NGO Help Facility

Syeda Adeela Bokhari, Joint Secretary NGOs/INGOs, sheds light on NGOs receiving MoUs under the 2013 NGO policy.

Community World Service Asia (CWSA) has long been committed to facilitating Pakistani NGOs with building their organisational capacity, improving quality and accountability mechanisms as well as strengthening coordination and collaboration with local governments to create an environment conducive to civil society growth. With the same mandate, CWSA facilitated the NGO/INGO Cell at the Ministry of Economic Affairs Division (EAD) with organising a seminar on “Understanding the Process and Procedures for Registration on E-Portal” on 21st October 2021 in Islamabad.

All attendees at the seminar were registered as the seminar commenced.

The objective of the seminar was to improve participants’ understanding of the EAD’s NGO E-portal[1], which was launched earlier this year and introduce them to the upcoming NGO Policy. Through the submission of papers on the web, this portal has digitised the process of getting a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) from the EAD, ultimately saving time and resources. Syeda Adeela Bokhari, Joint Secretary NGOs/INGOs, was the keynote speaker at this seminar, attended by 24 people from 16 different humanitarian and development organisations.

Participants were familiarized with the processes involved in obtaining an MoU from the EAD.

Tooba Siddiqi from CWSA, set the stage for the event and did a round of introductions with all attendees. Following her opening comments, Tooba reiterated the role NGOs need to play to make the compliance process easier for the government. Ms. Bokhari started with discussing the application of the 2013 NGO Policy, as well as a sectoral overview of the non-profit sector and the governance issues that exist, such as those pertaining to regulations and a lack of integrated data.

During the second presentation, the process of uploading required documents on the NGO e-portal was explained.

Ms. Bokhari emphasised that there is a significant divide between the government and NGOs, which her and the team is attempting to bridge at every possibility. Ms. Bokhari and her team at the EAD are working on a new policy for NGOs that would rectify these inadequacies while remaining compliant with Pakistan’s international legal obligations.

Participants were informed about how to access the E-portal and shared how documents could be uploaded to the portal to attain an MoU. The avoidance of common mistakes was emphasised, such as ensuring that the file size to not exceed seven megabytes, all information to be valid, and that currency values to be provided in both Pakistani Rupees and US Dollars. Ms. Bokhari further stated that the EAD is working to ensure that all development partners are on the same page when it comes to the portal.

A Q&A session was conducted towards the end of the seminar where Adeela Bokhari addressed queries.

Ms. Bokhari concluded by stating that she believes “in continuous development and that the EAD is working to enhance the digitising process. Because this is a radical departure from usual procedures, it will take a significant amount of time and effort to make it completely functioning for all stakeholders.”

Participants appreciated the EAD’s efforts to bring innovation to the process, saying that such an event was a need of the hour.” This seminar also provided an opportunity for participating NGOs and CSOs to share feedback and input with the Joint Secretary on glitches and challenges they usually face. It is anticipated that the participants would put their newfound knowledge into practise, and that the EAD will host similar activities in the future.


[1] The Minister for Economic Affairs, Mr. Omer Ayub Khan inaugurated the NGOs helpdesk facility and NGOs e-portal on 30th June, 2021. The E-portal offers, on line submission of fresh applications; renewals, additional project requests, auto generated correspondence such as acknowledgement, approvals, regrets.

Community World Service Asia is committed to facilitating NGOs with quality and accountability mechanisms as well as overcoming mistrust between the government and NGOs. The Economic Affairs Division (EAD) has launched an e-portal this year to simplify the NGO registration This step is very cost and time effective. CWSA organized a webinar for local and national NGOs in Pakistan to enhance their understanding about the e-portal of the EAD on 30th September, 2021. The webinar lasted for about 90 minutes and was attended by 16 individuals of different organizations working in the development and humanitarian sectors.

The speakers explained the entire process of populating an NGO’s data on the portal diligently. There are a total of 13 steps each of which was extensively discussed. Special emphasis was given to common errors made by NGOs and how to avoid them as well as some technical aspects such as ensuring that file size remains less than 7 MBs and the option of auto-filling draft MoUs. Speakers accentuated the fact that NGOs ought to exercise great caution and attention to detail while filling all the components because a single error could result in the MoU not being issued.

Participants actively asked questions, some of which were general while others were specific to their organization. Participants thanked CWSA for organizing the webinar. It is hoped that the webinar has enhanced the understanding of participants about the portal and will go a long way in helping NGOs in their registrations on the portal. CWSA will organize such informative sessions in the form of webinars and seminars in the future as well. Moreover, we are also committed to helping NGOs throughout the process and these services (some of which are pro bono) are available through the NGO help facility.

Under NGO Help Facility, CWSA is working closely with Social Welfare Departments in KPK, Punjab, and Sindh as well as the Economic Affairs Division. Through regular meetings and conversations, the need for a joint consultative forum was identified to explore the opportunities and discuss challenges faced by these government officials of these departments and other stakeholders. For this purpose, we held the first Round Table Discussion with Social Welfare Department representatives from Punjab and KPK in Murree from 10th to 12th September 2021.

