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Civil Society Organizations

We support Local Civil Society Organizations CSOs and Implementing Partners (IPs) to consolidate and strengthen their local and national role as responsive and effective implementers of relief, humanitarian and development assistance that leverage their local presence and human resources to become sustainable actors within their communities.

Often, overstretched CSOs and Implementing Partners (IPs) are bearing the burden of program implementation in the relief, humanitarian and development sector, while receiving varying technical support to strengthen core organizational structures, systems and policies beyond the need of any particular donor/partner project.

For CSOs and IPs to become self-sufficient and sustainable organizations, able to engage direct funding from donors and improve efficiencies and accountability, it is necessary to provide targeted support for their long-term organizational development.

We support CSOs and IPs staff with relevant, dedicated and strategic organisational development support, training and integration into local, regional and global peer support networks that increases their long-term sustainability.

We guide them through an on-site, collaborative organizational capacity assessment to self-identify areas for organizational development. Our partners and clients are provided with the tools, training and mentoring support to develop the systems, functions and policies which form the foundations organizations. Throughout the program, each CSO and IP are provided with ongoing mentoring support and be integrated into a local, regional and global community of practices to build peer support structures and develop local capacity.

Problem Statement

CSOs and IPs play a central role in ensuring that essential services are delivered over the “final mile” to vulnerable populations across the globe and regions. Often, overstretched CSOs and IPs are continually being required to adapt their organisational postures, system, policies, and procedures to align with partner or donor requirements and are limited in their ability to focus on strategic and organisational development that will improve their own sustainability beyond any single project.

In May 2016, 18 donor countries and 16 aid organisations signed a ‘Grand Bargain’ that aims to “get more means into the hands of people in need”. This commitment aims to provide 25% of global humanitarian funding to local and national responders by 2020 along with more un-earmarked money, and increased multi-year funding.

The emergence of operationally active CSOs and IPs and the increased level of
experience and technical capability within the local human resource pool provides a real opportunity to develop long term local capacity that is more efficient and effective in delivering humanitarian assistance and more accountable to the populations it serves and funds they manage.

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01 Strategic planning and the design of results frameworks for projects and programs 01 Strategic planning and the design of results frameworks for projects and programs
In humanitarian contexts, problems can be severe, and multiple challenges often make it hard to tackle root causes. Projects and programs are needed that can intervene effectively, and which directly improve outcomes for affected communities. A clearly-constructed results-chain is critical to accountability, mid-course corrections, and learning. i-APS staff are skilled at generating results frameworks that set out an intervention’s activities and its expected results, the strategic objective to be delivered, and the overall goals to which programs should contribute.
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02 Tool development, data collection, analysis and reporting 02 Tool development, data collection, analysis and reporting
i-APS is experienced in integrated approaches to the entire data collection chain. We seamlessly link evaluation matrices that hold your organization’s information-needs, with the correct information-gathering tools that will maximize data reliability. Tools are designed to be appropriate to sensitive environments and to vulnerable populations through local piloting to ensure their acceptance and effectiveness. Tools are then fielded, based on appropriate numerical and geographical sampling methods. Our field teams are carefully-recruited and trained to engage effectively with respondents and with senior informants. They are capable of reaching remote areas, and then accessing the required sources, usually using mobile data-collection platforms. Our specialist teams competently analyze incoming data streams, triangulate information, feedback to field teams, and check for quality. i-APS team leaders and senior staff then provide robust reports that present impartial findings, set out evidence-based conclusions, and propose actionable recommendations, which work together to inspire user confidence in our M&E outputs.
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03 Data quality assessments 03 Data quality assessments
Credible and effective reports must always be founded on management systems that reliably collect good-quality, verified data. Data quality assessments are vital to assess the ability of ensure optimal confidence and to improve underlying organizing data frameworks. Data quality auditing tools are used by i-APS teams to determine a program or project’s ability to report quality-data, and to strengthen their data management and reporting systems that provide sound evidence for decisions. Our methodologies to assess the integrity of data gathering systems, and can verify a sample of reported data according to specific indicators to identify gaps and monitor necessary improvements.
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04 MEAL focused training, capacity-building and learning 04 MEAL focused training, capacity-building and learning
i-APS integrated MEAL training systems can effectively contribute to your organization’s improved M&E performance and to greater impacts of your projects. Based on an assessment of staff needs, program requirements and organizational practices, i-APS provides tailored training to build-up the required skills in MEAL thinking, approaches and tools. Typical areas that we focus on are M&E capabilities and personnel roles; results and performance frameworks; indicators and their definitions; program/project reporting systems and their requirements; data collection approaches and tools; data management processes and quality control; and linkages with wider reporting systems. Covering these topics improves your personnel’s understanding of what works, what doesn’t, for whom, and under what circumstances. Through combined practical and theoretical sessions, our MEAL training instills relevant concepts, sensitizes staff to the need to strengthen data management functions, and provides your staff with the practical tools to improve performance and reporting to produce required quality information.
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05 Performance, Mid-Term and Impact Reporting 05 Performance, Mid-Term and Impact Reporting
Impact, mid-term and performance evaluations are now an obligatory requirement of donors and national governments. However, doing them well is a serious challenge. i-APS begins work by developing a conceptual model, based on existing results frameworks. We reconstruct the project’s logic, and build up the theory of change. This leads to a clear view of the indicators to be applied, and where the information needed can be found. i-APS emphasizes those questions with highest relevance to client operations. Once defined, the variables of interest, such as activities and targets, outputs or results, and their outcomes and impacts, can begin to be measured. i-APS applies a well-tested toolkit of desk and field-based methods that includes appraisal of results-chain documentation; analysis of M&E system outputs; timeline tracking; and a range of quantitative, qualitative, and participatory instruments. We have found that it is key to tailor methods to each context, and to prioritize information needs, to avoid overburdening data collection and reporting. i-APS seeks to ensure that evaluations become a long-term learning experience for participants, donors and implementing organizations alike, that should unite relevant actors in consultative processes of data collection, validation of findings, and dissemination of results.

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