Services

Organisational Capacity Assessments

CERFODES conducts comprehensive organizational capacity assessments in the following capacity areas

Calendar

a) Governance and Legal Structure

We review an organization’s vision and mission statements, legal registration and compliance, organizational structure, board composition and responsibility, and succession planning.

Vision and Mission

Vision
and Mission

We assess the clarity of an organization’s statements of its purpose and values and how they have been shared and applied.

Legal Requirements and Status

Legal Requirements and Status

We determine an organization’s legal registration and compliance with national and local laws.

Organizational Structure

Organizational
Structure

We assess whether an organizational structure is appropriate.

Board Composition and Responsibility

Board Composition and Responsibility

We assess the board’s composition, terms of reference, procedures and oversight.

Succession Planning

Succession
Planning

We assess an organization’s ability to continue smooth operations and program management in the event of a loss or change in leadership.

b) Financial Management and Internal Control Systems

We review financial management systems, financial controls, financial documentation, financial statements and financial reporting, audit experience, and cost sharing capacity.

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  • Budgeting: An organisation’s ability to budget and plan financial resources.
  • Accounting System: An organisation’s ability to record and report revenues and expenditures in an accurate and timely manner.
  • Internal Controls (Checks and Balances and Segregation of Duties): Whether there are adequate internal controls to safeguard funds and check the accuracy and reliability of accounting data.
  • Bank Account Management: Whether bank accounts properly separate donor and project funds and personal funds and bank records are properly reconciled and reviewed.
  • Financial Documentation (Financial Records and Filing): Whether an organization has a routine reporting system for financial information and is able to meet various donors’ financial reporting requirements.
  • Financial Statements and Reporting: The policies, procedures, and practices for generating financial statements that meet the needs of an organization and comply with government and donor financial reporting requirements.
  • Audit Experience: Whether an organization undergoes routine audits and has a system for addressing audit findings. This review also includes assessing whether existing audit practices meet various donors’ requirements.
  • Cost Sharing: Whether an organization has systems to track, report, and document cost sharing and meet the cost sharing requirement in their agreements with various donors’ regulations.

c) Administration and Procurement Systems

We review operational policies, procedures, and systems, including those for travel, procurement, fixed asset control, and branding and marking as well as management and the degree of management and staff understanding and compliance with these policies, procedures, and systems.

Operating Policies, Procedures, and Systems

Operating Policies, Procedures, and Systems

The soundness of operating policies and procedures and the degree of staff understanding and compliance.

Information Technology

Information Technology

The soundness of IT policies and procedures and systems and staff compliance.

Travel Policies and Procedures

Travel Policies and Procedures

The soundness of travel policies and procedures and degree of staff understanding and compliance.

Procurement

Procurement

The soundness of procurement policies and procedures and degree of staff understanding and compliance.

Fixed Asset Management

Fixed Asset Management (Property, Plant and Equipment)

The soundness of policies and procedures for fixed assets management and degree of staff understanding and compliance.

Branding and Marketing

Branding and Marketing

Compliance with the branding and marking requirements of Government and Development Partners, where applicable.

We assess the quality of staff job descriptions, recruitment and retention approaches, staffing levels, personnel policies, the staff time management and payroll system, staff and consultant history documentation, the staff salary and benefits policy, staff performance management, staff diversity, and the policy on volunteers and interns to determine whether an organization can maintain a satisfied and skilled workforce, manage operations, and implement quality programs.

 

Specifically, we undertake the following:

  • Adequacy of Staffing and Job Descriptions: We review an organization’s systems for recruiting qualified staff, structuring staff positions, and developing and updating job descriptions to ensure that roles and responsibilities are clearly defined, understood, and relevant.
  • Recruitment and Retention: We assess an organization’s systems for recruiting and retaining staff.
  • Personnel Policies: We assess whether an organization’s personnel policies conform to good practices, government regulatory and donor requirements.
  • Staff Time Management and Payrolls: We assess whether an organization has a well-documented payroll system based on accurate timesheets that are signed and approved and reflect hours spent on each project and indirect activities.
  • Staff and Consultant History: We assess whether an organization’s record-keeping on staff and consultants provides the information needed for effective management, submission of timely and effective proposals, and addressing legal disputes.
  • Staff Salaries and Benefits: We assess whether an organization’s practices on salaries and benefits conform to good practices, government regulatory and legal and donor requirements.
  • Staff and Contractor Supervision and Work Planning: We assess the clarity of supervisory responsibilities and staff and contractor work planning.

We assess an organization’s experience with donor compliance, sub-award management, technical reporting, stakeholder involvement, and addressing culture and gender issues.

Specifically, we undertake the following:

  • Donor Compliance Requirements: We assess an organization’s capacity to comply with complex donor requirements so that funded programs can continue to operate, and the organization will remain eligible for future support.
  • Sub-Award (Sub-Grant and Sub-Contract) Management: We review systems and procedures for awarding, managing, and supervising sub-grants and sub-contracts to other organizations.
  • Technical Reporting: We assess an organization’s ability to document activities and results for effective implementation, planning, and program development as well as reporting to donors.
  • Stakeholder Involvement: We assess whether an organization is responsive to stakeholder needs and seeks input from clients (beneficiaries) in designing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating projects.
  • Culture and Gender Issues: We assess an organization’s ability to address culture and gender issues in its strategies and project design and implementation.

We assess an organization’s ability to monitor and evaluate projects, implement high-quality programs that meet recognized standards, supervise staff, and provide field support and oversight.

Specifically, we undertake the following

  1. Monitoring and Quality Assurance: We review an organization’s ability to carry out regular, internal monitoring of project input use, activities, and outputs.
  2. Project and Program Evaluation: We review an organization’s ability to conduct objective internal evaluations of project strategies, approaches, outcomes and impacts or to organize, manage, and use external evaluations.
  3. Service Delivery Standards: We determine whether an organization has adopted any recognized standards for service delivery and has the ability to apply and monitor the standards.
  4. Field Support, Operations, and Oversight: We assess an organization’s systems for management and oversight of field offices and operations.
  5. Project Performance: We assess an organization’s ability to carry out its programs efficiently, effectively, and sustainably.

We assess an organization’s ability to do effective strategic planning, use annual workplans, manage change; generate and share knowledge and develop linkages, achieve financial sustainability; and foster effective internal communications and decision making.

Specifically, we undertake the following:

  1. Strategic Planning (Business Planning): We assess an organization’s ability to review its organizational strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats; the external environment and competition; and stakeholder needs in preparing and using an effective strategic plan (business plan).
  2. Annual Workplans: We assess an organization’s ability to prepare, follow, and monitor annual workplans containing goals, measurable objectives, strategies, timelines, and responsibilities.
  3. Change Management: We assess an organization’s ability to respond to change in the internal and external environment.
  4. Knowledge Management and External Linkages: We assess an organization’s ability to identify good practices and lessons learned, develop linkages with other organizations and networks to improve the enabling environment, plan sector strategies and approaches, and share knowledge internally and externally.
  5. Fundraising and New Business Development: We assess an organization’s progress toward financial sustainability by reviewing its ability to identify and obtain funding.
  6. Internal Communications and Decision Making (within the organization): We assess the effectiveness of an organization’s internal communications within and across departments or functions and the decision-making process.
  7. External Communications: We assess the effectiveness of the organization’s external communications (media, general public, government, donors, private sector, and civil society organizations).
  8. Advocacy and Influence: We assess the strategies and effectiveness of an organization’s work on advocacy of policies and issues.

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