The officials were given a platform to express their apprehensions about NGOs and share progress in their respective provinces as well as the current scenario, challenges, and changes being made internally to improve the application process for NGOs. SWD laws and their compliances were discussed in detail and the work being done in this context.

In its presentation, EAD discussed the geographical and sectoral spread of NGOs as well as their spread on the basis of registration by law and donor funding. Representatives of SWDs Punjab and KPK shed light on the work they are doing to streamline the process of NGO governance and registration. Digitizing the process of NGO registration at all levels was given due priority by all participants. EAD also shared a roadmap for a revised policy with SWD officials.

It is hoped that the outcomes of this round table discussion will materialize in the form of provincial policy formulation and implementation.

When: 24-26 August 2021
Where: Murree Punjab
Language: Urdu
Interested Applicants: Click here to register
Last Date to Apply: 5th August 2021

Rationale:

Since the 1950s the development agenda has been characterized by projects and programmes aimed at improving the quality of life of beneficiary communities, be it in physical or qualitative terms. Despite significant inputs of human and financial resources, many fell short of expectations. Projects failed to meet the priority needs of communities; stated outputs were not achieved or, if achieved, not sustained; target groups did not benefit in the manner intended; project costs escalated and implementation dates slipped, and adverse outcomes were not anticipated.

These failures were attributed in part to poor project management, such as inadequate opportunities for potential beneficiaries to participate in project identification, weak financial management, inadequate monitoring during implementation, poor linkages between project activities and project purpose, and insufficient attention to the external environment during project design. It was also recognised that projects were more likely to succeed when account was taken of the socio-economic context in which they operated.

The rationale for imparting training of NGOs in project cycle management is the wish to achieve sustainable development. Projects should identify and understand the different roles and entitlements between various beneficiaries in focused communities, and the special challenges faced by disadvantaged groups. During recent decades, many tools have been developed to strengthen the management of projects, such as project cycle management, the logical framework and rapid appraisal techniques. Similarly, technological revolution has also contributed significantly to plan, design, implement and keep track of the activities by all team members while geographically spread and/or different locations.

Participants of the training will go through all critical phases of project cycle management both theoretically and practically and there will be ample room through group exercises to benefit from the rich knowledge of participants that they will be bringing from their respective fields and focus areas.

The training will specifically focus on:

  • Comprehend concepts and terminologies of Project, Project Management
  • Recognize various phases of Project Cycle Management and its importance
  • Understand and sharpen their skills to use various analytical tools for Project Identification
  • Use Project structure, Logical Framework Analysis, External Environment, OVI and sustainability and work plans based on activity analysis during projects’ design phase and preparation phase
  • Learn to undertake use of technology for documentation, communication, quality assessments at each phase of PCM

Number of Participants

  • A maximum of 20 participants will be selected for the training. Women applications, differently abled persons and staff belonging to ethnic/religious minorities are encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to participants representing organizations working in remote and under-served areas.

Selection Criteria

  • Primary responsibility for program/project management.
  • Mid or senior level manager in a civil society organization, preferably field staff of large CSOs or CSOs with main office in small towns and cities
  • Participants from women led organisations, different abled persons, religious/ethnic minorities will be given priority
  • This 3-day training session is suitable for CSO and NGO workers of all levels particularly from locally-based organizations with a small staff size
  • Willing to pay fee PKR 10,000 for the training. Exemptions may be applied to CSOs with limited funding and those belonging to marginalised groups. Discount of 10% on early registration by 1st August 2021 and 20% discount will be awarded to women participants
  • Commitment to apply learning in their work, including dissemination of learning within their organisation Commitment to apply learning in their work, including dissemination of learning within their organisation

Community World Service Asia (CWSA) is a humanitarian and development organization, registered in Pakistan, head-quartered in Karachi and implementing initiatives throughout Asia. CWSA is member of the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) Alliance, a member of Sphere and their regional partner in Asia and also manages the ADRRN Quality & Accountability Hub in Asia.
Facilitator/Lead Trainer:

Ms. Sofia Noreen is an ambitious professional with over 28 years’ eventful career studded with brilliance predominantly in the area of research, program/ project designing and execution, monitoring, international development, and liaison & coordination. Her areas of focus include Gender and Women Empowerment, Climate Change/ Food Security within rural communities, and Governance issues both at policy and implementation levels.

She is a dependable professional with a comprehensive understanding of Pakistani politics, the parliamentary setup, and electoral reform agenda and familiar with election management systems both for general and local bodies elections.

Ms. Sofia has delivered multi-day training programs on train-the-trainer, team building, and other related topics. She is an articulate communicator who is highly well versed in Log Frame Analysis, Risk Analysis, and management for Result Based Management, budgeting, staff recruitment, capacity development, NGO management, stakeholder engagement, evaluation of program and projects, report writing, and manuals. Throughout her career, she has been committed to following the principles set forth with the UDHR, ICCPR, CEDAW, and other international conventions and standards.

Scholarship Details: Special Scholarships are available for those organization that send two or more females to attend the training.

Additional Details: The final deadline for applications is August 5th, 2021. Please be assured that incomplete applications will not be entertained.

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