Lessons Learnt from Pact Umbrella Grant Management Program

The Road Towards NPO Sustainability –
Lessons Learnt from Pact Umbrella Grant
Management Program
Ms Irene Gathinji
Organizational Development Advisor, Pact South Africa
The Second HIV Capacity Building Partners’ Summit - March 19, 2013
Program Context
Pact in South Africa
Since 2004, Pact South Africa provides both funding and capacity development
support to NGOs, CBOs and FBOs responding to HIV and AIDS in South Africa,
through the Umbrella Grants Management (UGM) Program funded by USAID and
PEPFAR. The goal is to help partners strengthen their organisational capacity in
order to achieve effective service delivery as well as long-term sustainability.
Pact’s partners
Pact South Africa has supported 26 prime partners and 90 sub-partners. Currently,
implementing close out and supports transition activities with partners who
qualified for direct funding by USAID.
Our partners ranged from large and established to small and nascent:
Largest NGO grant:
Smallest NGO grant:
$ 390,235
Largest CBO sub-grant:
Smallest CBO sub-grant: $
Partners were/are implementing in all PEPFAR focus areas – Prevention,
Treatment, and Care & Support
Partners Spread in all 9 Provinces
Key areas of capacity development
Financial – Includes development of policies and procedures, strengthening of
internal controls, budgeting and forecasting, management of exchange rate gains and
losses, analysis of spending rates and patterns, compliance with rules and regulations,
and assistance with annual external audits.
Organizational – Includes organizational capacity assessments (OCAs), strategic
planning, governance and leadership, HR management especially care worker
management and resource mobilization.
Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Learning – Includes development of systems
for data collection, analysis and reporting; strengthening data quality management,
conducting internal data quality audits, verifying and validating partner and sub
partner data submissions, development of systems for conducting internal program
evaluations, strengthening capacity for using data for decision making.
Programmatic/Technical – Includes development of an annual
implementation plans, assessment of program quality, identification of and
linkage to relevant tools and resources, alignment and engagement with
Training, coaching and mentoring
Pact uses a combination of tools and approaches to respond to partners’
capacity development needs. Particularly with nascent organizations, targeted
mentoring and coaching, coupled with training, has proven more effective in
developing an organization’s capacity.
Pact’s formal trainings include:
• USAID Grant Management
• Financial Management for Finance Staff
• Financial Management for Non-Financial Managers
• Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Learning
• Data Quality Management
• Program Evaluation
• NPO Governance
• Board Orientation
• Strategic Planning
• Resource Mobilization & Sustainability Planning
• Human Resources Management
Sustainability Interventions
• Sustainability interventions integrated into capacity
development and implemented over the life of project
• Last push through sustainability forums
The Need
• Sustaining programs beyond
• More beneficiaries in need for support
• NPOs good at mobilizing community
care workers but not able to
“compensate” for their time or develop
• Little leveraging with like minded
• Lack of knowledge of sources of funds
and funding opportunities especially for
• Lack of skills in marketing
Sustainability – Integrated Approach
• Sustainability as a principle of capacity development
• Systems and procedures are documented and institutionalized in order to ensure
sustained change and reduce reliance on specific leaders or staff members
(examples: financial, M&E, HR, governance, etc.)
• Funding e.g. procure an electronic financial system, hire qualified staff
• Tailor made training & mentoring to meet the needs of partners
• Staff trained in trios where high staff turn over is experienced
• Training prime partner and sub-partners staff together
• Use of accredited training for care workers to ensure a career path
• Support in improving program quality and meeting service delivery
• Technical assistance in program design and implementation planning
• Program quality assessments and TA to address gaps
• Training and mentoring in strategic planning and resource
• Regular re-assessment of capacity development support and
impact with partners
Sustainability Forums
1 national forum = 73 participants
9 provincial workshops = 378 participants
Funding information provided by:
South Africa Government departments (Treasury,
Health, Social Development and Education)
Parastatals (National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund,
Independent Development Trust, National
Development Agency, National Youth Development
Private sector (Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation,
Trilogue, Tshikululu Social investments, Vodacom
Foundation, Murray and Roberts, South African
Breweries, Old Mutual Foundation, British American
Tobacco , Capespan Foundation, Siyakhana
Trust/Mercedes Benz, Iqraa Trust and Xstrata Alloys)
Bi-lateral donors (USAID, EU, CIDA, US Embassy)
International organizations
Public private partnership (USAID)
Peer learning sessions through the
Skills development sessions
(researching donors and proposal writing)
Outcomes - I
• 10 Pact partners have graduated to USAID direct funding
• 3 partners in 2007
• 7 partners in 2012/13
• Program evaluations currently being conducted at partner level
demonstrate capacity development impact
• The forums provided a platform for honest debate on the question of
sustainability in the context of HIV and AIDS sector with a number of
questions arising from the debate
• When we talk sustainability, what are we talking about?
• Sustainability for whom?
• Inequality in funding between urban and rural organizations and experienced national
organizations and nascent CBOs
• An expectation on the part of government for NPOs to have an exit strategy and be
less dependent on government funding
• An expectation on the part of NPOs that government should take full
responsibility of care
• Clear need for mentoring of nascent CBOs
Outcomes - II
• Partners utilized over 10 funding opportunities through
the forums
• 27 partners have received funding as a direct result of the
• Follow-up support and mentoring in proposal writing e.g. facilitating design
discussion, commenting on draft proposals, providing guidelines for meeting
compliance requirements for complex applications such as USAID
• Nearly 2,000 jobs were created, mainly through IDT.
• Knowledge sharing
• Market place sessions enabled partners to market signature programs, materials
and tools
• Participants could wander from table to table, learning about the tools and
approaches used by other organizations and explore ways of it being
utilised in their programs
Lessons Learnt - I
• Sustainability can mean different things in different contexts.
• The ability to maintain a certain level of quality and quantity of services despite
changing circumstances
• Ability to attract and retain staff / technical capacity
• Ability to innovate in both products and technology as innovation serves as a
catalyst for change (transformation)
• Ability to design programs that respond to government laws and priorities,
beneficiary needs and best practices/standards
• Good governance and leadership / “reputation risk”
• Keeping focus – not trying to be all things to all people
• Financial diversity and long term viability
• Long term perspective – not a quick process
Lessons Learnt - II
• Working on sustainability is on-going process that needs
concerted and consistent effort
• Funding is but one component of sustainability and the
organizations that are able to secure funding do so because
they have addressed other aspects of sustainability
• NPOs partnerships for complementary skills and approaches is
an emerging sustainability strategy
• Effective service delivery is the best marketing tool for the
• Credibility of the organization is crucial in ensuring
Thank you!
“We have received funding from PEPFAR Community
Grant Program and IDT (Independent Development
Trust) and are expecting from Lotto (National Lottery
Distribution Trust Fund). Thanks to the workshop that
Pact conducted and informed us of the opportunities”---
CBO Director in Limpopo providing feedback on outcome of sustainability

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