The APN’s update outlines the progress in implementing the Giving for Change (GfC) Program that covers the period from 11th January to 31st March 2021. During this period, we have recorded a number of successes, faced some challenges, and have had to endure the COVID-19 pandemic.  We have embarked on the second quarter of the program year, and we hope to achieve more concrete results compared to the first one.

 

  1. Context

The operating context remains unchanged.

  • COVID – 19 has created challenges on the startup and implementation, but the impacts are not uniform across countries. Some countries are undergoing stiff COVID- 19 preventive measures including total lockdown.

 

  • APN as other consortium partners and national anchor institutions (NAIs) continue to implement their activities including the GfC program in the context where anti-CSOs laws are operational. Through derogatory laws, governments exert control over CSO’s space leading to silencing critical voices. Adaptability and collaboration with communities and national stakeholders will facilitate the ownership and effective implementation of the Program.

 

  1. Key results

APN is proud of the fact that the created framework and terms of references (ToRs) for conducting the legal assessment study were adopted by NAIs in all 8 program countries. The assessment is focusing on 5 areas: Registration, Taxation, Fundraising, Oversight, and Policy engagement.  Other recorded successes are listed below:

 

Program implementation

  • Introduced the GfC program to APN membership and other partners.
  • Re-introduced the Theory of Change of the Program, with a specific focus on domain 2 to all 8 NAIs.
  • Signed contract with consultants to carry out the assessment of legal environment for CSOs and philanthropy support organizations in 3 countries: Uganda, Brazil, and Burkina Faso. NAIs are managing the work of the consultants.
  • Collaborate with Center for African Philanthropy at WITS university in South Africa, and other pan-African organizations to organize a conference that shall include community philanthropy discussions on August 3-5, 2021.

Institution capacity to implement

  • Recruited and allocated the time of 5 staff to the Program (Executive Director, Director of Coordinator, Program MEL, Communications, and the Accountant.
  • Acquired working tools: Lenovo YOGA laptops, an Epson digital printer, and a TV screen as part of conference equipment. Other Video conference equipment’s
  1. Challenges faced

COVID 19 pandemic had implicated our ease of commencement and also necessitated the need to amend our 2021 work plan.  APN, like all other partners, had to cancel all activities which were planned to take place in person and embark on virtual means of activity implementation. This has the potential to delay the planned in-country awareness, ownership, and partnership-building activities.

The value of in-person communication cannot be overemphasized. We need to rely on effective planning with NAIs for these objectives under the COVID context.

  1. Lessons learned
  • Good coordination and leadership of the program are commendable.
  • Participatory approaches and flexibility to engaging partners, i.e., peer learning is key to building a strong team and community that is committed to delivering the TOC.
  • Partners are eager to learn from each other and to share their experiences.
  • Shrinking space for civil society in the global south is real and it needs deliberate attention.
  1. A question to discuss
  • A better understanding of what has worked with similar initiatives on program countries.
  1. Other things you would like to share

None for now