Organisational Performance Review of the Norwegian Church Aid (NCA)
|Published:||January 2011 by Norad|
|Carried out by:||Cowi, Norad|
|Series:||Norad reportt: Review 2/2011|
Background and main purpose
Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) is one of the largest Norwegian NOG’s working in long term development aid, humanitarian assistance and advocacy. Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) has a long term relationship with NCA. NCA is one of the largest recipients of the grant allocation to civil society in the South (more than NOK 220 million in 2010) that is administered by the Department of Civil Society (SIVSA) of Norad. The present Cooperation Agreement expires in 2010 and Norad considers changing the agreement category from a program (frame) agreement to a core agreement for the next 5 years agreement period.
Organizational performance reviews are part of Norad’s quality assurance of its cooperation with civil society organizations. An organizational performance review of NCA was carried out by Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) in 2006. The report “Partnership for a just world” was published in 2007 and covered the entire organization and all NCA working areas. That review was participatory, including members from Norad, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and NCA in the team. The general conclusion of the review was that NCA, together with its partners and through its involvement in ecumenical alliances, had the required expertise, organizational structure and skills to meets its organizational objectives. Nevertheless, the report made 45 recommendations, addressing aspects of organizational performance, financial management, type of interventions and priorities of NCA.
Due to the diversity of policy guidelines governing the public grant schemes that NCA draw recourses from, MFA and Norad found that a joint follow‐up process of the review was not expedient2. Norad's assessment of the review's recommendations materialized in 7 key issues that NCA was requested to address. The NCA management response was presented in a follow‐up plan, hereafter referred to as the Improvement plan, that later was approved by Norad with a few remarks and pending issues3.
The new core agreement period is intended to correspond with NCA's new Global Strategy (GLS) for the period 2011 to 2015, and SIVSA commissioned a new organizational performance review of NCA to be undertaken by one external consultant (limited call for tender) and one internal adviser with particular knowledge on methodological issues. The review team is composed by Arne Dahlen, Senior Advisor, COWI AS, team leader and Lill‐Ann Bjaarstad Medina, Department for Quality Assurance, Norad. The report has been prepared jointly by the two team members, however, the team leader has the formal responsibility for the final report.
The main purpose of this review is to examine the current status of the 7 key issues addressed with specific measures in the NCA Improvement Plan. In addition, the Terms of Reference (ToR) single out four specific questions that should undergo in‐dept assessments. These four questions are related to NCA's comparative advantage as a development actor in relation to its faith based network, to how NCA is working through local partners, and to how NCA handles reporting on result and work with gender within the organization and in relation to its partners.