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Evaluation and capacity building tools for Czech CSOs
Evaluation and capacity building tools for Czech CSOs
Evaluation and capacity building tools for Czech CSOs
Evaluation and capacity building tools for Czech CSOs
Evaluation and capacity building tools for Czech CSOs
Evaluation and capacity building tools for Czech CSOs
Evaluation and capacity building tools for Czech CSOs
Evaluation and capacity building tools for Czech CSOs
Evaluation and capacity building tools for Czech CSOs
Evaluation and capacity building tools for Czech CSOs
Evaluation and capacity building tools for Czech CSOs
Evaluation and capacity building tools for Czech CSOs
Evaluation and capacity building tools for Czech CSOs
Evaluation and capacity building tools for Czech CSOs
Evaluation and capacity building tools for Czech CSOs
Evaluation and capacity building tools for Czech CSOs
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Evaluation and capacity building tools for Czech CSOs

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Czech civil society organisations (CSOs) working in development cooperation, education and humanitarian assistance, associated in the Czech Forum for Development Co-operation (FoRS), launched the FoRS …

Czech civil society organisations (CSOs) working in development cooperation, education and humanitarian assistance, associated in the Czech Forum for Development Co-operation (FoRS), launched the FoRS Code on Effectiveness in 2011. This presentation, prepared for the EES 2012 Conference (www.ees2012.org), shows how the Code was used to build CSO capacities in a participatory way, with minimal resources and the help of social media: via DevelopmentCoffee.org and Peer Reviews.

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  • How to make assessment more objective ? How to build capacities of CSOs beside workshops ? How to enhance sharing expertise of the platform members ? How to involve small, volunteer -based organisations, with highly limited resources? How to promote the guidelines beyond the platform? … And how to do it with minimum costs ? Workshops have been organized by FoRS as per the needs identified. However, only a limited number of CSO representatives could participate due to limited capacities and time constraints. Moreover, it has been realized that workshops and guidelines (such as the Code) are not sufficient to progress on the quality issues. It was identified that innovative solutions were needed to ignite a wider debate on development effectiveness and to foster capacity building among diverse actors, including   less formal, often volunteer-based CSOs, individual experts, students as well as companies and state actors. Therefore two new concepts have been launched: (A) DevelopmentCoffee.org and (B) Peer Reviews.
  • Development Coffee is an informal platform of individuals and organisations interested in development issues. It is a free tool for sharing experiences and discussing common challenges, thus avoiding the same mistakes and learning from successes in order to enhance positive impacts of joint work on people living in poverty and injustice around the world.
  • Online “crowdsourcing” platform at www.DevelopmentCoffee.org was launched in October 2011. It is used to democratically generate new themes for discussion and to vote for the theme of the next session . Thus anybody from students, to volunteers, to professionals, to journalists, to government officers, to company representatives and general public can propose own theme online and vote for others. FoRS Secretariat ensures that themes relevant to FoRS Code on Effectiveness are proposed and that other themes are linked to relevant principles whenever possible. Beside the website, facebook, e-mail newsletter and on-line FoRS Forum are also used to promote new themes and sessions. Process : Every month, the steering group of FoRS members announces a winning theme and a session date. Further, it appoints speakers and selects a hosting organisation, which is closely related to the selected theme. The Development Coffees are held in the evenings to enable participation of students, volunteers, teachers and others who are usually unavailable for daily workshops. After a 15-minute introduction by speakers who propose their views on the theme and explain relevant links to the Code, an informal, moderated discussion follows among diverse actors. Usually, around 20 participants engage in the debate, which is officially 2 hours long, but transforms to an informal networking event thereafter. Moreover, the news from the Development Coffee currently reach out to more than 400 persons via the above mentioned communication channels.
  • So far, the Development Coffees covered diverse subjects such as: How can NGOs and companies work together on poverty reduction around the world? What are the stereotypes in development cooperation? How to ensure positive impacts of projects? or What are the new trends in development cooperation? (with a special focus on social media). Speakers included directors and programme managers of leading Czech development CSOs, of the Business Platform for Foreign Development Cooperation, the Vodafone Foundation Czech Republic or the Globalisation Monitor from Hongkong. The evaluation after 9 months of implementation has shown that it is the informal debate that enriches participants ´ views and helps openly share concrete examples of good as well as bad practice. Thus it was proposed to keep the model and encourage new themes generation. Further, it was proposed to generate outputs from each session for wider dissemination and map the outcomes of the debates after a certain time period.
  • So far, the Development Coffees covered diverse subjects such as: How can NGOs and companies work together on poverty reduction around the world? What are the stereotypes in development cooperation? How to ensure positive impacts of projects? or What are the new trends in development cooperation? (with a special focus on social media). Speakers included directors and programme managers of leading Czech development CSOs, of the Business Platform for Foreign Development Cooperation, the Vodafone Foundation Czech Republic or the Globalisation Monitor from Hongkong. The evaluation after 9 months of implementation has shown that it is the informal debate that enriches participants ´ views and helps openly share concrete examples of good as well as bad practice. Thus it was proposed to keep the model and encourage new themes generation. Further, it was proposed to generate outputs from each session for wider dissemination and map the outcomes of the debates after a certain time period.
