New international report: global south partners rate CWS performance
In a landmark new international survey, local community organizations across the global south who partner with humanitarian agency Church World Service have given CWS a reality-based, ground-level view of how they experience the agency's performance.
In a landmark new
international survey, organizations across the global south who partner with
Church World Service have
given CWS a reality-based, ground-level view of how they experience the
The findings rated
the humanitarian agency highly in some areas and, in others, offered what CWS
Deputy Director and Head of Programs Maurice A. Bloem sees as “a learning
opportunity and guideposts for improvements.
“Our partners rated
us well in such areas as our flexibility and responsiveness and our helping
them reach shared program goals. “But some of
the feedback definitely identifies areas we need to work on,” says Bloem.
The unique 2010
Partner Surveys by the Keystone
Accountability organization were designed to help CWS and other
participating international nongovernmental organizations take a hard
look at what they do and set benchmarks to improve their performance, based on
feedback from their local partners. The benchmarks also reflect how CWS
compares to other agencies who participated in the survey.
The survey, conducted on behalf
of 25 participating INGOs, gathered dynamic data and perspectives from some 1,067
of those agencies’ local partners and have been published in one comprehensive
report, followed by specific findings and reports for CWS and the other
World Service strives to adhere to quality, accountability and transparency
standards established internationally by the Sphere project and the
Humanitarian Accountability Partnership. But, says Bloem, “We know
providing true quality and effective assistance in this work requires constant
improvements, change, and raising the bar. And who better to assess the quality
of the work we do than those very partners we support in countries and who then
do a great deal of the direct, hands-on assistance to families and
says the performance feedback from its partners – on issues ranging from
leadership in sectors like clean water and sanitation, to financial support and
including the partners in planning program strategies -- delivers a vital
mirror and map towards the agency’s increased effectiveness, accountability and
transparency, and in turn to the empowerment of its partners and, ultimately,
to the people they both serve.
“The Keystone findings show us that our partners view us as experienced
in understanding their working environments, cultural contexts and their own
strategies, and they say they would maintain a partnership with us even if
funding wasn’t part of the relationship,” Bloem said.
at the same time, they tell us they want us to provide more and better of what
we NGOs like to call capacity-building support. Capacity building is the kind
of assistance that helps people and organizations develop enduring strength and
“The survey also found that our partners want to be treated as full and
true partners, not like subcontractors.”
Call for partnership with parity
call for partnership with parity was also a major finding in Keystone’s
complete international Partner Survey for all 25 participating INGOs. As
Keystone’s summary comment noted, community-based partner organizations tell
the aid agencies, “They want help to become independent and influential
organizations in their own right.”
of the challenges that community-based partner organizations face in the global
south and how important the NGO relationship is, one partner comment in the CWS
survey report said the agency’s “moral, spiritual and institutional support was
vital to overcome a difficult period at our organization. We are now much
advanced due to this support.”
agency is now rolling out the survey’s findings to its regional offices
worldwide, along with plans for deeper exploration of the findings by staff and
their respective local partners, as a first step in generating organizational
making the complete Keystone Performance Surveys Church World Service Partner
Feedback Report available
publicly, posted on its website, along with a summary of the report and a series of audio podcast
interviews that are also being provided to CWS Regional Offices.
families in Cambodia who now have clean water thanks to a CWS biosand filter,
to our donors in the U.S., it’s vital for everyone engaged with us to see what we’re
doing, how we’re doing and how we may be adjusting our course or our methods,
with a constant eye to the goal: ending poverty and hunger,” said Bloem.
CWS is making the complete Keystone Performance Survey's Church World Service Partner Feedback Report available publicly, along with a summary of the report.