NEPARC   MEETING NOTES  
 

REPORT OF THE JOINT MEETING BETWEEN NEW PARTNERSHIP FOR AFRICAN RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT SOCIEITIES (NEPARC) AND KEY PARTNER NATIONAL SOCIETIES (PNS) HELD ON MONDAY, 22ND AUGUST 2005, AT THE HOTEL INTERCONTINENTAL, NAIROBI

Present
NEPARC

Tom Buruku            -   Chairman, Uganda Red Cross     Chairman
Shimelis Adugna     -  Chairman, Ethiopia Red Cross     Member
Abbas Gullet           -   SG, Kenya Red Cross                  Focal Point
Monique Coulibaly  -   President, Ivory Coast Red Cross            Member
Muctarr Jalloh         -   President, Sierra Leone                 Member
Fernanda Texeira   -  SG, Mozambique Red Cross
Paul Birech              -   Governor, Kenya Red Cross
Chief Emeka Nweze - Vice President, Nigeria
Ahmed Hassan        -  President, Somali Red Crescent
Mohammed B Abbas- Staff, Sudan Red Crescent
Bernard Nzigiye       -  Vice President, Rwanda
Dalmari Steward      -  Board Member, South Africa Red Cross
Laurean Rugambwa - OD Director Tanzania Red Cross

PARTNER NATIONAL SOCIETIES 
Nick Young               -           Director General, British Red Cross
Kalle Loovi                -           Head of Int. Dept, Finnish Red Cross
Richert Johannes    -           Deputy SG, German Red Cross
David Pratt                -           Head of Int.  Dept. Canadian Red Cross
Janet Davidson        -           Hon Vice President, Canadian Red Cross
Cess Breederveld   -           Director General, Netherlands Red Cross
Antoni Bruel              -           Spanish Red Cross
Jonas Gahr Store    -           SG, Norwegian Red Cross
Bodil Lawrence Ravn-        Head, Program Support, Norwegian RC
Margareta Ottoson  -           Ag. Head, Volunteering&OD, Swedish RC
Anders Ladekarl      -           Head, Int. Dept, Danish Red Cross
 
INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT SOCIETIES
Ibrahim Osman        -           Director
Richard Hunlede     -           Head, Africa Department

FRITZ INSTITUTE
Lynn Fritz                  -           Director General
Anisya Thomas        -           Managing Director
Vimala Ramalingam
Winnie Ngugi
 
KPMG
Josphat Mwaura      -           Partner
 
KENYA RED CROSS
Susan Ngonga
 
APOLOGIES
Razia Kauaria                     -      SG, Namibia Red Cross
Emma Kundishora              -      SG, Namibia Red Cross
Chrystold Chetty                -       Seychelles Red Cross
American Red Cross
Libya Red Crescent
 
The joint meeting was co chaired by Tom Buruku and Nick Young.
 
After the welcome remarks by the chairman he called the meeting to order and requested members to observe a minute’s silence in remembrance of Harold Masterson, a friend of NEPARC, who had recently passed away. This was followed by self-introductions.
 
I.LETTER FROM INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT SOCIETIES
The Chairman read the letter sent to the Co-Chairs of the Joint Meeting by the President of the Federation, Juan M Suarez del Toro and co-signed by Markku Niskala, the Secretary General.  The letter expressed hope that the meeting would produce a way forward which would nurture partnerships of real value for Africa, linking strong and well-functioning National Societies with other partners.  The letter recognized the enabling partnership with Fritz Institute which had given birth to NEPARC as “a model for arrangements which we trust will enable all National Societies in Africa to fulfill their wish to bring the 2000 Ouagadougou Declaration and the 2004 Algiers Plan of Action to fruition”.
 
They hoped that by the time of the next Pan-Africa Conference of National Societies in 2008, NEPARC would have become a “beacon for arrangements involving trusted partnerships with external bodies, including intergovernmental organizations, NGOs and the corporate sector”.   NEPARC, the letter said could make a real difference to the development potential of Africa and “will be seen externally as a very significant contribution to the efforts to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals”. (Please see Annex 1)
 
II. NEPARC ANNUAL REPORT
The Chairman presented the NEPARC Annual Report to the meeting and said that the journey had started in Johannesburg, South Africa, in August 2004 when 15 African National Societies, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia Tanzania, South Africa, Rwanda, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Namibia, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Libya, Somalia, Zambia and Zimbabwe met to take stock of their current status and to establish a clear road map for the way forward for each one of them.

