Participatory Review & Analysis Processes (PRAPS). Review of 2012 Retreat and 2013 General Assembly Commitments by Constant GNACADJA, WANEP/ECOWAS Liaison Officer 27 th Feb. 2014 Beige Village Eastern Region, Ghana. Outline. 1- Issues discussed during the 2012 retreat
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Review of 2012 Retreat and 2013 General Assembly Commitments
WANEP/ECOWAS Liaison Officer
Eastern Region, Ghana
1- Issues discussed during the 2012 retreat
2- Issues discussed during the 2013 AGM
3- Permanent Issues
13th– 16th February 2012, Accra – Ghana
Theme: “Consolidating WANEP’s Institutional Capacity for Peacebuilding in West Africa”.
In terms of membership, organisations joining WANEP should believe in the philosophy of WANEP and their programme areas should be considered.
Regional Secretariat is ready to be present at national AGMs and therefore urged NNCs to inform the regional in advance.
Submission of Budget of national networks
Stressed the need for National secretariats to submit their approved annual budgets to the regional secretariat although this does not mean that the budget would be financed by the regional secretariat but is a recommendation from the SIDA audit.
For purposes of accountability and audit, original receipts from suppliers/supporting documents must be attached to all liquidations of funds sent by the national networks.
National secretariats should keep their pro-forma invoices and other related documentations of the transaction for future references and audit purposes and send only the final invoice/receipt of the purchase.
It is not recommended to transfer funds into an individual/staff personal account. It was clarified that all liquidations must be submitted to the Regional Coordinator, Network Development. Some NNCs urged regional secretariat staff to educate them on the various line items under which the liquidations should be done in order to facilitate the process.
The need for National Networks to conduct annual audits and conform to donor requirements
Training for National Network Accountants on WANEP procedures:
NNCssuggested that a forum/training on accounting procedures and liquidation be organised for national networks accountants to take them through the financial regulations and compliance as they (NNCs) may have challenges in debriefing their respective accountants.
NNCs are requested to submit their completed appraisal forms;
Each NNC should also appraise staff operating in NN secretariats
The professionalization of the boards
The need to reinforce the governing role of the national board
The need to always have a monitoring system in place and a functional governance/control system that will help the organisation to strengthen its institutional capacity.
Need for the regional secretariat to pull out the gender policy from the HR manual and make it a stand-alone gender policy.
Policies that need to be developed:
Appeal for exchange visits among networks to be institutionalised to encourage and strengthen one another.
The Executive Director called on WANEP-Senegal as a matter of urgency to speedily initiate the process of registering the network.
WANEP Niger and WANEP Mali will be set up since the ban has been lifted.
WANEP Niger / WANEP Mali / WANEP Guinea
WANEP Niger / WANEP Mali
The General Assembly was informed that:
WANEP- Niger had been set up and the NNC Haruna Salifou and the Board Chair Halima Amadou were introduced to the General Assembly.
WANEP – Mali had been set up but was not operational because of non-performance of the former NNC. Amadou Cissé, the new NNChas been introduced to the Assembly.
Delegates enquired about the status of WANEP-Guinea following the issues raised at the last General Assembly. ED responded that WANEP-Guinea has been re-organised and a New NNC recruited. The network has since been operational and is very active.
Participants were interested to know whether the Regional Secretariat had been able to acquire accounting software, which can be used by all the networks.
Only the Regional has updated its software which is not yet the case of NNs.
Since the reflection during the retreat, a draft code of ethics has been developed for board members, for national and regional but was yet to be approved by the Regional board.
WANEP is in the process to recruit 3 ZCs whiles the ZC for zone IV would be helpful in assisting the regional office in monitoring visits.
Discussions for board professionalization are still in progress at the national level since it is a strategic decision made by 3 different external evaluators.
Liquidations should be sent by DHL to meet deadline and to avoid the loss of important documents.
Comments were made on liquidations and it has been agreed that there would be no more negotiation on liquidations. National Networks who fail to meet the criteria will have their record captured in the WANEP Sustainability Index and informed decisions will be applied to these networks. Such networks will not access funds from the Regional Office; rather, the regional Secretariat will directly implement activity in these networks.
