_Development work used to be largely a matter of making decisions based on the technical appraisal of projects. But over the past few years, the Hope Foundation have come to the conclusion that focusing purely on technical programmes while ignoring the organisations that manage them is short sighted and superficial. The result is a consensus that building the capacities of individuals, organisations and institutions is vital for the strengthening of civil society and grassroots development. By increasing the capacity of organisations involved in development, interventions can be made more effective, and their results longer lasting.
In response to this need, the Hope Foundation regularly organises capacity building programmes to provide services that empower institutions and individuals to assess their own information needs, set their own priorities and build their own information systems. This programme has been developed in conjunction with the Jayaprakash Institute of Social Change (JPISC), a respected college in Kolkata.
The training programmes have been organised in order to help individual staff members understand the importance of completing tasks within a given timeframe. The programme also encourages staff members to learn to take initiative when responding to the emerging needs of the communities they serve. In addition, the staff members also need to understand their responsibilities better vis-à-vis their beneficiaries. The financial and management skills of local NGOs are also improved. This strengthens the accountability and credibility of local NGOs in the eyes of donors and the community. This in turn enhances confidence, leadership and skills to improve the NGOs’ structures, thereby innovating and sharing knowledge and expertise. Negotiation skills are also developed in order to work effectively with government departments and to build alliances, coalitions and networks with other NGOs.
This ongoing process will lead to improved efficiency, transparency and accountability in implementing development programmes, and ultimately create an even more enabling atmosphere for the children in HOPE’s care.