Proposal Writing and Organizational Development Workshops Yields Results in Nigeria

A proposal writing workshop participant. {Photo credit: MSH.}Photo credit: MSH.

The KAN Development Foundation is one of 31 community service organizations (CSOs) that participated in capacity building workshops organized by the US Agency for International Development-funded Community-Based Support for Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Nigeria (CUBS) project in 2010. Twenty-two of the CSOs participated in a proposal writing workshop and nine participated in an organizational development workshop, both facilitated by Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and CUBS technical advisors.

The proposal writing workshop built CSO’s capacities to write proposals and prepare realistic budgets acceptable by USAID-funded projects. The organizational development workshop helped CSOs apply Generally Acceptable Accounting Principles in the management of donor funds and to improve overall presentation of financial statements and accounting records, as well as ensuring the understanding of basic systems design and implementation of internal controls. Both workshops have started to yield significant results.

“Before the CUBS training, KAN had no focus, no definite thematic area. We did anything that came our way. But the proposal writing workshop helped us to stay focused,” said Mr. Kizito Andah, the Director of Bayelsa-based KAN Development Foundation, a CUBS project partner.

By the end of the proposal writing workshop, the CSOs had increased confidence in packaging grant applications to meet donor standards and a better understanding of planning and budgeting for proposal writing. The KAN Development Foundation’s updating of its organizational policies, has earned it additional funding from the Enhancing Nigeria Capacity for AIDS Prevention (ENCAP) project (also USAID-funded), following on CUBS as their first major donor.

“We ordinarily would have spent N15,000 ($100 US Dollars) for painting our office, but thanks to the CUBS organizational development workshop, we now have a procurement policy which helped us to spend only N4,000,” said Mr. Andah. He said that the workshop helped him understand the importance of policies and structures. “(Before the workshop) the salary structure was just in my head. But now our travel policy, assets management, personnel, and finance policies are all in place.”

KAN Development Foundation’s longest staff member, Miss. Victoria Arafiri, agreed that the new policies have improved her work environment. “When I joined KAN Development there was no structure. With the formulation of policies, my job is more secure and policies must be followed,” she said.

KAN’s improved operational procedures have helped them improve their service-delivery record as well. In August 2010 alone, KAN enrolled 800 orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) and 200 caregivers in their program. Sixty-five households were counseled one-on-one and two were supported with home-based weekly care. In December 2010, KAN Development distributed Basic-Care Kits in six communities in Bayelsa, Nigeria covering 103 households with 307 OVCs. Before the training, delivery rates were 42 OVC (32 provided with health and educational support) enrolled in December 2009.

Community Based Support for OVC in Nigeria (CUBS) project is a US government, PEPFAR&;funded intervention implemented by Management Sciences for Health (MSH) in 11 Nigerian States, in partnership with Africare.

The CUBS project is aimed at improving the well-being of orphans and vulnerable children through scaling up and improving service delivery, offering new approaches for enhancing service outreach, building community ownership, addressing gender discrimination, and increasing orphan and vulnerable children's involvement and advocacy.

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