Organisation History In Seven Days

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A little book on how NGOs can do process documentation in easy steps.

A little book on how NGOs can do process documentation in easy steps.

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  • 1. Constructing mindscapes: media tools for NGOs Your organiSation hiStory in Seven dayS anita cheria and edwin
  • 2. Your organisation history in seven days anita cheria and edwin September 2004 Copyright: As with all works of excellence, there is no copyright for non-profit, non-commercial use. Please copy and use as much as possible. If you need more copies, please get back to us. For commercial use, please get back to us. If you really think it is worth pirating hmm…. Price: Rs 150 in India; Euro 15 abroad [Activists can pick-up copies at a price they determine] published by goodbookz 125/1 cross 15, main 5, r t nagar block 2, bangalore, India 560032 e: goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk p: +91 (80) 2353—4797 m: 94—4848—4797 Your organisation history in seven days; page [2] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 3. for their inSpiration and Support, we dedicate thiS book to our guruS, in particular Michael Norton S ParaSuraman S J A Packiaraj Your organisation history in seven days; page [3] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 4. Inside Why write your organisation’s history at all?.............. 7 Before you start ............................................................ 11 Day 1: Introductory....................................................... 17 WH? ......................................................................................... 18 The ABCs................................................................................. 21 The ‘Wh’ rules .......................................................................... 25 Quotes...................................................................................... 25 Photographs............................................................................. 26 Responsibility ........................................................................... 27 Case studies ............................................................................ 28 Format for a human interest case study................................... 30 Format for a case study on human rights violations ................ 36 Day 2: Building the organisation calendar................. 39 Step 1. Organise your thoughts............................................ 39 Step 2. Identify defining moments ........................................ 39 Step 3. The calendar grid ..................................................... 39 Step 4. Building your organisation’s calendar grid ............... 40 Step 5. Filling in the organisation’s calendar grid: Individual 42 Step 6. Filling in the organisation’s calendar grid: Collective 42 Step 7. Choosing case studies ............................................. 43 Step 8. Writing case studies [250 words] ............................. 43 Your organisation history in seven days; page [4] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 5. Step 9. Select new stories for case study 2 ......................... 44 Step 10. Overnight work ......................................................... 44 Day 3: Case studies...................................................... 45 Step 11. Collecting case study 1 ............................................ 45 Step 12. Writing case study 2 [500 words] ............................. 45 Step 13. Sharing case study 2................................................ 45 Step 14. Select new stories for case study 3 ......................... 45 Step 15. Writing case study 3 [1000 words] ........................... 45 Step 16. Sharing case study 3................................................ 46 Step 17. Overnight work ......................................................... 46 Day 4: Numbers and additional material .................... 49 Step 18. A wealth of case studies .......................................... 49 Step 19. Classify case studies................................................ 49 Step 20. Putting in the numbers ............................................. 49 Step 21. Setting up taskforces................................................ 68 Day 5: Putting it all together........................................ 71 Step 22. The background and context: Organisation ............. 71 Step 23. The background and context: Programmes............. 73 Dalit 78 Natural resource management ............................................... 79 Micro–credit ............................................................................ 80 Gender 80 HIV/AIDS ................................................................................ 81 Your organisation history in seven days; page [5] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 6. Women and Sangams, CBOs................................................. 81 Step 24. Putting it all together ................................................ 82 Day 6: Figure it out ....................................................... 85 Step 25. Putting in the numbers ............................................. 85 Examples ................................................................................. 88 Step 26. Check, cross check and recheck ............................. 97 Day 7: Wrap it up .......................................................... 98 Step 27. Mapping your links ................................................... 98 Step 28. The index and the lists ............................................. 99 Step 29. Putting in other data: Compiling the annexes .......... 99 Step 30. Naming the casebook: Think of a good title ........... 101 Step 31. Naming the chapters .............................................. 101 The day after ............................................................... 102 Step 32. Follow–up............................................................... 102 Step 33. The final touches.................................................... 102 Step 34. Setting up systems................................................. 103 Other books we wrote ................................................ 107 Your organisation history in seven days; page [6] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 7. Why write your organisation’s history at all? NGOs do wonderful work; I wish they’d documented it! Now this has become the fashion. But we did it long ago. Our work speaks for itself. If you are in the small minority that says the last, well, this is where we part ways. But if the first two quotes sound familiar… and most of us have heard this... and you have decided to do something about it… Congratulations on deciding to do your organisational history. With some effort from your end, this book will help you avoid hearing these. Writing your organisation history—making your own ‘casebook’ of your organisation—is an important step in institution building. It is an intense effort of self–evaluation and celebration. It is an opportunity for self– discovery, learning, and sharing experiences and lessons. Most organisations realise the importance of recording their history, their analysis and motives very late. It occurs after the initial Your organisation history in seven days; page [7] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 8. ‘activist’ work is over. In the first phase of the organisation’s work, there is a lot of excitement. There is so much to do. All of it is new. Everything is an adventure and, in the case of grassroots groups, a struggle. It makes for good story–telling. But at this phase of work, there is no time to write it down. If at all anything is written down, it is by those who visited the organisation or staff who have now left… but they are seldom there to even share their experiences later on. And then, it is all forgotten. Later comes the phase where organisational systems are put in. A lot of the excitement of daily struggle and pitched battles is over. Yet the impact on people’s lives is greater. Success is routine, due to demonstrated power. So the work becomes boring. Frustration mounts. Philosophical and existential questions—is that all there is to life?—begin to torment many. Fortunately, it is never too late. Using very simple methods, you can reconstruct your organisation history very quickly and efficiently. You can write your organisational history with case–studies, position papers and Your organisation history in seven days; page [8] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 9. statistics. In this book we will tell you how. First we will look at the skills required, and then put them together. Writing your casebook brings back the excitement into work. As you reflect, you will recall more. You will learn lessons from your experiences. You will learn how to be more efficient. Careful analysis could reveal a different reality than what you intuitively thought. It enables you to share your learning with others... the possibilities are endless. Writing organisational histories is primarily for these reasons. • To support your work. • To share ideas and experiences. • Share knowledge, innovation and new technologies. • For advocacy. To change how people think, and then how they act. • Policy analysis. • As a part of a campaign. • To raise credibility. • To be an ambassador for the organisation and make its expertise visible. Your organisation history in seven days; page [9] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 10. • To become an information provider on a specific topic. • To generate income. Decide which of these reasons is for you. Done? OK, the advantage of writing your organisation history is that it can be used as a base for virtually all of this. The most important part of writing your casebook is to keep a record of things as they happen. It helps crystallise the organisational identity and positioning. It helps facilitate introspection without the pressure of an evaluation. It enriches the interface with your constituencies—be it the focal community, the media or other development organisations. Your organisation history in seven days; page [10] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 11. Before you start If you are not the organisation chief, then you need to convince her first. Writing an organisational history is not possible without the support of the top management. Therefore, in this book we will assume that you are the organisation chief. The first thing is that you, as the chief of the organisation, need to be convinced of its need. Then you need to allot seven days of your entire organisation’s time for it. As an organisation chief, recording your organisation history—even reconstructing it—is easier than you think. Writing, or reconstructing, your organisational history is simple. You need to follow a few simple guidelines. But you have to be systematic, disciplined and committed to it. If you are not serious about it, don’t start. The entire history of your organisation is in your head—and in the heads of the staff. The task is to put it down on paper. This is not a spectator sport. You need to do it. Your organisation history in seven days; page [11] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 12. Which seven days? OK, we cheated. Just a little bit. Seven days, not one week. As you will realise, there is a world of difference. This is seven days of intensive time, spread over a month. Keep yourself