War Child co-operates with the local population and with local organisations in all its programmes. The more people and organisations are involved in an aid programme, the more support it has and the longer the effect of the programme will last. Moreover the programmes thus correspond to the needs of the population and local capacity can be built.
Programme implemented by War Child or by a partner organisation
War Child prefers aid programmes to be implemented by local partner organisations (mainly aid organisations, but also youth organisations and local authorities). These are officially registered organisations that have a reasonable standard of management, finances and psychosocial aid or that can be made reasonable. In some cases, War Child prefers well-organised partners, so that many children can effectively be reached, while in others, War Child prefers organisations that still have the possibility to grow, so that with the support of War Child they can further build their capacity.
Capacity enhancement of local organisations
War Child supports local organisations in building their capacity in six organisational areas: human resource management, finance and administration, fundraising, planning, monitoring and evaluation, ICT and logistics, and security. On top of that War Child aims to promote their programmatic capacity by helping to develop programme proposals and setting programme goals and targets. Finally, we assess together how the organisation fits in with other (local) organisations and authorities
Programmes implemented by War Child
In (post) war areas, frequently no adequate local aid organisations have been established. War Child starts up a temporary programme itself. The programmes in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Sierra Leone and Sudan started in this way, but are increasing implemented by partner organisations. Local organisations complement War Child programmes with their activities or adopt, if possible, parts of them. In the programmes that War Child implements itself, it involves the community as its main partner and trains volunteers, youth leaders, local aid workers and teachers. In this way a lasting contribution is assured and no expertise is lost when the War Child programme is terminated.
The War Child field offices develop their own programme strategies within the general framework of War Child policy and have, for instance, joint responsibility for fundraising in the project countries.
Kinds of partner
International organisations all have their own definition of the concept of ‘partner’. In 2007, War Child wrote the paper Partnerships in Post-Conflict Areas, in which the state of the art of partnerships in (former) conflict areas is defined. This document has been used to underline and develop War Child’s partnership policy. In 2007, War Child participated in the Partnership Peer Review in Humanitarian Crises in co-operation with Oxfam-Novib, Cordaid, ICCO-Kerk in Actie, the Dutch Red Cross, PSO and the University of Wageningen. This joint research has brought to light several new insights into how international and local organisations can and have to co-operate. The results will be presented in a publication and a conference in 2008.
Which local partner is going to implement the programme?
When good local partners are present in a region, War Child requests project proposals from potential partners. The quality of the submitted proposals is evaluated (the strategy, objectives and psychosocial expertise, among other things) and also the quality of the partner organisation itself (among other things management and financial structure). On top of that War Child weighs the following criteria:
Alignment of partner programme and the strategy and objective of War Child;
- Expertise of the partner complementary to the aid of War Child (for instance in the field of nutrition, health care or education);
- Level of the programme;
- Location: active conflict area or a relatively quiet region;
- Target group: for instance street children, former child soldiers, child refugees;
- Fundraising capacity;
- Size: a large well-established organisation or a small, starting one.