SDS Consulting is skilled in assisting organizations in assessing the critical elements for effective organizational management and identifying those areas that need strengthening or further development.
B. WHAT IS ORGANISATIONAL CAPACITY ASSESSMENT(OCA)?
The OCA is an interactive assessment process that brings together staff from all departments at implementing organizations. The value of the OCA is in its collaborative process which offers organisations a chance to reflect on their status against recognized best practices. It is also an opportunity for management, administration, and staff to learn about each component, strengthening the team and reinforcing the inter-relatedness of the six OCA components.
C. PURPOSE OF AN OCA PROCESS
The OCA process enables organisations define a capacity-building improvement plan, based on gaps identified. This OCA process includes a set of criteria that assess their current management capacity to achieve strategic goals and identify key areas that need strengthening. SDS Consulting works with organisations on multi-level and multi-department levels where inclusion of management, compliance, and program components ensure a holistic understanding of the organization’s strengths and challenges.
D. OCA SIX COMPONENTS
We facilitate the OCA process through a set of six components, each component has several sub-areas. Below is a brief discission of the seven components.
Component 1: Governance
The goal of the governance component is to assess the clarity of the organization’s motivation, purpose, and stability by reviewing its guiding principles, structure, and oversight mechanisms. Some of the sub areas assessed under this component are: –
• Vision, Mission and Values.
It is important for organisations to articulate and what drives them to create a sense of shared ownership and common commitment to activities.
• Legal Status.
Legal registration, according to the laws of the country, as well as careful adherence to relevant tax and labor laws, enables organisation gain recognition and implement activities accountably.
• Advisory Board.
Advisory boards whose members are committed to the organisation and bring relevant knowledge and experience, provide guidance, support, and oversight to the organisation’s staff and operations.
• Leadership and Succession Plan.
Over-reliance on a single person, such as the executive director (ED) or founder puts an organization at risk of failing in the absence of that person.
Component 2: Administration
Under this section, we assess the organisation’s capacity to develop and use key policies, procedures, and systems to manage its general operations and functions. Some of the sub-areas we look at are: –
• Organisational Structure.
We work with our clients to ensure that their structures are in line with the organisation’s mission, goals, and values. We also support creation of systems bring about coordination among departments and functions.
• Operational Policies, Procedures and Systems.
SDS gives clear guidance for organisational operational procedures to enable better adherence to organisation’s rules and regulations.
• Filing and Information Systems.
It is important for an organisation to have an efficient and functional information system that provides efficient support to operations and adherence to the strategic goals and objectives.
Component 3. Human Resources.
SDS assesses the organisation’s ability to maintain a satisfied and skilled
staff/volunteer workforce including management of operations and staff to efficient and effective implementation of activities. Some of the sub-areas we look at under this component are: –
• Staffing (Levels, Hiring and Retention).
We believe that Organisations with equitable and consistently applied human resources policies that address salary, recruitment, and retention can more effectively maintain appropriately skilled personnel, including both paid staff and volunteers.
• Job Descriptions and Staff Supervision.
Appropriate job descriptions (JDs) ensure that staff roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and
understood and help supervisors review and improve performance against expectations.
• Personnel Policies.
It is important for an organisation to have personnel policies which should be well communicated to all staff in all levels. This will govern staff, volunteers, and other organisational representatives on expected conducts, ethics, and mannerisms.
• Compensation (Stipends, Salaries and Benefits).
Fair and equitable distribution of stipends, salaries, and benefits can improve staff retention and morale.
Component 4: Financial Management.
SDS Consulting assesses the quality of a client’s financial system and policies
and procedures and the staff’s knowledge of the system. Some of the sub-areas under this component are: –
• Financial Policies and Procedures.
An organisation should have clear, well-documented policies and procedures for financial management that are
understood and used by staff members. This allows the organisation to function transparently and promotes integrity and accountability.
• Internal Controls.
Strong internal controls such as petty cash management, payments approvals and periodic preparation of financial reports help organisations safeguard assets, manage internal risks, and ensure accurate and reliable financial accounting and reporting.
• Financial Documentation and Reporting.
Keeping accurate and up-to-date financial records enables an organization to track resources,
monitor its financial status, and prepare accurate financial reports for donors, stakeholders, and auditors in a timely fashion.
• Financial Planning and Sustainability.
Financial planning and monitoring should align with strategic planning and monitoring to enables an organisation implement planned activities and demonstrate accountability to resource providers.
Component 5: Organisational Management.
We work with clients to assess the organisation’s planning, management of external relations, means of identifying and capitalizing on new resources, and decision-making policies. Some of the sub-areas under this component are: –
• Strategic and Operational Plan.
Having a strategic plan helps an organisation realize its mission and goals with a shared vision, long-term and costed plan, and annual operational plans.
• Resource Mobilisation.
Resource mobilization plans that tie to the strategic plan’s budget enables the organization to prioritize strategies for identifying and approaching appropriate donors.
• Communication Strategy.
Documentation and Reporting. Having policies on documentation and reporting enables the organisation to build institutional memory. Disseminating factual and analytical reporting contributes to building a reputation that can attract donors and partners, especially when recognized branding is used.
• Internal Communication and Decision Making.
How an organization sets up processes and structures for open communication and decision-making
impacts motivation, innovation, and ownership.
• Stakeholder Involvement.
Identifying and nurturing relationships with relevant stakeholders can facilitate program coordination, partnering, and resource sharing.
• Knowledge Management.
Systems for sharing knowledge, technical expertise, and best practices among staff leads to efficient adaptation of new practices, stronger programs, and more competent staff.
Component 6: Programme Management.
SDS assesses the organisation’s ability to provide comprehensive programs that meet
beneficiaries’ needs, involve the community in design and implementation, define and use standards, and monitor performance. Some of the sub-areas under this component are: –
• Project Implementation.
We support our clients create detailed plans with objectives, targets, indicators, activities, and a timeline as well as appropriate staffing, budgeting, and continual monitoring. This assists the client to easily implement, monitor, and revise implemented projects.
• Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) and Quality Assurance (Q&A).
In collaboration with our clients, we create tools and systems of collecting, analyzing, and reviewing data on project activities and beneficiaries. This allows the client to identify strengths and gaps and review whether they are achieving targets.