completely focused on the task at hand, and off administrative or organisational matters for the duration. We suggest that you select a time when there is not much work in the organisation. The last week of March is one such time. Field based organisations will find the monsoon, sowing or harvest seasons conducive. Festival times would give the time, but will the staff be interested? Complete preparations on a Friday, and start the next Monday or Tuesday. Take a break over the weekend. We assume that a fair degree of writing skills are available within the organisation. If not, you would need some skill training first. What do we mean by ‘fair degree’? That’s easy: the ability to write at the eighth standard level— simple, easy–to–understand language—and the desire to tell a good story. Your organisation history in seven days; page [12] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 13. Who should participate? Call together all your staff, especially those who have been with you from the beginning. Be as inclusive as possible. You will be surprised at the amount of information that your driver has. Your office boy could give you an entirely new perspective. The field staff will have their unique point of view, as will the accountant and other support staff. Most of all, remember that you, the organisation chief, are also a participant. You have to be an active participant in the workshop, writing just like anyone else. At the same time, you should not make others to keep quiet just because they have a different opinion than yours. You are a participant with the most information. This exercise will not succeed without your full cooperation and participation. But you must remain just a participant, though an important one, if an authentic history is to be written. You might want a facilitator for the workshop. It should be someone who can ensure that you do not dominate the group. On Your organisation history in seven days; page [13] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 14. day six you might want a facilitator to help you with statistics. Where should the meeting be? Arrange a workshop, spread over three to five days. It would be best that the workshop is not in your office. Unless for day five and six, being in your office is a disadvantage. If the workshop is in your office, you might need to turn the telephone off. Make it a residential programme if you have the resources. Physical requirements Each participant needs a table and a chair to herself. Have sufficient writing material—spiral bound notebooks, A4 size paper, pencils and pens—for all present. Have chalk or markers for writing on the board. Have an attendance register. Staples and filing material would be an advantage. If you can afford it, have computers. Have at least four sets of maps of your district, state, country and the world. Resource material Keep all your annual reports, including financial reports ready. Keep all the papers, photographs, brochures... any material you have Your organisation history in seven days; page [14] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 15. on your organisation... handy. If you are having the meeting in your office, all this will be close by. If not, take them all to the workshop venue. Read good reference books on writing skills beforehand. Bring them if you prefer. You could refer to them right through. Our own little book of documentation could be of use. We have included some relevant parts in this manual. A dictionary and a thesaurus are not really required. Circulate this manual beforehand. Reading through the material for day one is mandatory before coming for the workshop. Read this book from cover to cover beforehand if you can. Then you can make the most productive use of time. Language The language used for writing and the workshop should be what all, or most of, the staff are fluent in writing. If all are excellent in written English, then you could use English. The casebook can be translated later. [Yes, once you get a good document, there will be many demands for translation]. Your organisation history in seven days; page [15] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 16. More than the actual language—Arabic, English, Roman or Zulu—what you should be careful about is the style. The style of writing should be simple. It need not be ornate. You should guard against the tendency to mimic ‘literature’. All good literature is written in the spoken language of the people. It is only over time, sometimes centuries, that they have the archaic flavour—not because they are written in archaic style, but because the language has evolved. Always write in the idiom of the spoken language. Literature is writing that has influence in the life of people. And for that, it is the content that counts not the flowery language. Your organisation history in seven days; page [16] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 17. Day 1: Introductory On the first day, we will have an introduction to writing skills, and get the framework for getting the required data. It is to ‘get into the mood’. This is refresher, not a training on writing skills. As a field based group, most of your staff will be used to ‘doing’ things in the field. Most will not be in a frame of mind to write since it is divorced from their daily grind. Going through this material will help set the tone of the workshop. Read this material on Day 1 in groups of not more than six. Come back to the plenary to clarify any doubts. This day is to freshen up the basic writing skills and concepts. It cannot, by itself, teach you writing skills. If you feel that the writing skills of the group are poor, then you might need training in the skills before you start off on this venture. However, learning is through doing. If there are people in the group who do have the skills, then arrange the group so that those with the skills can help those who are starting out. Your organisation history in seven days; page [17] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 18. WH? Before you even put pen on paper, it is best to use the ‘WH’ rules, in this order. We will be using these rules again while writing. This time, we use these questions to decide, as a team, why we are documenting the organisation history. This is to give focus to our task. Later, we will ask these questions for every case study and programme. Using these questions will ensure that we get all the basic data. WHY am I documenting this? Writing your casebook is to trace your growth, changes in perspective and for recording your work. It is to keep track of your achievements and failures. You will need to measure your impact, or lack of it, against your objectives. You will probably remember why you chose a particular programme to fulfil your objective, for a short while. Did the programme help you fulfil that objective? Oftentimes, a programme is started for a reason, and then everybody forgets the reason. The programme takes a life Your organisation history in seven days; page [18] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 19. of its own. At best it is reprioritised for different reasons. At worst, it is just done for the sake of doing it, or for the livelihood of the staff. Decide what your reasons are. WHAT do I want to say? Say it in one sentence as a check against overloading, and a check for clarity. A saint was once asked to explain his philosophy standing on one foot, in one sentence without taking a breath. A good practice for all writers as well. WHO are the authors and who is the intended reader? All those who are or have been associated with the organisation are the authors. As for the reader, have just one reader in mind, preferably a real person. Then the writing will flow better. Think of the person in terms of gender, age, education, rural or urban, interests, income, and what else she reads. WHEN should you do it? If you are reconstructing history—yesterday. Since that is perhaps not possible, then as soon Your organisation history in seven days; page [19] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 20. as physically possible. For updating it, do it as often as possible, preferably after every major activity. A casebook of an organisation’s history needs to be updated at least every three years. Do you need it at an event? A season? Work your deadlines backwards. For instance, if your casebook is required before 1 January 2020, you should start writing much earlier. You will need a month to get all the information required to write the casebook. Yes, it is all in the files, but just try filling the tables… then a week for the actual writing, spread over a month. A month to get supporting documents and photographs. A month for editing. A month for peer reviews, and another to incorporate their suggestions. A month for design, typesetting and proof. Add another month ‘just in case’. So you’d have to start writing eight months earlier—on 1 May 2019 itself. And this is being quite optimistic. WHERE is the document going to be used? • In libraries. • In the field. • In educational institutions. Your organisation history in seven days; page [20] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 21. • In government • Internally within the organisation….? HOW much information should be given? As much as necessary. Your casebook can often be twice as good if it is half as long. Simplify and reduce, but do not leave out facts. Be careful, don’t change the idea. Convey each idea clearly, without distractions [too much information] or leaving important details to the imagination of the reader [too little information]. Always assume that your reader is intelligent, but ignorant of the particular details. The ABCs For any writing, the ABCs are to be: • Accurate, • Brief, and • Clear. In writing your casebook, you need not be so brief that you omit different perspectives. For the internal document, be as elaborate as possible, so that the casebook provides the base material for others. It should be a reference material that records the organisational growth, Your organisation history in seven days; page [21] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 22. change in perceptions, change in objectives, programmes... Accuracy Always be accurate in your facts. Facts are sacred, but comment is free. Do not understate or overstate. It might not bring you instant stardom, but once your integrity is recognised, your reward will be much more long lasting. Since your casebook is primarily an internal document, you need to be as brutally honest and self–critical as possible. Let different viewpoints come up freely. Include them with editing, but without censoring. Don’t get carried away by your own analysis and opinions. Do point out the unusual. But overall, give the people the facts, and let them come to the conclusions themselves. Treat them as adults. They will give you the same respect. Your duty is to report facts and your reflections of the reality that you faced. Good news should not be manufactured. But even the most macabre can be reported and documented with sensitivity. Your organisation history in seven days; page [22] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 23. Brevity Brevity is the soul of wit, and all good writing. In this world no one has the time to read through large articles, unless they are forced to. What has to be communicated has to be as brief as possible. All that you know need not be put into one article—or one book. The golden rule is: be short, be sweet, be gone. People simply do