The Misean Cara Capacity Development Policy outlines the conceptual framework for capacity development funded by Misean Cara for the period of the present strategic plan, 2013 to 2016. This strategic plan—titled Enhancing Quality, Demonstrating Results, Reinforcing Sustainability—maps out the implications of a fundamental shift in Misean Cara’s relationship with its member organisations. In sharing the responsibility for demonstrating the quality, results and sustainability of member’s development work, Misean Cara’s role has shifted from that of functioning primarily as a funder to also contributing to the delivery of development work.
This policy is defined by Misean Cara’s approach to development in which the core elements of three other approaches are merged to create a customised response appropriate for the Misean Cara context.
The three approaches are:
(i) Good development practice, specifically in which a commitment to local ownership and control ensures the prioritization of participation, sustainability and succession;
(ii) Development effectiveness enhanced through results-based management; and
(iii)The faith-based approach to development.
Misean Cara takes a results-based approach to faith-based development that is committed to strengthening local ownership, control and responsibility.
In order to assist members plan and coordinate their capacity development effectively, Misean Cara has evolved a model Capacity Development Programme that has four steps, these being:
(i) Establishment of shared recognition of the need for enhancements of particular capabilities;
(ii) Capacity assessment to identify capabilities most needed at individual, project and organisational levels;
(iii) Design of a strategic capacity development plan; and
(iv) Implementation of a strategic capacity development plan including monitoring and evaluation.
In addition to providing funding support, Misean Cara also endeavours to provide technical support to members, in line with objective 7 of our current strategic plan: “to further enhance the professional expertise and technical systems of members in the development sector”. This support is provided through the following;
1. Access to funding for “organisational capacity development (OCD): This funding support is available for OCD projects that are focused on institutional/ organisational strengthening.
2. Informal support from Funding Team: Project Officers provide some informal technical support and advice to members prior to and during the application process. The scale and level of support is difficult to quantify but is nonetheless a feature of Misean Cara’s makeup as a membership-based organisation.
3. Support to and through MDOs (Missionary Development Officers): Recognising that MDOs can potentially act as a key source of technical support for those implementing projects, Misean Cara provides support to MDOs, ranging from MDO inductions/ training workshops to the provision of updates and advisory support through Misean Cara member events.
4. Mentorship support: Mentorship support aims to complement the role of the MDOs, and is an effort to direct technical support from Misean Cara to project teams and members based in the areas in which projects are being implemented.
5. Targeted mentorship support for PSS applications through QSI (quality support initiative): This is basically mentorship support that is provided to PSS applications that do not reach approval standards. The standard expected of project applications has gradually increased in recent years, particularly for larger projects within the PSS funding scheme. QSI mentorship is largely provided by the full-time mentors, though in the absence of a full time mentor it can be provided through ‘once-off’ mentors.