organisational change. NPA has been able to adjust and respond to new challenges with a culture for frank open internal self-critical evaluations, but not always the same ability to conclude discussions, make time decisions and implement them efficiently. Some organisational problems have lingered on for too long without being resolved. • Ability to Do One of the major issues is how one understands results and what kind of evidence is provided for results. A majority among staff members tend to discuss results in terms of processes, for example network building, contributions to strengthening organisations, empowerment and so on. These processes are important, but it is even more important to understand and to recount and verify what kinds of social, economic and political situations that these processes create. If the actual conditions of life for the people who are intended to benefit do not change, then the processes may have little merit. NPA’s management is working with the understanding of results and there has been some change in the direction of formulating project objectives and expected results that are clear and that describe end states. But this change has started recently and there is still some way to go before it is completed. The review concluded that from what we could see of project activities, what we read of monitoring and evaluation reports, much of the activities are relevant, effective and sustainable. But these qualities are not usually either present or absent, but are aspects of the results that can often be improved. The most important aspects are: (1) to make sure that the project portfolio is fully relevant in the face of changing political situations, (2) to address effectiveness by formulating goals, objectives and results that can be assessed, and (3) to ascertain the capacity of partners to continue working without external funding.


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6.2 Conclusions on Effective Aid

The terms of reference state that the purpose of this review is to examine NPA’s ability to provide effective aid, meaning cost efficient use of funds, results in accordance with approved plans, relevance to final recipients, and ability to achieve its own goals. The four abilities we discuss above indicate whether NPA can fulfill these tasks. In sum we found: 1. NPA is a cost efficient organisation. The total number of staff members is low and program staff handle large amounts of money per capita. Still NPA provides a form of aid that is labor intensive in administration, dialogue and follow up with partners, and knowledge intensive. Financial management systems are effective and it is an organisation with low transaction costs due to informal systems, strong sense of shared values, and low staff turnover. 2. Results in accordance with approved plans. NPA has several layers of planning. The internal planning system is effective, and there is a frank and useful follow up of results. Planning with partners is focused on the contract with agreements, specified objectives and expected results. These are followed up and the activities are usually well accounted for. The reports from the partners do not focus on results, and there is not much aggregation from activities and outputs to outcomes and impact. Many staff members, as well as partners themselves know about results, but there is little systematic evidence to support their assessments. The information filtering up to Norad through the current reporting system is correct, but often of limited value – often because of constraints in the system and lack of clear guidelines of what type of information is required. 3. Relevance to final recipients is high. The activities are well in line with international agreements that form the contractual framework for rights based approaches to development. The activities are also well in line with Norwegian policies for development cooperation. Most projects were found relevant. There were some examples where the political and social situations had changed and hence what was originally relevant had changed. 4. Ability to achieve its own goals. NPA has many goals at programme and project level and in specific partnerships. It cannot reach all of them, but it probably reaches many, but exactly how many is hard to tell as there is no aggregate information that is valid and reliable. The review has repeatedly noted that the goals can be reached in the long term, but are not realistic to be achieved within a one year contracts, or even in four year programmes.


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6.3. Recommendations

The review process has given many insights into NPA and there are several aspects of governance, organisation, partnerships and results that can be strengthened. Much of this is noted in the two country reports and also in the text in chapters 2 through 5. Below we summarize the main recommendations that can be based on the above mentioned conclusions. Recommendations to NPA: Number 1: NPA should revise its global policy and strategy document as a policy document (differentiate between policy and strategy) focusing on: • A rights based approach to development • A well developed common understanding of partnership • A solidarity perspective. • A limited number of thematic areas in which NPA should have core skills and competencies. • Providing flexible and responsive support, and adapt goals and means to specific contexts. • Explaining and clarifying NPA’s multiple objectives and different approaches and working methods, e.g. attitudes towards social service delivery in certain contexts, collaboration with central and local governments. Number2: NPA should prepare brief operational strategies at global and regional levels: • Providing a holistic overview of all activities within a geographic area irrespective of source of funding. • Explaining the selection of countries, thematic priorities and partners. • Assessing how to work in areas of conflict (conflict sensitive programming). • Justifying the allocation of resources between countries, partners and programmes. • Describing the organisational set up and support from NPA including human and technical support. Number 3: NPA should continue and strengthen its organisational development, first and foremost: • Knowledge management and organisational learning to ascertain that staff members develop professionally and share experiences. • Clarify decision making processes and define responsibilities for key strategic decisions – in particular in relation to partner countries. • Review the role and functions of Regional Offices and the Thematic and Geographical Advisors at HO, and the division of labor between them • Develop a policy for monitoring and evaluation, reassign responsibility for this function, allocate funds within a four year program, design a monitoring framework and set priorities for evaluations.


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Recommendations to Norad Norad should enter into negotiations with NPA about a new frame agreement from 2008. NPA is found to have the policies, organisational systems and resources and partners to deliver effective aid. However, there is considerable scope for improvements and Norad should follow the progress of NPA in three areas that are of particular importance: • • •

The programming structure and what regional programmes, country programmes, projects, and subprojects consist of. The organizing framework needs to be made simple, understandable and transparent. The ability of NPA and its partners to set goals, objectives, and expected results, that are realistic and that can be achieved within the period of the activities that are supported. The systems of monitoring and evaluation so that there will be valid and reliable evidence of results.

In each of these three areas Norad and NPA should agree on a process of organisational change within NPA, with problem oriented studies, proposals for solution, and implementation of changes. All three processes of change should be completed within the next four year cycle. There should be periodic reports to Norad on progress, obstacles, and impact of the changes. Norad should also: • Make sure that the level of funding during the frame agreement is as predictable and consistent as possible. • Respect and not impose any major changes in thematic and geographic priorities agreed to for the frame period. Alternatively, do not earmark specific country programmes, but rather leave NPA to ensure that a certain percentage of the budget is spent in agreed regions/countries. • Clarify realistic grant application and reporting requirements – in particular in relation to short- and long-term results.


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Annex 1: Terms of Reference

Review of Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) 1. Model for work on the organisational review In the figure below, the main components of the review are illustrated by an open organisational system in which the different parts are dependent both on each other and on the surroundings. The organisational review will comprise a capacity analysis of the system’s performance, illustrated in triangle (II), and find out where its strengths and weaknesses lie. The analysis also requires knowledge about organisational matters that must be taken from the square (I), and the results achieved by the partners, among final recipients and other groups illustrated by the contents of the circle (III). The contents of these sub-figures are described in more detail in section 4. C O N T E X T H OM E AND ABROAD _________________organisational learning___________________ | | V V

I. Description of the organisation: a) The organisation’s platform and coverage in Norway and internationally b) Organogram and place of the international work c) Strategic coherence between goals, strategy and action levels d) Human, professional and financial resources e) Procedures/tools for organisation management and financial management f) Evaluation and learning g) Strategic management of different sources of funding

II. Performance: The analysis of what the organisation and partner achieve together in terms of aid

Utkomme: III. Results: Results achieved among partners, final recipients and other groups in the immediate environs and local community

|_________________ organisational learning _________________| C O N T E X T H OM E AND ABROAD The organisational review concentrates on the services the Norwegian organisation delivers. This means services delivered both upwards in the organisational chain to Norad and players in the international arena, and downwards to partners abroad. Services also include what partners deliver upwards to the Norwegian organisation, to other national players and downwards to local target groups. Services delivered upwards can, for example, include the organisation’s reports to Norad. Services delivered downwards can include the organisation’s programmes and collaboration with local partners. It is the “performance of the system for service delivery” that is to be analysed, not the services themselves. “Services” include both service delivery, capacity building and advocacy work.


