Blood:Water recognizes that local organizations in Africa are the true drivers of social change. They are the experts laboring to end the impact of the water and HIV/AIDS crises on their communities. However, they are often under-resourced, creating challenges in both organizational and programmatic operations.
This is why we focus our efforts on building the capacity of our partners – because, ultimately, we want them to be strong enough financially, technically, and internally to exist long after our partnership concludes.
To achieve this goal, we strategically fund our partners through specific project activities that aim to strengthen systems and enhance the quality and accessibility of our partners, so they are better equipped to directly respond to community-generated needs or demands.
The impact of capacity building, or what we sometimes refer to as “organizational strengthening,” is felt in organizations that leverage themselves within community and national contexts for maximized efficacy, strategic influence, and long-standing social change that goes beyond the relationship they have with any single donor. Strengthened and healthy African civil society organizations (CSOs) in the local communities are more effective agents of change in a broader context of the health sector and the wider policy environment. This makes their impact of their work, as well as their operations, sustainable in the long run.
Our model takes on a holistic approach that uses and analyzes grantee needs in four key capacity-building areas: organizational, technical, monitoring and evaluation, and financial. Our approach includes partner-driven assessments and activities as well as Blood:Water-facilitated technical assistance. These technical assistance activities help identify other partner-specific or multiple-partner organizational strengthening needs that are facilitated through ongoing relationship management.
ANNUAL PARTNER SUMMITS
In 2015, we began hosting annual Partner Summits, where we gather representatives from each of our partner organizations for a week of collaborative learning. Through training and peer learning sessions, our partners have the opportunity to strengthen and encourage one another as they share their ideas, experiences, and victories.