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Simple Capacity Assessment Tool

Below are two examples of tools that can be helpful in assessing capacity gaps and how to move forward with a capacity building program to combat trafficking in persons:  The Simple Capacity Assessment Tool (SCAT)

A Simple Capacity Assessment Tool (SCAT)
Zameer Noorali The application of this organizational capacity assessment tool requires broad participation by the organization that wishes to employ it. The Simple Capacity Assessment Tool (SCAT) has been developed to 1) provide support organizations with procedures for assessing the organizational capacity of potential partners; and, 2) provide a process through which relevant, context specific indicators can be developed in a collaborative manner. A support organization working with the SCAT will identify appropriate indicators, develop an appropriate scoring nomenclature, and begin to develop a strategy for implementing a program of organizational capacity assessments. The SCAT includes seven organizational categories (e.g. Governance, Management Practices) which are further broken down into sub-components (e.g.. Board, Organizational Structure). For each sub-component, criteria of organizational capacity or performance are developed in collaboration with staff from the organization that is being assessed. Support organizations can help facilitate this process. One illustrative example of performance criteria has been provided for each sub-component. Additional space has been provided for criteria that will be developed in the process of working with the SCAT. When developing criteria, the following rules should be observed:  Present only one concept or attribute at a time. Criteria that have multiple attributes present real problems during validation. For example, "strategies are realistic in the context of the NGO's activities and can be translated into clear program objectives" should be presented as two separate criteria. Follow polarity. All criterion should follow the same parallel structure so that a yes response is registered as uniformly desirable or uniformly undesirable. The same rule holds true when you are using scaled responses such as 1=nascent, 2=emerging, 3=expanding, 4=mature. Develop neutral criteria. Avoid adjectives and adverbs such as "excellent" or "always," which can make it impossible to rate organizational capacities as either very strong or very weak. Criteria should be written in a neutral way so that the scoring method you select has full value. Develop organization-centered criteria. The assessment tool will be validated through data sources made available by the organization being assessed. For example, validation of "the organization is seen as a full and credible partner by the government" would require consulting government sources. This is beyond the scope of this type of

organizational capacity assessment. Separate sets of tools, however, can and should be developed to pursue these external perspectives. A rating scale of 1 through 4 (1=nascent; 2=emerging; 3=expanding; 4=mature) is used in the SCAT. Scoring should be assigned to sub-components. To calculate average scores by major category, sum all scores (elements) under each category and divide by the number of elements. Write the results in the category box provided next to the category heading. Support organizations should consider the following points before finalizing their own capacity assessment tool: 1. Purpose of Evaluation: Identify the purpose(s) particular to this assessment. 2. Team Composition: Select an assessment team to include people who know the organization and who will be in a position to carry out some of the recommendations that result from the assessment. Also select people who are external to the organization and can bring objectivity and an independent perspective to the situation. One member of the team should have some expertise in management and organizational development. It may be useful to include as many people on the team as the management deems necessary, either because of their knowledge of the organization or because of their need to be educated about its strengths and weaknesses. A representative mix of management functions or divisions of the organization should be included, as well as representatives of the membership or constituency served by the organization. 3. Identify Information Sources: Identify internal and external information sources and schedule individual interviews, group meetings and data collection sessions to gather information. Determine who on the assessment team will interview the information sources and who will be responsible for collecting data. Meeting with small groups of constituents, members and staff representatives in focus groups (discussion groups) -- where a small group of respondents is guided by a facilitator into responding to questions at increasing levels of focus and depth -- is an efficient way of gathering valuable information. 4. Interviews: Conduct interviews, meetings and data collection sessions according to a schedule that has been submitted to respondents in advance. Each interview session should commence with an explanation about the purposes of the assessment and the uses that will be made of the information. Specifically emphasize when the information source(s) will receive assessment results and their involvement in the utilization of the information. Information should be gathered and recommendations presented in a way that emphasizes that the organization being assessed is not being judged against an absolute set of standards as the only form an organization can take. Rather, it is important to remind respondents that the functions and factors being offered for comparative purposes are suggestions about possible ways of doing things that are derived from extensive experience in managing organizations in a multiplicity of environments. 5. Developing Recommendations: The assessment team should be prepared to develop recommendations on how the organization can best address the issues identified in the assessment and how to build upon the strengths highlighted.

