Making Partnership Work; Vision and Implementation of a Development Programme

Om publikasjonen

  • Utgitt: 2011
  • Serie: --
  • Type: Gjennomganger fra organisasjoner
  • Utført av: Elling N. Tjønneland and Arne Tostensen at Chr. Michelsens Institute (CMI)
  • Bestilt av: Norwegian People’s Aid
  • Land: Etiopia, Kambodsja, Ecuador
  • Tema: Sivilt samfunn
  • Antall sider: --
  • Serienummer: --
  • ISBN: --
  • ISSN: --
  • Organisasjon: Norwegian People’s Aid
  • Prosjektnummer: GLO 07/383-1
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In its work to develop a new four year strategy, an evaluation of the implementation of the current strategy was needed.

The main purpose is to assess the implementation of the current strategy, with a particular focus on partnership and results from the political work of NPA and its partners.

The review is based on desk studies of documents on strategy and implementation, interviews with NPA officials and other stakeholders in Norway, and case study material based on field visits to three program country offices (Ecuador, Ethiopia and Cambodia) and their partners.

CMI was commissioned to undertake the review and provided the team leader and one senior researcher for the task. In addition, the NPA seconded one staff member to join the team with the main task of acting as a liaison person between the CMI and the NPA. The NPA also appointed a reference group to provide advice and oversee the work of the team.

Key findings:
The present review found that the NPA has made efforts in addressing the challenges, identified in the previous organisational performance review from Norad. Head office strategy documents and policy guidelines provide sufficient guidance for the NPA’s development programme. Further revision should be confined to editing and shortening. The documents are generally well known in the organisation. Staff interviewed provided broad support for the main direction of the organisation. Progress is also noted in the NPA’s ability to plan and report on results.

The main challenge ahead for the NPA lies in strengthening operationalization and contextualisation through the development of country strategy documents, which can guide the NPA’s work. Furthermore, the review also notes that the NPA programme is still big and may have too many partners in some countries.

The review notes that the NPA has successfully managed the transition from an implementing and operational agency to an organisation working primarily with partners in programme countries. However, a number of issues need clarification. These include the role of regional programmes; the role of trade unions in the development programme; and the poor relations with the mine action programme.

The review team found that there are great variations in the ways in which the NPA supports and implements its partnership policy. In some countries, the NPA contribution may be mainly financial and administrative; in others programme advice and dialogue on substantive issues may be more important. Generally, however, there seems to be good adaptation to local conditions and commitment to working with partners. However, the present review also notes that the NPA struggles to move beyond donor-recipient relations in its partnership.

Political solidarity
The current strategy document is far too ambitious. In its operationalization and implementation the NPA has however, succeeded in sharpening the focus and in developing its profile. This included also better linkages between country programmes and advocacy work in Norway.

The present team makes several recommendations to further strengthen NPA’s partnership:
• Take steps to ensure that long-term and important partnerships are sustained through long-term contracts where this is feasible and appropriate;
• Make vigorous efforts to systematise lessons and experiences from support to organisational development and identify clear objectives beyond the ability to manage and report on the use of NPA funds;
• Develop a communication strategy with partners to ensure that they and other stakeholders have easy access to the aims, goals and objectives of the NPA and the country programmes;
• Identify and stay focused on what ought to be the added value of the NPA contribution to the partnerships beyond financial contributions; and
• Make stronger efforts to ensure that the selection of partners are guided and informed by an analysis of political dynamics in the programme countries concerned.

Several recommendations are made to further improve the NPA’s political solidarity profile:
• Scale down ambitions and sharpen focus;
• Be more pro-active in relation to Norwegian economic and political interests in programme countries;
• Make country strategies a tool in political work; and
• Maintain and strengthen skills in understanding political dynamics in programme countries.

Norwegian People’s Aid has taken into account the main recommendations from the evaluation in the new international strategy with some nuances. These will be further discussed in the process of elaborating country strategies based on the international strategy 2012-15.

Publisert 07.12.2011
Sist oppdatert 16.02.2015