Lessons learnt on organizational development
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Lessons learnt on Organizational Development. Each organization already has at its disposal an existing management system consisting of simple planning, documentation, reporting, staff meetings. This system, even in a insufficient manner, already presents some organizational know-how .

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Lessons learnt on Organizational Development

  • Each organization already has at its disposal an existing management system consisting of simple planning, documentation, reporting, staff meetings.

  • This system, even in a insufficient manner, already presents some organizational know-how.

  • Sustainability in organizational development will only be achieved if we take up the existing know-how of an organization and try to improve it from inside thus bottom-up, instead of imposing an external system.


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Lessons learnt...

  • Do not copy your international project management and monitoring system to a national partner organization (top-down approach). Your project management system will be much too complicated for them and have no sustainability.

  • With this in mind, we suggest a strategy of institution development to improve step by step the existing structures and management systems through a tailor made medium-size system that ensures at the long run sustainability even after the external project intervention (bottom-up approach).


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Checklist for Organizational Development

  • Human resources development

    • Is there any job description for each of the employees?

    • What are the skill up grading training needs for employees?

    • Are there regular weekly personnel meetings?

  • Equipment administration

    • Is there any list of the equipments (number and condition)?

  • Planning

    • Is there any action planning? (yearly, 6 month, or 3 month planning?)

    • Are there weekly personnel meetings for weekly planning?

    • Is there any planning of visits and services to operators (BDS planning)?

  • Implementation of services to operators

    • Are there regular visits to operators?

    • Did you implement support activities to operators?


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Checklist...

  • Recording and reporting

    • Did you document these visits to operators?

    • Did you document the situation analysis, main problems and proposals of operators?

    • Did you record your every day activities?

    • Did you record your services to operators?

  • Collaboration with partners in the field of BDS delivery

    • Is there any list of partners of your region?

      • Commercial BDS providers, NGO, Vocational and technical training centres , Facilitating agencies

    • Is there any study about the loan conditions of the finance institutions of your region?

    • Are there already personal contacts with the partners?

    • Did they get your presentation brochure and your planning?


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Checklist...

  • Formats

    • Is there a folder with the following formats: Action plan, Activity report, Records on services to operators, Business plan format for operators, Loan application forms of the finance institutions of your region

  • Presentation of your own structure to national, international partners and visitors

    • Is there any presentation brochure or leaflet of your organization?

    • Does this brochure include a presentation of the achievements (services to business operators provided)?

    • Is this presentation brochure always available?

    • Are your offices equipped with presentation boards and are your planning and services to operators fixed on it?

    • May we find some photos of operator workshops on it?


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Organize your Work with the help of an Office Folder

  • In order to improve the organizational capacity of your own structure, your organization should be well planned, implement real services to your clients and have a complete documentation and recording system of your activities and services to operators.

  • In order to organize yourself, apply the following "FOLDER METHOD" tool:

    Buy an office folder


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Organize the office folder by separators

  • Insert the following separators:

    • Mission and objectives of your agency

    • Leaflet or presentation brochure

    • Fields of intervention and services to operators

    • Job description of each of your agents

    • What kind of services am I able to provide and what are my needs in skills upgrading? (to fill by the agent himself)

    • List of businesses served since the last year up to now

    • 6-month action plans for your activities and services to operators

    • Records on services to operators (ongoing activity)

    • 6 month activities reports

    • List of partner organizations in your region (facilitating agencies, BDS providers, training centers, micro-finance and finance institutions, entrepreneur associations) and their services.

    • Statistics and sector studies of your region.


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fill the Folder...

  • Now, proceed to fill this folder with the necessary activities and information and re-organize your institution.

  • If you already have written your mission and your action plan and report, put it in. If not, write it.

  • If all this activities as planning, implementation of services, recording and presentation have been done and will be done permanently, your organization will do a better work and will be improved. Note: Action planning, recording and reporting has to be done not only once but periodically.

  • In order to use this folder not only for your internal organization but also as presentation map for visitors and national and international partners, this map should be in English language.


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Achievements

Capacity Building of Partner Organizations

  • 17 Partner Organisations use the "Folder method" for better organisational management.

  • Continuous follow-up to improve the management procedures, effective planning and reporting and documentation has been made by the project staff.

  • A checklist for organizational development has been introduced.

  • The Chambers of Commerce have been supported for the publishing of their webpages www.ethiopianchamber.com and www.adamachamber.com. The webpages generate income by advertizing companies and give business information services on taxation, business registration and arbitration.

  • The project's BDS information booklets have been re-printed by the chambers and are on sale for own profit. Some booklets have been translated in Amharic.

  • About 20 heads of Partner Organisations (ReMSEDAs, Sub-cities) have been introduced to the BDS approach in a one day workshop and help us to multiply our efforts.


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Achievements...

Networking and Learning Platforms

  • Seven meetings of the national BDS network have been held discussing issues like taxation, access to finance, publishing a newsletter, how to organize follow-up of BDS, access to premises, study tour results to Ghana, technological and market support.

  • 35 members of public and private institutions as well as donor agencies and international projects are regular.

  • A BDS Internet portal has been created under www.bds-ethiopia.net learning platform for the BDS network members and international agencies. The BDS portal provides information on taxation, marketing, export-import, accounting and cost calculation, business planning, association building as well as on BDS strategies, networking and lessons learnt.

  • A monthly e-mail based BDS newsletter is sent since May 2005 to more than 300 addressees and found a lot of words of encouragement.


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Lessons learnt on Networking

  • Existence of Common Purpose and Clarity of Vision and PurposeNetworking should be based on a clear definition of common interest or purpose. This is fundamental to a sustainable networking. It is important to clarify the interests and expectations of each member and identify common grounds on which the networking could be based. 

  • Establishing a Network by self-initive of its membersNetwork should evolve and should not be imposed. Most networks usually starts with a handful of organizations that are able to develop common purpose and vision. As the network develops others who share the vision join. 

  • Offering Concrete Benefits to MembersA network will not be sustainable if it is not offering concrete benefits to its members. If members do not feel they are benefiting from being a member of a network their commitment will disappear. Therefore the work of the network should focus on what it can do for its members in facilitating their work, building their capacities, lobbying on their behalf or publicizing their work etc.


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lessons learnt on networking...

  • Good quality leadership and governance Good quality leadership is critical for successful networks. There should be critical mass of members who are able to create dynamism in the network. Each member should feel responsible and important for the network’s success. Each member should contribute to the network in different forms and also benefit from the contribution of others.

  • Accountability and TransparencyNetwork facilitator should be member driven, accountable to the members and transparent.  Institutional membership brings with it power. 

  • Sharing of Common ResourcesThe network should be able to use regularly the resources of its members to achieve its goals instead of developing parallel capacities that compete with its members. A good network relies on the resources of its members.


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Learning Platforms are:

  • Networks and working groups

  • Workshops and Conferences

  • Publications and Documents

  • Webpages and email based Newsletters

  • Films and Photodocumentations


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