not have the time to read through long winding reports or books, and people whom we would like to influence value their time in minutes, if not seconds. In writing your casebook, you need not be brief the first time. Be as elaborate as possible. But when you want to share it outside—i.e. when your internal document becomes a public document—then it needs to be edited into a smaller compact version. Clarity What is very clear to you need not be so for the reader. Use short sentences. Use simple words. The objective of a writer is to make the readers understand what is written, not to overawe them with words they don’t. Your organisation history in seven days; page [23] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 24. Be particularly careful about words that you normally use. They can have different meanings for a person with a different background. Avoid jargon, unless you are writing for a very small group that you know intimately. Using clichés may be bad ‘literature’ but it is good writing. It helps people understand with the minimum of effort. Clichés and jargon should be used only to make things easier to understand. Use the word with the exact meaning that you require. Use the simplest words. The style should be what an eighth standard student can read and understand. Keep the tone conversational—you are writing your story not a dictionary. Development literature does not need flowery language or the wealth of the dictionary. In many cases, using bombastic or ornate language is a disadvantage. Use words to communicate, not to impress. The task of the writer is to demystify. Your casebook is successful only when it is read and used as a springboard. The rule is KISS MII [pronounced kiss me], keep it short and simple, make it interesting. Your organisation history in seven days; page [24] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 25. The ‘Wh’ rules How do we start? The easiest way is to answer these following questions: Who, when, where, what, why and how. You are more than half way there already. Then come back and fill in the details. Asking the right questions is an art, more difficult than getting the right answers, and requires more skill. What happened, and to whom? When and where did it happen? Why did it happen, and how? The order is not rigid. For instance, if the place is the most important, or most ‘newsworthy’, part of the story, then the ‘where’ comes first. Quotes Direct quotes have a lasting impact. The language itself becomes much less formal. The use of short forms quot;I’ve, I’ll, can’t...quot; gives the authentic touch. They lend authenticity to the case study. Translations need not be literal. They need to convey the spirit rather than the exact words—especially when they are idiomatic. Don’t over do it though. Your organisation history in seven days; page [25] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 26. Photographs Photographs are mini case studies in themselves. They capture the essence of the text. So it is important that they are chosen with care. Where photos are not available, decide which photographs can be taken. Then employ a photographer. One staff member should go along with the photographer and take the photos. Always brief the photographer in detail. Given them one of those ‘orientations’ that development organisations are famous for. In– house photographs need to be scanned by a professional for quality periodically. Each case study should have the photo of the people involved. It is good to have the ‘before’ photograph—how the situation was before you came into the picture. Most often, that photograph is missing. So if that is not possible, a photo of the present should be there with the caption ‘the house today’ or ‘the dam today’. Photographs should have a single, clear message. They should give solid information or create emotion. Make sure that they are technically good. Give them a caption. The Your organisation history in seven days; page [26] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 27. caption should not state the obvious [‘Two women carrying wood’.]. The caption should be as short as possible. The ‘movement’ of a picture should be towards the reader or towards the book: From left to right on the left page, and right to left on the right page. Illustrations have to be in the idiom the audience understands. Keep in mind the ‘visual literacy’ of the intended audience. Responsibility The ‘R’ in writing stands for the great social responsibility you have—the duty to highlight the best in human nature, and to be on the side of the oppressed. Therefore, the human being and human well–being should be at the centre of the documentation effort. Though on the side of the oppressed, even while developing an ideology for liberation, development workers should at no time give in to hate, communalism, incitement to racial or other violence or other negative human traits, but should always emphasise love, harmony and tolerance. The outlook should be positive, creating a win–win, inclusive, enabling Your organisation history in seven days; page [27] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 28. ideology. Life is too short even to love adequately. There is no need to waste time on hate. We do not need to create hell in this world to go to heaven in the next. Case studies All interventions have specific impact. This impact has to be told by a narrative, which gives the context and the programme. Some of it can be expressed through numbers, the financial and cost–benefit. That is the analytical part. It gives the comparisons and explains the differences. It often explains the organisations’ role. Underneath it all lies the bedrock: what significant impact, if at all, did the intervention make in the lives of ordinary people. It gives the specific impact. It is this that the case study deals with. Case studies put back the human being as the centre of development. It can even be in such ‘boring’ things as selecting the second line leadership or the new ‘core group’. Did you have a part in making change happen? How? Did anything influence your plan: make it more difficult or easier? What was it? Your organisation history in seven days; page [28] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 29. Case studies are for very many different reasons. Some of them are: • To illustrate a point in 20 to 30 words. • A short case study of a person affected in about 100 to 200 words. • A longer case study. • A composite [or fictional] case study. • A quotation from an affected person. Each requires a different approach. A good case study can be written in 250 words or less. In the workshop we will be concentrating on short case studies. A case study traces the impact of one intervention, or a combination of them, on one entity. In some cases, the ‘entity’ it covers could be a group of people, such as an entire village or organisation. Since the case study is to put back the human element, it is best to deal with one person. Always talk of the effort. We value effort—which is why we clap at a child’s first step. Start with the situation in the area before the intervention. Then narrow it down to the person on who the focus will be. Take the events in chronological order. Point out the struggles, and Your organisation history in seven days; page [29] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 30. triumphs. Draw attention to the emotions, the support and hostility, the personal traumas. Remember, we are documenting a human story. Do not hesitate to bring in the human emotions. End with the unfinished tasks, and the next areas that the person or community will address. Do not give the impression that one particular intervention solved all the problems—that normally is not the case. Give credit to the external supporters and the tide of history. End with a forward–looking quote. Format for a human interest case study [Name] is a strong and self–confident woman. Now she is [tell what is the main impact of this case study.] Yet [number of years] years back it was unthinkable that she would ever reach this state of security. Name–of–the–person lives in [village] in [district] of [state] in [northern/eastern...] India. Who are the members of the family? What work does she do? What is her educational qualification? Your organisation history in seven days; page [30] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 31. Answer the questions so that each section becomes a paragraph. • Why is this person important? • Analyse the situation, the problem and the focal community. Describe the situation and developments that influenced the work. What was the situation in the area? What are the changes? What caused them? How can they be solved? What were the problems foreseen in trying to solve these issues? • What is the position of the community within society? What are their problems and needs? How did you define these needs? Here include the objectives, strategy, expected impact, and gender perspective. • Intervention strategy. What are your organisation’s short–term and long–term objectives, and how do you plan to realise them? • Impact. What improvements were made in the lives of the community? What were the social and Your organisation history in seven days; page [31] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 32. economic improvements in the position of women? Explain the connections between objectives, strategy, and impact. Brief description of change • What actually happened? • What was the immediate provocation? • Was there any previous provocation or history for the people to respond in such a manner [either positive or negative?] • Was there any similar incident nearby? What happened then? History • Accomplishments. • Strengths. • Weaknesses. • Problems encountered. • Lessons learnt. • Steps taken to translate these lessons into policy. Cooperation patterns We do not work in isolation. How have others influenced our work—both positively and negatively? What are the problems? How have you solved them? Or how do you propose Your organisation history in seven days; page [32] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 33. to solve them? Who else is working in your area? What are the other networks that you are part of? How do they contribute to your organisation? Mention only those that are relevant and have direct impact on the project. This is a good section to have if only to show your reach. For all of them indicate whether it is at the policy level, implementation level or both. You could indicate areas of commonalty and divergence. How did they help in bringing about change? Which networks were part of the effort? Do you cooperate with the government? What are the conditions? At what level? What was their role? Did they help or hinder? Financing How much money was required for this? From where did you raise it? Who were your principal donors? How did you convince them to give you the money? Future perspective This ends the section on the organisation. The next deals with the programme. Your organisation history in seven days; page [33] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 34. Programme Remember, all this information should be condensed into one paragraph. So be as concise as possible. Give some background information on the project. Why is the project needed? What are the problems and needs in the project area? What is the situation of the focal community? What are the issues to be addressed by the programme? What were the changes? Give a map of the project area. Objectives: What are