Opportunities for annual monitoring of the LDN member organizations’ activities
Author: Halyna Kolesnyk, Communications Manager of the Legal Development Network.
By the end of the year, the Legal Development Network member organizations determine the level of their organizational development. This audit of organizational capacity analyzes nine areas, including 97 indicators. While confirming compliance with the Network’s standards and an actual level of organizational development, it is also a good opportunity for each organization to verify its ability to manage resources or receive support for further development.
Anastasiia Ploshchynska, executive director of “Podilska Pravova Liha” (Podillia Legal League) NGO, talks about one such example:
“We were joining the Legal Development Network in 2015. We are monitored annually. We have really needed its results recently. We prepared a project proposal, and it turned out that there is also a need to confirm the level of our organizational development. This was not a problem, as we have monitoring results from the Network.
This is a tremendous advantage for member organizations, as it is also proof of organizational capacity when working with donors. I know that other organizations are specifically looking for opportunities to evaluate their activities, such as grants for organizational development. Under the terms of some grant proposals, it even met with the provision of additional funding for about $ 1,000 to pay for the services of an expert. And we already have all this. “
Why can the monitoring results be trusted?
The Legal Development Network has been conducting organizational capacity assessments since 2016. Since then, the methodology has undergone significant changes – the self-assessment questionnaire has been replaced by an organizational capacity assessment tool, and independent experts have been involved.
“It is very important to us that the organizations of the Network are capable. Monitoring research helps in this. Every year we improve the monitoring procedure, making it more effective. For instance, we refused in-person site visits of the monitoring groups, replacing them at an online meeting. This is a forced adaptation to the pandemic realities, which, however, in practice proved to be a viable and economical alternative for face-to-face visits. So we continue to practice,” said Iryna Chaika, the manager for organizational development.
“The assessment tool of the Legal Development Network is comprehensive and quite detailed. It considers the main aspects to form an idea of the current activities of organizations – their resources, management structure, communication efficiency, expertise, ability to fulfill commitments, etc. It is felt that the long-term monitoring has allowed to identify the most critical indicators for qualitative assessment of the development of organizations and provide appropriate recommendations.
In addition, the involvement of independent expertise is a significant advantage. It provides a more objective assessment of the level of organizational development. Besides, it opens up opportunities to see what exactly organizations may not have paid attention to during self-assessment,” said Olga Lopushanska, one of the four experts of organizational development who are involved this year.
The five member organizations that recently joined the Legal Development Network in March 2021 will be monitored for the first time. Some of them have had such experience before.
Kateryna Maltseva, head of the NGO “Strategies and Technologies for Effective Partnership” (STEP) from Zaporizhia, says that in 2019 GIZ provided support to the organization to assess its organizational capacity. STEP then received recommendations from the experts involved and developed internal policies and strategies: “It has helped us a lot in fundraising in the future. We ourselves review the strategy every year, what has been achieved, what still needs to be worked on, and the assessment of the organizational potential of the Legal Development Network is an additional evaluation of what can be further improved.”
For reference: the level of organizational capacity of the member organizations of the Legal Development Network is being monitored for the sixth time since 2016. External independent experts Olga Lopushanska, Anna Uvarva, Yaroslav Malyk, and Olena Orach were involved in the monitoring procedure in 2021. The monitoring is part of the project ” Strengthening the Legal Development Network’s Member Organizations” with the financial support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.
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