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Donor Funding for Sport & Development: A Recipient Partner Perspective. Workshop Report To Donors London, 29 May 2003. National Olympic Committees (Lesotho, Swaziland, Zambia) National Ministry/ Department of Sport (Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa)

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Donor funding for sport development a recipient partner perspective

Donor Funding for Sport & Development:A Recipient Partner Perspective

Workshop Report To Donors

London, 29 May 2003

Workshop participants

National Olympic Committees (Lesotho, Swaziland, Zambia)

National Ministry/ Department of Sport (Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa)

National Sports Council/ Commission (Malawi, South Africa, Swaziland)

NGOs: MYSA (Kenya), EDUSPORT (Zambia), Sport in Action (Zambia), PAY (Namibia), SCORE (South Africa, Namibia, Zambia),

Kicking AIDS Out Network


Workshop Participants:

The donor recipient partnership
The Donor-Recipient Partnership

  • An Unequal (political) Relationship

The donor recipient partnership1
The Donor-Recipient Partnership

  • An unequal political relationship

  • Differences in priorities, management styles, preferred time scales, constituencies, institutional structure, politics, operational definitions, etc.

  • The more dependent the recipient partner is on aid, the less power and the less autonomy

  • Tendency for funds to be used as a lever of punishment, not to reward good performance

  • Agreements focus on recipient compliance (not donor)


  • Do the partners share the same values?

  • Values underpin the relationship; must be agreed prior to developing a partnership

  • If values do not match, can result in major difficulties

  • Understanding of what the values mean must be agreed

  • Values are only meaningful in action

Agreed recipient values
Agreed Recipient Values

  • Mutual Respect

  • Transparency & Open Communication

  • Accountability for Results

  • Professionalism & Commitment to Excellence

  • Flexibility & Adaptability

  • Sustained Commitment by Partners

Agreed recipient values1
Agreed Recipient Values

  • Mutual Respect

    • Culture, belief & background

    • Conditions, priorities, perspectives

    • Equal and shared contributions

    • Shared ownership

    • Challenges and constraints (in implementation, in the politics of the partnership)

Agreed recipient values2
Agreed Recipient Values

  • Transparency & Open Communication

    • Understanding each other’s objectives; no hidden agendas

    • Say what you mean

    • Honest dialogue (budgets, successes, difficulties)

    • Face-to-face communication

    • Frequent communication

Agreed recipient values3
Agreed Recipient Values

  • Accountability for Results

    • Project based on sound needs assessment and inclusive planning process

    • Clear realistic goals (given resources, time frame)

    • Plan and performance framework in place

    • Proper use of resources & honest accounting

    • Accountability is shared (successes & failures)

Agreed recipient values4
Agreed Recipient Values

  • Professionalism & Commitment to Excellence

    • High quality service delivery to partners and beneficiaries

    • Capacity building for high standards

    • Good governance (effective, efficient)

    • Outcomes-based method

    • Appropriate conflict resolution mechanisms

Agreed recipient values5
Agreed Recipient Values

  • Felixibility & Adaptibility

    • Sensitivity to the dynamic nature of development; things change

    • Adaptations are allowed that will address changing needs while still achieving overall goals

Agreed recipient values6
Agreed Recipient Values

  • Sustained commitment by Partners

    • Need for capacity building

    • Multi-year commitment for lasting positive change

    • Continued support for successes and failures and collaboration on problem-solving

    • Promises are kept, agreements are honoured


Three Phases:

  • Developing the Partnership

  • Implementing the Partnership (project)

  • Moving beyond Partnership to Sustainability

    Three Questions:

    * What is working?

    * What is not working?

    * What can be improved?

Phase one developing the partnership
PHASE ONE: Developing the Partnership

Developing the partnership good practice
Developing the Partnership: Good Practice

  • There is a feasibility study/assessment

  • Donor procedures are clear

  • Donor funding priorities/possibilities are clear

  • Consultation workshops include all stakeholders

  • Planning is for the long term

  • Projects fall within broader bilateral agreements

Developing the partnership problems
Developing the Partnership: Problems

  • Lack of donor transparency on budget

  • Bureaucracy, conditions, procedures, red tape

  • Lack of donor understanding of local conditions and needs

  • Project formulated over distance

  • Lack of recipient partner strategic planning

  • Government is the intermediary

Developing the partnership problems1
Developing the Partnership: Problems

  • Lack of local ownership of the project

  • Lack of agreement on priorities, timetable, implementation plan

  • Lack of recipient representation on feasibility study team

Recommendations to enhance partnership development
Recommendations to Enhance Partnership Development

  • A thorough needs assessment & proper (face-to-face, inclusive) consultation

  • Results and indicators of success are clearly defined and agreed upon, as well as time frame and risk management strategies

  • Roles, responsibilities and ownership are clearly defined

  • The partnership project falls within the strategic plans & priorities of each partner