your long term and short–term objectives? How do they fit in with your organisational objectives? History of the project: What are your key accomplishments? What were the strong and weak points in implementation? Activities: Explain each of the activities that helped bring about change. Include the strategies. Distinguish between output and impact. Output is the concrete, quantifiable data. Impact is the sustained changes in the community that will take more time to be visible. For each activity have: Background data, expected results, finance, and a timeframe. Your organisation history in seven days; page [34] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 35. Institutional competence: What is the institutional expertise that you have to implement this programme? How are you going to strengthen this capacity? Include staff training and such measures. How many committees, networks are you taking active part in. this will be both for government and other committees. Sustainability: Can the project become self– supporting and self–replicating at some time in the future? How does the project help in making the community sustainable? Will the project impact negatively on the environment? What is the impact of this one person’s story on community? What are the related significant developments? How have you enhanced the systems in your organisations so that this will continue? How has it been translated into institutional memory for institutional development? End with another forward–looking quote. It is important that quotes and photographs be forward looking and inspiring. Your organisation history in seven days; page [35] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 36. Format for a case study on human rights violations 1. Name of victim[s]; caste; sex; age 2. Name of accused[s]; caste; sex; age 3. Time 4. Date 5. Place 6. Brief description of incident a What actually happened? b What was the immediate provocation? c Was there any previous provocation or enmity? d Why is it specifically an issue of human rights? e Which specific law covers this? f Was there any similar incident nearby? What happened then? 7. Nearest police station 8. Officer on duty/Case reported to Your organisation history in seven days; page [36] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 37. 9. Was the case filed? a If so FIR copy and number b If not why not? 10. Case filed under PA Act? or PCRA? or ... 11. Action taken by the police [delays if any; mention names of the police[wo]men involved.] 12. Further action demanded 13. Copies of affidavits enclosed, if any. The following part is not strictly for your casebook. It will help in record keeping and systems in future. Send copies to: • District collector • Police commissioner. • Chief minister of the state. • Social welfare minister. • Chief justice, High court • Chief justice, Supreme Court. • President of India. • Prime minister of India. • The national SC/ST commission. • The state social welfare board. Your organisation history in seven days; page [37] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 38. • National human rights commission • State human rights commissions. • The ministry of social justice and empowerment. • The national ministry of welfare. • Women’s commissions. • Other human rights groups such as PUCL, PUDR... • Women’s groups for events specific to Dalit women [NAWO] • CACL for issues relating to the children A copy could be sent to the following also: • Amnesty International • All press including the state capital and New Delhi. [Indian languages, newspapers, magazines and TV.] Update once a month, with accurate information. This saves on postage and is more impressive. If there are paper cuttings, they can be scanned and put in as annexes. Your organisation history in seven days; page [38] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 39. Day 2: Building the organisation calendar Step 1. Organise your thoughts It is important that the group spends some time in silence, gathering and organising their thoughts. This is a good way to start each day, and at regular intervals. Step 2. Identify defining moments On the writing pad, each person should write 1 What is the most important achievement of the organisation? 2 Name one person’s life that you have changed. 3 What was the main challenge faced by the organisation to its very existence? Now, write which year that was, next to each answer. Step 3. The calendar grid In which year did your organisation start? Write that on the top left corner of the black board. Underneath that write all the years up to the present. Your organisation history in seven days; page [39] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 40. Let us assume your organisation started on 15 August 1997 and today is 14 April 2002. Your table will look like this: Year Activity 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 Step 4. Building your organisation’s calendar grid List your organisation’s aims and objectives. List the programmes that you do. Match the programmes with the aims and objectives. Put that on top of the table. Add a column for key visitors, donors, organisational developments, and one for external developments. Your organisation history in seven days; page [40] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 41. Your table will now look like this: Programmes Organisational developments External developments Panchayat seats won education VIP Visits Awards health Year 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 Of course, you could have more under ‘programmes’. Your organisation history in seven days; page [41] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 42. Step 5. Filling in the organisation’s calendar grid: Individual Now let everyone write the most important event under each of the years and programmes in their letter pads. Let each one write down what are the most important achievements in each year in their writing pad. Have you got any awards? Did you have a campaign to get title deeds for the land? Do you have the documents for the first hand pump you installed? The small office where you started out, your first community centre. Remember the VIPs who came to your organisation? Step 6. Filling in the organisation’s calendar grid: Collective This is a group task. Let each one tell what are the major incidents that they wrote. Fill up the table as they read out what they have written. There will be some clarifications and corrections at this point. The dates and names might be different. Discuss and come to a conclusion. If the differences persist, refer to your files to get accurate data. Your organisation history in seven days; page [42] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 43. Step 7. Choosing case studies For each achievement or incident, write a case–study. Decide who will write which case study. The process up to filling up the table and deciding who will write which case study will take up to lunch at about 13:00. Step 8. Writing case studies [250 words] Each participant should write one case study by 15:00. Highlight the people and the impact of your intervention on the people. Make a clear link on what the organisation did, which objective was fulfilled by which programme. Put in the names of the people involved, the name of the place, and the time. Remember to write down the entire story in detail. Since this is the first case study [we will call it case study 1], it should be a minimum of 250 words. The more detail the better. After final editing, each case study should be between 500 to 1000 words. Your organisation history in seven days; page [43] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 44. Sharing case studies After tea, come back at 15:30. Let each person read out the case study. The rest of the group can now • Give extra information. • Correct the names of people, places and the dates if required. • Give suggestions on how to improve it. • Give ideas for photographs or indicate/list where you already have photographs. Step 9. Select new stories for case study 2 Now that you have got some expertise, this step will be easier. Select new case studies. Step 10. Overnight work Incorporate all the comments that you got into your case study 1. It should be preferably 1000 words when you finish. Take copies of all the relevant photographs and documents and annex them to the case study. Your organisation history in seven days; page [44] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 45. Day 3: Case studies Step 11. Collecting case study 1 In the morning, please collect all the case studies. If there were 20 participants in the meeting, you should have 20 case studies now. In the attendance register, mark those who have given in their work. Step 12. Writing case study 2 [500 words] Each participant should write case study 2 by 10:30. Each case study should be between 500 to 1000 words. Step 13. Sharing case study 2 After tea, come back at 11:00. Let each person read out case study 2. The rest of the group responds. Step 14. Select new stories for case study 3 Select new case studies. Step 15. Writing case study 3 [1000 words] Each participant should write case study 3 by 15:30. Your organisation history in seven days; page [45] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 46. Step 16. Sharing case study 3 After tea, come back at 15:30. Let each person read out case study 3. The rest of the group responds. Step 17. Overnight work Incorporate all the comments that you got into case study 2 and case study 3. They should both be about 1000 words when you finish with them. Meantime, the accountant... Up to now, the accountant was part of the case study writing teams. Now, the accountant should lead a team to prepare a comprehensive statement of accounts year–wise. It should tally with the FC3 and audited statements. Get your total budget. Break it up into • Local contributors, individual. • Local contributors, institutional. • Government funds. • Own income. • Foreign donors, individual. • Foreign donors, institutional. • Foreign donors, government. Your organisation history in seven days; page [46] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 47. Funding Source Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 … Total 1. Foreign 1.1 Institution 1 1.2 Institution 2 1.3 Institution 3 … 1.10 Individuals 2. Local 2.1 Institution 1 2.2 Institution 2 2.3 Institution 3 … 2.10 Individuals 3. Government 3.1 Department of Women and children 3.2 …. Your organisation history in seven days; page [47] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 48. 