Evaluation of Institutional Support to partners of NCA Angola
Background In 2014/2015, Norwegian Church Aid Angola began supporting 5 new non-faith based local partnerorganisations (ADRA, AJPD, AML, FMJIG, and Mosaiko) at the request of the Embassy of Norway inAngola, following the termination of Norwegian People’s Aid support. The institutional support projectsfor these new partner organisations were pre-defined and did not fully align with the thematic areas ofNCA Angola’s country strategic plan (2016-2020). However, they did align with the civil societystrengthening component of the strategic plan. At the same time, NCA Angola has been providinginstitutional strengthening support to a number of long-standing core faith based partners (CICA,IECA). NCA Angola commissioned an evaluation in 2017 of its institutional support to all 7 partners. Purpose/ Objective Identify the extent to which expected results with institutional support have been achieved; Identify the limitations and constraints on institutional support that affected the performance of the actors; Recommend corrective measures to maximize the results and impact of the approach; Recommend guidelines and intervention methodologies with a view to future support for partners (based on lessons learned and best practices), Methodology The main basis for the evaluation was the project cycle documents of the seven partners for the years2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. In the framework of institutional support, the partners implementprojects of one year duration. In each year, each partner usually produces a proposal, constituting anarrative proposal, logical framework and budget. Narrative and financial reports (semi-annual andfinal), and more recently financial audits are also part of the documentation provided by the partners. The consultant received and reviewed 83 documents related to the project cycle of the seven partners between 2014 and 2017. Other documentation provided to the consultant included NCA strategic plans and diverse documentation in relation to the institutional context of NCA and its partners. Between November 21 and 30, the consultant interviewed representatives of the seven strategic partners that benefit from institutional support. During the same period, the consultant also interviewed NCA Angola programme staff. Key Findings The NCA institutional support program is very relevant and valuable to partners. Especially in a social, economic and political context as it exists in Angola at the moment, the support to civil society can be considered of great importance given many donors have closed their offices in Angola. This makes NCA support even more important. All partners have an important role in the various sectors. They all have assumed important responsibilities in terms of promoting human rights and socio-economic development. This evaluation suggests that in the framework of these two basic and positive conclusions, there are several program components that can be adjusted to improve the impact of the NCA institutional support program. Recommendations Amounts of funding provided to partners should be based on the partner's performance and potential rather than on the basis of their organizational size or 'absorptive' capacity. NCA should conduct an internal evaluation to classify partners based on performance indicators and organizational potential. NCA should end with financial contributions that cover fixed partner costs and come with few conditions. The current strategy for institutional support still is two years in duration and partners should prepare for the eventuality that the program ends or otherwise continues. All the partners should present concrete proposals of projects, with objectives that fit the logical framework of NCA’s country programme strategy. Budgets can cover fixed costs of the organization, but only up to a certain level. For example, up to 10% for the management of the organization, and 25% for administrative and financial costs. A review of the indicators should be conducted on the basis of the 2018 proposals. While they should be quantitative and specific, they should be comprehensive enough to capture the wealth of the results achieved by the partners. With two years remaining in the current strategic cycle, partners should prepare a two-year program as the focus of activities reflecting the organization's technical capacity and experience. Activities should also contain concrete activities for institutional strengthening. NCA should perform an institutional analysis of its partners on the basis of the Kaplan parameters for better understanding of existing institutional capacities and identification of possible NCA support. With regard to CICA, PMA and AML, it is suggested that these organizations: 1. Clearly define their position in the current context in Angola (conceptual framework) 2. Create a more innovative, ambitious and also transparent organizational attitude (organizational attitude) 3. Create a shared vision about the vision and mission of the organization (NOT just a strategic plan with goals and objectives).