  • He highlighted the major achievements and challenges for NEPARC in the past year, which included the unveiling of the NEPARC Logo, Vision and Mission.  He said that the most significant achievement for NEPARC was the third party audits.  Fritz Institute had created and supported this private sector style NGO Benchmarking audit process which aims at identifying strengths and gaps and allows a society to measure itself against International NGO Benchmarking and internationally accepted management practice, but not to find faults. The assessment is in dimensions such as management, operations procedures, continuous improvement, the board, communication, fundraising efficiency, resource allocation and staff and volunteer assessments. The society is graded against 100%. Those achieving over 80% receive an Accreditation Certificate for 18 months and the over 70% achievers receive one for 12 months. The audits were carried out in two phases with Kenya, Uganda, Namibia and Zambia in the first phase and South Africa, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia in the second.
  • Ethiopia, Rwanda and Ivory Coast had achieved 18 months accreditation while Kenya, Uganda and Mozambique achieved 12 months accreditation. 
  • The achievement, he said, was not the accreditation, but it was in the participation.  He encouraged each National Society to try and fill the gaps identified by the audit and challenged them on continuous improvement.
  • He recognized the continued support and contribution of Fritz Institute as a founding member, a financial and technical supporter as well as a promoter of NEPARC.
  • He informed the audience about the NEPARC meetings over the last year including, 2 interim committee meetings in November 2004 and April 2005 and a meeting with Key Partner National Societies in April 2005.
  • He provided the address for the NEPARC website  now on line at www.fritzinstitute/neparc and informed that the first Newsletter had already been distributed to the members
  • He noted that Abbas Gullet who had accepted the position of Secretary General at Kenya Red Cross was no longer receiving financial remuneration from Fritz Institute. He would however continue to be the Focal Point for NEPARC.  Winnie Ngugi was retained by Fritz Institute and seconded to NEPARC as a program officer. An additional French speaking program officer would be employed to assist the work of NEPARC,
  • NEPARC has received considerable attention in Africa and been invited to several key meetings over the course of the year. These included,  the launch of the African Centre for Humanitarian Agenda (ACHA),
  • The South African Authorities and AU.
He reported that General Assembly which had sat on 20th and 21st August had resolved the following:
    1. NEPARC Membership is open to all but all new members must subject themselves to a third party audit
    • Founding members who had not yet subjected themselves to the audit had to do so within the next 12 months or risk losing NEPARC membership.
    • Those National Societies who did not attain accreditation should arrange with the NEPARC secretariat for an appropriate time for repeat audits.
    • NEPARC encourages  PNS  to subject themselves to the audit
    2. That the next level will be Programme Audits and Fritz Institute had been mandated to proceed and develop tools to be piloted in 2 or 3 African National Societies, before the same is ratified to be used in all the other societies. The Sustainability Audit which assesses financial viability of ANS would be the final level of audit.
    3. A Constitution drafting working group was appointed with the following members:
    4. Shimelis Adugna (Chairman), Paul Birech, Chief Emeka, Winnie Ngugi, would provide the technical expertise.
    5. Corporate Sector Relationship  between NEPARC members and corporations in their own countries are encouraged if they are mutually beneficial and meet the standards of quality and integrity of NEPARC
    The Interim Committee was confirmed to the status of a substantive Committee for another one year.
    6. NEPARC will engage in a meeting with the disaster response professionals from governments of the NEPARC members. The governments of Kenya and South Africa have each offered to host this meeting.
    7. The creation of a Humanitarian Executive Programme, where technical experts from the private sector will be recruited to facilitate addressing the gaps revealed in the SGS audits. Fritz Institute has committed to funding two executives in the next 12 months.

The Chairman thanked everyone who had contributed to the success of NEPARC, individually and collectively.
 
III. OVERVIEW OF THE FRITIZ/SGS AUDIT
Abbas presented to the meeting an overview of the SGS Audits on the aspects of purpose (internal and external reasons); snapshot; benefits; and way forward.
 
Purpose of the Audits
1. Internal Reasons

  • Achieve world class standards in transparency, accountability and governance
  • Promote dialogue between members
  • Create evidence based decision making organizations
  • Basis of plan to leverage the network effect
  • Basis for mentoring and peer assistance
2. External Reasons
  • Change the perception of African National Societies
  • Redefine the “terms of trade” with donors towards more partnership

Snapshot of the Audit
11 ANS had completed the audit, Kenya, Namibia, Zambia, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Rwanda, Ethiopia and South Africa.
18 Months Certification was received by Ethiopia, Rwanda and Ivory Coast
12 month Certification was received by Uganda, Kenya and Mozambique

Consistently Poor Performance was observed in the following dimensions
  • Integrity management
  • Human Resources
  • Finance
Consistently Good Performance was observed in the following dimensions
  • Strategic Framework
  • Operations

Great variation was observed in the following dimensions
    1. Continuous Improvement
    2. Outcomes

