NGO Support Centre
Ministry of Human Rights and Social development

The Problem

The situation before the application of the improvement and development program can be summarized as follows:
 Communication with the private sector was focused on the regulatory aspect and not on technical and advisory aspects. The image which NGOs had about the Ministry concentrated on this aspect. It could be assumed that the technical support (training and advice) was almost inexistent.
 There was no program for social partnership with the private sector.
 There were no detentions of value added, tangible and outcome of the projects done by the NGOs.
to enhance performance self-evaluation portfolio to include all the tools used,and distribution of the same to the NGOs in all functions of the National Centre or of the ministry.
 The subsidy for organizations was granted to a limited number of NGOs in the form of a general financial support of not more than BD 1,000.000 per year for running administrative matters.
 There was a gap between the competence of several NGOs and the Ministry's aspirations and expectations in shouldering the burden of responsibility for communal development partnership and, subsequently, the implementation of developmental projects of service to all categories of society – inability of managing general social services such as elderly programs, rehabilitation of handicapped, family programs, children welfare. These are essential social services which the Ministry feels there is an urgent need to deploy throughout the country for all community segments to benefit from and to obtain on an ongoing basis.
 Inability of several NGOs to design sustainable and long-term developmental projects.

Solution and Key Benefits

 What is the initiative about? (the solution)
Support of NGOS Developmental Programs: Direct NGO developmental programs within the framework of the development objectives that are conducive to the Bahrain Economic Vision 2030 – Social justice and partnership.

Support and Enhancement of NGO Corporate Capabilities: Realization of the NGO corporate strength – identification of basic needs, rationalization of social partnership decisions, support of the value of social justice and responsibility.

Support of NGOs' Social Partnership: Enhance the capabilities of NGOs entering into a social partnership with the Ministry - transparency in making decisions of social partnership, rationalization of decisions, direction of the community to utilize cadres, experiences and capabilities available with the private sector.

Actors and Stakeholders

 Who proposed the solution, who implemented it and who were the stakeholders?
The establishment of a national centre to support NGOs by the Ministry of Human Rights and Social Development was adopted and the centre was founded in 2006 with the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). UNDP experts contributed to developing the infrastructure of the centre in terms of corporate support plans, design of appropriate tools for the implementation of such plans, as well as training of working teams formed within the centre. A female expert from Bahrain was appointed to follow up on the implementation and evaluation of the corporate performance of NGOs and on training qualified Bahraini cadres.

(a) Strategies

 Describe how and when the initiative was implemented by answering these questions
 a.      What were the strategies used to implement the initiative? In no more than 500 words, provide a summary of the main objectives and strategies of the initiative, how they were established and by whom.
The most important strategies that have been applied are the corporate assessment of NGOs, the subsidy program, and the social partnership program with NGOs. These three strategies are summarized as follows:

Evaluation of Corporate Performance: A special tool was designed for corporate evaluation of NGOs together with analytical reports to identify strengths and weaknesses in performance. The assessment includes four areas: internal democratic governance, general administration, projects and programs and, lastly, the financial management. Distinguished NGOs receive certificates of merit in recognition of their outstanding performance. Such NGOs are also given the opportunity to obtain a subsidy from the Ministry for implementing their developmental projects. An integrated portfolio for self-evaluation has also been developed with the aim of promoting self-evaluation culture among NGOs.
The Annual Subsidy Program: The program was introduced in 2006 under which any NGO may receive a subsidy from the Private Sector Function Fund financed by the Government and by the Private Sector for the implementation of a developmental project of a genuine added value to society. Projects are evaluated by an outside committee to ensure professional and independent evaluation. The corporate evaluation outcome of a NGO accounts for 40% of the overall evaluation.

The Social Partnership Program with the Private Sector: On 23rd March 2010, the Ministry reinstituted the Social Partnership Committee chaired by the Minister of Human Rights and Social Development. The Committee is responsible for developing plans for consolidating and enhancing the concept of social partnership between the public and the private sectors and for overseeing the implementation of programs. It also proposes the developmental projects that can be assigned to the private sector, and develops standards and mechanisms of follow-up and assessment. An evaluation tool for centres and organizations of social evaluation has been developed from the corporate evaluation system of the rehabilitation centres of the Ministry.

(b) Implementation

 b.      What were the key development and implementation steps and the chronology? No more than 500 words
Phase 1: Establishment of corporate assessment tools for NGOs, including the design of an evaluation tool, a corporate analytical evaluation tool, and a score system of performance.

Phase 2: Pay corporate evaluation visits to the NGOs. This has so far covered more than 54% of the NGOs, for identifying the standard of performance and assessing such performance subject to the various functions of NGOs.

Phase 3: Implementation of the subsidy program and aligning the same to the corporate evaluation. More than 100 NGOs have so far benefited from this program. The National Centre for NGO Support document the achievements of developmental projects applying for a subsidy from the Ministry through the annual follow-up of such projects. A form is sent to the recipient NGOs of subsidies together with details to be completed by such NGOs. This includes the objectives, the targeted category, the work plan and activities, and the progress of the project. The centre will coordinate with the division responsible for financial follow-up at the Directorate of NGOs.

