Lack of readiness of NGOs in the organizational self-assessment process
The board members, staff, and volunteers of NGO’s (Non-Governmental Organization) were not prepared and ready for the self-assessment process and doesn’t seen it as a priority. So, we have encountered an absence of understanding of tools, lack of interest, and the delay in the filling of the tools by the NGO’s participating to the process.
During this period of health crisis, as a young emerging evaluator, CREAT delegated me to participate in a self-evaluation mission of the organizational and technical capacities of associations and NGOs working in the field of Health, Sexual and Reproductive Rights. In one day, the two consultants (Lao and another collaborator) oriented each association or NGO on the use of the two tools POET (Participatory Organisational Evaluation Tool) of Plan International Togo and the SRHR (Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights) questionnaire. The actors are members of the Board of Directors and members of the Executive staff and volunteers. Then, the facilitators accompanied each association or NGO for five days for the self-evaluation exercise of the institutional, organizational and technical capacities of their structure. The work consisted of document review, interviews and discussion sessions and validation of the results with the executive staff and the members of the NGO’s Board of Directors on all the essential points included in the self-evaluation tools. The exchanges enabled staff and managers to self-assess themselves from the point of view of the effectiveness and performance of their actions on the one hand and their capacities to participate effectively in the initiatives of the Pro-SSR (Promotion of Sexual Reproductive Health) for All Movement on the other. A two-day consensus validation session of the self-assessment notes was held in the presence of members of the Board of Directors, members of the Executive Management and the firm’s consultants.
During this evaluation period, the pair of facilitators took up challenges such as the coincidence of the period of confinement due to Covid-19, which imposed a ban on gatherings of more than fifteen people and the application of very strict barrier measures, in particular a ban on inter-city travel; the limitation of the number of people at meetings affected the availability of the members of the Board of Directors, the Executive Director and the staff during data collection; the postponement of the dates for validation of the tools by managers; the delay in filling out the tools by associations and NGOs; and the lack of a consensus on the need for the tools to be validated. These constraints were compensated by reminders of e-mails and telephone calls, and thanks to the collaboration of all concerned, solutions were found to the various difficulties to enable the completion of quality work.
The main question resulting from this challenge is: What impact does de-motivation in relation to the board members’ self-evaluation process have on the performance and effectiveness of an NGO?