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The context at home influences the Norwegian organisation in Norway; the context abroad influences the organisation and partners in their joint work. By context is meant framework conditions which the organisation cannot influence itself, factors it can influence as a result of prolonged purposeful efforts, and factors in its surroundings which it can readily influence. The organisational review will normally start with a description of the services delivered at different levels in the organisational chain. The description shall be related to the context in question. It shall also provide an overview of the distribution of resources in the organisational chain. As the analysis of the organisation’s and partners’ services progresses, the causes of the conditions that are uncovered will be examined in more depth, both factors of an organisational nature (the square box I), the partners’ roles and resources, and factors that can be attributed to the context in which the work is done. It is important not just to examine the results (circle III) among partners and final recipients/target groups, but also the results for other groups in the immediate environs and the local community. Unintended consequences of the organisation’s and partners’ work are also relevant to examine in this connection. As illustrated by the arrows in the figure, there is continuous interaction between the organisational chain and the surroundings. In this interaction a great deal of communication and learning takes place at different organisational levels between the Norwegian organisation, partners and recipients, which is important to performance. The capacity analysis of this organisational system shall assess both the services delivered and the quality of the ongoing interaction processes, which will require the use of different kinds of indicators. The square (I) contains the actual description of the organisation, including the organisation’s platform, organogram, strategic coherence, human and financial resources and procedures/tools for monitoring, evaluation and learning. The analysis of the organisation’s ability, together with its local partner, to make use of its resources in order to achieve results takes place in the triangle (II). The analysis of performance is the most important part of the organisational review. The circle (III) contains the results which the organisation achieves together with its partners with respect to the development of the partners’ capacity and aid to final recipients. The results are divided into two parts in order to illustrate that most organisations have the twofold goal of strengthening local partners and thereby strengthening special target groups and/or civil society. In addition to observations, interviews and the material available in the organisation’s reports to Norad, the country visits will show whether the results among partners or final recipients are actually in accordance with the picture painted by the organisation in its reports. Summing up An organisational review shall thus assess an organisation’s ability to achieve effective aid given its available financial, human and professional resources and work methods. The main question is whether the organisation – together with its partners – has the capacity and professional expertise required to achieve its goals and


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implement the measures and programmes. This presupposes that the organisation is familiar with the socio-cultural context in which it operates, that it has a realistic ambition level for its work, and well-functioning systems for quality assurance. Other important aspects include examining to what extent and how the organisation coordinates its work with other organisations, locally and in relation to the national authorities. And whether it is familiar with and utilises relevant/ acknowledged guidelines and standards in its work The team’s assessment shall take account of Norad’s experience of dialogue with the organisation, the annual meeting, country visits, the organisation’s follow-up of previous grant letters, participation in various national and international forums etc. After an overall assessment, Norad should be able to: • Determine whether the organisation has the required system for management and control of its own activities, including expertise with respect to developing and applying methods and systems for the documentation of results and long-term effects. • Determine whether the organisation’s reports to Norad give a true picture of partners and final recipients and provide Norad with an adequate basis on which to assess further support. • Determine whether the organisation is capable of adapting goals and means to each other, and adapting means and goals to the situation and the context. After the review the organisation should be able to: • Decide the direction of the organisation’s further work on development of its capacity. 2. Background Why an NPA review in 2006? Norad will in the dialogue with Norwegian NGOs focus increasingly on strategic issues and results. Capacity analyses will become more important for Norad in the future when considering the level of support to Norwegian NGOs. This review will assist Norad and NPA to set the agenda. Launching the review in 2006 will make it possible to include the findings and recommendations of the report into in the dialogue towards a new cooperation agreement between NPA and Norad (2008- ), and in the final phase of the process of developing NPA’s new strategy for the period 2008-2011. The previous review of NPA commissioned by Norad took place in 1998 and was undertaken by Agderforskning. In this review no field visits were made. The NPA NPA was established in 1939 as the trade unions’ voluntary health and solidarity organisation. It expanded considerably in the 1980s and 1990s, particularly at the international level. NPA’s strategy for international involvement includes the following objectives: o Long term objective: Oppressed groups have increased their prospects and opportunities for controlling their own lives, and of together developing a society that secures political, civil, cultural, economic and social rights for all.


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o Immediate development objective: Rights based organisations, working in areas of conflict and oppression, have strengthened their ability and capacity to mobilise for democratisation and social and economic change. The cooperation between NPA and Norad goes back to 1984. Since 1987 NPA has been a frame agreement / cooperation agreement partner of Norad. The current agreement period is 2004-2007 which corresponds with the period of NPA’s policy and strategy for international humanitarian and development work. NPA is currently among the five NGOs receiving the highest level of support from Norad. Below is a table showing Norad funding to NPA since 2004 through the cooperation agreement (in NOK): 2004

2005

2006

2007 (tentative)

104 000 000

110 500 000

112 000 000

112 000 000

Under the current cooperation agreement with Norad NPA works in: - Africa (Angola, Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Rwanda), - Latin America (Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and a regional programme that includes Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Colombia), - Asia (Cambodia), and - the Middle East (Palestine). The thematic areas of priority in the agreement are: 1) Democratic rights 2) Land and resource rights 3) Indigenous peoples rights 4) Violence against women, and 5) Landmines. NPA currently has development, relief and mine action programmes in thirty-two countries. The mine action programme is operational, while the long term development programme focuses on cooperation with partner organisations. The aim is to strengthen organisations who are change agents and who mobilise to secure democratic rights. Relief programmes by nature are mainly operational and often in conflict with development approaches. 25 The USA provides the bulk of the funding for the relief programmes in Sudan, while the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) is the major donor to NPA’s programmes in Lebanon, Sri Lanka, North-west Russia, the Balkans and northern Iraq. NPA’s mine action programme receives funding from the MFA as well as from Sweden, USA, the Netherlands, Finland, Germany, EU, UN and Japan.

25

It should be noted that NPA’s policy now is to respond to emergencies or crisis situations only when these affect countries where it already has established a presence and/or have partners who request and control the implementation of such assistance, thus striving towards coherency of the relief programme with long term development goals.


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NPA partners NPA’s strategy emphasises that NPA’s partners are organisations that mobilise for democratisation and social and economic change favouring oppressed groups. Following the description of the above approaches and programmes, the way NPA works in the field can hence be divided into three categories; 1) operative work 2) working through local partners and 3) working with local partners. NPA has developed a policy for partnership cooperation in civil society (revised in 2005) which is intended as a tool in devising, designing and assessing NPA’s international cooperation programmes. 3. Purpose The purpose of the organisational review is to examine the organisation’s ability to provide effective aid. By effective aid in this context is meant: • • • •

The cost-efficient use of funds Results in accordance with approved plans Relevance to final recipients The ability to achieve its own goals.

The review shall assess the organisation’s professional, financial and administrative capacity to – together with its partners – implement strategies and programmes. 4. The scope of the assignment The review shall be based on the following reference material: • The organisation’s cooperation agreement and contract with Norad, its policy and strategy for aid work, reviews, annual reports, website and applications, as well as research-based literature aimed in particular at the areas within which the organisation works, and documents with reference to ’best practices’ • Applicable guidelines for grants to civil society (2001) • White paper no 35 (2003-2004) • The MFA allocation letter No. 1 (”Tildelingsbrev”) 2006 The organisational review shall form the basis for a general assessment of both NPA’s reporting to Norad and the quality of the organisation’s internal communication. The analysis shall also include an assessment of the head office’s organisational structure and dimensions in relation to its own functions and tasks. The review shall cover the whole organisational chain from head office to local partner.26 The work will consist of studying, analysing, concluding and presenting recommendations and proposals for follow-up.

Below follows a more detailed checklist that shall guide the team in its work: 26

The local partner can consist of a network of individuals, informal local community groups (CBOs), individual NGOs, NGO networks, government or semi-government organisations. The context in which such players operate is also highly variable, which strongly influences the critical variables for capacity building it will be most relevant to examine in the review.