WANEP advertises for audit services for its accounts. Shortlisted firms should be presented to General Assembly for selection and approval before a contract is awarded. Thus the need to wait for the assembly for this new procedure. However the GA was informed that plans were far advanced for auditing to begin by 15th April 2013.
National reports have been improved however participants suggested that the allocation for the presentation of reports was inappropriate since reporting constitutes the life of the network.
Delegates suggested that adequate time should be allocated for the Assembly to facilitate fruitful discussions and sharing of experiences.
There were diverse opinions on engaging National Governments to fund WANEP. While some argued that, just like in the West, Governments support NGOs in their country and outside, National Governments should also fund NGOs such as WANEP. Others were of the opinion that if national Governments gave WANEP funds, WANEP could lose its credibility since national governments try to buy organisations that they fund.
Mr. Awinador added that it was possible for WANEP to access funds from the various Ministries of Foreign Affairs as ECOWAS member states contribute funds that are available in those ministries for Peace and Security issues.
The meeting could not agree on the way forward but NNs were asked to brainstorm on the issue at different levels.
NNCs were concerned about funding issues. They expressed their frustration with raising funds. Responding to this issue, the Director of Programs said the Regional office is doing its best to raise funds to support networks but urged NNCs to look for funding opportunities whenever they attended meetings.
An appeal was made to NNCs to send annual reports a month ahead of time to allow enough time for the reports to be collated and streamlined before it is translated and then published.
The meeting encouraged more collaboration among national networks. Participants noted that there was disconnect in some instances between the regional and the national networks and also between national networks and its members.
WANEP Regional was asked to develop a database of Peacebuilding Expertise in WANEP Networks.
National offices must audit their accounts and ensure that they adhere to the financial regulations embedded in the WANEP accounting manual and send a copy to the regional office for documentation.
The meeting again discussed the need to professionalize all national boards. This had become necessary due to the numerous conflicts and tensions being created by boards that were put in place by the tenets of the old structure in which the board members were representatives of member organisations.
It was explained that having a professional board would reduce the tension and would attract high calibre of people to the board who will not compromise on governance issue. Networks who have already embarked on the exercise shared their success story on the practice so far.
During the last GA, the proposal for the amendment of the tenure of the Regional board as stipulated in the WANEP constitution was adjourned in order to fulfil the constitutional procedure for amendment. The 2013 General assembly was informed that the required period of notice for constitutional amendment had been met.
The new proposal was then put forward follows:
“the Board’s tenure should be for 4 years for a maximum of 2 terms” - meaning 4 years term, renewable once making a total of 8 years in service) or
the board tenure should be 2 years for a maximum of 3 terms.”– meaning 2 years term renewable twice.
After a long debate on the proposal to adopt, the General Assembly proceeded to vote.
The GA chair informed the meeting that based upon the decision which had been taken about the constitutional amendment regarding board tenure in office, two members of the current Board, Dr. Lydia Umar and Mr. Michel Mian needed to be replaced on the board since they have already served for six (6) years. National networks were asked to propose names from which 2 will be elected onto the board.
In order not to leave these positions vacant till the next GA in 2015, delegates to the General Assembly were asked to make a proposal. After consultations, the GA decided that the two board members stay in the board until the next general assembly. This decision was moved by M. Malcolm Joseph, Board Chair of WANEP-Liberia and seconded by Ms.Edelfride Barbosa, Board Member, WANEP-Cape Verde.
However, just after this decision was taken, some delegates observed that by the next GA in 2015, all the 7 board members would have served for 6 years and would have to be changed, meanwhile, per the constitution, two board members of a previous board are supposed to stay for the purposes of continuity. The GA deliberated on the issue and resolved to still keep two members of the current board while headhunting for the other 5 members. National offices would be informed well in advance for the process to begin before decisions are made at the next General Assembly.
As part of the SIDA recommendations, WANEP has engaged the process of recruiting an audit firm. WANEP used to work with KPMG but the policy in that domain now is to appoint an audit firm every four (4) years to audit WANEP’s accounts.
Unfortunately, only one application was received at the time of the meeting and so there was no shortlist of firms to be presented to the GA. The issue was discussed thoroughly and the members of the General Assembly empowered the Regional board to do the selection of the auditing firm when more applications are received.
The GA resolved that each National Network must have a professional board as stipulated in the Regional Constitution.
All national constitutions must be amended to include this.