Organisational assessments of six international non-governmental organisation Nov 14

Sthlm Policy Group · Comments: 0
In October 2013, Stockholm Policy Group, in partnership with Sipu International, finalized a year-long organizational assessment project of civil society organizations (CSO) in view of possible qualification as Sida's framework and/or strategic partner organizations. During the project period SPG conducted six organizational assessments: Diakonia, Forum Syd, Merlin, Norwegian Refugee Council, PMU Interlife, and Swedish Red Cross. The organizational assessment of Merlin was stopped in July as the organization merged with Save the Children UK. 

A critical tool of the applied method for the organizational assessments was a criteria list, created by Sida's CSO and HUM units and published in August 2011 (in Swedish "Kriterier för civilsamhällesorganisationers behörighet som ramorganisation och strategisk partnerskapsorganisation”). The list is officially established, through a decision by Sida's Director-General, as the basis for CSO assessments. It represents an expansion of Sida's earlier, quite well established method for organisational systems based audit. The main difference is that the assessments includes both the "old" systems audit (although amended) and two additional parts: one evaluation-like component, looking at actual implementation performance, and one part that assesses the organisation's ability to be a serious and constructive actor in its specific field and among international civil society or humanitarian organisations in general.

The main questions that have answered through the organizational assessment with the help of the criteria list are:

- What are the vision and values of the organisation? Is it well anchored in Sweden and/or internationally; and is it perceived as open and independent?

- Does it work well as an organisation and will it be stable and reliable in the medium-term run?

- Is the organisation able to fulfil its objectives, strategies and implement its work plans, which includes its role in relation to partner organisations in the south?

- Does it has the knowledge, capacity and standing to develop and adopt to changing circumstances as well as to make substantial contributions to the development of civil society in general as well as international humanitarian policies and practices?

The six organizational assessments included extensive interviews with staff, management and board members at the head quarters in Geneva, London, Oslo and Stockholm, as well as interviews with field staff and stakeholders at project sites in Ethiopia, Kenya, Myanmar, occupied Palestinian territories, and Somaliland.

The full project, managed by Sipu International AB, comprised a total of 31 organizational assessments during the period of September 2012-October 2013. The assignment was commissioned by Sida.

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