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NASCOH Annual Report for Year Ending March 2009

nascoh October 28, 2013

 

    1. Programme Identification Details 

 

 

GTF Number 88

 

Short Title of Programme Enfranchising People With Disabilities to exercise their constitutional right to vote and facilitating their inclusion in governance systems.
Name of Lead Institution National Association of Societies for the Care of the Handicapped (NASCOH)

 

Start date   12/11/2008

 

End date:  31/12/2013

 

Amount of DFID Funding:  GBP3 000 000 (Three Million pounds)

 

Brief Summary of Programme:  A five year programme seeking to secure the  inclusion of people with disabilities (PWDs) in  Zimbabwe’s governance systems through their participation in all elections, run for local and parliamentary elections in their respective constituencies, advocating for  polling stations accessibility to people with disabilities (PWDs) and are able to vote secretly and independently. The programme aims at ensuring proportional representation of PWDs in parliament and other decision making bodies, a quota system in employment, lobby for the creation of a disability ministry, enactment and implementation of conducive disability legislation by the government. At the moment PWDs do not vote, and are apprehensive about the indignity of being assisted by a stranger.

 

 

List all countries where activities have taken or will take place Zimbabwe
List all implementing partners in each country  Disabled Women Support Organisation (DWSO)

Jairos Jiri Association (JJA)

Zimbabwe National Association of the Deaf (ZIMNAD)

Zimbabwe Association of Visually Impaired (ZAVH)

Zimbabwe National Association for Mental Health (ZINAMH)

Zimbabwe National League of the Blind (ZNLB)

Zimbabwe Parents of Handicapped children Association (ZPHCA)

Target groups- wider  beneficiaries People with Disabilities in Zimbabwe
Lead Contact Mr Farai Mukuta

14 Boundary Road

Highlands Harare

Tel +263 4  2900041

Mobile + 263 11 862272

email nascoh@zol.zw or fgmukuta@gmail.com

Person who prepared this report 

(if different from Lead Contact)

Disability Technical Advisor, Innocent Fambaineni Magweva

 

2. List of Acronyms

DFID (UK Government) Department for International Development

DWSO Disabled Women Support Organisation

GTF Governance and Transparency Fund

JJA Jairos Jiri Association

M&E Monitoring and Evaluation

MOU Memorandum of Understanding

MOV Means of Verification

MP Member of Parliament

NASCOH National Association of Societies for Care of the Handicapped

PWDs People with Disabilities

RAMs Rapid Appraisal Methods

WGI Worldwide Governance Indicators

ZEC Zimbabwe Electoral Commission

ZESN Zimbabwe Election Support Network

ZIMNAD Zimbabwe National Association of the Deaf

ZAVH Zimbabwe Association of Visually Impaired

ZINAMH Zimbabwe National Association for Mental Health

ZNLB Zimbabwe National League of the Blind

ZPHCA Zimbabwe Parents of Handicapped children Association

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Executive Summary 

The major efforts of the consortium during the period under review were directed towards laying the groundwork for the implementation of the programme, a process which was complicated by the varying levels of capacity within the seven sub grantees, necessitating organisation-specific capacity building endeavours by NASCOH in order to bring the sub grantees to function on a more or less even footing.

Major activities during this period under review were a planning workshop with six of the seven sub grantees in Harare, pre-grant award assessment of the seven sub grantees, and some capacity building activities with the sub grantees and the hand holding exercise for the National Association of Societies for the Care of the Handicapped (NASCOH) by the consultants that had been contracted to lead NASCOH through this delicate hand-holding process, Delloitte and Touche.

The planning workshop was meant to establish sub grantee readiness for implementation of the programme; synchronise programmatic activities; agree on a programme implementation and monitoring plan; and pace sub grantees through the programme compliance documents. After the planning workshop NASCOH conducted organizational capacity assessments to determine capacity gaps among the sub-grantees.  The pre grant award assessment revealed that most of the organisations had weak governance and financial systems and had insufficient capacity to implement the governance and transparency fund (GTF) programme.

NASCOH has since facilitated the hiring of competent financial and programme staff among the sub grantees where these staff deficiencies were noted.  There was need for skills upgrading among some of the financial and programme officers and capacity building programmes have been put in place to plug these gapes. NASCOH improved its capacity by employing two additional fulltime staff and through a hand holding process by Delloitte and Touche. Policies and procedures were formulated to manage sub-grantees and NASCOH. However the late disbursement of funds for the period under review resulted in a slow take-off of the programme.