Recommendations to enhance partnership development1
Recommendations to Enhance Partnership Development

  • There is a business plan, including capacity building

  • Partners conduct reference checks on one another

  • The Agreement is clear and understandable to both partners

  • Stakeholders are included/consulted in the formulation of bilateral agreements

Phase two implementing the partnership
PHASE TWO: Implementing the Partnership

Implementing the partnership good practice
Implementing the Partnership: Good Practice

  • Frequent, open communication & meetings

  • Regular joint monitoring & review

  • Donor & Recipient share responsibilities

  • Donor assists to get other donors on board

  • Project changes are suggested, not imposed

  • Donor assists with procedures

  • Flexibility to make changes

Implementing the partnership problems
Implementing the Partnership: Problems

  • Inadequate support for operational costs & infrastructure (unrealistic donor expectations)

  • Irregular disbursements, no explanation

  • Provision of human resources, but inadequate support for their projects

  • Local expertise under-estimated

  • Human resources provided with incorrect, inadequate skills

  • Changing procedures, report formats

Implementing the partnership problems1
Implementing the Partnership: Problems

  • Time restrictions

  • Inadequate consultation about problems

  • Project changes without proper consultation

  • Political intervention

  • Too much donor money spent on visits

  • Incorrect recipient use of funds

  • Late, inadequate recipient reporting

Implementing the partnership problems2
Implementing the Partnership: Problems

  • Donor restrictions on purchasing and procurement possibilities

  • Recipient must spend money to accommodate donor financial year end

  • Donor approval delays, impacting on implementation process

Recommendations to enhance implementation of the partnership
Recommendations to Enhance Implementation of the Partnership

  • Consultation must occur with all partners on any changes to the project & agreement

  • Frequent mutual review & review of all aspects of the partnership project

  • Adequate resources must be provided for implementation (agree on what is adequate)

  • Clear guidelines must be followed by both partners regarding accountability & reporting

Recommendations to enhance the implementation of the partnership
Recommendations to enhance the Implementation of the Partnership

  • Frequent communication between partners

  • Utilisation of local/regional resources

  • Ongoing performance measurement by the recipient (no “donor police”)

  • Third-party evaluation periodically

Phase three beyond partnership sustainability
PHASE THREE: PartnershipBeyond Partnership- Sustainability

Towards sustainability good practice
Towards Sustainability: PartnershipGood Practice

  • Early planning by recipient for donor exit

  • Capacity building within recipient organisation to continue project

  • New projects/partnerships created by project

  • Increased use of local resources, local funding

  • Use of project expertise gained as consultancy (generate income, spread good practices)

  • Investment in infrastructure (computers, vehicles)

  • Local capacity building amongst beneficiaries

Towards sustainability problems
Towards Sustainability: PartnershipProblems

  • Recipient must return interest earned and unspent funds, cannot build reserves

  • Project & personnel changes during project

  • Perpetual project management by foreigners

  • Insufficiently qualified implementers

  • No investment in new ideas & skills development to generate income or fundraise

  • Political interference

Towards sustainability problems1
Towards Sustainability: PartnershipProblems

  • As donor budget reduces, understudy takes over – but without same resources is set up for failure

  • Donor dependence by recipients

  • Lack of proper preparation & planning for end of project funding (implementers, beneficiaries, donors)

  • Lack of recipient capacity to continue alone

  • Misunderstandings on role of volunteers & technical assistants

  • Organisational conflict, power struggles

Recommended changes to enhance sustainability
Recommended Changes to Enhance Sustainability Partnership

  • Ensure shared values and agreed vision from start

  • Project plans must be realistic

  • Focus on quality not quantity; develop quality standards

  • Ensure adequate capacity for implementation

  • Ensure project integration in longer term partner strategies

  • Ensure clear understanding of roles & contribution of interns/volunteers

  • Diversify project income sources, joint funding

Recommended changes to enhance sustainability1
Recommended Changes to Enhance Sustainability Partnership

  • Sustainability plan & strategy included in initial project concept & plan

  • Define clearly what should be/become sustainable

  • Clarify length of donor involvement

  • Increase local and regional networks & partnerships

  • Build the case for sport

Recommended changes to enhance sustainability2
Recommended Changes to Enhance Sustainability Partnership

  • Include a marketing/PR plan in project, develop interest & sell the project to new donors

  • Build capacity in implementing partner

    • Train staff (management, fundraising)

    • Generate own income (set specific funds aside within projects)

    • Invest in organisational infrastructure

    • Contribute to building a capital fund

    • Sell expertise, but protect intellectual property

Conclusion new partnership for development
Conclusion: PartnershipNew Partnership for Development

“Go with the People,

Live with them,

Love them.

Start with what they know,

Work with what they have.

Of the best of Leaders

When the day is done, the work completed,

The people will say:

We have done this ourselves.”