3.3 Sidbi 3.4 NABARD … 4. Membership fees Total Your organisation history in seven days; page [48] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 49. Day 4: Numbers and additional material Step 18. A wealth of case studies In the morning, collect case studies 2 and 3 from each participant. If there were 20 participants in the meeting, you should have 60 case studies now. Mark the attendance register to see who has submitted how many case studies. Follow–up to ensure that all give three each. Simple isn’t it? Not bad for two days’ work?! Now put it into the computer. Step 19. Classify case studies Classify case studies according to your programmes and objectives. Make the links for logical flow. Step 20. Putting in the numbers Project staff must now list the benefits of your work for the community, and give monetary value to it. This has to be done member–by–member, village–by–village. What is your staffing pattern, sangha membership and micro–credit groups? In all this you need to have disaggregated data. Your organisation history in seven days; page [49] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 50. How many • Women. • Children. • Dalits. • Adivasi. How many from the different focal groups • Disabled • HIV/AIDS infected or affected…. You need to have this in • Membership • Leadership • Allocation of resources. For instance, in staff, • How many Dalit women do you employ? • At what levels of the organisation? • What is their salary individually and collectively both in absolute terms and in relative terms in the organisation? In short, the data for all sections should cover their contribution, costs and benefits. Your organisation history in seven days; page [50] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 51. Finding the required data: Baseline data collection of your organisation 1. Organisation details 1. Name of your organisation : 2. Acronym [Short form] : 3. Address : 4. Contact Person : 5. Telephone : 6. Fax : 7. Email : 8. Legal Status : 9a. Registration Number : –b. Place of registration : –c. Date of registration : 10. FCRA Number : Date : 11. Bank details FCRA Bank account : Bank Address : 12. Authorised signatory for cheques : Your organisation history in seven days; page [51] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 52. 13. 12A registration number : Date : 14. 80G Registration Number : Date : 15. Details of governing board members No. Name Sex Designation i. ii. iii. 2. Coverage a. States [names] b. Districts [Names] c. Taluk [Names] d. Villages [Names] Your organisation history in seven days; page [52] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 53. 3. Population covered 0–5 6–18 19–59 60 + Age groups M F M F M F M F Total Total Population Dalits Adivasi Others Total covered Percentage covered 4. Resources raised for the community: Year Year Year Total 1 2 … Matching grants for micro–finance Community foundations Pensions Scholarships … Your organisation history in seven days; page [53] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 54. 5. Material benefits with value: only what is got through struggle or without bribe. Year Year Year 1 Total 2 … Benefit Quantity Value Q V Q V Q V Land House Toilet Borewell Water tap Water tank Electricity for house Street light Community hall … Total Your organisation history in seven days; page [54] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 55. 6. Total paid sangha membership: [You might like to do this year–wise] 6–18 19–59 60 + Age groups M F M F M F Total Dalits Adivasi Others … Total Covered 7. Sangha membership fees Year Members Monthy fee Annual fee Entry fee 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 Your organisation history in seven days; page [55] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 56. 8. Women headed households [You might like to do this year–wise] Below 12 Over 60 12—18 19—45 46—60 Total Dalits Adivasi Others… Others … Total covered Your organisation history in seven days; page [56] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 57. 9. Child/Bonded labour [all children from 6 to 18 not in school are considered child labour] Children Year 1 Year 2 Year… Total M Total in Village F M Dalits F M Adivasi F M Others F M Others… F M Total covered F Your organisation history in seven days; page [57] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 58. 10. Education Status: [You might like to do this year–wise] Coverage Total in village Total covered Others… Adivasi Dalit Other Sex M F M F M F M F M F M F Post graduate Professio nal Graduate Diploma Std 12 Std 10 Std 8 Primary Never attended school Total covered Your organisation history in seven days; page [58] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 59. 11. Elected representatives Year 1 Year 2 Year … Total M F M F M F M F In village Dalits Adivasi Others… Others… Total covered 13. Staff Profile community/ Dalit/ Adivasi Educational Qualification Take–home salary Whether from the Date of Joining Date of birth Designation Name M/F Your organisation history in seven days; page [59] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 60. 14. Micro Credit Year 1 Year 2 Year … Total Membership Dalit Adivasis Women Total Total groups Savings Dalit Adivasis Women Total Leadership Dalit Adivasis Women Credit given Dalit Adivasis Women Total Number of loans Dalit Adivasis Your organisation history in seven days; page [60] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 61. Year 1 Year 2 Year … Total Women Total Loans Dalit Adivasis Women Total Loans collected Dalit Adivasis Women Total Interest rate for loans Interest rate for savings Interest income Who are the managers Percentage of credit used for income generation activities Total credit Your organisation history in seven days; page [61] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 62. Year 1 Year 2 Year … Total mobilised from banks, new revolving fund other sources Sources of the above Total members who received more than Rs 2000 Arrears rate [Loans due 90 days and over divided by Loans outstanding] Default rate [Loans past maturity divided by Loans outstanding] Repayment rate Depending on your programme, you would need different data. Go ahead and collect this. Tracking how many loans are more than Rs 2000 will help determine movement away from consumption to investment. Your organisation history in seven days; page [62] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 63. If possible, you could get disaggregated data for Dalits and Adivasi too: children, women and men. If you have groups working with disability, HIV/AIDS or watershed, you could—if you have the data and the time— reconstruct. You could even club those who have opted for the same income generation programme to look for patterns. 15. Training/PRA/Drama/ conducted Participants Subject / purpose Number of days Designation/ Impact description Date Children Women Adivasi Others Total Dalit Total 16. People’s involvement: At what levels? From the beginning of your organisation, you would have dealt with many people from many sections of society. For a ‘good coverage’ you would need to interact formally with many. See Your organisation history in seven days; page [63] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 64. if you have covered all the sections of society in the area you work with. This could be in terms of: • Gender. • Caste. • Religion. • Language. • Occupation. • Teachers. • Bankers. • Postman. • Police. • Army. • Administrative officials [village, taluk, district, state, national.] • Politicians [village, taluk, district, state, national.] • Human rights organisations. • Women’s organisations. • Social clubs: Lions, Rotary, Inner wheel, Jaycees,… • Scouts, guides, NCC, NSS… Your organisation history in seven days; page [64] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 65. 17. Visits Who visited your organisation? It is important to give details. We will go through each section of society. Let us start with the politicians… though most self-respecting organisations keep this species as far away as possible. 17a. Visits: Politicians Visits to our organisation: Politicians Year National State District Taluk Village 1 2 3 4 5 17b. Visits: Administrators Visits to our organisation: Administrators Year [IAS, IPS, to village clerk] National State District Taluk Village 1 2 Your organisation history in seven days; page [65] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 66. 3 4 17c. Visits: the ‘pillars of society’ Visits: The middle class ‘pillars of society’: bankers, teachers, Year trade union leaders National State District Taluk Village 1 2 3 4 17d. Visits: non-Indian nationals Visits to our organisation: Foreigners [donors, students, Year visitors…] National State District Taluk Village 1 2 3 4 5 Your organisation history in seven days; page [66] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 67. 17e. Visits: Well-wishers Visits to our organisation: Well–wishers [Everyone else] Year National State District Taluk Village 1 2 3 4 18. Outreach and media presence This is a neglected part… but if not for reconstruction of history, this is a good thing to track in future. Research Newspapers Magazines Television papers/ Books Radio Year Journals/ thesis 1 2 3 Your organisation history in seven days; page [67] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 68. 4 If you have been paying attention to the public profile of your organisation, then you will have quite good coverage in the media. Then you can classify the coverage into local, district, state and national media attention. Meantime, the accountant... The financial team now has an additional task. Your organisation accounts need to be classified into programme, programme support and coordination. The ‘programme’ needs to be further divided into community organisation, health, advocacy, salaries and coordination [rent, vehicle, petrol, telephone...]. The accountant should now have all the financial details. Make graphic presentations of this data, with appropriate captions. There should be different graphs for different contribution categories as well as combined, comparative ones. You should know where the Rupee comes from and where it goes. Step 21. Setting up taskforces Set–up small taskforces. The first taskforce is to get all the photographs and the second to get Your organisation history in seven days; page [68] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 69. the supporting documents… the ration cards, the title deeds, the petitions… The third should list all the important documents produced by your organisation so far, even if it is only one– page reports to donors. The fourth is to get copies of when you were mentioned in newspapers, magazines or other media. Dig them out. Once you get this information, pass them around. You can then write down a more elaborate report of those stories. Now that you are experts in writing case studies, write the story of each photograph, each document. Write those stories using the WH rules. The fifth taskforce is to make the organisation timeline. Write down the dates of all important happenings and put them in sequence. Remember all the ‘firsts’… the first meeting, the first village, the first bicycle… This is overnight work. At this point you might decide that the work is too much for a day or two. Go ahead… take a break. However, we would suggest that the break is for a maximum of three days [inclusive Your organisation history in seven days; page [69] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 70. of a one day ‘holiday’]. This is to ensure that the momentum is maintained. Your organisation history in seven days; page [70] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 71. Day 5: Putting it all together Ok, now that you have got so far, you have come to one of the easier parts. Step 22. The background and context: Organisation Write one page on why your organisation was started. What was the situation in the project area? Give details of where is your project area. What is the total population? What are the caste, class, and gender break–up? What are the basic facilities available to the focal group—do they have housing, land, water, electricity, primary health, work [and minimum wages], transport and roads. What is their political, social, educational situation? This is probably there in your first project proposal or first survey notes. Put them all together. Update it to reflect current reality. But retain the original also, so that the reader