The organizational capacity of civil society partners in North Darfur, Blue Nile and Kassala developed to be operating independently and effectively representing and addressing the needs of their communities and that they have jointly established a vibrant and active nationally registered NGO by 2017.
The organizational capacity development and engagement of civil society is very important in all our work in Sudan. We have worked with civil society in Sudan for over 20 years and it has proved hugely beneficial to ensure that the identified interventions are the most appropriate for the communities. It has allowed our programmes to have wider impact as we have built up the capacity of networks of CBOs to operate independently of us and plan, implement and replicate their activities with support from Practical Action. And it has enabled us to continue operating in areas that have been difficult to access due to conflict or government restrictions.
Practical Action’s support to the civil society development has passed through two phases. The first phase focused on the development of village level structures in the form of village development committees (VDCs), community-based organizations (CBOs) or women development associations (WDAs). The second phase focused on supporting the establishment of five state level networks out of the village level organizations. In North Darfur, the Women Development Associations Network (WDAN), the Voluntary Network for Rural Development and Helping and the Rural Elfasher Development Network have been established. In Kassala state, the Women Development Associations Network (WDAN) and Algandoul Network have been established. A third phase is anticipated to be realized during this strategy period, which is the establishment of a national NGO to be the federal level representation and voice of the networks and to assist in the advocacy, lobbying, fund raising and capacity development opportunities. This national NGO will also help in the knowledge sharing from and to the field-based networks.
Our partner networks in North Darfur (Women’s Development Association Network, Rural Elfasher Development Network and The Voluntary Network for Rural Development and Helping) are now very mature and are operating independently from us, receiving funding from UN agencies and INGOs. We will continue to work with them to build their capacity and to work with us to implement the programmes but we will also focus more resources in building the capacity of the Pastoralist Network which is a much younger and less developed network. It is clear that pastoralist engagement is key for sustainable development in North Darfur and this network will allow us to do this. Practical Answers will develop resources on how to effectively engage and build the capacity of pastoralists for development to be shared globally. In Kassala we will continue to work with Algandoul Network and the Women’s Development Association Network to build their capacity with a particular focus on them developing their work in new areas such as Gedarif to enable us to have wider reach without expanding our physical presence. In Blue Nile we do not have networks of CBOs so we will concentrate on setting these up and building up their capacity. Nationally we will invest in the establishment of a national NGO out of the state level networks and concentrate on the technical and organizational capacity development including introducing it to relevant authorities, actors, supporters and donors.