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Description of the organisation (The square I) o The organisation’s coverage, platform and structure: ! In Norway and abroad ! Mandate, policy, strategy(ies) and programmes ! Advocacy ! Governing bodies, organisational structure and work methods ! The membership base, its role in decision making, and the implications for NPA’s agenda-setting and ability to make strategic adjustments. ! An organogram indicating the place of the international work ! The organisation’s partners, and to what extent the organisation operates on the basis of partnership as opposed to self-implementation. o Strategic coherence between goals, strategy and action levels ! in Norad financed programmes, and in the portfolio as a whole. o Professional competence and procedures/tools for management ! Procedures/tools for organisation management, financial management, programming, and the measurement of results ! Risk analysis of human, professional and financial resources ! Are interventions based on adequate context analyses? How is this secured? ! What are the criteria for selecting countries and initiating programmes? ! What is the NPA’s understanding of the concept of rights based approach, and how is this approach integrated in the organisation’s work? ! The organisation’s procedures for (a) monitoring and (b) formalised dialogue/collaboration with any partners in the South ! What system exists for head office monitoring and support to external offices/ partners? ! What are the procedures for recruitment and training of staff. o Evaluation and learning ! What are the routines for planning evaluations and to learn from them? o Strategic management of different sources of funding: ! How does the organisation handle various forms of assistance: humanitarian and transitional/gap (from MFA) and long term assistance (from Norad)? ! To what extent is the use of different financing mechanisms based on strategic planning? What “role” does the Norad portfolio play within NPA’s total funding? ! To what extent is the search for funds guided by NPA’s strategies and goals? And how do different sources of funding granted on the basis of different criteria influence the organisation’s ability to achieve its own strategic goals? Performance analysis (The triangle II) Of the Norwegian organisation o Policy, strategy and action programme for building partners’ capacity: ! How and on the basis of what principles does the organisation choose its partners? ! To what extent and how does the organisation contribute to strengthening partners? ! How does it contribute to the development of partners’ knowledge, e.g. it has good ideas but is poor at making arrangements that help the ideas to be realised?


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! How does the organisation endeavour to measure and monitor the attainment of goals? ! What success indicators has it established/does it establish? ! How is capacity relating to the work to be done checked? ! To what extent are partners included in strategy development? ! What other roles do the partners have in relation to the Norwegian organisation? ! How is the system for head office monitoring and support to field operations assessed by field operators/ partners? ! How does communication function between the head office, the organisation in the field and partners? ! What is the timeframe for partnerships? Is a phasing out strategy prepared? ! How are political analyses and considerations of the partner’s role carried out? ! To what extent is the cooperation with partners in line with NPA’s partnership strategy? o How are risk-assessment and conflict sensitivity analyses carried out? o Has NPA managed to adjust the programme portfolio according to its current international strategy, and if not what are the main reasons? o Handling of different forms of assistance at country level: ! To what extent does different form of assistance (long term, transitional and/or humanitarian) have consequences for choice of operational mode? ! To what extent has the organisation managed to use/adjust the existing organisational apparatus for other forms of assistance when/if required? Of local partners o The quality of the partner’s planning and implementation process: ! To what extent and how are partners and target groups included in the planning and implementation phase? Are there mechanisms in place to ensure this? ! Are systems for empowerment of target groups in place? ! How much local expertise and resources is mobilised in programmes? ! How realistic are the goals and planned results during the planning phase? ! How are indicators used in the planning phase? ! How are risk analyses carried out in the planning phase? Of both the Norwegian organisation and local partners o Reporting and evaluation of capacity-building results: ! What indicators and other instruments are used to report goal attainment at different levels? ! What are the reporting requirements and how are they followed up? ! What feedback is given on reports from partners? ! What guidance is triggered by feedback on reports? o Learning in the organisation and by local partners: ! How is the institutional learning aspects embedded in the organisation and partners? o The quality of communication when: ! A failure takes place in terms of quality and delivery date in relation to contractual obligations. ! Conflicts and corruption occur. o Coordination:


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! Is there adequate coordination with other parties involved, of the assistance provided by NPA? Including other donors supporting the same partner. o Relevance: ! Are the objectives of the interventions consistent with beneficiaries’ requirements, country needs, and partner and donor policies? o Conflict sensitivity: ! Is conflict sensitivity and the Do No Harm principle integrated and used in NPA and partners’ methods of operation? Results achieved among partners and final recipients (The circle III) o What has been achieved in terms of building partners’ capacity that can be attributed to NPA? o How has this contributed to strengthening civil society? o Sustainability: Does NPA provide long term development assistance in ways that is supportive of long term development? ! Intended and unintended long term effects of the development intervention. o Relevance/appropriateness: Are the objectives of the interventions consistent with beneficiaries requirements and country needs? o What results have been achieved among final recipients? ! What is the level of the results (output, outcome, impact)? ! To what extent are indicators used in reporting? ! How is the risk situation handled during the programmes? ! To what extent is the target group involved in the reporting of goals? o Are the results in accordance with information given in reports to Norad? 5. Work process and method The team: - External consultant (team leader) - External consultant - NPA - Norad The team will report to a reference group which role is advisory. The main part of the review will be carried out in Norway, where NPA has its head office. Two or three country visits will also be carried out as part of the review. In each country visited, one local consultant with local civil society knowledge will join the team (to be contracted by the team). The following should be taken into account when selecting countries to be visited: 1. Reflection of NPA’s different ways of intervention: working with partners, through partners, and operational (the operational work is not the main focus of the review and should be looked at in a country where it is (or has been) undertaken in parallel with long term development assistance in cooperation with partner). 2. Both positive and negative learning. 3. The inclusion of different continents which is part of the Norad portfolio (giving priority to Africa and Latin America).


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4. Timing or in other ways linking the visits with NPA internal country programme reviews. 5. Size of the portfolio and/or significance and strategic relevance for target groups. 6. Will undertaking the review cause serious security threats for actors involved? The team will select countries to be visited on the basis of the considerations above and information on the portfolio from NPA and Norad. The selection of countries to be visited will be approved by Norad after the first phase of the study. General information about the collection of data/information The review shall be based on document studies, but also on the use of a selfevaluation form and interviews in order to ensure necessary participation in the process. The self-evaluation form will preferably be used by board members and employees at head office and country level and possibly others. Interviews, which should be based on an interview guide, can be conducted with a sample of persons at all levels in the organisation, including partners and (possibly) target groups or other stakeholders. The study and documentation phase In the first phase the evaluation team develops a preliminary report (inception report) on the basis of an in-depth study of documents concerning the organisation and its cooperation with its local partners, as well as through interviews. In the inception report the team presents particular issues in relation to the ToR, the feasibility of ToR and the approach chosen to answer the questions in the ToR. This includes a presentation of hypotheses indicators for verification, justification of methodology, discussion of challenges and risks and the time-schedule. A plan for the remaining work will also be part of the inception report. This will include a reasoned proposal concerning the destination and programme for the country visits, collection of further data, methods, design, analysis and the structure of the report. It is recommended to include a Code of conduct for the team. The inception report will be presented to the reference group for comments and will be discussed at a seminar. The inception report is subject to approval by Norad, prior to departure. Country visits During country visits, a quality assessment of the partnership will be carried out, and tests of what it actually delivers in terms of goods and services to the final recipients will be a central element. In addition to conversations with external office-/ project staff, it will also be necessary to speak to people who are not dependent on the organisation in any way. Examples of such persons are (a) peers, i.e. other players who work within the same field in the same country, and (b) players at the local level, for example residents in areas in the vicinity of where the organisation’s activities take place, but who do not benefit directly from the organisation’s work. The team holds a debriefing with the organisation and its partners before travelling home from country visits. Interpretation of the data and observations The consultant’s subjective standpoint shall be explicitly stated in the report, and the methodological approach shall be systematic and analytical. As far as possible,