gets to know the changes over time. In 1997 when we first entered the village it did not have running water or electricity. Now there are three taps, and all the houses have one bulb each under a special government scheme for weaker sections. Your organisation history in seven days; page [71] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 72. This will form the first chapter. It should have the following data, as the minimum. • Background information on the projects of your organisation Why is the project needed? What are the problems and needs in the project area? What is the situation of the focal community? What are the issues to be addressed by the programme? What were the changes? Give a map of the project area. • Objectives What are your long term and short–term objectives? How do they fit in with your organisational objectives? • Coverage How many people do you work with now? How many in the beginning? How many women, children…? When did you expand? Why? Put in the coverage table here. • Key accomplishments What makes you unique? What are your strong and weak points as an organisation? Your organisation history in seven days; page [72] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 73. Step 23. The background and context: Programmes Take out your project proposals. It will give the background information on each of the programmes, the justification and rationale, and the situation in the community that makes this programme necessary. Next take the programme reports of each year. Take out the part where you report your achievements and progress. Try remembering your problems and how you solved them. Explain each of the activities that helped bring about change. Include the strategies. Distinguish between output and impact. Output is the concrete, quantifiable data. Impact is the sustained changes in the community that will take more time to be visible. For each programme have: Background data, expected and actual results, finance, and a timeframe. Compile each programme as a separate chapter. Add the case studies and photographs, according to the programme. In each chapter, take one programme [for instance micro–credit or watershed management] and put in the entire story right from how you thought about it, to Your organisation history in seven days; page [73] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 74. what was the condition before to your efforts, problems and trails to the condition now. Remember, the condition now need not be rosy… there is still a lot of work to be done! The reader would like to have a complete story in each chapter. If you have projects in different areas, you could think of the story of each area being in sections. In each programme, you would need to write down the following: • What are the major changes in the project situation, your constituency and area if they relate to do the implementation of the project? How has this affected the project and what you are doing about it? • Are you working with any new groups? If you have increased membership or constituents indicate who and how many they are. • How this programme helps in achieving your long–term and short–term objectives and your intervention strategies. You would need to pull out your long–term objectives and then correlate your activity: Your organisation history in seven days; page [74] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 75. Our main long term objective is _________________________ The indications that we are achieving this are: • …. • … Our medium term objectives are __________________________ The indications that we are achieving this are: • …. • … Choose at most five main objectives, and then the impact you have achieved. Refer back to all the tables you filled up. Give facts and figures where possible. Remember that objectives are what you want to happen. The activities are what you spend money on to achieve the objectives. This especially applies to training, training is an activity. What you want to achieve by training [empowerment active participation in PRI, increased awareness] is the objective. Objective 1 ___________________________. Your organisation history in seven days; page [75] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 76. Achievement or impact, what are the indicators of achievement. Objective 2. ___________________________ Achievement or impact, what are the indicators of achievement. Objective 3 ______________________________ Achievement or impact, what are the indicators of achievement. Objective 4 : _____________________________ Achievement or impact, what are the indicators of achievement • How did you achieve the objectives, which strategies worked best, which strategies did not work, what changes do you want to make in strategies? • What were the problems in achieving the objectives, what did you do to overcome them or what plans do you have to overcome them? Did you make changes in the objectives? • What is the progress you have made in implementing the project activities? Your organisation history in seven days; page [76] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 77. • What are the protests, campaigns, dharnas, demonstrations you organised or participated in? How many people were mobilised, and what for? Give facts and figures where possible. • For each activity write a short note on how it helps in: • Poverty reduction. • Influencing policy. • Society building. • Gender and development. • Environment and development. • Human rights. • How has this programme helped in institutional development of your organisation and the community? In what way has your organisation increased its capacity and skills? It could be new skills, transfer of skills, increased scope, increased level of work, increased staff, increased funding from other sources, more role for women, Dalits, CBOs, networks etc… For the different constituencies and programmes, you could go through the following objectives: Your organisation history in seven days; page [77] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 78. Dalit • Increase representation/participation of Dalits in PRIs. • Increase human rights, reduce atrocities against Dalits, create awareness on SC/ST [Prevention of Atrocities] Act, 1989. • Reclaim DC, Bhoodan and other land. Assert Dalit rights over temple/ waste land, common resources, community incomes. • Increase effective women leaders by 30% in CBO and Federation. • Claim and get basic amenities in Dalit villages. • Increase economic status of Dalits, especially women. Access government, Schemes, welfare, credit etc. • Create active NGO federations in three states cpable of exerting political pressure • Foster Dalit culture as a tool for liberation • Promote change in policies for reservation, law, anti Dalit laws. Provide basic data, facts and figures. They should show PRI activities showing Dalit participation, details of Dalit movements, human rights cases taken up, atrocities recorded, atrocities avoided, compensation Your organisation history in seven days; page [78] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 79. received, land and common resources reclaimed, increased in effective women leaders, amenities obtained, evidence of increase in economic status. Government and other schemes accessed, federation membership increased, cultural activities… Natural resource management • Increase awareness on Common property rights, indigenous knowledge, marginalisation. • Conserve land and water, raise water table. • Increase food/production on wasteland, agro forestry. • Value addition (herbals etc.). • Prevent land alienation. • Introduce eco–friendly techniques. • Revitalise tanks. Provide basic data, facts and figures. What is the effect of increased knowledge, improvement in SA/MF, land conserved water table data, increased production from waste land, uncultivated and newly cultivated, value added, land alienation prevented, migration prevented, Your organisation history in seven days; page [79] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 80. eco friendly techniques accepted and implemented, tanks restored…. Micro–credit • Correct identification of target people poorest of poor. • Increase productivity of micro–credit. • Mobilise savings. • Provide credit ensure proper utilisation and repayment. • Meet operational costs of the programme. • Equip people with proper techniques for micro–credit. • Increase social development. • Insure sustainability. • Increase income and quality of life. Gender • Share work at home. • Create better emotional support for family. • Enhance women’s decision making at all levels. • Enhance women’s participation at all levels. Your organisation history in seven days; page [80] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 81. HIV/AIDS • Identify groups of people at risk, emphasis on women. • Create positive attitudes, build counselling and communication skills in staff, volunteers, community. • Increase awareness on risk and prevention (HIV/STI). • Increase condom availability. • Promote behavioural change towards safer sex (reduce partners, select partners, use condoms). • Increase health–seeking behaviour (early and correct treatment for STI/RTI). Give basic data: numbers of people/ women at risk identified, data on increased staff skills, motivation and level of activity, data on increased awareness, condom use, safer sex etc. Women and Sangams, CBOs • Increase the capacity of women’s groups to take up women’s and village issues, strengthen SHGs. • Bring together women’s and other groups into federations. Your organisation history in seven days; page [81] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 82. • Increase capacity of federations to take up wider issues, support sangams and take over NGO tasks. Step 24. Putting it all together Now you have the introductory chapter and the programme chapters. Arrange all the information you have. Write down the main chapters you would have in your book. It could look something like this: • Chapter 1: Introduction to the organisation. • Chapter 2: The beginnings: Organising the community. • Chapter 3: The thirst for knowledge: Non– formal education. • Chapter 4: Water, water everywhere: The watershed programme. • Chapter 5: Half the world: Introducing gender. • Chapter 6: Life with dignity: Addressing caste discrimination. • Chapter 7: From savings to enterprise: The micro–finance programme. • Chapter 8: One earth for all: Our environment. Your organisation history in seven days; page [82] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 83. • Chapter 9: A matter of life and death; Addressing HIV/AIDS. • Chapter 10: Institutional development. What is the institutional expertise that you have developed over time? What are the management systems? When, how and why did you develop them? What are your personnel policies? When did you decide to issue appointment letters for staff? Include staff training and such measures. Include details of your advocacy, networking and campaigning activities. How many committees, networks are you taking active part in. This will be both for government and other committees. How have you enhanced the systems in your organisation? How has it been translated into institutional memory for institutional development? • Chapter 11: Sustainability What is the cost benefit ratio? [Include both the financial and social aspects.] Compare the ratio with similar projects near by, of government or other agencies. What are your Your organisation history in seven days; page [83] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 