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PLP Capacity Building Learning Product Rwanda

PLP Capacity Building Learning Product Rwanda

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This technical note shares experiences and lessons learned around capacity building of local partners.The case studies examined, CHF International and Catholic Relief Services (CRS), are both international NGOs operating in Rwanda and participant in the SEEP Network Practitioner Learning Program (PLP) on Building Alliances to Serve HIV and AIDS Impacted Communities in Sub-Saharan Africa (BASICS).
This technical note shares experiences and lessons learned around capacity building of local partners.The case studies examined, CHF International and Catholic Relief Services (CRS), are both international NGOs operating in Rwanda and participant in the SEEP Network Practitioner Learning Program (PLP) on Building Alliances to Serve HIV and AIDS Impacted Communities in Sub-Saharan Africa (BASICS).

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Published by: Health and Market Development Working Group on Sep 23, 2010
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Technical Note:
PARTNERSHIP CAPACITY BUILDING FOR ECONOMIC STRENGHTENING IN HIV
AND AIDS IMPACTED COMMUNITIES: TWO CASES FROM RWANDA
Authors
Elly Kaganzi, Economic Opportunities Advisor, CHF Rwanda
Anathalie Mukankusi, Catholic Relief Services Rwanda
Facilitators
Linda Jones for The SEEP Network
Laura Meissner, The SEEP Network
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Introduction
Abstract

NGOs working in microfinance or enterprise development typically work with and through partners, either by choice or necessity. This is common with organizations serving HIV and AIDS-affected clients and communities with economic strengthening programs, particularly those attempting to deliver or provide access to holistic services and integrated programming. Often larger organizations will engage in capacity building of local partners to implement economic programs. Effective capacity building is critical for successful services delivery, but organizations may be challenged to determine the rationale, methods, outcomes and sustainability of capacity building.

This technical note shares experiences and lessons learned around capacity building of local partners. The case studies examined, CHF International and Catholic Relief Services (CRS), are both international NGOs operating in Rwanda and participant in the SEEP Network Practitioner Learning Program (PLP) on Building Alliances to Serve HIV and AIDS Impacted Communities in Sub-Saharan Africa (BASICS).

About The SEEP Network

The SEEP Network, founded in 1985 and headquartered in Washington, DC, is an association of over 70 international NGOs that support micro and small enterprise development programs around the world. SEEP’s mission is to connect microenterprise practitioners in a global learning community. As such, SEEP brings members and other practitioners together in a peer learning environment to produce practical, innovative solutions to key challenges in the industry. SEEP then disseminates these solutions through training, publications, professional development, and technical assistance.

About the Practitioner Learning Program

The Practitioner Learning Program (PLP) methodology was developed by SEEP as a way to engage microenterprise practitioners in a collaborative learning process to document and share findings and to identify effective and replicable practices and innovations to benefit the industry as a whole. The PLP combines a small-grant program with an intensive small-group facilitated- learning process, usually over a period of one or more years.

Practitioner Learning Programs focus on learning at three levels: the individual organization, the PLP group, and the industry at large. At the individual level, organizations have the opportunity to share with other organizations and to revise their individual work plans. At the group level, all participants involved in the PLP share experiences and ideas. Participants come to consensus on common themes they want to explore as a group, called the learning agenda. At the industry level, the PLP participants produce learning products documenting their lessons learned, challenges, and promising practices, to benefit the microenterprise and microfinance industry.

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The objectives of the BASICS PLP are to empower microenterprise development (MED) practitioners through peer learning to build and strengthen strategic alliances with community- focused organizations, and to document and disseminate the most effective models for developing these alliances for maximizing impact.

Intended Audience

This technical note is intended mainly for large NGOs, private consulting firms or government programs with technical competencies in microfinance or enterprise development that are partnering (or considering partnering) with organizations at the community level to better serve their clients. The BASICS PLP concentrates on partnerships that improve services to HIV and AIDS-affected communities; some of the lessons here are specific to serving that population.

Local organizations that are partnering with larger firms may also find this technical note helpful, as it can help them determine their own capacity building needs, and decide whether or not they can reasonably expect the needed support from their lead partner. Donors funding economic programming and partnerships may also find this note of interest, to help them consider the resources necessary for a lead grantee to build local partners’ capacities.

Background on Rwanda1

Rwanda is among the least developed countries in the world, ranking 161st out of 177 countries.2 It is the most densely populated country in Africa, with approximately 310 inhabitants per square kilometer3, a total population of 9 million people, and an average annual population growth rate of 2.4%.4

The population of Rwanda is overwhelmingly rural, with 90% of the country depending on agriculture. Chronic and acute food insecurity is most prevalent among the most vulnerable groups of society—orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), the chronically ill, and people living with HIV. As of 2005, Rwanda had a 3.1% adult HIV prevalence rate (3.6% women and 2.3% men)5. UNAIDS in 2006 reported 190,000 people living with HIV and 210,000 AIDS orphans.6

Since the genocide in 1994, the Government of Rwanda has embarked on an ambitious program of national unity and reconciliation. It has also established a national council on fighting genocide, as well asGacaca (traditional-style community courts) for trying genocide perpetrators. Fifteen years later, Rwandans still suffer from deep wounds, expressed as largely silent but profound distrust. Although most Rwandans feel that the government has restored order and public safety, community trust is extremely low. This impedes development programming and improvements in social assets, putting vulnerable people further at risk.

1 This section has been adapted in its entirety from CRS Microfinance application to Step UP Fund.
2 United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Human Development Index (HDI). 2005.
3 WFP country briefing, 2008 http://www.wfp.org/country_brief/indexcountry.asp?country=646
4 UNAIDS 2006 Report. Rwanda Country Situation Analysis.

http://www.unaids.org/en/CountryResponses/Countries/rwanda.asp
5Population Reference Bureau. Rwanda 2005 Demographic and Health Survey.
http://www.prb.org/Articles/2006/RwandaDHS2005.aspx
6 UNAIDS 2006 Report. Rwanda Country Situation Analysis.
http://www.unaids.org/en/CountryResponses/Countries/rwanda.asp
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