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conclusions shall be based on triangulation, i.e. elucidation of the same question from several angles using data from composite source material. The document studies and interviews shall be organised in a manner that ensures they are representative and that the analysis provides a basis for drawing tenable conclusions. Analysis and conclusion All assessment of the reliability and relevance of the management of the undertaking and its finances shall be based on documentation. Recommendation and follow-up The review shall provide Norad with new knowledge about the direction further cooperation with NPA should take. The recommendations shall be structured with this in mind and contain proposals for improvements on which Norad should focus in its follow-up work. The recommendations shall also contain proposals for measures to improve NPA’s organisational structure in order to optimise the organisation’s aid activities. Otherwise, the team is free to include other recommendations that are deemed to be relevant to furthering the objective of the review. The team leader is responsible for the final report, but any internal disagreement about its conclusions and recommendations should be stated in the report. 6. Reporting In order to allow an opportunity for comment and for correction of any factual errors and misunderstandings, the team will send a draft of the final report to NPA, local partners visited and Norad no later than 31st of January 2007 with a deadline for responding to the team two weeks later. Final report The final report will be structured in accordance with the Terms of Reference. It shall be written in English, contain a summary of approximately 3-4 pages and be maximum 50 pages long. Appendices can be added. 10 printed copies of the final report shall be sent to Norad as well as in electronic format. NPA may on its own or partners’ behalf request that information that is considered particularly sensitive with respect to the life and safety of staff be included in separate appendices with restricted access. Information, presentation and publication In order to ensure that the report constitutes a good basis for follow-up, the team shall keep Norad’s case administrator and the reference group informed about the progress of the work and include them in discussions about important findings, topics and issues before the country visits start, as well as during the concluding phase of the work. At the request of the organisation or Norad, the team leader shall be available for discussions about recommendations and follow-up points.


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As part of the assignment, the team leader shall make two presentations of the final result within two months after the report is completed. One of the presentations will be made at NPA’s head office or other expedient venue, while the other will be made at a half-day seminar for NPA and Norad personnel. The report will normally be published (on the internet and in print). 7. Time schedule Time schedule The work will commence in October 2006, and the final report will be presented to Norad no later than 31st of March 2007. Finn Arne Moskvil Assistant director Civil society section Norad


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Annex 2: NPA – A Description

1. Background of NPA Norwegian People´s Aid (NPA) was established in 1939 by the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO-Norway). The labor movement in Norway had throughout the 30ties been concerned about the lack of services to the working class in Norway, and at the same time concerned about the political developments in Europe i.e. fascism and Nazism. The different organisations within the labour movement joined forces for the establishment of the Spanish Solidarity Committee in 1936. In 1939, the Solidarity Committee approached the Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) recommending that a health and solidarity organisation was established. The purpose was to ensure that health service and medical care at the workplace in Norway as well as practical international solidarity was better organisedd. The first test case for NPA was helping workers during the Finnish Winter War in December 1939. After the Second World War, NPA became engaged in the reconstruction of Norway, building up workplace medical services - in particular in Northern Norway. From the mid 70ies a more comprehensive legislation was passed in Parliament for occupational health care and working environment and a few years later legislation was passed for medical services for employees to become compulsory. The role of NPA within these sectors had been completed and become a public matter. Internationally, NPA together with the Norwegian Red Cross, the Norwegian Church Aid and Save the Children Norway started the Help to Europe in 1946. This became in the early 1950ies the Norwegian Refugee Council. First aid and rescue service has always been important in particular since the Workers first aid, health and rescue service was introduced within the labor movement’s sports association in 1932. Today first aid and rescue services are part of the national rescue operations in times of emergency, i.e. war, natural disasters, and terrorism. During the 1980s and 90s NPA’s international cooperation has increased rapidly – in particular with developing countries in the South, but also in Europe again, chiefly in the Balkans. A Department for International Cooperation was established in 1976 as a result of decisions taken in the LO Secretariat in 1975. 2. Organisation and Resources NPA is a membership organisation with approx. 11 200 individual members (2002) organisedd in 125 local groups. In addition, all the members of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) are collective members. Since LO has its own international work, there has not been so much active collaboration between LO and NPA. NPA’s governance structure consists of the National Assembly (Landsmøtet), the National Board (Landstyret) and the Head Office in Oslo (Hovedadministrasjonen). The National Meeting is the supreme decision making body delegating responsibility to the National Board which meets six times a year. At Head Office level NPA is organisedd in an International and a National Department and two supporting Departments. The structure of Head Office is as follows:


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Annex 2: NPA – A Description

Daglig leder Finn Erik Thoresen kst generalsekretær

Laila Nikolaisen spesialrådgiver

Øk. og Adm. avdeling Eli Voksø

Kommunikasjonsavdeling Bjørn Pettersen

Internasjonal avdeling Liv Tørres

Innenlandsavdeling Bendix Jørgensen

økonomi og administrasjonssjef

kommunikasjonssjef

utenlandssjef

kst innenlandssjef

Controller funksjoner Personalseksjonen

Utviklingsseksjonen

Flyktningeseksjonen

Mineseksjonen

Samfunnsseksjonen

Kontorstøtteseksj.

Organisasjons seksjonen

Regnskapsseksj.

IT- seksjonen

The structure and staff in NPA’s International Department is presented in the following organogram. Names may have changed, but the number and type of positions are valid.

Liv Tørres t l d j f Jane Filseth Andersen administrasjonskonsulent

f

Per Ranestad k j l d

Per Nergaard k j l d

Mads Almaas rådgiver

Asgerd Vetlejord rådgiver

Steinar Essén seniorrådgiver

vakant rådgiver

Eva Haaland rådgiver

Vakant rådgiver

Emil Jeremic rådgiver

Geir Bjørsvik rådgiver

David Bergan rådgiver

Marianne Øen seniorrådgiver

vakant rådgiver

Hans Eric Haug rådgiver

Claudio Feo rådgiver

Liv Bremer rådgiver

Harald Smedsrud rådgiver

Adam Combs rådgiver

Helle Berggrav Hanssen rådgiver

Elin Enge rådgiver

Kristin Eskeland rådgiver

Kari Kjærnet rådgiver

Camilla Idsøe administrasjonskonsulent

vakant rådgiver

vakant rådgiver


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Annex 2: NPA – A Description

National and International networks NPA is a part of several Norwegian and international networks: - FN sambandet - Forum for Utvikling og Miljø - Initiativ for Etisk Handel - SOLIDAR (An organisation with roots in social democratic parties and trade unions) - VOICE (linked to EU and emergency work) - ICBL (Part of Mine Action Working Group) - Nordic Demining Research Forum - Survey Working Group (a NGO network) - Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining Human Resources The human resource capacity at various levels of the organisation is presented in the table on the next page. Number of employees at HO level was 96 in 2006 and has actually decreased by 30% from 136 in 2000 and 110 in 2003. NPA staff working abroad was 53 (both Norwegian and others) in 2006 coming down from 57 in 2002. The numbers were higher in the mid 1990’s. The estimated number of staff on local contracts abroad was approx. 2500 in 2006 – a figure which has remained stable since 2000. If number of employed NPA staff is an indicator for level of operational profile, there have not been any major changes during the period 2002 to 2007. It should, however, be noted that the majority of local employees is part of the Mine Action Programmes. The overview does not cover changes within and between countries. Phasing out processes in some countries have run in parallel with staring up in other countries. It should also be emphasized that the category of ”others” are not necessarily expatriates. There are four Regional Offices: Horn of Africa (Juba), Latin America (Managua), Southern Africa (Johannesburg), South East Europe and 22 External Offices out of which seven have their own Resident Representatives. This means that the Regional Representatives are Country Representatives for a group of countries while seven countries are not part of any regional office. If the country programme is sufficiently large it tends to have a Resident Representative, but this is not always the case. There is a low turn-over of staff at the Head Office which means that the average age of staff is relatively high and increasingly so. Average age in NPA’s senior management team is 52 years and in the International Department 47 years. There is a small majority of women employed in the International Department – currently also headed by a woman. The gender balance among senior staff in Regional and external Offices is as follows: Positions/offices Regional & Resident Representatives Programme Coordinators/Managers Country Offices without Resident Representative Other Regional and Country Programme Coordinators/Managers/Deputies Total

Men 5 6 3 10

Women 7 3 0 6

24

16


Annex 2: NPA – A Description

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Financial Resources NPA grew rapidly from a total turn over of 50 Million NOK in 1986 to 619 million in 1996. In 1996, Norwegian donors provided 392 million (MFA 226 million and Norad 124 million) while international donors granted nearly 177 million (mostly USAID and UNHCR). If we look at income patterns during the frame agreement period, the following numbers and trends can be identified: - Funding of international activities has been five times or more than for activities in Norway. Funding for Norwegian activities dropped significantly by 28% from 2004 to 2005. The figures for 2006 are preliminary, but trends indicate a further steep decrease affecting the balance between national and international activities in NPA. -

The aggregate international funding has increased from 529 Mill NOK in 2002 to 706 Mill in 2005.

