Consortium of Christian Relief and Development Associations (CCRDA) is an indigenous non-profit umbrella organization. It is a Consortium of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) engaged in various development activities including agricultural development and food security, rural and urban development, HIV/AIDS prevention and control, environmental protection and gender mainstreaming. It is the first legally registered Association of NGOs/CSOs operating in Ethiopia and serves as a forum for collective vision and action. It allows resource mobilization and the sharing of experiences for effective and sustained impact. CCRDA builds capacity to ensure efficiency and quality are met, efforts are not duplicated and lessons can be learnt. All these are geared towards championing societal transformation.
CCRDA was initially formed to coordinate efforts of few organizations that responded to the humanitarian exigencies of the 1973/74 famine. It has since then expanded its services and membership. In particular, it has shifted from focus on coordinating relief efforts of NGOs to development agenda and good governance efforts such as:
i. building capacity of indigenous NGOs,
ii. promoting information exchange and networking for good governance and lobbying within CSOs and between CSOs and other agencies which are active in development areas, as well as
iii. promoting an enabling environment for greater contribution of CSOs to development endeavors of Ethiopia.
“CCRDA” stands for Consortium of Christian Relief and Development Associations. Its name as well as the logo of an Ethiopian cross (shown across) are a reminder of the Association’s early roots as an organization that mobilized various churches in Ethiopia to respond to the grave humanitarian situation of the time.
Today, CCRDA’s membership has broadened significantly and many secular and non-Christian religious organizations have joined the Consortium, motivated by a basic commitment to serve all rather than to promote any religious values. As such, the Consortium is mindful of its stated value to be inclusive, that membership and their staff come from a diverse range of faith and secular backgrounds. Its membership has diverse missions and objectives
CCRDA is guided by the values and principles of:
- Fairness, equity and equality;
- Gender responsiveness;
- Commitment to social transformation;
- Openness, transparency and accountability to all stakeholders;
- Learning, flexibility and adaptability;
- People-centered and respect for human dignity;
- Collaboration and co-operation;
- Recognition of the contribution of all, including volunteers; and
- Politically non-partisan.
As of December 2010, CCRDA has 336 member organizations. Of CCRDA’s total membership, 73% (245) are Ethiopian Residents Charities, and 27% (91) are Foreign Charities. As stated above, the membership operate throughout the country, covering both urban and rural areas emphasizing on food security, rural and urban development, health, HIV/AIDS, education, water and sanitation, infrastructure, environmental protection, civic education, etc.
Any NGO/CSO can become a member of CCRDA so long as it fulfills certain criteria (see folder for details).
Though they vary in their organization, activities and scope of intervention, all CCRDA members envision a society where human dignity, justice, peace and equality prevail and needs are satisfied.
CCRDA functions as a support providing NGO umbrella. Unlike other NGOs operating in Ethiopia, it does not implement any kind of program; but rather provides technical, financial and material support to development projects of members and partners.
Access facilitation & mandated resource management: CCRDA used to complement the efforts of its members in the area of relief, rehabilitation and development by mobilizing funds from church based and other funding agencies. However, as a result of its strategic planning exercise, it has decided to separate the funding activity from its core business by establishing the Program Development and Management Core Team (PDMCT) and an independent fund approval committee consisting of members and non-members of CCRDA.
Project funding under the delegated resources focuses on relatively bigger and sustainable projects instead of micro ones; with a view to inducing grater impacts on development initiatives. To this end, CCRDA secures delegated funds from different donor agencies with specific grant titles to be spent on competitive bases.
This scheme is open for all NGOs/CSOs in Ethiopia, members or non-members of CCRDA, and is publicly announced for proposal submission.
Program and institutional support as capacity building: As CCRDA’s members move from relief-related activities towards long-term interventions such as sustainable development and good governance and lobbying, the need of these members for greater capacity in organizational development, leadership, constituency building and mainstreaming cross-cutting issues has become apparent. As they become engaged in policy issues greater capacity in good governance/lobbying and how to handle sensitive issues is also required. CCRDA seeks to meet these needs of its members through a variety of capacity building initiatives focusing on the above areas as well as on internal control mechanisms, and ethics to ensure effectiveness, transparency and credibility in all operations of member NGOs/CSOs.
Capacity building support of CCRDA is provided on the basis of members’ needs by assessing institutional and program capacity gap. Such supports would lessen when members are able to mobilize their own resources and design and run development projects independently in an efficient and effective manner.
Information exchange: CCRDA promotes information sharing and exchange of experiences in different ways such as:
- Sectoral and thematic Forums are established with members participation.
- Databases are developed as a means of generating a range of information.
- A Resource Center and Cyber Café are maintained.
- Studies on issues believed to be pertinent to CCRDA members’ endeavors are commissioned and findings disseminated.
- Regular and occasional publications are produced on various matters.
- Promotional events are organized.
Policy matters and Dialogue: CCRDA serves as a focal point for dialogue among and between members, the government and other development partners on policy issues. It also endeavors to familiarize its members with key national and international policy papers and actions (to articulate the role and contribution of NGOs in the implementation of such policies. )
CCRDA, thus, serves as an promoter on behalf of its membership on such issues and also on matters of common concern
Networking and membership: through these various functions, CCRDA promotes and encourages networking among its membership. It aims to build a common voice, which is vibrant enough to influence and bring changes. It works to bring common agenda of the membership to the fore to strengthen networking among all.