  • Besides annual self-evaluations as the main voluntary principle agreed in the FoRS Code on Effectiveness, the Peer Reviews are strongly recommended in order to increase objectivity of the assessment, to provide valuable external feedback to reviewed organisations and to support mutual learning and capacity building. The Peer Reviews have been inspired by the Global Education Network Europe (GENE) approach and especially by the experience of RORG-network , which introduced Peer Reviews in 2008 as one of the quality-building measures of the development education sector in Norway. The main purpose of RORG-network was to develop a certain degree of common understanding of development education. The lessons learnt, especially the engagement of several experts and focus on the uniqueness and added value of each organisation, in line with the appreciative inquiry approach , have served as a basis for developing a Czech system of development CSO Peer Reviews (FoRS, September 2011). FoRS Peer Reviews allow a structured, in-depth debate on each principle of the FoRS Code on Effectiveness and mutual learning among self-selected peer CSOs. The process is facilitated through FoRS on-line Code of Effectiveness questionnaire, where FoRS members indicate their interest in the Peer Review. The member CSOs can also directly approach concrete peers based on the area they would like to get feedback on, ranging from awareness raising activities, to development interventions in the field, to general management. The sector overview of FoRS Secretariat is often helpful to identify such peers from among the member organisations. Drawing from the Norwegian experience, pilot Peer Reviews were launched by FoRS in cooperation with its member organisation SIRIRI in 2012, whereby five organisations were involved in this pilot phase. During the process, evidence is shared to jointly assess each indicator and draw recommendations for any changes if applicable. Moreover, SIRIRI has used the exercise not only to review each principle of the FoRS Code on Effectiveness, but also to get feedback on its overall strategy and ways forward. Other members tested mutual Peer Reviews bilaterally.
  • Besides annual self-evaluations as the main voluntary principle agreed in the FoRS Code on Effectiveness, the Peer Reviews are strongly recommended in order to increase objectivity of the assessment, to provide valuable external feedback to reviewed organisations and to support mutual learning and capacity building. The Peer Reviews have been inspired by the Global Education Network Europe (GENE) approach and especially by the experience of RORG-network , which introduced Peer Reviews in 2008 as one of the quality-building measures of the development education sector in Norway. The main purpose of RORG-network was to develop a certain degree of common understanding of development education. The lessons learnt, especially the engagement of several experts and focus on the uniqueness and added value of each organisation, in line with the appreciative inquiry approach , have served as a basis for developing a Czech system of development CSO Peer Reviews (FoRS, September 2011). FoRS Peer Reviews allow a structured, in-depth debate on each principle of the FoRS Code on Effectiveness and mutual learning among self-selected peer CSOs. The process is facilitated through FoRS on-line Code of Effectiveness questionnaire, where FoRS members indicate their interest in the Peer Review. The member CSOs can also directly approach concrete peers based on the area they would like to get feedback on, ranging from awareness raising activities, to development interventions in the field, to general management. The sector overview of FoRS Secretariat is often helpful to identify such peers from among the member organisations. Drawing from the Norwegian experience, pilot Peer Reviews were launched by FoRS in cooperation with its member organisation SIRIRI in 2012, whereby five organisations were involved in this pilot phase. During the process, evidence is shared to jointly assess each indicator and draw recommendations for any changes if applicable. Moreover, SIRIRI has used the exercise not only to review each principle of the FoRS Code on Effectiveness, but also to get feedback on its overall strategy and ways forward. Other members tested mutual Peer Reviews bilaterally.
  • The pilot Peer Reviews are yet to be evaluated. However, it is already clear that they require strong dedication and sufficient time to discuss the evidence of principles in practice and successfully reach conclusions. Ownership of the process has to be secured throughout the organisation in order to put recommendations effectively in practice.
