CCRDA-Helvetas Partnership Project
Introduction to the project
The Consortium of Christian Relief and Development Associations (CCRDA) and HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation (HELVETAS) have been working in partnership to promote an enabling environment for CSO/NGO for the last eight years in Ethiopia. The cooperation between the two partners was initiated upon signing a project agreement in 2009. The major areas of the joint interventions include enhancing CSO’s capacity, creating enabling environment through evidence based dialogue and establishment of strong partnerships between CSO and the Government, facilitation of policy dialogue on topical issues, e.g. in the fields of NRM/agriculture or water & WASH, and promotion of ethical standards in the humanitarian sector. Indeed, the support provided by HELVETAS has been instrumental in addressing the demand for collective engagements on issues of common concern for CCRDA members and partners.
The current project which is now in action was signed three years ago, as an extension of this vital engagement. This is phase VII project, and referred as CCRDA-Helvetas Partnership Project, entitled “Strengthening and enhancing CSO’s institutional development and partnership capacity building with focus on Amhara Region”.
The implementation of this project is going smoothly, in the project consultative dialogue and joint reviewing are used as primary strategy to influence government policy and thereby ensure the realization of favorable working environment for Charities on strategies and other development related national and regional agendas. Skill development training also delivered for members, and non-member CSO, to improve their capacity in mobilizing resources from different sources. In addtion, tailor-made training program was provided for different youth and women groups to enhance self-development through self-confidence and self-esteem courses and to improve their income-generating venture as well.
For the implementation of this project, strategies are developed to promote institutionalized partnership in the already established Government-Charity Partnership forums and thematic forums to ensure predictable, sustainable and formal operations. Through using a programmatic approach and thereby ensuring thematic complementarities, eventually to bring synergistic impact by focusing in a specific geographic area, ultimately to bring efficacy of resources
The project has given more focus to build principled partnership between the Amhara Regional Government and Charitable Organizations operating in the region, by strengthening the already established GO-CO partnership forum both at region and Zonal level. In addition to partnership building, panel discussions and workshops on emerging development issues, are organized for CSO’s Government sector Bureaus and development Partners, in collaboration with different Government Bureaus in Amhara Region.
Continues consolidation of previously started initiatives coupling with the current project implementation, has paid-off at the end. The behaviour and practices of the regional and local government towards the CSOs are improved and sense of partnership and togetherness is observed at large. Besides, building government, partners and member organizations capacity complements the government plan and policy to be executed in a good way, this healthy development makes government relationship with the sector more efficient and brought an array of opportunities.
Contributing towards an enhanced role and performance of NGOs in Ethiopia in their efforts to alleviate poverty and ensure sustainable development’.
The general objective of the different project is to contribute to the effort of creating an enabling environment for members operation and their development effectiveness so that they will be formidable partnering force in the growth and transformation of Ethiopia.
- Established and strengthened Government -NGOs partnership forums at regional level in order to create an enabling working environment
- Promote GO-NGOs’ constructive dialogue through enhancing GO-NGO partnership forum and foster CCRDA presence at regional levels.
- Promote transparency and accountability in the operation of CCRDA and its members through voluntary self-regulatory mechanism particularly by undertaking familiarization and internalization of the Code of Conduct.
- Enhancing networking and collaboration among the CCRDA members for a constructive dialogue and experiences sharing through strengthening thematic forums.
- Promoting collective learning and information sharing through organizing panel discussion on various topics. CSO/NGO, forums/networks and partners access and apply latest policy and operational information and knowledge for harmonized and evidence based project approaches and interventions
- Facilitating constructive dialogue between CSOs and government.
- Organizing various panel discussions that enhanced policy engagement on thematic issues as related to government sector strategies and policies including food security, climate change,etc…)
- Technically capacitated through skill training CSO/NGOs, partners and networks including youth and women groups to plan, implement and manage client responsive projects
- Different ministries, agencies and Government offices at Federal level;
- At regional level different NGOs project Signatories Bureau (BoFEC, Bureau of Agriculture, Education, Health, WCA and etc…)
- Various Academic institutions
- Grass root CBOs at regions
- Youth & women as well as professional Associations
- Private sectors leaders i.e. Chamber of commerce
- CSO’s operating at all level
- Different Networks and alliance at National & regional level
The HELVETAS – CCRDA partnership over the last eight years has yielded the following results and preliminary impacts:
- The project from the time of its commencement has contributed towards facilitating a constructive dialogue between CSOs and government, and supported the establishment and operationalization of GO-NGO forums for enhancing principled-development partnership and better regional engagement space. Accordingly, CSO have been enabled to offer inputs on policy, strategy and development of regional governments, which has contributed towards incorporation of the needs of CSO’s constituencies and calling attention for improving policy contents and strategic directions in light of the interest of the citizens.
- The panel discussions and dialogues organized at national and regional levels were aligned with contemporary and emerging development issues which enabled CSO and partners to share information on pertinent areas such as food security, climate change, HIV/AIDS prevention as well as water and sanitation activities. The proceedings of the panel discussions have recorded the way forward for subsequent action. The activities on the code of conduct (CoC), ethics and accountability promoted internalization of self-regulation and self-coordination within CSO. The familiarization of CoC contributed a great deal to the introduction of inward and downward accountability and transparency within the sector.
- The thematic forums and platforms of CCRDA have been strengthened to serve as platform where members and partners share lessons, exchange experiences, and discuss on the possibility of programmatic alliances. The various trainings on current development issues such as climate change, gender mainstreaming, environmental impact assessment, PCM and resource mobilization training, skill trainings on entrepreneurship and business developments and emergency food security assessment in the targeted regions have improved the technical capacity of members to handle and deal with issues related to these thematic areas and improving the capacity and awareness of the leadership and management of our partners too.
- The regular organization of the general assembly and steering committee meetings of platforms and forums contributed towards conducting the meetings on regular basis and enhanced experience sharing and learning among forum members. The support provided for research work, especially the study of the regional platforms and thematic forums gave a good opportunity for CCRDA to re-define the role and purpose of its platforms and thematic forums in line with actual membership interest and perceived needs.
- The experience sharing visit on good practices of selected Food Security and Environment (FSE) and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Forums member organizations for shared learning and image building, helped to acknowledge best performing CSO on FSE and WASH Forums by stakeholders and to identify and scale up their good practices.