EU-RSPN Capacity Building of Local Grassroots Organisations in Governance, Transparency and Gender Sensitisation

The link between communities (especially in rural areas) and the government has always been weak especially in today’s Pakistan. Grassroots organisations such as Local Support Organisations (LSOs) which operate at the union council level and are federations of communities’ organisations at the neighbourhood and village level aim to decrease this gap. This is done by ensuring that the developmental needs of their communities are heard by government representatives as well as NGOs, donors and the private sector. In the experience of the RSPs and through studies carried out through RSPN, it has been observed that because LSOs are volunteer-based organisations, they tend to be weak in some organisational management aspects, required in order to ensure the best for the communities they represent. It is because of this weakness in technical skills (in areas such as development planning, budgeting, financial record-keeping and gender sensitisation and gender budgeting) that these grassroots organisations are not able to develop a large number of concrete and formal linkages with external organisations. Through the 12 month European Union funded project titled “Capacity Building of Local Grassroots Organistions in Governance, Transparency and Gender Sensitisation”, the capacities of 130 LSOs and 30 CSOs in four regions in Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa will be built in order to effectively manage their organisations and successfully develop linkages with partners such as the government, NGOs, donors and the private sector. The specific objective of the action will be to enhance operational transparency, accountability and capacity of LSOs/CSOs to expand social and economic opportunities for local communities particularly women and the poor. The results of the specific objective will be: • Improved capacities in three RSPs to train office bearers of LSOs/CSOs in organisational management, gender sensitisation and budgeting, development planning and resource mobilisation and financial record-keeping • Project LSOs/CSOs have developed annual work plans with budgets and resource mobilisation plans which have been approved by their General Bodies • Project LSOs/CSOs’ planning is gender sensitive and has taken into account the concerns, needs and potentials of the poorest (women and men) and youth • Project LSOs/CSOs have knowledge of Local Government budgets and their methodology • Project LSOs/CSOs have properly maintained books of accounts and these are presented regularly at the LSOs/CSOs’ general body meetings and made available to all interested stakeholders • Project LSOs/CSOs’ activities are monitored, re-strengthened in weak areas, evaluated and achievements of project are disseminated The project is being implemented in four regions by RSPN and three of its partner RSPs; namely the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme in Chitral region, the National Rural Support Programme in Mardan and Turbat regions and the Sarhad Rural Support Programme in Mansehra region.

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