While there are no major risks identified to date there are cross cutting issues of poverty and disability. The root causes of disability are inextricably associated with poverty and living with a disability without operational social safety nets (SSNs) in a country like Zimbabwe can lower the ability by people with disabilities (PWDs) to engage in meaningful governance and community development. Therefore a poverty alleviation or social protection programme is urgently required for PWDs in Zimbabwe.

Preparation of sustainability of the programme started with the strengthening, collaboration and networking efforts with other organisations working in the area of human rights and governance notably Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe, National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO).  This has been done through meetings and information sharing workshops. Relations have been established with other DFID grant recipients and more opportunities for collaboration and a sustainable working relationship are being pursued.

4. Programme Management 

NASCOH has taken steps to address the capacity deficiency issues identified in the KPMG assessment report.  The organisation has moved to improve organisational capacity to handle the sub-granting process and the programmes coordination, monitoring and evaluation component by hiring a disability technical adviser and finance and grants manager to oversee programmes and finances respectively

 

  1. Working with implementing partners

The programme had a slow start caused by basically two factors. First, KPMG identified weak financial systems and procedures at NASCOH during the pre-grant award assessment and recommended that NASCOH should eliminate all weaknesses which were identified. During the period under review NASCOH addressed almost all the weaknesses. This was dealt with over four months through a hand holding process from Delloitte and Touch and employment of the Disability Technical Advisor to lead the programme and the Grants and Finance Manager to take care of the financial responsibilities. Second, there was a delay in the transfer of funds into the NASCOH account, for example, NASCOH only got the first transfer in February 2009.  The second transfer, meant for the first quarter of 2009/10, only came this June.

Major activities during the two months of February and March 2009 included systems and procedures development and review, a planning workshop with six of the seven sub grantees in Harare, pre-grant award assessment of the seven sub grantees followed by some capacity building activities with the sub grantees and a hand holding exercise for NASCOH by Delloitte and Touche.

5. 1 The planning Workshop

In addition to synthesisation of programme activities, the two-day workshop, attended by directors, programme officers and finance officers of the sub grantees, looked at the programme log frame, log frame of each organisation, which was extracted from the programme log frame and the inception report. At the end of the workshop an implementation plan and budgets for each organisation was drawn. The workshop also provided a platform for organisations to share information and insights on the programme.

 

5. 2 Assessment of the seven implementing partners 

After the planning workshop NASCOH conducted organizational capacity assessments on the following the sub-grantees: –

  • Zimbabwe National League of the Blind (ZNLB)
  • Zimbabwe Association of the Visually Handicapped (ZAVH)
  • Jairos Jiri Association (JJA)
  • Disabled Women Support Organisation (DWSO)
  • Zimbabwe National Association for Mental Health (ZIMNAMH)
  • Zimbabwe Parents of Handicapped Children Association (ZPHCA)
  • Zimbabwe National Association of the Deaf (ZIMNAD)

The purpose of the assessment was for NASCOH to assess the sub-grantees organizational capacity to manage funds and to implement the project. The primary objectives of the assessment exercise were for NASCOH to satisfy itself that DFID’s funds granted to the sub-grantees through NASCOH would be;

  • granted to bona fide registered organisations which are directed, managed and supervised by a competent management board,
  • used for genuine activities specific towards fulfilling the project’s goal and purpose by competent and adequate personnel,
  • accounted for timely by competent finance personnel using an appropriate and adequate accounting system.

 

The secondary objective was to determine capacity gaps (should they exist) and identify ways in which the sub-grantee could be assisted in order for them to bring them up to the necessary standard prior to the disbursement of funds.

Various assessment methods were used, including interviews with personnel from management, programs and finance.  To ensure accuracy and objectivity, an assessment tool adapted from several sources was used in addition to reviewing documentation and observation covering the following areas; governance, services provided, programmatic capacity, human resources, role definition, networking and finance.

 

5.2.1 Major findings

The pre grant award assessment revealed that most of the organisations had weak governance and financial systems and had insufficient capacity to implement the governance and transparency fund (GTF) programme. There was need for skills upgrading among the finance and programme officers. Some directors needed guidance in programme direction and most Boards needed to be capacitated so that they could effectively guide the organisations. A combination of financial weaknesses and the absence of qualified and experienced programme personnel may compromise the implementation of the DFID-funded GTF programme.

At one organisation, Zimbabwe Association of the Visually Handicapped (ZAVH), it was found that there were internal fights and two feuding factions seemed to be on a collision course. ZAVH was requested to sort out itself first with assistance from the department of social welfare before NASCOH could come in.

 

5.2.2 Regular visits to the organization

An average of two visits were made to each organisation which had very weak financial systems to put systems in place and ensure adherence to procedures and it was agreed that programme staff should get training before the programme is rolled out.

