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Date Posted 10/29/2015

CCRDA and Helvetas Sign a Partnership Project Agreement

CCRDA Executive Director Dr Meshesha Shewarega (left) and Country Program Director of Helvetas Dr Felix Bachmann (signing) signing the agreement

Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation (HIS) and Consortium of Christian Relief and Development Association (CCRDA) signed a three years partnership project agreement on September 29th, 2015 at the CCRDA Headquarter.

CCRDA and HSI have been working in partnership to promote an enabling environment for CSO/NGO for the last six years in Ethiopia. The cooperation between the two partners was initiated upon signing a project agreement in 2009. The major areas of the joint interventions include enhancing CSO’s capacity, creating enabling environment through evidence-based dialogue and establishment of strong partnerships between CSO and the Government, facilitation of policy dialogue on topical issues and promotion of ethical standards in the humanitarian sector.


After signing of the agreement

The joint engagement of HELVETAS and CCRDA over the past six years has been fruitful in addressing the demand of CSOs and in ensuring collective engagements on issues of common concern. As a continuation and consolidation of the past six years project a three years project proposal which will be implemented from 2015 to 2018 was jointly prepared. The project commenced from the beginning of October 2015.

This project took into consideration the programmatic merits of the previous phases, with special geographic focus on the Amhara Regional State and with complimentary interventions that help CCRDA to contribute towards strengthening and creating an enabling environment to its members in particular and the CSOs in general.

The three years project is entitled, “Strengthening and enhancing CSO’s institutional development and partnership capacity building with focus on Amhara Region” has three program outcomes. The first is technically strengthening CSOs/NGOs, partners and networks including the youth and women groups to plan, implement and manage client responsive projects. The second expected outcome Government-CSO partnership forums are established and strengthened in order to create an enabling working environment in the project area, and the third is CSO/NGO, forums/networks and partners access and apply latest policy and operational information and knowledge for harmonized and evidence based project approaches and interventions.

The total budget earmarked to implement this project is 2,860,668 birr.




CCRDA Members Discuss Regional Chapter Approach

CCRDA held discussion with its members on Regional Chapter Approach that the Consortium is planning to implement in all regional states of the country on October 19, 2015.

CCRDA used to have four regional coordination offices in Addis Ababa, Dire Dawa, Hawassa and Bahirdar. The study conducted by AYSOL Management and Consultancy Plc in 2014 to transform CCRDA, indicated that these regional offices were not efficient enough. The regional coordination offices were closed in the past few months.

Following the closing of the regional coordination offices, CCRDA has been planning to start chapter approach in all regional states. According to the chapter approach, a host CSO will be selected from each region and a staff member of that CSO will serve as a focal person and devote at least 16 hours in a month to coordinate the CSOs and provide the services of CCRDA. CCRDA plans to pay top up as an incentive to the focal person.


Regassa Aboma while presenting CCRDA’s Chapter Approach

During his presentation on CCRDA’s Chapter approach Director of Membership Development and Networking Core Team (MDNCT), Regassa Aboma said regional chapters are more preferable that regional offices for they are cost effective, for they ensure  increased spatial (geographical) presence of CCRDA, for they help to increase regional resource mobilization and for more integration of members with CCRDA.


CCRDA Executive Director Dr Meshesha Shewarega said as long as there is strong backstopping from CCRDA secretariat, and if the host organizations are carefully selected the approach will be successful. He mentioned few organizations that use chapter approach  and are very successful in coordinating their activities through their regional chapters.

Reagssa Aboma (left) and Dr Meshesha Shewarega

Regarding the host CSO, he said it should be an organization that has its own office and that is considered by the government as a development partner, and highly regarded by the respective regional government. “If you make a mistake when you choose the hosting NGO, then you fail,” Dr Meshesha said.

Dr Meshesha also underlined the need to strengthen CCRDA as the CSO sector is being increasingly challenged. “Less and less attention is being given to the CSO sector, the SDGs and GTP II give more priority to the private sector.” He said.

The participants drawn from various regional states appreciated CCRDA’s initiative to change its strategy. They said that the chapter approach would ensure the regionalization and localization of CCRDA services. They underlined the need to have job descriptions and detailed explanations of responsibilities of CCRDA, the hosting organization and the focal person. The participants also mentioned that most NGOs working in regions have their head offices in Addis Ababa and it might be important to discuss with the head offices concerning the chapter approach for its effective implementation. They also expressed concern that with the new chapter approach more and more CSOs might want to become members of CCRDA and warned the consortium to make necessary preparations.


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