84. plans to become self–supporting in the future? How do you help in making the community sustainable? • Chapter 12: Our donors and supporters How does this project help the supporters to fulfil their policy objectives? For this you will need to research your supporters. Find out what their key policy objectives are. Then explain each in detail. Most have just one or two key objectives. • Chapter 13: Future • Expected growth. • Expansion of activities. • Expansion of geographical reach. • Plans to become self–supporting. • Possible withdrawal strategies and time. • How do you foresee the future? • What are the continuing challenges? End with a positive quote or statement. • Chapter 14: Further reading and references. Do chapters 10 to 14 come as a shock? They shouldn’t. They are there in the case studies. Just pull them out and synthesise. Your organisation history in seven days; page [84] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 85. Day 6: Figure it out Day 5 was midway into the programme. So it was designed as a breather. Now let us get back to serious work again—to the subject most of us hate: mathematics and statistics. Though it seems like a lot of work, it is quite simple—if you have followed the steps to reach here. To get here at one jump is difficult. What we emphasise is that this ‘impressive presentation’ requires just 10% more effort and is 90% more effective. Think about it. Do you really want to skip this? Step 25. Putting in the numbers Why are numbers important? Because humans love good figures. So it is rather puzzling why numbers pose such a challenge. Once we understand the basics, it is rather easy and very fascinating. The important things to remember are that we cannot make sense of any number above 100 or below zero. The next thing to remember is that we normally think in pictures. So the main thing to do is to convert every number into percentage, or graphs— especially if they are below 0 or above 100. If Your organisation history in seven days; page [85] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 86. the range you are working with is more than 1 to 10, it is best to convert into percentages. For instance, Oxygen reducing from 0.001 to 0.0001 p.p.m will not immediately strike the reader. In the first place few will understand that p.p.m means parts per million—which is why you must avoid using jargon—and most of those who do will shrug their shoulders and say ‘so what?’ But say that there is a 90% loss in Oxygen and immediately the antenna goes up— and you have got the reader’s attention. Interpret what your data means for the reader. The findings from all analysis must be put in the main text. Then, to reinforce your position, you could also give the data to the readers in a table, so that the readers can judge for themselves. Data tables add authority to your writing. But the point you want to make with the statistics must always be explained to the reader. Readers often skip tables unless they are explained. Always explain statistics. • How to do figures So now, get out all the figures that you have, at the most detailed. How many states do you work in? How many districts, taluks, villages? Your organisation history in seven days; page [86] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 87. How many men, women, children, Dalits, Adivasis, … Put it all into percentages and pie charts. Show the change over the years. Do the same for your financial data: convert it to graphs over time, population groups, and programmes. You need to know just basic mathematics for this. If necessary, your accountant can help you—if all is according to schedule, the financial data should be ready by now. Then use the same principles for programme and population categories. Next do a cross–analysis. How much money went for women? For children? Dalits? Adivasis? …. How many people did your programmes benefit? What is the total savings of the micro– credit programme? What is the average savings per sangha per person, per week? How many of the cases filed actually come to satisfactory closure/conviction? You can have any amount of data, but use a collection of data to illustrate only one point. Put the data in tables. Have a good caption [heading] for the table. Then for each column or line have a one–paragraph explanation. Your organisation history in seven days; page [87] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 88. However, do not overload the reader with too much data. You must collect and present only the data that is relevant or interesting for the reader—only the data that shows key information about your organisation or the process you have kicked off. Above all, make the figures interesting. Examples These examples will help you understand how easy and simple the whole thing is. Once you get the hang of playing with numbers, you will enjoy it. Then you should be careful of playing around too much with figures and giving your readers a headache. Coverage Let us do the first table just for fun. It will demonstrate how having organised data will help us clarify our thought process, and sharpen our knowledge. Give it your best shot. Answer the questions honestly. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer to this. Your organisation history in seven days; page [88] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 89. OK, an easy question. You work with the community right? Lets see how it works. Make the following table, and fill it up. The total population in the area of work Community/ Caste 1 Caste 2 Caste 3 Caste … sex/ age M F M F M F M F 0—1 2—5 6—10 11–15 16–20 21–30 31–40 41–50 51–60 61–70 71— Total Done? Ok, this is a little easier. Fill up the next table with those whom you work with. You would need a programme or occasion Your organisation history in seven days; page [89] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 90. where they participate formally in any of your activities. The total population we work with Community/ Caste 1 Caste 2 Caste 3 Caste … sex/ age M F M F M F M F 0—1 2—5 6—10 11–15 16–20 21–30 31–40 41–50 51–60 61–70 71— Total Compare these two tables. Now you can see quite graphically how much of ‘the community’ Your organisation history in seven days; page [90] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 91. you really work with. Of course, you have reasons for not wanting to work with all. Now is the time to reflect on how you are going to do ‘community development’ if you are not working will all… or how you are going to do work on gender by working exclusively with men or women. Do you cover all age groups? If you want to make things a little more difficult for yourself, make another chart with special needs: Visual, physical, HIV/AIDS, sexual orientation, widows, widowers, unmarried middle aged persons, prisoners … do you work with them all? Or are there some sections you don’t talk about? This should show you how the visual representation of your data can help you in better self–analysis. It is exciting. It is simple. Armed with this knowledge, let us go in for the rest with confidence. Your organisation history in seven days; page [91] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 92. Cost—benefit Cost of coverage and cost—benefit Per capita cost Cost—benefit Total budget of coverage population Per capita coverage Benefits benefit Total ratio Year 1997 A B C D E F 1998 1999 … This is all data that has been previously compiled. Take it from the appropriate tables. • Per capita cost of coverage [C] is total budget divided by total population you cover [B/A]. This will decrease as the years go by. • For ‘D’ benefits, you will need the Rupee values of all the benefits. The intangibles— such as ‘self–respect’ cannot be directly measured, and is a drawback of this method. However, they can be indirectly measured, and that is the task of the case studies. Your organisation history in seven days; page [92] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 93. • Per capita benefit [E] is Benefits divided by total population you cover [D/A]. • Cost—benefit ratio will be the ration between per capita cost of coverage and per capita benefit C: E. Coverage We work in over 6600 villages and slums in 40 districts of Tamilnadu, Karnataka, pockets of Keralam and Andhra Pradesh in Southern India with 4.5 million of the most needy. Of the 4.5 million, Dalits are 4,016,079 [89%] and 256,054 [5.6%] are Adivasi. There are 592,486 Dalit children, of whom 324,070 [54.7%] are girls. There are 41,019 Adivasi children of whom 21,774 [53.08%] are girls. Just adding the percentages gives the reader a much better picture of the situation. If this is put in a table, the impact will be even better. The micro–credit programme Detail Full grant Partial grant No grant Membership in 35,971 1,349 7,787 December 1999 New members 25,764 1,236 1,668 January to December 2000 Total members 66,266 2,585 19,367 Your organisation history in seven days; page [93] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 94. Detail Full grant Partial grant No grant % Dalit 67% 81.7% 58% % women 85.6% 99% 100% Total savings/ 8,707,029 2,220,222 4,920,740 interest up to December 1999 Total saved 10,989,361 1,851,490 6,328,671 January to December 2000 Total savings / 20,302,129 4,061,490 13,598,120 interest 2000 Total credit 26,103,688 5,501,490 87,363,000 given from group savings/ NGO/ CBO revolving funds January to June 2000 % of credit used 67.6% 57.4% 43% for IGP Total credit 26,138,390 2,583,000 31,150,000 mobilized from banks, new revolving fund other sources January to June 2000 Your organisation history in seven days; page [94] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 95. Detail Full grant Partial grant No grant Total 36,888 787 11,946 beneficiaries received meaningful credit [Rs. 2,000 or more] from all sources We have linked with financial institutions [RMK, FWWB, WDC….]. Total credit mobilised is Rupees 57 million for on–lending to 37,000 women. We have promoted sustainable federations. Ten federations of women with 27,328 members are able to meet their operational and administrative expenses independently. While the quality of data is uneven and incomplete, certain broad conclusions can be drawn. The per capita savings, both annual and total, are lowest for the full grant based groups at Rs.166 and Rs 306 respectively, compared to Rs 327 and Rs 702 for the nil grant and still higher for the partial grant groups. [Rs 716 and Rs 1,571]. The non–grant credit is also the highest per capita at Rs 4,511, followed by partial grant at Rs 2,128. Those covered only by grants had a per capita savings of just Rs 394—less than 10% of what the others got. The credit mobilised was Rs 395, Rs Your organisation history in seven days; page [95] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 96. 