6. Transparency: Recommendations should be discussed with organization management and front-line workers, not just those members of the organization who have participated in the assessment.
Capacity Assessment Tool Name of Organization: ________________________ Date of 1st Assessment: Date of 2nd Assessment: Date of 3rd Assessment: Date of 4th Assessment: Conducted by: Conducted by: Conducted by: Conducted by:

Scoring: 1 = Nascent; 2 = Emerging; 3 = Expanding; 4 = Mature 1st 2nd 3rd Assess 4th Assess

Assess Assess A. Governance 1. Board a. Board provides appropriate level of institutional oversight. b. c. 2. Mission, Goals and Philosophy a. Organization's mission is well defined. b. c. 3. Executive Leadership a. Executive leadership has a clear vision of organization's mission. b. c. 4. Legal Status a. Documentation related to legal status is in order. b.

c. B. Management Practices 1. Organizational Structure a. Lines of authority facilitate agile decision-making. b. c. 2. Information Systems a. Timely information is available to support decision-making. b. c. 3. Administrative Procedures a. Administrative tasks are systematized. b. c. 4. Planning a. Organization develops operational plans that guide action. b.

5. Program Development a. Baseline data collected by organization guides program. b. c. 6. Program Reporting a. Program reports accurately reflect strengths and weaknesses. b. c. C. Human Resources

1. Personnel Management a. Program is in place to facilitate staff development. b. c. 2. Diversity Issues a. Organization's work force is diverse. b. c. 3. Supervisory Practices a. Supervisory practices facilitate staff growth and development. b. c. 4. Salary and Benefits a. Salary and benefits are sufficient to retain skilled staff. b. c. D. Financial Resources 1. Accounting a. Accounting practices yield accurate financial data. b. c. 2. Budgeting a. Budget process is integrated with program planning. b. c. 3. Financial/Inventory Controls a. Independent audits are an integral part of the financial control system.

b. c. 4. Financial Reporting a. Financial reporting is timely. b. c. E. Service Delivery 1. Sectoral Expertise a. Organization has the experience necessary to accomplish its mission. b. c. 2. Constituency Ownership a. Stakeholders influence service delivery. b. c. 3. M&E Systems a. Project implementation is monitored against benchmarks. b. c. F. External Relations 1. Constituency Relations a. Organization regards its constituency as a full partner. b. c. 3. Government Relations a. Organization has mechanisms in place to influence relevant government policies

b. c. 4. Donor Relations a. Organization has practices and procedures for recognizing donors. b. c. 5. Public Relations a. Organization uses multiple channels for attracting support. a. b. 6. Media Relations a. Organization maintains diverse contacts with media outlets. b. c. G. Partnering 1. Intra-sectoral partnering a. Organizations engage in intra-sectoral partnerships to further mission. b. c. 2. Inter-sectoral partnering a. Organizations engage in inter-sectoral partnerships to further mission. b. c.

Capacity Assessment Grid
Please fill out the grid below. It contains questions in connection with the structural, functional and managerial circumstances of your organization. 1 2 3 4 Nascent Emerging Expanding Mature 1 1. Board provides appropriate level of institutional oversight 2. Board maintains financial resources. 3. Board frequently receives comments from the constituencies concerning the social impact of the programs. 4. The mission of the organization is well defined. 5. The most important goals of the organization are listed in its PR materials (web site, interviews, flyers, brochures etc). 6. Stakeholders influence service delivery. 7. The organization frequently informs its constituencies about latest developments, ongoing programs, new opportunities etc. 8. Board provides constituencies with opportunities for feedback in connection with ongoing programs. 9. Organization performs advocacy for its constituencies. 10. Organization employs civil servants. 11. Organization deploys needs assessment tests before their new programs. 12. The new programs are implemented according to well-defined work plans. 13. At the implementation of programs other projects delivered by different actors (civic or governmental) are also taken into account. 14. Lines of authority facilitate agile decision-making. 15. Organization applies Code of Conduct. 16. Organization develops operational plans that guide action 17. Regular meetings for those working on the same project. 2 3 4

18. Teamwork is the general method of work at the organization. 19. Streamline of flow of information in the organization. 20. Colleagues often share their suggestions about new programs with the responsible unit. 21. Well defined salary scale in the organization. 22. Salary and benefits are sufficient to retain educated staff. 23. Administration of financial affaires (donor reports, annual accounts, fundraising etc.) in the organization. 24. Different fields of management (fundraising, HR, PR, administration etc) are well detached from one another. 25. Stakeholders’ influence service delivery. 26. The organization has all the means to reach constituencies and to learn their opinion about their activities. 26. Satisfied with the decision-making skills of employees in the organization. 28. Well structured system for the measurement of the social impact of the programs. 29. New programs are identified and developed according to the results and experiences of earlier programs. 30. Volunteers also offer their services to the organization. 31. Volunteers working for the organization are encouraged to share their thoughts about the programs of the organization. 32. Organization participates in joint programs with other local and external partner organizations. 33. The organization is considered well known among other actors in the same field of activity. 34. The media requests the organization to evaluate certain relevant issues. 35. The organization can make use of the possibilities provided by the media in articulating information to clients. 36. The organization has long term plans. 37. Someone at the organization has expertise in fundraising. 38. The organization provides services for fee too.