News and Updates

Friday, February 10, 2012

Summary Progress Report Improving the Efficiency and Effectiveness of NGOs

Summary Progress Report

Improving the Efficiency and Effectiveness of NGOs

From June to August 25, 2011

3 NGO clinics held (NCR, Butuan, Legaspi)
80 NGO participants, decision makers
20 coaches engaged in 30 clinic hours
9 self-assessment reviews, action plans
95% of trainees highly satisfied with clinics
3X validated by coaches: PCNC revised standards
1 outline drafted for Handbook to be used post-training 


“The Basic Six”

From June to August this year, PCNC held the first three NGO clinics that brought coaches and mentors with their ‘clients’ discussing specific ways to improve organizational efficiency and effectiveness.

PCNC gathered first the coaches to review the revised standards and self-assessment instruments that will be introduced in January 2012. They also revisited basic concepts, principles and processes of coaching/mentoring.

The NGO clinics provided NGOs with the opportunity for introspection, specifically to analyze organizational strengths and weaknesses and to take well-defined steps towards realizing the necessary improvements.

Using the coaching or mentoring approach could provide the NGOs with the right technical support at the right pace.

Participants expressed a clear intent to “diagnose” their health condition with “doctors” who will guide them towards “NGO wellness.” As this is achieved, several NGOs imagined, “We will want PCNC certification!” The trainers assured them that indeed certification follows good “housekeeping”.

The clinics surfaced the critical concerns of participants on the ‘Basic Six’ organizational areas: VMG, Governance, Internal Management Systems, Program Operations, Financial Management, and Collaborative Linkaging. In each of these areas, the causes of problems were traced to generally four: lack of competencies, an unsupportive environment, weak motivation, and lack of resources.

There were many enlightening (‘aha’) moments for NGO clients and coaches. To cite a few:

      • The client’s self-knowledge is important as the starting point. This should be tapped by the coaches.
      • NGOs showed a strong desire to improve their organizational functions such that coaches felt challenged to use the clinic approach as effectively as possible. Reviewing the PCNC standards and the 6 areas was helpful to the coaches.
      • NGO efficiency and effectiveness is a result of hard work and perseverance. The challenge is to see the “basic six” areas as interrelated parts of a whole system of organizational functioning guided by the principles of accountability and good ‘housekeeping.’

Two invitations to NGOs

In Butuan, participants received two special invitations. The first from a donor agency, Kinder Not Hilfe (Help for Children in Need), a development agency based in Druisburg, Germany. Philippine Executive Director Peter Bellen encouraged the NGOs working with women and children to aim for eligibility to become grantees. KNH is keen to find new project partners in the poorest areas of Mindanao, Samar and Bicol—the same PCNC priority areas for the improvement of NGOs thru coaching clinics. KNH emphasized that NGOs qualify if they have the program track record and have PCNC certification (or close to being certified within one year).

The second invitation came from the Father Saturnino Urios University (FSUU). Mr. Dexter Moreto invited fellow participants to a quick ocular visit to FSUU campus after he shared how the institution has succeeded in becoming fully compliant with standards of efficiency and effectiveness. Their winning strategy, he said, is an enabling Board and a committed staff.  The FSUU invitation extends to other NGOs outside Butuan to connect with FSUU and share organizational learnings.