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.
BIRLIKTE Mentorship Program is structured as providing one-to-one support to 42 CSO 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.
In addition, in scope of mentorship program, various tools and resources are provided for guiding CSOs throughout institutional development process and providing information and method.
CSO Institutional Development Model in Institutional Mentorship Program
Institutional mentorship support is based on institutional capacity building process applied by taking mentorship support provided in scope of BIRLIKTE program as a model. 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 shareholder 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 BIRLIKTE program and civil society, at the end of a 5 months period. This management model created includes seven organizational management component included in planning and application processes of an CSO (governance and decision making, strategic planning, staff and volunteers, cooperation, partnerships and networks, resources, work field and communication) and three organizational management component in measurement and improvement processes (satisfaction of beneficiary/target group, staff and volunteer satisfaction and activity, process, project results). Management model takes this ten organizational management elements as a systematical unity and proposes a series of management standards for every element. This 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: Making decision taking process and related information open to the shareholders.
- Participation: Providing the participation of all shareholders to the decision taking 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-evaluation),
- 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 BIRLIKTE beneficiaries for peer learning and extending good examples (CSO-CSO meetings)
- Workshops/trainings structured in parallel with the needs of institutional capacity development
BIRLIKTE 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-Evaluation and Improvements
During BIRLIKTE Mentorship Program, 42 CSOs make self-evaluation at every application year by using self-evaluation tool designed by STGM with the facilitation of mentors. Self-evaluation study is made with a participatory method. 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-evaluation and reflect different perspectives to the study.
Every self-evaluation of BIRLIKTE Mentorship Program made in the first application year lasted for 2 days. Self-evaluation 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 to be followed for the first year of the mentorship program and prepared their self-evaluation report.
For a year, 5 mentor paid 210 visits in total to the 42 CSOs and facilitated their self-evaluation 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 improvement model to guide the organizations.
At the end of first application year, 22 strategic planning, 20 shareholder analysis, 16 governance and decision making procedures, 15 finance procedure, 15 resource development, 12 volunteer management procedure and 2 information management procedure studies were organized with the facilitation of the mentors. Thus, at the end of first year, 42 CSOs actualized 51% of improvements included in improvement plan.
The institutional relationship between program beneficiary CSOs in scope of Mentorship program and in a wider sense, Birlikte Support Program and STGM 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.
BIRLIKTE 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 BIRLIKTE 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. They try to reflect these recommendations into the application processes. Thus, the most effective and mostly creative methods have the chance to be applied. BIRLIKTE 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.