These components will be implemented concurrently with the institutional grant program provided under the program and will complement each other.
- Mentorship Program for Institutional Development
- Mentorship Program for Gender Equality Mainstreaming (GEMI)
Mentorship Program for Institutional Development
Primary Goal of Institutional Mentorship Program
Primary goal of institutional mentorship program is to build institutional capacity of program beneficiary CSOs and provide regular and systematic application of institutional capacity building process by turning it into an institution culture. By this way, it is aimed to make CSO included institutional development process sustainable and continue creating benefit and effect with an increasing line.
BİRLİKTE Mentorship Program is structured as providing one-to-one support to CSOs which are program beneficiaries by 5 mentors full time for 2 years. Mentors are guiding CSOs they are working with in their institutional development process. They are providing and facilitating a structured and long-term technical support for empowering institutional structure of organizations, increasing their institutional sustainability and ability of creating change, providing the targeted management fulfillment.
CSOs participating in the program work with a mentor from the program team as part of the institutional development program. Mentors will provide the necessary support to the CSOs they work with throughout the program, monitor their progress according to the development plan, and act as facilitators throughout the process.
Mentoring support aims to strengthen the institutional structures of CSOs, contribute to the development of the skills and capabilities of staff and administrators, and promote the institutional sustainability and impact capacities of beneficiaries.
In addition, the mentorship program provides CSOs with various tools and resources to guide them throughout the institutional development process and to provide information and methods.
CSO Institutional Development Model in Institutional Mentorship Program
Institutional mentoring under the BİRLİKTE Institutional Support Program is based on an institutional capacity building process using the CSO institutional development model developed under the program. CSO institutional development model is based on the cycle of a management model that will create a frame for capacity building of CSOs, 5 fundamental principles that will guide organizations throughout management and improvement processes, regular monitoring of internal and external stakeholder satisfaction, monitoring and evaluating planning and application processes periodically and planning and application of new improvements.
Final version of management model that creates the frame of institutional development model is created after evaluating and discussing various management model and systems by experienced experts both in civil field and management models and then adapting them according to needs of BİRLİKTE program and civil society, at the end of a 5 months period.
This management model created includes seven organizational management components included in planning and application processes of a CSO (governance and decision making, strategic planning, staff and volunteers, cooperation, partnerships and networks, resources, work field and communication) and three organizational management components in measurement and improvement processes (satisfaction of beneficiary/target group, staff and volunteer satisfaction and activity, process, project results).
Management model takes these ten organizational management elements as a systematical unity and proposes a series of management standards for every element. These standards guide organizations for complying with transparency, participation, accountability, creating benefit and sustainability principles which are recommended to take as a base in both planning and application and evaluating the results and assessments.
These five fundamental principles of institutional development model can be summarized below:
- Transparency: Disclosure of the decision-making process and related information to stakeholders.
- Participation: Providing the participation of all stakeholders to the decision-making mechanism of the CSO with determined methods, and participation of CSOs to the decision mechanisms and processes in the areas they work in.
- Creating benefit: Creating an effect of awareness and transformation in the field the CSO work in.
- Accountability: The CSO can answer the related parties about the proper usage of the resources and authorities of it.
- Sustainability: The CSO creating the assets and managerial capacity that it can sustain its existence upon. In addition to the sustainability of the CSO itself, it means also contributing to the sustainability of the world and society in economic, social and environmental terms.
CSO institutional development model provides creating awareness about knowing the relationship and permeability between different management components with an integrated perspective on the organization, and considering planning-application-measure and improvement process and institutional development in a circular way to make them sustainable.
Basic steps of institutional capacity building process conducted in organizations as to this model and with the help of mentors are as such:
- Determining current situation for the institutional capacity of the organization as to the management model formed by the organization (see self-assessment),
- Determining targets and organizational pathways for institutional development as to the primary needs,
- Experience of learning together aimed to realize the objectives with mentors accompanying,
- Re-evaluation of the current situation and re-planning together at the end of application periods for a year,
- Regular meetings with other BİRLİKTE beneficiaries for peer learning and extending good examples (CSO-CSO meetings within the scope of BİRLİKTE Network),
- Workshops/trainings structured in parallel with the needs of institutional capacity development
BİRLİKTE Institutional Support Program, by making this institutional development process a part of organization culture in the organizations, aims to transform this into a long-term organizational practice.
Self-Assessment and Improvements
The first step of institutional capacity development is the self-assessment study, which is conducted under the guidance of mentors and on the topics included in the CSO Institutional Development Model that we developed during the previous implementation period. The main purpose of the self-assessment is to assess the current situation of the organizations using a structured tool at the beginning of the institutional development process, to ask and discuss critical questions, and to develop awareness of the current situation and needs.