Phase 4: Training of organizations on self-evaluation methodology and dissemination of this culture among them: To date, more than 60 NGOs have benefited from this program.

Phase 5: Align the social partnership program to the corporate strength of NGOs by investing the corporate evaluation outcomes in rationalizing the decisions of the Social Partnership Committee. This has motivated NGOs towards professional action and eligibility for a subsidy from the Ministry.

(c) Overcoming Obstacles

 c.      What were the main obstacles encountered? How were they overcome? No more than 500 words
One of the main difficulties faced by the initiative was the image by NGOs of the regulatory role of the Ministry. This was facing the technical team in varying degrees of rejection or objection, coupled, occasionally, with complaint and grumble and, at times, with criticism. Another difficulty was the fact that information available about NGOs did not cover their professional capabilities that reflect assumption of responsibility for developmental projects serving various categories of the community. The team also faced one more difficulty of poor corporate performance evaluation of NGOs and lack of understanding by many NGOs of the significance of the function carried out by the team.

The National Centre has overcome these difficulties by endeavouring to build up positive relationships with NGOs in terms of considering the evaluation as a voluntary and not a compulsory matter on the part of NGOs. Financial support was also provided in the form of making the centre's halls available for use by NGOs for various functions, and of providing advice and training programs. This has helped breaking the barrier between the centre and NGOs.

(d) Use of Resources

 d.      What resources were used for the initiative and what were its key benefits? In no more than 500 words, specify what were the financial, technical and human resources’ costs associated with this initiative. Describe how resources were mobilized
The National Centre belongs to the Government sector and is financed by the Government. It also receives support in the form of experts and training from the UNDP.

Sustainability and Transferability

  Is the initiative sustainable and transferable?
This was done along two parallel lines:the first was to ensure formal supervision and followup by higher authorities such as the Partnership Committee or formal joint organizations of the public and private sectors NGO Social Function Fund.The other line was to ensure providing the objective tools and standards for application of such programs. Here are details of the two lines:
1.The Community Partnership Committee chaired by the Minister of HRSD and membership of senior officials of the Ministry;the Committee is responsible for developing plans for consolidating and enhancing the concept of social partnership between the public and the private sectors and for overseeing the implementing thereof.Its functions include proposing the developmental projects that can be assigned to the private sector,and developing standards and mechanisms of follow-up and assessment.
2.The NGO Social Function Fund: Chaired by the Assistant Undersecretary for Social Development , and membership of representatives of the MOHRSD, a representative of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, a representative of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry,two representatives of the national banks (the Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait,Ahli United Bank),and four representatives of the major national companies in Bahrain. The fund oversees the annual subsides and collects annual funding from the private sector for developmental projects subject to clear project evaluation criteria for NGOs to identify projects before they compete for projects,and an independent committee for evaluation of projects.
3. The UNDP: has contributed to financing of the corporate evaluation program of NGOs and to identification upon initial implementation.To this end,it has mobilized a number of Arab expertise and contributed to the annual subsidy program,as well as to the formation and training of the work team at the National Centre.
1.The alignment of the corporate performance to the subsidy program is seen as a strong motive for organizations to understand and abide as possible by the corporate performance standards with the aim of enhancing their opportunity to receive subsidies for community serving developmental projects.
2.Utilization of the corporate evaluation outcomes in the community partnership program and in the rationalization of a number of decisions adopted by the Ministry on participation in functions,recognitions, etc.
3.Formation of a technical team to assess the social partnership centres:This team was formed by Ministerial Order No. 23 for the year 2011.The team comprises of specialized technical members to regularly evaluate the performance of social partnership centres and organizations.
4.Development of a social partnership corporate evaluation tool:The application thereof is overseen by the Executive Evaluation Team of Social Partnership referred to above.It includes clear standards for the development and maintenance of social partnership.
5.Publication of a guide to the financial subsidies:This guide includes clear and simplified forms for completion of information about developmental projects applying for subsidies.It helps NGOs identify the most important elements upon which planning for a developmental project is made.The guide may also be used for the design and construction of their own projects to directly apply for subsidies from any other source.

Lessons Learned

 What are the impact of your initiative and the lessons learned?
Level of Organization:
• Investment and application of methodology and tools used in corporate evaluation of the social partnership program.
• Ensure private sector funding and ongoing support for developmental projects serving the community in the presence of a clear and transparent functional methodology in both the governmental and private sectors.
• Teamwork in any project or program achieving a flow of knowledge and investment of the same as properly as possible.
• Rationalization of Ministry's decisions on cooperation and coordination with civil society organizations.
• The gaps in the relationship with civil society organizations and mechanisms to address such gaps in several legal, financial and administrative matters.

The level of Team / Individuals:
• Identify the human capabilities and competencies in the private sector and the opportunities available for cooperation in various technical, advisory and training areas.
• Acquire hands-on experiences in corporation evaluation and follow-up of developmental projects and utilization thereof and sources available in the Kingdom to finance various projects and programs.
• Investment of various information and data collected in the course of conducting scientific studies and report writing.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Ministry of Human Rights and Social development
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Latifa Almannai
Title:   Mrs.  
Telephone/ Fax:   97317877546
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Postal Code:  
City:   Manama
Country:   Bahrain

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