-

During the frame period the funding from Norad has decreased from 205 Mill in 2002 to 112 mill in 2005 – or with 45%. There are two major reasons – funding of the GAP allocation and mining programmes were taken over by MFA. Norad is still an important donor for NPA, but much less than in the past.

-

For 2007 NORAD’s allocation is reduced to 109 Mill because of budget constraints and the Government’s new political priorities (environment, women and gender equity as themes and Latin America as a geographical area). NPA was requested to reallocate 2 Mill to approved projects in Latin America.

-

Funding from MFA has increased (for political priority areas like Lebanon, GAP, Myanmar, Iraq, Balkan and Russia) with 123% between 2002 and 2005 or from 123 Mill to 275 Mill which means that NPA in monetary terms appears as a significant emergency organisation.

-

NPA has a large number of important international donors – 37% of all funds in 2005 came from international donors out of which USAID was the largest. In other words, NPA is depending decreasingly on funding from Norad (which is often quite flexible) and increasingly on earmarked emergency support from MFA and international donors.

-

Resources mobilized from individual donors and other groups in Norway have increased slowly, but quite significantly between 2004 and 2005. However, it represented only 2% of all funding to international activities in 2002 and 8% in 2005. In other words, NPA is heavily dependent on external donors – Norwegian and international. In Norad’s review of NPA in 1998 (Agderforskning), a recurring problem of low liquid assets was mentioned. There has been an increase in mobilizing funds in Norway, but too low for changing the situation significantly.

-

A recent management review of NPA (Pettersen&Co 2006) concludes that NPA is spreading its resources too thinly. The scope and spread of the project portfolio is not proportional with level of resources. The consultants identified a need for serious cuts in expenditures – by both reducing activities and number of staff because of a general weak financial situation, but more specifically because of the sudden loss of income from game machines. The annual budget will have to be reduced with approx. 7 Mill


Annex 2: NPA – A Description

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NOK and staff at HO with 19 positions. The reductions, however, will mostly affect the Administrative Department and work in Norway and not the International Department.


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Annex 2: NPA – A Description

Number of Employees 1995 – 2006 Headquarters Oslo Regional In other countries Norwegians Others

1995 90

1996 99

1997 118

1998 128

1999 129

2000 136

2001 104

2002 106

2003 110 7

2004 101 11

2005 97 13

2006 96,5 13

69 102

71 104

44 43

50 44

41 49

33 33

27 24

28 29

33 27

30 20

29 24

29 24

3100

3000

2500

2500

2500

2500

2500

2500

Locally employed

Donors and contributions to NPA activities abroad and in Norway Norwegian 2002 2003 NORAD 205 586 138 636 MFA 123 501 146 679 Individuals/other organisations 11 353 14 837 Total Norwegian donors 340 440 300 152 International donors USAID 65 113 79 409 FN 15 598 10 044 Dutch MFA 22 745 7 877 USDOS 16 558 12 617 DANIDA 9 654 11 217 ECCO 13 132 SIDA 23 401 7 151 Japan MFA Others 35 275 68 681 Total International donors 188 344 210 128 Total for activities abroad 528 784 510 280 UDI Norway Other ministries Total for activities Norway

90 003 11 557 101 560

77 443 28 485 105 928

2004 122 186 191 179 12 222 327 591

2005 112 500 275 197 53 469 441 166

2006 (incomplete) 125 693 282 094 10 000 417 787

104 590 13 982 16 645 16 389 11 703 11 661 2 735 5 949 38 525 222 179 549 770

134 422 17 449 16 420 21 805 14 055 4 384 55 934 264 469 705 635

115 817 14 809 16 010 23 997 15 951 3 278 30 000 219 862 637 649

78 480 26 858 105 338

60 721 15 143 75 864

31 756 9 800 41 556


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3. Purpose and Objectives Strategies for International Development The NPA “Solidarity – principles and value basis for Norwegian People’s Aid” adopted by the General Assembly in 2003 confirmed that NPA should remain the labor movement’s humanitarian solidarity organisation. In 2003 NPA presented a new strategy for its international humanitarian and development work (2004 - 2007) in order to: - Provide a more structured presentation and prioritization of the international work. - Respond to the debate about international cooperation and develop a stronger thematic focus. - Introduce a stronger concentration on rights and less on providing services. The strategy lays down the long-term and immediate development objectives and basic values and working methods for NPA. It defines a change in overall direction from providing services and an operational profile to a rights based partner approach. NPA had been supporting rights based partners in many countries for many years already, but the intention with the new strategy was to follow such an approach in all programme countries. The long-term objective for NPA was phrased in a political language: “Oppressed groups have increased their prospects and opportunity to control their own life and together develop a society that secures political, civil, cultural, economic and social rights for all”. The immediate development objective is: “Right-based organisations, working in areas of conflict and oppression, have strengthened their ability and capacity to mobilize for democratization and social and economic change”. NPA would be guided by values of national and international solidarity, human dignity, freedom and equality. Solidarity is based on support and loyalty between people with mutual understanding and shared interests. Solidarity means to empower those who are not in a position to voice their own interests and assist in making their voices heard. Government Cooperation Since NPA is heavily involved in demining activities, it is emphasized that alleviating the threat of land mines will require active cooperation with national and local authorities. Hence, it is NPA’s objective to support the development of national institutional competence, capable of addressing the land mine problem. Within this context, NPA is also willing to take the role as an implementing partner directly involved in mine action. Working methods Six working methods are mentioned in the strategy: - Networking - Awareness building and mobilization


Annex 2: NPA – A Description

-

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Advocacy and lobbying Organisational development Competence building System development

Cross Cutting Issues There are three issues crucial in any development scheme which all NPA activities should adhere to: - Gender - HIV/AIDS - Environment Thematic Components NPA’s development programme should focus on the following five thematic priorities: (a) Democratic Rights and Participation - The Right to Participate - Young People and their Right to Participate - The Right to Freedom of Expression and Information (b) Land and Resource Rights (c) Indigenous Rights (d) Violence Against Women


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Partnership Cooperation with Civil Society NPA has a tradition of linking the aims of international work with people’s own initiatives. In practice this has implied empowering people and communities, as well as their ability to influence the conditions under which they live. This is reflected in NPA’s support to liberation movements and people’s organisations and communities. The term civil society is seen as value-neutral. However, every civil society organisation represents values and policies so when identifying partners NPA will select popular organisations promoting citizen participation. Civil society is defined as “the public sphere in which ideological and political debate take place” and civil society organisations are “formal or informal nongovernmental groups, organisations and institutions with a wider objective than profit generation”. NPA would support a civil society with the following characteristics: - Representing forces and spaces for countervailing the concentration of power and resources. - Contributing to people’s participation and democratization. - Pursuing a “cooperative” globalization by disseminating information, acting as watch dogs and promoting people’s participation in international negotiation. NPA will cooperate with civil society organisations that: - Represents the interests of particular segments of society. - Exercising influence. - Raising public awareness. - Mediate between conflicting groups. - Holding public authorities and corporations accountable. - Providing social networks for members. In other words, liberation movements and people’s organisations promoting equal rights and opportunities for all are like-minded partners for NPA. When NPA is selecting partners the crucial question is to what extent they represent organisedd oppressed people. This requires an analysis of the situation in each country to identify the “sphere” within which ideological debate are involved. It is also important that state and civil society are inter-dependent in any attempt at developing democracy. NPA will not pursue a state minimalist approach. NPA will select partners among rights based civil society organisations mainly liberation movements and community based organisations, but also intermediary NGOs, research institutions and media. NPA differentiates between project partners and strategic partners – for the latter the cooperation goes far beyond time-limited projects. It will focus on more than transfer for financial resources. The role of NPA is to accompany their partners. NPA will also give priority to advocacy as part of its partnership based cooperation – including lobbying activities voicing NPA’s policies.

