Institutional Change and Systems Development
In 2020, Misean Cara funded 17 members implementing 22 projects in 14 countries
The member capacity development (MCD) programme aims to help our members deliver effective development work by enhancing and promoting the Missionary Approach to Development Interventions (MADI).
When projects and teams function and are resourced effectively, not only is their work improved but so ultimately are the outcomes for the people and communities they serve. MCD funding supports members to strengthen their project teams and also their organisational systems and processes. Funds have been used by members to improve governance, financial accountability, strategic planning and project planning.
Our members have reported that as a result of strengthened organisational and proposal-writing skills they have been able to raise additional funding from sources other than Misean Cara, ultimately leading to greater impact on the lives of the people and communities they are seeking to assist.
In 2020 The Good Shepherd Sisters in Thailand used funds to strengthen the capacity of their team, introducing a rights-based approach to programming, policies and procedures that refocused their work from individual projects to a more co-ordinated approach. The Medical Missionaries of Mary were able to train staff on safeguarding of children and vulnerable persons in Nigeria, Angola and Benin. While the congregation has strong safeguarding policies in place, they identified the need to strengthen knowledge of these at the project level, which they were able to address with this training.
Building stronger organisations through a holistic planning review process
In 2019 the Leadership Team of the Daughters of Charity in the Province of Nigeria (covering Nigeria, Ghana and Burkina Faso) undertook a major external evaluation of their leadership, management and administrative systems, to determine their relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and impact. Learning from this evaluation was subsequently applied in an in-depth evaluation of all of their work in education, health, mental health, social services and income generation. In essence, the leadership set out to undertake a comprehensive strategic planning process rooted in the evaluation of systems, processes and services.
In preparation for the in-depth evaluation of project work, in January 2020 Province leaders selected staff to be trained in data collection techniques, communication skills, and the research needed for a thorough analysis of the robustness and flexibility of their projects.
The training also helped staff assess whether the projects were doing the right things, what difference the projects were making to the lives of the people the project was intending to benefit, what was being learned from projects, whether projects were achieving the best possible results, and how efficient their systems were. The trained staff then worked in pairs to visit projects and completed these visits just before COVID-19 restrictions came into effect. The information gathered was studied and used to help improve future planning. With the advance of COVID-19, Zoom was used to enable sector groups to work together virtually on this analysis across different locations.
The strategic planning process is ongoing at this time, and will lead to the creation of a Provincial Strategic Plan, developed through a robust and inclusive approach.