999 and Rs 1,608 per capita for full grant, partial grant and non–grant programmes. The chances of getting significant loans vary from 0.56, 0.3, to 0.62 across full, partial and non– grant. This means that those supported by the programme have a 56% chance of getting a loan of over Rs 2,000 in the year. For those not supported by the programme it is slightly higher by 6%, while the partially supported group less than a third are likely to do so. This could probably mean that the fully covered programme gives fewer—but more substantial— loans. Loans above Rs 2000 indicate that credit is used for income generation and not emergency consumption. It indicates the strong desire of the Dalit women for improvement and is reflected in the high percentage of for loans used for income generation. The percentage used for income generation is highest in the full grant part of the programme. This could mean that they have the highest credit absorption capacity and the greatest incentive to invest in income generation. Taken together, it could show that the programme covers the poorest of the poor or that it is a programme yet to reach its full potential. It is possible that the reason is a combination of the two. Your organisation history in seven days; page [96] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 97. However, the data is not sufficient for further analysis, and even this must be only broadly indicative. Nice? Interesting? Impressive? Simple too! The whole analysis uses just plain percentages only, and it is fairly straightforward. Moreover, in the end it says clearly that the data is unreliable. But it still gives a very good impression! Step 26. Check, cross check and recheck Check and recheck names of people and places, dates and figures. This will take you the whole day. Your organisation history in seven days; page [97] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 98. Day 7: Wrap it up Step 27. Mapping your links This is a plenary session, in which all should participate. The objective is to show the links that you have. It will show how strong, or weak, your relationships are. If any of the maps do not have sufficient lines on them, it should be cause for serious concern. Take the four sets of maps of your district, state, country and the world. On one set, pinpoint where your programme centres are, and what your programme area is. If you work in different districts, you will use a state map. If you work in different states, you will need a country map. On the next set, mark the programme links. Where did you go for programmes? What are the places from which others have come to see your programme? Where are the networks that you are part of situated? Mark those places and name them. Write the name of the network. Now join the place with yours by a line. On the third set, show the financial flows. From where do you get money from within the Your organisation history in seven days; page [98] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 99. country and outside? If it is from an organisation in Delhi, mark Delhi and write the name of the organisation. Next draw a line from Delhi to your organisation. On the fourth set, show where the focal community have links. Do they go to the collector’s office? Have contacts with the donors? Draw lines appropriately. Write the names of the offices. Step 28. The index and the lists This is a major task. It will go through many stages, though it looks simple. You will need the following lists at the minimum, with page numbers where possible. • Chapters [the contents pages]. • Annexes. • Tables. • Maps. Step 29. Putting in other data: Compiling the annexes All the data cannot and, more important, need not, be put in the book. But they could be important. There is a way out: we can put them at the back of the book as annexes. Collect all Your organisation history in seven days; page [99] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 100. these documents so that your documentation is complete. Yes, you do have all of them, but they are in different places. So get a Xerox copy of them anyway. When you do this, you will find out how much time it actually takes. • Articles of association or trust deed. • Audited financial statements for three years. • Registration under the FCRA. • Budget. • Map of project area. • Project implementation calendar. • Annual reports for past three years. • Evaluations for the past three years. • Case studies and other publications. • Photographs. • Those who participated in this exercise. • Staff list [if different from the above] • Board members. • The organisation timeline: the list of firsts with the dates. [Our first meeting, date, village; our first staff member…] Your organisation history in seven days; page [100] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 101. Step 30. Naming the casebook: Think of a good title This is a group effort. What is the essence of your organisation’s work? What are you trying to tell people? Put that down in five words or less. This is an interesting session. Let each person suggest a title. Put them all on the board. Then try mixing and matching—yes, choosing a title is not very different from choosing clothes—and let something new and uniquely ‘you’ come up. Step 31. Naming the chapters Now break into smaller groups and do the same for each chapter. Within each chapter, see if you need sub–heads. Each case study, each photograph, each table needs a good caption. Go through them one–by–one. It will take time, but is well worth the effort. Your organisation history in seven days; page [101] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 102. The day after Step 32. Follow–up Now you have a basic document of your organisation. Make three copies. Bind all this information in one or multiple books. At this stage, spiral binding may be preferable. Keep the original and one copy under lock and key. Give two copies to two editors to sharpen this a little and make it into a better document. Ninety percent of the work is done—basically because you are now in a frame of mind to think and recollect your organisation’s history. After a week, ask the editor to come to your organisation and interview most of you, to fill in the gaps. At this time you may also like to add more things. Do it, but keep it to the minimum. Rethink the title if you must. When the editor gives you back the copy, you are almost there. Step 33. The final touches • Make the final ‘fair’ copies of each document—specially the maps and lists. • Put it all into a computer. • Redo the indices and contents pages. Your organisation history in seven days; page [102] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 103. • Recheck the numbers: do the chapters come in the pages mentioned in the contents page? Are the photographs in the right places? • Design the cover–page. Now you can take the final copy. Make as many copies as required. Always keep the original under lock and key. Have a separate copy for office use. Give one copy each to all the staff. Step 34. Setting up systems You must have a deadline for all documents. Preparing documents is a continuous process… because life is a continuous process. If you do not have a cut–off date, then you will never bring out the document. Always remember that no document is ‘perfect’ or ‘comprehensive’. The first time you do it—to the best of you ability, no less—it will be good. After a year, when you add, delete, modify, edit… it will be better. From the third year it will meet the standard you set for yourself. You will now be enthused enough to set up systems in your organisation for recording data. Then you would need to build need–based Your organisation history in seven days; page [103] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 104. documents such as brochures, and case studies. This documentation should be built into the systems of the organisation so that it would become part of the organisation culture and thus almost ‘automatic’. For that reason, there has to be top management commitment to documentation and provide time for the training. If, after two years of your workshop, nothing has really changed in the organisation, it is possibly because your ‘organisation’ is in reality just a semi–formal group. If ‘growth’ is seen as moving from group to organisation to institution [with institution as a level three state] then the mismatch between groups [which are level one formations] attempting the task of an institution [which are level three formations] becomes painfully apparent. Institutional development therefore becomes the prerequisite for documentation systems to work. You would need precise data collection forms. One good way is to have standard data collection forms. Another is to give staff diaries with one page per day. This they need to fill up with daily experiences and share at the weekly Your organisation history in seven days; page [104] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 105. staff meeting with written reports. If you do not have a weekly staff meeting, then it is high time you start having it. These can then be consolidated in an ongoing basis by one of the office staff. At the annual planning and stocktaking week, you can finalise your current and future annual reports. If you do not have an annual planning and stocktaking week, start now. The end of the financial year is a good time to start, if there is some slack time. Once your systems are in place, you will be able to monitor key indicators so that you will have the least amount of information coming in, but you will be able to chose which are the most critical ones that you want tracked. From quantity, we then move on to quality. A caution though. Some people will tell you that ‘this is so good, you must publish it!’ Don’t. A book is very different from what you have now, and publishing goes much beyond just printing a book. The document that you have now can at best be called a casebook—a good collection of case studies logically strung together. To be publishable, it needs to be down Your organisation history in seven days; page [105] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 106. to 120 pages at most. For that you need an editor… but for that process you need another workshop. For now, relax. You have put in al lot of hard work. Sit on the easy chair. Read your organisation’s history. Enjoy! —(end of document)— Your organisation history in seven days; page [106] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 107. Other books we wrote Institution development A human rights approach to development p205, Rs 175, 2004 Karnataka resource book p250, Rs 100, 2002 Life goes on...[Building sustainable communities and institutions] p320, Rs 240, 1999 The little book of documentation p140, Rs 150, 1999 NGO experience Grama Vidiyal, A bank to bank on p250, unpriced, 2004 The heart of a city p250, unpriced, 2002 Sustaining Dalit empowerment p060, Rs 120, 2001 An earth to inherit p108, Rs 120, 1999 Paths are made by walking p107, Rs 100, 1998 The NESA process p060, Rs 100, 1998 Partners in progress p206, Rs 120, 1997 Experiences of advocacy in environment and development p208, Rs 120, 1997 Your organisation history in seven days; page [107] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 108. Indigenous and Tribal peoples A search for justice p300, Rs 500, 1997 Why does Nagarhole burn p060, Rs 060, 1995 Indigenous identity p090, Rs 030, 1993 Tribals in our global village p150, Rs 095, 1992 Others Peoples Voices: 25 Experiences of globalisation in Asia p100, unpriced, 2003 Liberating mindspace: In which language do you think? p065, unpriced, 2001 ~ Your organisation history in seven days; page [108] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk
  • 109. Did you enjoy this book? Do you have suggestions to make it better? We would like to hear from you. You could contact us to give your comments on this book, or help you in writing your organisation history, or in institution development, at: Goodbookz 125/1, cross 15, main 5, rt nagar block 2, bangalore, India 560032 p: 91(0) 94-4848-4797 e: goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk ~ Your organisation history in seven days; page [109] anita cheria and edwin; goodbookz@yahoo.co.uk