Self-assessment study is conducted at the beginning of each implementation year under the guidance of the program mentors and using the self-assessment tool we developed in a participatory manner. Participation of various people from different positions of CSO and related with the topic discussed are provided. By this way, it is aimed to represent opinion variety in the CSO as many as possible in the self-assessment and reflect different perspectives to the study.
Mentoring and Institutional Development Experience in the First Implementation Period of BİRLİKTE
Every self-assessment of BİRLİKTE Mentorship Program made in the first application year lasted for 2 days. Self-assessment teams, for 2 days, evaluated themselves about ten management elements listed under planning/application and measurement/improvement processes included in CSO Institutional Development Model with the facilitation of mentors. They wrote their strong points and improvement potential by mirroring themselves and graded the current situation of the institutional systems in mentioned areas. Then they prioritized their improvement potential and prepared their institutional development plan to be followed for the first year of the mentorship program and prepared their self-assessment report.
For a year, 5 mentors paid 210 visits in total to the 42 CSOs and facilitated their self-assessment and improvements applied after that. The facilitation for improvement studies was not limited with face-to-face studies; one-to-one support was provided via e-mail, phone and video calls to the CSOs for facilitation of the improvements planned for institutional development. During this process, related modules and templates were provided as resources for creating institutional systems under every management element included in institutional development model to guide the organizations.
At the end of the first year of application, with the help of mentors, 22 studies were completed on strategic planning, 20 on stakeholder analysis, 16 on governance and decision-making procedures, 15 on financial procedures, 15 on resource development, 12 on volunteer management, and 2 on information management. At the end of the first year, 42 CSOs had implemented 51% of the improvements identified in the improvement plan.
The institutional relationship between program beneficiary CSOs in scope of mentorship program and in a wider sense, Birlikte Institutional Support Program is built on a journey of friendship based on mutual trust and cooperation. In this sense, a culture is formed between program mentors and program beneficiary CSOs which goes beyond following reports and monitoring outcomes, proceeding on the road by seeking for solutions together, broad-based cooperation and having a friendship on the road with a common sense.
BİRLİKTE Support Program Team that makes participation principle its foundation and experience the whole mentorship process as a friendship on the road and learning together, certainly go back on BİRLİKTE program beneficiary CSOs in every stage, before and after every activity organized for organizations, and while seeking for solution to even every unexpected situation, ask for their opinions and recommendations. We try to reflect these recommendations into the application processes. Thus, the most effective and creative methods have the chance to be applied. BİRLİKTE Program proceeds in its way by building the transformation it aimed with all the friends on the road it cooperated and desired to contribute to the improvement of them.
Mentorship Program for Gender Equality Mainstreaming
Gender equality is a civil society goal in terms of freedom, democratization, and development, as well as being one of the conditions for civil society organizations to implement their principles such as rights-based, participation, inclusiveness, and sustainability. Gender equality mainstreaming will be one of the important aspects of organizational capacity development program and the overall operations of the action. All processes and activities in the BİRLİKTE Program will be planned and implemented in line with the goal of mainstreaming gender equality.
In its most general definition, gender mainstreaming is the inclusion of a gender equality perspective in all policies, programs, and projects, and the dissemination of this perspective in all fields and at all levels. Gender mainstreaming is a transformative process for a civil society organization that includes acting by considering gender relations, diversity, and inequality in terms of politics, program, project, activity, institutional structure, mechanisms, processes, resources, data, and communication with the stakeholders. Birlikte Program aims to support civil society organizations in this transformative process with program-specific mechanisms, activities, tools, resources, as well as a gender expert.
The gender mainstreaming process works as follows;
- Evaluation of CSO’s gender mainstreaming perspective and applications in the self-assessment sessions,
- Preparation of an evaluation report by the gender expert within the framework of the information obtained in the self-assessment session, and sharing it with the organization,
- Preparation of gender mainstreaming plan as part of the CSO’s improvement plan, together with the CSO,
- Reviewing the developments regarding the implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of the gender mainstreaming plan with the CSO,
- Providing expert support during the gender mainstreaming process, if needed.
In parallel with this process, a “Gender Mainstreaming Initiative” will be established on the basis of voluntary participation of organizations in order to develop a common understanding of gender equality and disseminate good practices. The Gender Mainstreaming Initiative will review current practices and evaluate opportunities for improvement, and possible joint action at regular meetings.