Strategic Evaluation Study: Support to the development of National Societies Financial Management Capacity
Background As part of the 2017-2020 Norad grant agreement QZA-16/0386, NorCross supports 12 National Society (NS) partners in the area of organisational development, focusing in particular on finance development (FD) in: Burundi, Somalia, South-Sudan, Pakistan, Iraq, Lebanon and Guatemala. The FD intervention is characterized by challenges to demonstrate lasting change and impact from the supported interventions. Therefore NorCross wanted to assess what types of interventions work, where and why and use this information to improve its overall strategic approach on FD. Purpose/objective The purpose of the study was to conduct a strategic learning-exercise by mapping and analysing what mechanism successfully cause interventions to trigger desired changes to NS-practice, and to use those insights to articulate changes in future FD interventions. Three main objectives were defined: To map and analyse the main challenges and modalities for finance development To analyse NorCross experiences providing Finance Development suppor To define the implications for improved performance for NorCross Finance Development support Methodology The strategic evaluation was based on document review, interviews with NorCross staff, National Societies’ management, IFRC and peer organisations. A key part of the review was the evaluation teams participation in the global technical meeting on Finance Development in Nairobi (29.10-02.11 2018). Key findings and recommendations On the basis of case studies, interviews and document review the strategic evaluation provided the following key lessons and recommendations: A need for NorCross to better define and standardize its approach to Finance Development support, including a need for an objective assessment of risks and controls to improve efficiency and learning. This should also include the development and use of standardized tools and defining criteria for different modes of financing. To improve its reporting and information management on FD by developing a set process and format for progress reports and using key performance indicators. Commitmnet to change from NS leadership is a key deciding factor for success of FD support and needs to be considered when providing FD support. To strengthen the FD support to RCRC branches by developing models for different solutions to decentralised financial management systems. Chances of sustained improvements in financial management improve through adopting an approach that is part of wider National Society Development and by levering support through scaling up partnerships in the RCRC Movement. Further develop the capacity and expand the pool of NorCross FD advisors Comments/follow up by the organisation from the organisation As part of the follow up NorCross developed a management response plan and has or is currently implementing the follow actions A FD guide and standards were developed describing a set process for NorCross FD support including core areas, standards and tools. NorCross developed a financial management assessment tool as part of its overall risk management system. NorCross pool of FD advisors was expanded and currently NorCross is further assessing the most effective service delivery model and what capacity is needed for this to succeed. A partnership with ICRC on FD was agreed and implemented in 6 countries (2019 – 2020), including a joint internal review of the partnership, conducted between June-September 2020, to document the initial results and lessons learned to guide implementation of a a second phase. NorCross participated in a core group of National Societies led by IFRC to provide input to an overall financial sustainability approach which was adopted by the IFRC General Assembly in November 2019 as part IFRCs strategic priorities in NSD and IFRC’s overall strategy 2020-2030. NorCross agreed with IFRC to establish a Movement wide FD competency network on FD to facilitate FD support and expertise among NS, IFRC and ICRC practitioners and standardize FD tools and learning.