Examples of subsequent benefits of the Audit to National Societies

    1. Introduction of process and procedure for Board of Directors declaration of interest and income - Kenya
    2. Hiring of a Human Resources Officer - Kenya
    3. Recognition from Government and public - Kenya and Uganda
    4. New dialogue between Board of Directors and management - Namibia
    5. Other third party assessment, for example, survey of public perception of National Society -  Kenya
    6. Recognition of institutional problems for example, lack of fundraising by branches  - Ivory Coast
    7. Institutionalization of good practices
    8. Common vocabulary and aspirations

WAY FORWARD
1. Audits are a criteria for NEPARC membership
    a. Founding members will have the next 12 months to complete audits if they are to retain membership
    b. New Members to complete audit within 12 months
2. All audits will be done through NEPARC and Fritz Institute
    a. o create central data base of results and maintain benchmarks
    b. To negotiate good rates
    c. To coordinate follow up
3. Programme Audit
    a. Two programs to be selected by NEPARC for assessment
    b. Fritz Institute will create tools to collect data on efficiency, effectiveness and impact

Ivory Coast, Kenya Red Cross and Sierra Leone made presentations on their SGS Audit experience

Ivory Coast
Monique Coulibaly shared the experiences of Cote D’Ivoire indicating that she had been the President since August 2002.  When she took over the leadership, the Society was very weak financially and in programme areas as well.  At the same time, the country was at war.  She expressed her appreciation to the Spanish Red Cross and Netherlands Red Cross who supported them during these bad times. Since 2004, they have had a HIV/AIDS programme with the help of the Global Fund.  Like other NEPARC members they are trying to achieve excellence and therefore they had a second audit in July, the Fritz/SGS Audit which was conducted very well.  It enabled them to see the weaknesses and gaps of their Society.  She added that the two audits showed them that they had not done sufficient internal development for the society.  Just like other NEPARC members, Cote D’Ivoire is committed to fill the gaps and she promised to give much within the next 6 months. Madam Coulibaly reported that she was going to try and encourage the other francophone societies to become NEPAC members so that they could progress with other ANS.  She called for unity of the ANS saying that there should be no divisions because of minor differences like the language.

Sierra Leone
Dr Muctarr Jalloh reported that they had learnt quite a lot about governance and management.  Although they did not get the accreditation, it was a new experience for the Society and an eye opener.  There are a lot of areas where governance had to address, such as declaration of assets.  The Society had just come out of protracted difficult period. He pledged that within the next 6 months, the Society would address most of the gaps identified by the audit.  Dr Jalloh acknowledged that the Fritz/SGS Audits was a wonderful idea and urged all member societies of the Federation to subject themselves to the same.

Kenya Red Cross
Mr Birech gave an account of the experience of Kenya Red Cross which he said had been very rewarding in the sense that it confirmed that the Society was moving in the right direction.  It was also educational and has given the Society a sense of direction.

Sheena Shah, the Director Finance &Administration of the Kenya Red Cross gave an in-depth presentation of the Society’s issues raised by the audit, including updates on the audit (Presentation Annexed).

Fernanda Texeira commented that the audit seeks to ascertain that you “Say what you do, do what you say and prove it” She said that it was the first time that anyone had given her Society feedback.

COMMENTS
“Ground breaking and breath taking” were some of the words used to describe the achievement of this remarkable process by NEPARC. This was historical - it was the first time in the history of the Movement for African National Societies to come up with an initiative of such a magnitude and report on such great accomplishments.

All the Societies that had subjected themselves to the Fritz/SGS Audit received hearty congratulations from the members.

PNS felt that as NEPARC partners, it might be necessary for them to find a way of subjecting themselves to the same audit as a “small step of walking together”.

The meeting was informed that peer pressure and peer review were some of the methods that NEPARC has already used and will continued to use to address problems in the African National Societies.  This is much more efficient and takes a shorter time than the bureaucratic system currently used by the Federation to address such matters.

The audit clearly identified Integrity Management, Human Resources and Finance as across the board gaps in all the audited ANS. - A chain is as strong as its weakest link and Institutional strengthening is very important if the ANS are to deliver on programs.  Value can be added to the ANS through good governance and management and hiring professionals to do the work.  Relief is very strong but development has been slow.  The mapping revealed 12 PNS in one country. The question was asked whether it would be possible for every ANS to have one partner with a long term working relationship, say for 10 years.

A comment was made that although there is need to change the way of partnering with the ANS, raising funds for development is very difficult as PNS have back donors who have their own conditionalities.  These should be rejected by all PNS although it might be at the risk of losing the funding for programs in some cases, due to competition. It was argued that PNS must try to work with their donors in order to fulfill the objectives of their governments but it was also very important to look at the requirements of the most vulnerable.  There is need for the Federation to have a clear position on how to face the challenges of supporting ANS in capacity building.