  • The launch of the FoRS Code on Effectiveness has shown that organisations are interested in evaluating their work, provided they own the process, have sufficient time to reflect and are positively encouraged on the way by the FoRS Secretariat and finally the FoRS General Assembly. Specific indicators , such as “FoRS Members and observers refuse displaying and describing extreme suffering for the purpose of obtaining financial recourses for their activities” (FoRS, June 2011), provide a useful basis for debate within the organisations. The indicators set minimal standards acceptable to all organizations. Moreover, it was appreciated that so called key indicators were specified, whereby their serious infringement can lead to the exclusion of the concerned organization from the FoRS platform. However, in order to use the Code mainly as a capacity building rather than repression tool, new concepts beside standard workshops and guidelines have been recently launched by FoRS – the Development Coffee and the Peer Reviews. Taking into account limited resources for capacity building among civil society organisation, both concepts have created new opportunities for promoting, evaluating and sharing experiences on effectiveness principles . Their advantages lie in  quick, easy set-up with minimal costs and in capacity building fully driven by target groups . Both use social media for promotion, idea generation and engagement (Development Coffee has been developed based on the free web software www.wordpress.org, the Peer Reviews are facilitated through on-line FoRS Code on Effectiveness Questionnaire, consolidated via free service of www.googledocs.com). Willingness of engaged individuals and organisations to devote certain time to experience sharing and learning is essential to keep both concepts alive. To steer the process, the group of around 5 individuals engaged in FoRS Working Group on CSO Development Effectiveness  has proven to be very useful. However, it is crucial that it is the participants, who decide the focus, the timing, the process and the outcomes. FoRS is open to further learn through this process and share the concepts to be utilised by evaluation practitioners, their networks and by any professional platform / network interested in free experience sharing and mutual learning. It is open to any feedback in order to further develop the tools for the benefits of the members, their partners and most of all their beneficiaries.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Building capacities of Czechdevelopment CSOs based on the FoRS Code on Effectiveness Inka Píbilová
    • 2. Czech Forum for Development Co- operationPlatform of 60 Czech development CSOs in 60 countries with combined annual turnover of 40 mil. EUR 1. Policy & Advocacy 2. Capacity Building 3. Awarness Raising & Partnerships
    • 3. Code on Effectiveness1. Grassroots knowledge2. Transparency and accountability3. Partnership4. Respect to human rights and gender equality5. Accountability for impacts and their sustainability www.FoRS.cz > Members and Observers > FoRS Code in ENhttp://www.fors.cz/user_files/fors_code_on_effectiveness_en.pdf
    • 4. Code on Effectiveness: Annual Selfevaluation1. Grassroots knowledge  Validating data in the field ! Publish strategic priorities online ! Contribute to FoRS working groups2. Transparency and accountability Most info incl. contacts on-line ! Publish funding / financial info Refusing corruption in fundraising3. Partnership Mutual capacity building ! Sharing project docs, other projects4. Respect to human rights and gender equality Avoiding stereotypes Not using pictures of extreme suffering for fundraising5. Accountability for impacts and their sustainability ! Impact indicators missing ! Lack of participatory evaluations ! lack of target groups´ opinions in eval. reports ! Accountability for impacts!
    • 5. Code on Effectiveness: Annual Selfevaluation• How to make assessment more objective?• How to build capacities of CSOs beside workshops? Development• How to enhance sharing expertise Coffee of the platform members?• How to involve small, volunteer- based organisations, with highly limited resources? Peer Reviews• How to promote the guidelines beyond the platform?• … And how to do it with minimum costs?
    • 6. DevelopmentCoffee.org 6
    • 7. DevelopmentCoffee.org 7
    • 8. DevelopmentCoffee.org Themes:•How can NGOs and companies work together on povertyreduction around the world?•What are the stereotypes in development cooperation?•How to ensure positive impacts of projects?•What are the new trends in development cooperation? (socialmedia) Agenda Speakers:•Leading Czech development CSOs•Business Platform for Development Cooperation•Vodafone Foundation Czech Republic or•Globalisation Monitor from Hongkong 8
    • 9. DevelopmentCoffee.org Key features:•Democratic themes proposal and selection (crowdsourcing)•Use of social media, but regular meetings are essential•Different hosting organisations•Informal debate in an atmosphere of trust•Concrete stories of good / bad practice•Enhanced networking among CSOs, government officials,students, private sector Challenges:•Ownership of the process after co-founders left•Need for outputs for wider dissemination•Need for evaluation of outcomes 9
    • 10. Peer Review – Quick version DWW Bilateral peer review FoRS Code of Effectiveness Self-assessment 10
    • 11. Peer Review – Strategic approach WG1 Final Briefing workshop WG2ToR & report WG3 Interested FoRS Code of Peers Effectiveness Self-assessment 11
    • 12. Peer Reviews Key features:•Concrete objectives•Based on a framework (FoRS Code on Effectiveness)•Looking at concrete evidence•Building on what the organisation is good at•Voluntary (focus, peers selection)•Trusted peers with versatile background•Platform facilitating the process and networking Challenges:•Realistic objectives•Buy-in and dedication across organisational hierarchy•Sufficient time to discuss the evidence of principles and reachset objectives.•„New“ priorities during the peer review process 12
    • 13. ConclusionsCzech CSOs (and others!) are DevelopmentCoffee.org interested in sharing and andevaluating their effectiveness, Peer Reviews provided they: • transform the FoRS Code to a• see benefits for their work, capacity building rather than• have a clear framework with repression tool, specific, meaningful • use the wide expertise of the indicators, FoRS membership,• own the process, • are quick, easy & cheap to set-• have sufficient resources to up and run, reflect and • use social media, but do not• are systematically replace personal contacts, supported (FoRS Working • are fully driven by target Group and Secretariat). groups.
    • 14. Thank you for your attention! Inka Píbilová (methodology) inka@evaluace.com www.evaluace.com Jan Bohm (social media) me@janbohm.cz www.siriri.orgDaniel Svoboda (CSO development effectiveness)svoboda@dww.cz www.cso-effectiveness.org Jana Miléřová (FoRS documentation) jana.milerova@fors.cz www.fors.cz
    • 15. Back-up
    • 16. Code on Effectiveness – Example:http://www.fors.cz/user_files/fors_code_on_effectiveness_en.pdf

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