In addition to the above rights based thematic objectives, NPA has defined a separate objective for mine action: “Countries previously affected by landmines experience increased participation, growth and fair distribution of the national resources”. To maintain freedom and flexibility, it is also added in the strategy that if NPA leadership so decides, the organisation can be involved in projects and countries not covered by the strategy.


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Humanitarian Aid NPA’s main focus should be long-term development, but it can engage itself in emergency activities in regions where the organisation is already present – trying to include the same components as in the long-term development work with the option of following another direction – when required. At the end of the strategy document, broad guidelines are presented for the following areas: (a) NPA Policy on Democracy Focusing on the Right to Participate. (b) Young People and the Right to Participate and to Be Heard. (c) Policy Document for the Programme Area Freedom of the Media. (d) Policy for the Thematic Area: Land and Resource Rights. (e) Policy Document for the Programme Area Indigenous Peoples Rights. (f) NPA Policy for Women’s Human Rights Focusing on Violence Against Women. (g) NPA Mine Action Policy. 4. Frame Agreement with Norad 2004 – 2007 An application was sent to Norad in September 2003 for a new frame agreement for 2004 to 2007 amounting to 560 Mill. NOK. It is based on the new strategy. It is acknowledged that it will take time to make a change to a rights based partner organisation, but by 2007 the project portfolio should be in line with the new strategy. The application has the same thematic focus as outlined in the strategy document. Two thematic areas are prioritized: Land and Resource Rights and Democracy: Right to Participation. The themes will determine what to do in selected countries. As such, the application has a stronger thematic than geographic orientation. In another Norad document (Skjema for Organisasjons- og Strategi opplysninger) NPA states that its international work will be developed further along two lines: (a) Support to liberation movements and groups fighting for political and civil rights. (b) Support to local people and community based organisations. In the same document, NPA claims to have the following added value over and above providing financial support: -

NPA has a strong political focus for international solidarity in which political analyses provide the basis for the selection of geographic areas and thematic interventions. NPA’s strategic aims are to change political and socio-economic conditions determining also the choice of partners. NPA has special knowledge and experience in the following areas: o Humanitarian demining o Women rights o Resource management with a focus on the rights of oppressed groups o Youth and participation o Support to free media o Indigenous people


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Annex 2: NPA – A Description

-

Experience with organisational development in collaboration with local partners – with a particular focus on the link between community groups and the political arena. A holistic approach to development mainstreaming HIV/AIDS, gender and environment in planning, implementation and evaluation.

Allocation of Resources The geographic and thematic allocation of resources for the frame period is as follows: REGIONS/COUNTRIES Angola Eritrea Ethiopia Mozambique Rwanda South Africa Sudan Tanzania Zimbabwe Total Africa Cambodia Palestine Total Asia Cuba El Salvador Guatemala Honduras Nicaragua South America Regional Total Latin America Global Projects Plan reserve TOTAL

TOTAL BUDGET 2003-2007 (IN NOK 1000) TOTAL NORAD 27 177 24 644 24 840 24 840 33 480 33 480 64 924 69 972 (2) 33 768 30 618 10 497 9 518 119 528 103 378 (1) 39 365 34 786 31 946 28 966 384 526 358 201 22 122 20 058 49 087 44 508 (3) 22 122 20 058 20 754 18 818 12 006 10 886 25 728 23 328 8 254 7 484 22 598 20 490 27 336 24 786 116 676 105 792 20 223 18 337 13 103 592 635 560 000

The main geographic focus is Africa: 65%, Latin America 20% and Asia 12%. In addition, there are a few global programmes organisedd from headquarters making up not more than 3.5% of the total portfolio: -

Bridge building in Lebanon Evaluation, strategy development and competence building Women’s rights and gender equality Programme development within indigenous people’s rights Violence against women Youth and the right to participate Land and resource rights

The resources are allocated among 16 countries, but in reality a few more due to the regional programme in Latin American. The three largest recipients are: Sudan. Mozambique and Palestine absorbing more than 365 mill NOK or 65% of total resources.


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Annex 2: NPA – A Description

There is an aim to move attention and resources during the programme period from Southern Africa towards the Horn of Africa. In Asia, Palestine is a priority area. According to the application the sectoral focus is meant to be: THEMATIC AREA 1. Democratic rights and participation 2. Land and resource rights 3. Indigenous peoples rights 4. Violence against women 5. Mine action programme 6. Overall political decisions 7. Humanitarian aid 8. Phasing out projects TOTAL

TOTAL BUDGET 2003-2007 (IN 1000 NOK) TOTAL NORAD 191 154 (32%) 173 322 (2) 202 530 (34%) 187 214 (1) 48 812 (8%) 39 725 18 299 (3%) 16 592 47 288 (8%) 46 982 89 553 (15%) 83 063 592 635 (100%) 546 897

As can be seen from this table more than 360 Mill NOK or 66% of the total is allocated to the first two themes: Democratic rights and participation and Land resource rights. With broad categories and projects with several objectives it could be difficult provide exact figures. The idea is that three cross cutting issues: gender. HIV/AIDS and environment are cross cutting issues which should be seen as a concern and be mainstreamed in all projects. M&E Strategy In a previous Norad review of NPA (Agderforskning 1998), it was found that there were no system or routines in NPA for systematic learning from projects and previous experience and also different views on what constitutes systematic learning and evaluation. In the Norad application from 2003, it is mentioned that assessments, reviews and evaluations are integrated into country programmes and projects. As such, it is not possible to see how many evaluations are carried out, but they appear later in country reports. Headquarters initiate also a few evaluations. The frame proposal states that an evaluation will be conducted in the second half of 2005 to assess the implementation of the new strategy. We are not aware of any overall M&E strategy for NPA with clear objectives, guidelines and rules for what kind of evaluations/reviews should be carried out, how often and when, by whom, etc. The initiative and responsibility for evaluations are to a large extent left to country coordinators and offices. The M&E strategy – is briefly described in another Norad presentation (Skjema for organisasjons- og strategi opplysninger) as follows: “To a large extent reviews and evaluations are included in programmes, and in a few cases evaluations have been initiated by Headquarters. The aim is to establish a more systematic evaluation cycle in all programmes”. There is a global programme at Head Office called “Programme Evaluation, Development of Strategies and Competence Building”. This programme started in


Annex 2: NPA – A Description

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2006 in order to develop tools and methods for assessing, planning and implementing projects. The strategy development process leading up to the new document was supported through this programme. The tasks for the 2004 - 2007 period is to monitor, assess and assist in the phasing out of service delivery and phasing in rights based programmes since the present portfolio is a combination of partnership oriented cooperation and NPA implementation. The envisaged activities for this global project are: - Analysis of the programme portfolio. - Regional seminars and workshops. - Revision of the partner policy. - Ongoing organisational development. - Competence building in networking, advocacy and organisational skills. - Introduction of a new project management system It is not possible to get an overview of how much resources are spent on evaluations at Head Office and in External Offices. There is an Activity line in Agresso (7000 Appraisal and evaluation) which does not capture all expenses. In 2006, 1 Mill NOK was reported to be spent by External Offices and nothing by Head Office, but this does not reflect the actual situation. It was said that Agresso could be used to monitor such expenditures, but that it would have require significant management resources.