IV.FUNDING AND PARTNERSHIP MAPPING FOR NEPARC MEMBERS
NEPARC had carried out a mapping exercise for funding and partnership.  11 National Societies had responded

Vimala Ramalingam presented the results as follows:

Facts and Figures:
Number of programs covered - 158
Number of Partners - 19
Number of African National Societies - 11

Type of programs
1. Disaster Preparedness/Disaster Management
2. Organizational Development
3. Water and Sanitation
4. Health
5. HIV/AIDS
6. Youth

Outcome per African National Society
 
ANS  Number of Programs Number of PNS
Mozambique 31 12
Ethiopia 26 08
Uganda 14 06
Tanzania 08 05
Kenya 07 07
Rwanda  07 05
Sierra Leone  03 02
Somalia  05 02
Namibia  06 06
South Africa 04 03
 
The Mapping exercise also brought out the fact that a number of PNS were involved in the same programme within the same ANS:
 
                              HIV/AIDS       OD      WATSAN
Mozambique              04               06       07
Ethiopia                      03               08       07
Uganda                      02               04       01
Kenya                        04               01       02
South Africa               04               01       -
 
OBSERVATIONS
1. There is an unequal distribution of support and the selection criteria are not very well understood.
2. Duplication is rampant; can some of the resources be coordinated?
3. There is a glaring lack of support for OD and capacity building counterparts
4. Flow of funds is inefficient – the funds are received late by the ANS causing huge problems in the execution of programs
5. Where there are many partners supporting the same programme, within one ANS. they each have separate bank accounts and they require separate reporting. This is very time consuming and resource heavy.
 
COMMENTS
The importance of a strategic framework was stressed.  Where such a framework has existed, it has been possible to streamline the areas of focus.
 
There need for a corresponding answer from the PNS, the key critical issues being institutional capacity building.  Nick Young was challenged to take charge and bring all the PNS together to see how they can cover the NEPARC member societies with programs dedicated to institutional capacity building and also agree on criteria for offering support.
 
V. NEPARC LEADERSHIP PROGRAMME
Human resources is where it all happens and unless a new directions in this regard are made, there will still be major problems and there is need to improve the Human resource practice of the delegate Human resource was identified by the audit as the weakest link for ANS – the caliber of people in the ANS – both paid staff and volunteers.
 
Dr Anisya Thomas reported that Fritz Institute was committed to employ executives of two African National Societies for a period of 2 years. The two National Societies must have undertaken the third party audits.  A fund managed by Fritz Institute should be established for this purpose.

It was reported that the Federation is ready to set aside CHF 100,000 annually for leadership training programs in Africa for the next 5 years for African National Societies. Criteria to receive these funds will be provided by the IFRC.
 
VI. PROGRAMME AUDIT
The General Assembly of NEPARC had resolved that the next level after third party audits to be programme audit.  Fritz Institute was mandated to come up with tools which would be able to measure impact, including the quality of aid received by the victims...  The meeting observed that there is now an increasing demand from the donors to show where their money went and the impact it has had on the community.  A pilot project in 2 or 3 African National Societies would be carried out for a period of time before the tools are ratified for use in all the other National Societies.
 
The PNS said that they would be very much interested to be involved in the programme audit.
 
VII. NEPARC AND PNS BEST PRACTICES
It was resolved that for more transparent and effective partnership between NEPARC and PNS’ certain actions were necessary:
 
NEPARC members must:
1. Identify clear priorities and programmatic requirements
2. Make a clear Strategic Framework to address the aforesaid needs and priorities
 
NEPARC AND PNS together:
1. Maintain partnership meetings to arrange compatible and complementary solutions consistent with the Strategic Framework
2. Adhere to CAS process
3. Money to be directed towards capacity building consistent with internal needs indicated by SGS audit
4. More resources for development of societies with proven external records. 
 
PNS must:
Rationalize reporting
 
VIII. OUTCOME OF THE MEETING
A working group between NEPARC and PNS composed of British Red Cross, Norwegian Red Cross, Danish Red Cross German Red Cross, NEPARC Chairman, Fritz Institute and Focal Point was formed. It will be chaired by Nick Young and will come out with a strategy and the way forward for the following issues, which were discussed during the meeting:
 
1. NEPARC/PNS best practices
2. Third party audits for NEPARC partners
3. Program Audits
4. The Humanitarian Executive Program
5. The results of the Mapping Exercise and what can be done to ensure equal distribution of resources among the ANS
 
 
 
 
 
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