Voluntary Developmental Groups: Initiatives for Partnership

The project titled “Voluntary Developmental Groups: Initiatives for Partnership” that was launched by the Arab Network for NGOs in 2008 refers to a comprehensive package aiming at strengthening the capacity building of Arab Civil Society Organizations in confronting the challenges of development on top of which comes the fight against poverty.  This project is implemented through an approach based on networking and alliance building between groups of developmental NGOs in each country conducting their activities under the umbrella of a big supportive organization working in the field of development.  The ultimate target is to create groups including from 10 to 15 developmental organizations, capable of conducting comprehensive initiatives meeting the challenges of development through collective work and mutual cooperation.

The implementation of the project begins with Egypt, Lebanon and Sudan in order to present a distinguished developmental model that could be replicated in a further phase in additional Arab countries identified as Morocco and Yemen.

I.      Objectives of the Project

1.     Operate a qualitative change in the activities of the Arab Network for NGOs in terms of supporting projects concerned with the fight against poverty conducted by an alliance of NGOs encouraged to coordinate their efforts, distribute roles and responsibilities among themselves, and taking advantage of the diverse potentials each one of these organizations holds.

2.     Stress the importance of strategic planning for projects involved in the fight against poverty that should focus on a single main target.

3.     Adopt a comprehensive approach to tackle one of the issues related to development through achieving a comprehensive enhancement of the status of poor households in specific local communities.

4.     Build the capacities of partner organizations in the project in parallel to the implementation of the project’s other activities in order to develop cohesion between the enhanced capacities of implementing organizations and the projects conducted on the base of collective efforts.

II.   Expected outputs

1.     Achieving specific measurable outcomes in the context of fighting against poverty and promoting the status of the poorest households.

2.     Building alliances among NGOs with a special focus on the importance of having a supportive organization playing a major role in coordination, monitoring implementation, and following up financial matters.

3.     Documenting the diverse experiences and expertise through the publication of booklets, and the production of documentary films and pictures.

4.     Holding a final conference to discuss the outcomes of the various developmental groups with the participation of representatives of the target beneficiaries.

III.                     Donors of the project

It is worth mentioning that this comprehensive developmental program could not have been implemented without the support granted by important donors who believe in the importance of the idea as well as in the capability of the Arab Network for NGOs to implement and manage the project in cooperation with the involved NGOs in the various Arab countries.

Actually, OPEC Fund for Development has offered a grant amounting to half million US dollars upon submission of a project proposal.  Similarly, the Kuwaiti Fund of Socio-Economic Development has contributed with 75 thousand Kuwaiti dinars in order to achieve the implementation of the project.

Finally, we would like to express all our gratitude and appreciation to these institutions which had faith in the importance of the project and in the capability of the Arab Network for NGOs to implement and manage the project in cooperation with the developmental NGOs in the various Arab countries.