Annex 3: References

Page 85

Annex 3: References

Ajuda Popular da Noruega, “Curso de Formacao de Trabaladores de Desenvolvimento” , 2003. Carmeliza Rosario and Arne Øygaard, “Mid-Term Evaluation of the NPA Mozambique Development Programme, 2005. Cecilia Lutrell and Laura-Helene Piron, “Operationalizing Norwegian People’s AID’s Rights Based Approach”, Overseas Development Institute, London, 2005. Clint van der Walt, “Evaluation report. Young Voices Network Southern Africa”, 2004. Ingar Pettersen&Co, “Omstillingsprosess Norsk Folkehjelp, 2006. Isabel Soares, “Analise do Programa da APN em Mozanbique a luz da Revisao Estategica da APN”, 2003 Ivan Labra (2000), “The Development of Power in Grassroots Groups, Skills and Knowledge within a Self-Managed production environment” (LOT). Ivan Labra, “Formation of Development Workers with Focus on the Organisation Workshop Method”, 2004. Ivan Labra, “The Development of Power in Grassroots Groups”, (undated). Jan Isachsen et.al, Mid-term review of the Angola programme of Norwegian People’s Aid”, 2006. Jan Isaksen et.al., “Mid-term review of the Angola programme of Norwegian People’s Aid”, Oslo 2006. Jeninifer Chapman and Senorina Wendoh, “Review of Norwegian CSO partnership with organisations in Tanzania”, Norwegian Development Network, 2007. Jennifer Chapman & Senorina Wedoh, ”Review of CSO partnerships with organisations in Tanzania”, 2007. Kim Forss, “Partnership in development – what does it mean, how is it done?” An evaluation undertaken by the Olof Palme International Centre”, 2005. Kjell Knudsen, “Sustainable Capacities. Norwegian People’s AIDS through 13 years of Humanitarian Mine Action in Mozambique”, University of Oslo, 2006. KPMG, “Management Letter Audit for the year ended 31 December 2004”. KPMG, “Management Letter Audit for the year ended 31 December 2005”. KPMG, “Management Letter Audit for the year ended 31 December 2005”. KPMG, Long-Form Audit for year ended 31 December 2004. KPMG, Long-Form Audit for year ended 31 December 2005. Marius Rohdin Karlsen, “Report on HIV/AIDS Survey”, Norwegian People’s Aid Southern Africa, 2005. Norsk Folkehjelp, “Handlingsplan 2004, soo5 og 2006”. Norwegian People’s Aid Southern Africa, “Regional Conference Report”, The Regional Office, May 2006. Norwegian People’s Aid, “HIV/AIDS Work Policy”, 2005. Norwegian People’s Aid, “Multi Year Cooperation Agreement 2004-2007”. 2004 Edition. Norwegian People’s Aid, “Operationalization of the NPA work place policy”, (undated). Norwegian People’s Aid, “Partnership Cooperation in Civil Society”, 2004. Norwegian People’s Aid, “Strategic Plan Document NPA Mozambique, 2009. Norwegian People’s Aid,“NPA Mine Action programme Malawi, Project Proposal 2006”, 2006. NPA (2005), Code of Conduct for NPA employees NPA (Mozambique) Checklist for monitoring reports and Visits


Annex 3: References

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NPA Multi-Annual Plan, Annex 4 “Mozambique”, 2003. NPA, “Application Form for an Annual Plan”, 2006. NPA, “Operationalization of the NPA workplace policy”, undated. NPA, “Report on a Youth Survey”, undated. NPA, “Skjema for organisasjons- og strategiopplysninger til Norad”, 2004. NPA, ”NPA Policy with operational framework for ending violence against women””. NPA, Quality Management System (QMS), web-based Per Ranestad, “Comments on NPA’s Rights Based Approach”, Memo 19/2005. Simon Matsvai & Nora Ingdal, “Mid-Term Review of Norwegian People’s Aid in Zimbabwe” (2006) Suzanne Williams & Marit Sørvald, “Mid-Term review of the Norwegian People’s Aid Programme – Women’s Rights and Gender Equality 2002-2006”, “2005. Trude Falch, “Organisational development as a strategy in NPA’s development cooperation”, Norwegian People’s Aid, 2001.


Annex 4: People Met

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Annex 4: People Met

Head Office Asgerd Vetlejord, Adviser Southern Africa and women David Bergan, Adviser Middle East and Iraq Eli Voksø, Director Administration Elin Enge, Adviser Land and Resource Rights Eva J. Haaland, Adviser Southern Africa and cooperation with Norad Finn-Erik Thoresen, General Secretary Harald Smedsrud, Adviser South East Asia and Demining Kristin Eskeland, Adviser Right to Participation Laila Nikolaisen, Special Adviser to General Secretary Liv Bremer, Advisor Violence against Women Liv Torres, Director International Department Marianne Jordan, Finance Consultant Per Ranestad, Head of Section Steinar Essen, Senior Adviser, Demining Unit Åge Skagestad, Controller Mozambique and South Africa Alberto Halle (Harry) UPCS Sofala Alvirio Severino, CCD – Chifunde Ana Lopes, ORAM Manica Anne Cath da Silva, Regional Representative Southern Africa, NPA Antnio Mueio Nhalungo, Maravia Antonia Germnano, UPCT Antonio Consul, ORAM Manica Antonio Mucio Nhalnungo, CCD Maravia Auguste Matogo, UPCT Berit Bråte, Norwegian Embassy Clara Cangachepe, ADEMUCA Diamantino Nhapossa, UNAC Elicido Constantino, NPA (Tete) Elisabeth Stilsitsholder, UPCT Eng. Dulce Mavone, Oram Maputo Ernesto Davide, ADEC Sofala Felisbert Aracifu, CCD Maravia Felix Lisboa, Oram Manica Frank Phiri, Programme Manager, NPA Garveia Bravo, NPA (Tete) Gervasio Fabiao, Provincial Forum of Civil Society in Tete Helena Anderson Novela, Resident Representative Save the Children Norway – Moz. Isaac Francisco, CDD Chifunde Joana Baute, ADEMUCA Joanna Belchior, exit-strategy coordinator NPA 2003-4 Laquista Campiao, ADEMUCA Laura Constantino, Ex-director of Human Resources 1999-2996, NPA Tete LiDuva Almeida Ferrao, Administrative Assistant Regional Office Lusitano Frannser, UPCT Maria Cirilo, Lutheran World Federation, Tete


Annex 4: People Met

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Mario A. dos Santos Houwara, ORAM Moravia Mineria Cerejo Donca, ADEMUCA Narciso Vinte, Project Coordinator, NPA Paulino Imede, UCA Niassa Pedro Fazenda Sapange, CCD Chifunde Pedro Iqzenda, Chifunde Regina Matees Joao, ADEMUCA Reri J. Ramia, ORAM, Tete Senito J. Maneira, ORAM Tete Sissel Idland, Norwegian Embassy Veronica Joaqvim, ADEMUCA Yolanda de Figuerido, Muleide Agenda Ecuador 5 al 13 De Febrero Del 2007 FECHAS Lunes 5 de febrero

Martes 6 de febrero

Miércoles 7 de Febrero

Jueves 8 de febrero

ACTIVIDAD Entrevistas con equipo APN: Agneta Lilljestam, Representante para América Latina Natalia Wray, Coordinadora de Programa Almuerzo invitación de APN a miembros misión de evaluación Mariana Yumbay, Consultora de APN evaluó Escuela Dolores Cacuango 2004, apoyo a seguimiento de proyectos de APN 2005-2006. Germán Guamán, Asistente Administrativo General Norma Coque, Secretaria Sonia García. Consultora de APN evaluación proyectos organizaciones de mujeres. Cena con especialistas: Fernando García, Antropólogo FLACSO. Especialista PI. Santiago Ortiz, Investigador, poder local y procesos organizativos. Alejandro Moreano, analista político, editorialista Períodico Hoy y Revista Tinta Aji.

