Update from the Edmund Rice Mission Capacity Development Project
This external evaluation of the Capacity Development Project was conducted by Out of the Box Kenya in late 2021 through early 2022 to assess the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of the project. Out of the Box used a consultative, collaborative and participative approach to carry out this evaluation collecting data through Key Informant Interviews and Focus Group Discussions with beneficiaries and stakeholders, and a desk review of ERD project documents, plans, reports and monitoring frameworks. The evaluation report was very positive on the progress over the four years of the project. The evaluators found ‘there is a strengthened capacity in Results Based Management (RBM), finance, safeguarding, development practice and increased collaboration and networking across Mission Development Offices (MDOs).’ A series of recommendations have been developed which will inform our planning for the next project phase, which included placing an emphasis on governance capacity building which is by now already underway.
2022 Progress to Date
The capacity development project has been building on the success of the governance training programme and expanding to reach more areas in Edmund Rice Mission. In May, two new governance training programmes were delivered for the Edmund Rice Ministries Foundation Philippines, Inc (ERMFPI) and for projects in the Africa Province. The Board of ERMFPI who govern the Sama-Badjao project in Leyte and the CEBU project in Cebu City received training targeted for governors. The Africa Province invited their project and mission personnel to attend training on distinguishing the roles of governors from the roles of managers. The Irish Charity Regulators Six Principles of Good Governance was used as the framework for the training, and the session also included case studies to ensure theory was tied with practice. Both trainings were very well received from attendees.
The training has been of immense benefit distinguishing between the role of governance and management. The training was very well presented, and I now feel empowered in my role as part of management team. - Africa Province Participant
We look forward to working with the governors of the Africa Province, India Province and Latin America Mission Area this year to further build their capacity in governance of development projects. While the congregation chapter and subsequent provincial chapters kept them busy for much of the first half of the year, the new leadership teams plan to participate in tailored training sessions this Autumn in topics such as Human Resource Management, Financial Oversight and Sustainability.
While the Mission Capacity Support Team no longer manages the Capacity Development project, the former members of the team, many of whom are mission office personnel, desired to continue to meet to share learnings, challenges and best practices from their respective areas. The capacity development project has continued to facilitate these ER Mission Office meetings over the last two years, which have been a great opportunity to hear from voices across Edmund Rice Mission in an informal setting. Pictured above is from the December Mission Office meeting where we shared reflections from the year and rang in the holiday season.
In addition to these meetings of the ER Mission Offices, the project has facilitated two learning sessions to date this year. One was a session on Safeguarding in Edmund Rice Development projects, which was informed by the findings from the ERD Safeguarding Assessment Tool. This session gave a high level view of common patterns and challenges in safeguarding practice. In addition, a refresher training in Results Based Management was included in the ERD Funding Policy and Reporting Roll-Out training in June. We look forward to offering more of these Learning Sessions in 2022.