Development of Organizational Capacities (2006 - 2008)

Program Goal – to strengthen the organizational capacities of NGOs, municipalities and media outlets.

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.

Trust Building and Organizational Assessment

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:

  • Organizational strategy, structure and governance
  • Administrative systems
  • Planning processes
  • Service delivery
  • Communications
  • Human resources
  • Financial management
  • Marketing

Action Plan Development

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.

Support for Action Plan Implementation

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:

  • The Union of Manufacturers and Businessmen of Armenia
  • Maternity Center of Armenia
  • The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Gegharkunik Region
  • Unison NGO for the Support of People with Special Needs
  • Information Systems Development and Training Center
  • Dilnet Business Promotion Center.

Program achievements to date include:

  • Four client organizations have conducted assessments of the needs of their constituencies;
  • Three new services developed by client NGOs;
  • Three organizations have revised their governance structure and engaged new members in their governing bodies;
  • Two organizations have established three branch offices in the regions of Armenia.
  • More than 70,000 USD in additional funding generated by client NGOs;
  • More than 65 new volunteers and members recruited by client NGOs.In 2007, Eurasia Partnership Foundation will select up to six new organizations for participation in the second round of the program.

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Development of Organizational Capacities Program is taking a comprehensive approach to strengthening the organizational performance of NGOs, municipalities and media outlets.