5.3 Handholding of NASCOH

  1. As part of capacity building of NASCOH in governance and financial areas, a consultant was seconded to NASCOH from one of Zimbabwe’s leading auditing firms, Delloitte and Touche, to handhold NASCOH in these areas for a period of 5 months from December 2008 to May 2009.

5.4 Policies and procedures

Policies and procedures were formulated to manage sub-grantees and NASCOH. These included the following

  1. Grant management manual (financial);
  2. Financial policies and procedures guidelines for sub-grantees;
  3. Memorandum of understanding (MOU).
  4. Staff Handbook and a
  5. Draft Policies and procedures for  programmes

 

5.5 Information and NASCOH library

NASCOH subscribed to various local and international publications on disability, which have now become part of the NASCOH library. In addition, NASCOH ran a weekly radio programme on disability entitled ‘Seka urema wafa’ (everyone is potentially disabled) on Zimbabwe’s National FM radio station every Saturday from 6.30 pm to 7.00 pm.  The radio programme offers a forum for people with disabilities to discuss their experiences and cross-cutting issues on disability during the live phone-in programme, which has become a hit with people with disabilities and society in general. A number of press statements advocating for the inclusion of people with disabilities in governance systems, including the constitution making process, were also put in place.  These issues were also captured in the Disability Update, a bimonthly electronic update which is sent to over 800 email addressees including civil society organisations, local, regional and international disability organisations, people with disabilities, the media, parliamentarians, universities, disability focal points and identified corporate bodies.

 

  1. Risk Assessment

 

Generally there are no major risks identified to date. Some of the risks identified which will easily be addressed soon are;- A combination of financial weaknesses and the absence of qualified and experienced programme personnel in some organisations may compromise the implementation of the DFID-funded  GTF programme. This is being offset through the recruitment of competent personnel to run the programme. The second risk is the non-existence of social protection programmes for people with disabilities (PWDs) in Zimbabwe which makes it difficult to raise interest of PWDs on governance issues. NASCOH will continue to lobby for the implementation of meaningful social welfare programmes that are of material benefit to people with disabilities. Most PWDs are too poor to afford a day’s meal or even second hand clothing.  Third, the dollarization of the economy has meant that the programme might need more funding than initially anticipated.

However, on a positive note the formation of the inclusive government provides opportunities for PWDs to actively engage government on governance issues.

 

  1. M&E Arrangements

There have not been major significant changes on the M&E arrangements. The disability technical adviser shall oversee M&E and that resources continue to be assigned proportionally to activities during the period according to the specifications of the NASCOH Inception Report.  .

  1. Log frame Changes

NASCOH and KPMG agreed that the outputs were too many and were reduced from nine to six, and rationalised around the areas of strengthening of NGOs to support PWDs and enhancing the participation of PWDs as attached in Annex 2 of this report.

 

  1. Emerging impact on governance and transparency

There is not much impact of the programme on governance and transparency since the programme is still at its infancy. However, it is pleasing to note that the planning workshop, handholding of NASCOH, visits to the organization to put systems in place and ensure adherence to procedures and formulation of policies and procedures were meant to improve capability and accountability of NASCOH and its implementing partners.

The survey has revealed a need to ensure that social welfare support services are availed to people with disabilities; that information on rehabilitation services is readily made available to them; that there is a definite need to assist people with disabilities to acquire identity documents to enable them to vote; that people with disabilities needed to be actively included in voter education programmes and information made available to them in disability friendly formats; and accommodations needed to be made to ensure accessibility to polling stations and disability-friendly voting environment for people with disabilities.

 

  1. Cross-cutting issues

The root causes of disability are inextricably associated with poverty, malnutrition, war, stigma, lack of services, economic disparity, gender bias, class bias, and pollution—and these normally affect the poorest of people in the hardest of ways Living with a disability and without operational social safety nets (SSNs) can lower the ability by PWDs to engage in meaningful governance and community development. The purpose of community development typically is to eradicate poverty and to improve the standard of living of the general populace. In Zimbabwe, most persons with disabilities (98%) are poor. To reiterate, disability does not just affect the individual, but has an impact on the whole community. The cost of excluding PWDs from participating in community life is high and has to be borne by society, particularly those who take on the burden of care. Families of PWDs are already too poor to support themselves. Therefore a poverty alleviation or social protection programme is urgently required for PWDs in Zimbabwe.

 

  1. Progress towards sustainability (year 2 onwards)

Strengthening the collaboration and networking with other organisations has started through meetings and information sharing workshops with other organisations such as Zimbabwe Election Support Network, National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations, Progressio, Zimbabwe and Cheshire Homes to mention a few and the lack of capacity in some of the sub grantees should be addressed in the second year.

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