Awareness and Impact
This area is destined to raise awareness of all of those involved in the process of cooperation, through generating information based on field work from the Third Sector, to distribute the activities and programs of civil society organizations, and to collaborate in positioning theRepublicofArgentinain the international setting from the policital impact on international cooperation.
Recommendations and good practices for International Cooperation Agents
1) To make an adequate publication of the funding opportunities, cooperation criteria, country’s cooperation policy and forms. To publish all the information, so that it could be easily accessed on the Internet. Furthermore, it is necessary to include a contact section with information concerning forms, e-mails, phone numbers, etc. and a space for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s), constituted by the organization’s diverse inquiries.
2) To publish in a simple way the proposal’s evaluation criteria. For instance, throughout the creation of an evaluation items’ template where it is explained what measure of importance does each item has in the decision; who are the evaluators and where does the evaluation takes place; which are the instances and evaluation’s period.
3) To inform about the funding opportunities’ winners. In addition, the publication in the websites of the supported organization’s list, including information about the winner projects (name, place, synthesis and amount) results very important. To establish reciprocity in the rigidness of the deadlines: for those founding opportunities that have deadlines for the presentation of projects, also it would be convenient that the winners’ communications periods result respected.
4) To establish a formal communication with the organizations that sent proposals to inform them about the state of submission of the presentation in the founding opportunity to which they have applied (in many cases no answer is received).
5) To establish a feedback about each organization’s presented form in the donor’s call for contest. It is very important to generate knowledge and improve social organization’s practices, enabling them to improve the quality of project design and implementation in the field. At the same time, this devolution allows to know the donor and its notion of cooperation for development.
What becomes ideal in this field would be that each organization could access to the evaluation made by the donor and, at the same time, that the donor compiles its experience at the time of evaluating proposals, for later communicate its experience and to be useful to the organizations that evaluate the possibility of applying in the future.
6) To make a data base or a document with the cooperating organization’s donations record and the results / good practices obtained in each one. All the projects conclude with a final report that would be interesting to read for many organizations that want to enrich from other experiences.
7) In terms of budget, it is necessary to consider certain local characteristics in regards to fields such as costs solicitudes and financial statements. Occasionally, a variety of difficulties arises concerning financial statement due to the economy’s informality in some country’s areas and by the charge to solicit project’s costs that could turn out to be very high.
On the other hand, in relation to operative expenses and service’s restrictions in many founding opportunities (human resources, energy, banking costs, etc.), it would be recommendable to reconsider an inflationary adjustment.
It is relevant as well to bear in mind that elaborating a project implies a resource’s expenditure for the organization, especially for the small ones. For this reason, it is essential that at the moment of establishing the form’s requirements, extra costs are avoided or presentation’s costs minimized. Also, it is important to revaluate the amounts required for the counterpart, since in certain occasions turns out to be very high, even reaching 50%. It is crucial to include it in the administrative expenses and projects coordination’s budget, among others. Moreover, it would be pertinent to increase the percentage destined to human resources in the budgets.
8)To structure the projects’ tasks division in the budget. In this way, it will be taken into account and divide the project coordination in relation to the monitoring and the evaluation. It is necessary to include a budget for research and formation of professional human resources that participate in different roles at the moment of implementing and executing the project, as well as destining a higher percentage of the budget to institutional implementation tasks, such as networks creations.
9) To implement a concept notes’ system or pre-proposal’s system that allows saving time and efforts to the applicant organization as well as the donor institution.
10) To deliver the funds previously to the projects execution. The proceeding of some donors of delivering the amounts once the project was implemented turns out to be impossible to assume for a small organization. In addition, it is necessary to respect the fund delivery schedule, so that the organization could carry on the project on time.
11) To establish a contact person destined to the communication with civil society’s organizations.
12) To reconsider founding opportunities opening period, which often do not give time to find partners, design and apply proposals, due to the deadline immediacy.
13) To allow the concession of intellectual property rights to those projects financed by public funds (contents, manuals, tools, etc.). The relevant, useful and necessary information to make progress concerning a country’s development should not be an organization’s private property but available and usable by anyone. This does not mean that its authorial rights should not be recognized, simply that neither the information has “owners” nor money should be required for its reutilization.
14) To promote diagnosis studies and research on the fields that makes programs ex ante and ex post the development and concretization of the idea, the justification and the planned activities. Besides, it is necessary to amplify the perspective regarding the inclusion or exclusion of geographical zones benefited, since there are certain regions, cities and towns that are excluded from the projects because they are located in regions that qualify as of high or medium development. However, this complex areas realities are set aside, where inequity and socio-economic and political problems affect a significant part of the population.
Also, there exist difficulties that overcome social classes and affect specific social groups, as, for example, certain age groups. It is necessary to elaborate proposals with a more social-inclusive focus, that is to say, start to think about joint work with integration activities that promote logics of cooperation, solidarity and collective action; and to achieve all of this, the diagnosis and the research ex ante and ex post, become vital.