Hora 8:30 10:30 12:30 14:30 15:30 16:30 19:00

HEIFER. Rosa Rodríguez Arturo Cevallos, Ibis. Almuerzo con UBV, Kristina Oskarsson Lily Rodríguez. PNUD ONU

9:00 11:00 12:30 15:30

Cena con Nina Pacari, Representante ante el Foro Permanente de Pueblos Indígenas. ONU. Taller con Contrapartes de Ayuda Popular Noruega Breve presentación de las contrapartes de APN Enfoque del trabajo de cooperación de APN en Ecuador. Exposición de APN y luego comentarios de las contrapartes Almuerzo Entrevistas con contrapartes a las que no se les va a visitar

19:00

Visitas a contrapartes: ECUARUNARI; Organización Regional de los Pueblos Kichua; Escuela Dolores Cacuango. Almuerzo CONAIE, Organización Nacional que aglutina a los pueblos y nacionalidades indígenas

8:30 – 10:30 11:00 – 13:00 13:00 14:3017:00 9:00 12:30 14:30


Annex 4: People Met

Viernes 9

Sábado 10 de febrero Domingo 11 de febrero Lunes 12 de febrero Martes 13 de febrero

Manuela Gallegos, responsable de Alianza País, de relación con movimientos sociales. Paseo al centro histórico Quito Entrevistas con Estado/ gobierno/ otros Lourdes Tibán. CODENPE, Organismo del Estado encargado de política indígena. INDA Almuerzo con Ricardo Ulcuango, ex diputado de Pachakutik, encargado tema indígena y Raúl Ilaquiche, diputado actual por Cotopaxi, Pachakutik. Viaje a Cotopaxi Visita a Contrapartes en la provincia de Cotopaxi: Movimiento Indígena de Cotopaxi, MICC, organización provincial. Visita a UNOPAC, Cayambe Paseo a Otavalo Llegada a Cotacachi Visita a Contraparte: Asamblea Cantonal de Cotacachi y al Gobierno Cantonal de Cotacachi-Alcalde Ec. Auki Tituaña. COICA Rodrigo de la Cruz, especialista en biodiversidad y derechos indígenas, ex asesor de COICA Reunión en APN.

Page 89 17:30 19:00 9:00 11:00 12:30 16:00


Annex 5: Review Questions (1) 1. 2. 3.

Governance Does NPA has a board which clarifies overall aims and supports direction? Is a representative National Assembly organised every four years? Do members own and control the organisation?

(2) Leadership Does the current leadership have a proven capability to: 4. Set priorities and provide clear direction for the organisation. 5. Direct, motivate and manage staff. 6. Be a good spokesman on behalf of the organisation. 7. Make decisions in a timely manner. 8. Make decisions after proper consultation with staff/members. 9. Handle internal conflicts well. 10. Delegate work and involve staff and members. (3) Identity Purpose (What the organisation wants to achieve) 11. Is the purpose and direction for the new strategy for international cooperation clear? 12. Is a rights based approach to development clearly defined? 13. Is a rights based approach perceived as something new or already well known to NPA? 14. Is there an appropriate balance between humanitarian assistance and long-term development? 15. Are the two different or are there just different sources of funding? 16. Is the strategy understood and internalised by all staff/members? 17. Is the strategy contested? 18. Is there a need to change overall direction of the organisation? Values (What the organisation believes in.) 19. Are staff committed to a set of key values and beliefs? 20. Are values and beliefs shared among staff? Strategy (The distinctive profile of the organisation.) 21. Does NPA have a strategy which helps to clarify priorities (what to do and where to be)? 22. Does NPA show an individual identity in what it does? 23. Are there are certain things that only NPA can do? 20. How and on the basis of what principles does NPA choose its partners? 21. To what extent are partners included in strategy development? 22. To what extent has NPA been able to effectively respond with and combine different forms of assistance at country level (long-term, humanitarian, transitional, etc.)? 23. Has the choice of operational mode been appropriate and adequate in different country contexts? (4) Human resources To what extent does NPA have a proven capability to: 24. Recruit and select people effectively. 25. Ensure that staff composition reflects fair gender and equity policy. 26. Regularly train and upgrade the skills of staff. 27. Provide satisfactory incentives and compensations. 28. Avoid turnover among staff. 29. Attract people with relevant technical skills for implementing the new strategy. 30. Attract people with good managerial and administrative skills. (5) Systems and procedures To what extent does NPA have a proven capability to: 31. Set realistic priorities and plans (not be overambitious). 32. Carry out plans and projects in a timely manner. 33. Monitor and report on activities.

Responsibility for the contents and presentation of findings and recommendations rests with the study team. The views and opinions expressed in the report do not necessarily correspond with those of Norad.


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34. Evaluate - learn from successes and mistakes and change accordingly. 35. Make sure that effective financial management and accounting systems are in place. 35. Make sure that an organisational structure is in place with clear division of responsibilities at all levels at HQ level and in the field. 36. Establish effective channels of communication between head office, field office and partners? 37. How are new projects identified and planned? 38. To what extent are partners included in the planning and implementation phase? 39. Are systems for empowering target groups in place? 40. Are systems in place for handling serious conflicts with partners, e.g. corruption, mismanagement? 41. To what extent are project plans realistic and based on sound analysis and judgement? (6) Material and financial resources 42. Are funds available when needed for planned activities? 43. Is the budget large enough to allow the organisation to fulfil its obligations? 44. Is funding stable and predictable? (7) Standing (legitimacy) To what extent do external stakeholders respect and have confidence in the organisation: 45. Members 46. Other Norwegian NGS 47. Politicians 48. Norad 49. Other donors (8) Alliances and connections 50. Does NPA work effectively with other Norwegian partners in Norway? 51. To what extent does NPA work effectively with international partners at country level (country coordination)? 52. Does NPA work effectively with Southern partners? 53. To what extent has NPA been able to handle serious conflicts with partner, like corruption, mismanagement, etc. ? 54. What is the time frame for partnerships? 55. To what extent are actual partnerships in line with NPA’s partnership strategy? 56. Is a phasing out strategy prepared? 57. Does NPA maintain stable relations with its donors? 58. Does NPA share information about its activities with others? 59. Does NPA have any major rivals or competitors? (9) Responsiveness 60. Does NPA become involved in new areas of work and responds to new needs? 61. To what extent is NPA resilient – not swayed by new winds? 62. To what extent is a system and practice of learning embedded in the organisation and among partners? 63. Are political analyses of the role of partners carried out? How? 64. Are risk-assessments and conflict sensitivity analyses carried out? How? 65. Has NPA managed to adjust the programme portfolio in line with its international strategy? 66. To what extent has NPA been able to adjust organisational structures and operational modes according to different contexts and forms of assistance? To what extent do the following factors support the work of the organisation: 67. The legal/regulatory context, e.g. the government’s NGO laws and regulations, etc. 68. Political environment. 69. Donor policies or preferences.


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(10) Relevance 70. Are the objectives of the interventions consistent with beneficiaries’ requirements, country needs, partner and donor policies? 71. Do partners perceive NPA support to be relevant and beneficial? (11) Effectiveness 59. Does NPA meet its short-term targets in annual work plans? 60. How does NPA and partners measure and monitor progress and attainment of goals? 61. Have there been special efforts to monitor and measure the effects of advocacy work and capacity building efforts? 62. Are success indicators established and what are they? 63. To what extent does NPA achieve its overall objectives? 64. To what extent are project objectives achieved? 65. To what extent does NPA contribute to strengthening knowledge and capacity among partners? 66. To what extent has NPA contributed to building civil society in a country (not only individual organisations)? 67. Do achievements compare well with other similar organisations? (12) Sustainability 68. To what extent does NPA depend on external donor support?. 69. What is the level of funds mobilized by members and private donors in Norway? 70. To what extent has NPA mobilized, used and strengthened local expertise and resources? 71. Does NPA provide assistance in ways that support long-term development and national ownership?


Norad Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation P.O. Box 8034 Dep. NO-0030 OSLO Visiting address: Ruseløkkveien 26, Oslo, Norway Telephone: +47 22 24 20 30 Fax: +47 22 24 20 31 postmottak@norad.no www.norad.no May 2007 ISBN 978-82-7548-208-0

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