Although local organizations in Armenia have received extensive support from international donors to improve their fundraising, management and project implementation skills, these inputs have not translated into a significant improvement in organizational performance and service delivery. In fact, most NGOs in Armenia have experienced an overall decline in operational effectiveness over the past decade, according to a 2004 assessment conducted by World Learning. In order to successfully develop organizational performance, both individual skills and the internal management systems that translate staff capacities into outputs must be strengthened.
Eurasia Partnership Foundation’s (EPF) Development of Organizational Capacities Program is taking a comprehensive approach to strengthening the organizational performance of NGOs, municipalities and media outlets. Organizational assessments conducted by EPF staff examine areas that are critical to operational efficiency and effective service delivery. The assessment results help client organizations formulate action plans to strengthen their internal systems and capacities. EPF provides ongoing consulting services to each organization throughout the implementation of these action plans, and may also make grants available for action plan implementation.
This program will complement all of EPF’s programs in Armenia by building sustainability and increasing the performance of program partners and grantees.
EPF first facilitates a trust building session using the Appreciative Inquiry technique, focusing on the achievements and strengths of an organization and its staff. Following this exercise, EPF conducts an organizational assessment with participation from the organization’s staff and management on strategy, governance, structure and internal systems. During the assessment process, the following capacity areas are examined:
EPF’s program team analyzes the results of the organizational assessment and presents a report of the main observations to the client organization. The results of the report form the basis of a planning session, during which EPF helps the client organization draft an action plan for developing the organization’s service delivery and performance by building upon its strengths. This plan is further refined by the client organization.
EPF provides continuous mentoring, advice and support during the process of action plan implementation and assists with the identification of consultants to build specific organizational capacities. Some client organizations may also receive grants to support activities related to action plan implementation. A follow-up assessment conducted by EPF after one year measures growth within the client organizations.
In 2006, Eurasia Partnership Foundation selected six client NGOs for participation in the DOC Program, five of which received grant support for action plan implementation. These client organizations included:
Development of Organizational Capacities Program is taking a comprehensive approach to strengthening the organizational performance of NGOs, municipalities and media outlets.