Our Approach

We work with and support local partners (small local NGOs and Community Based Organisations) and the vulnerable small scale farmers’ groups they represent to provide: training in farming skills and income generating activities; and access to micro-finance.

We work with our partners to identify training needs and capacity gaps in their organisational and project management abilities and provide capacity building support to ensure they are able to effectively address the challenges of:

Poverty and hunger

Addressing challenges to crop production and diversifying income sources.

Climate change

Ensuring the adoption of simple mitigation techniques and technologies.

Dependency

Empowering people to take control of and responsibility over their lives.

Access to resources

Building links with the governments and other local and regional actors.

Gender equality and empowerment, environment and HIV are cross cutting themes in all our areas of work. Our projects build on proven approaches of previous projects to ensure the maximum benefit is received by the people directly involved in the activities as well as their wider communities.

A detailed view of our approach

The aim of our projects are to establish sustainable income sources, significantly increase the quality of life of the beneficiaries and conserve the environment of vulnerable communities.

Our projects have 4 inter-related core objectives:

  1. Reduce hunger and increase self-sufficiency in food among the supported households
  2. Improve income diversification and enhance linkages with markets
  3. Mitigate the effects of environmental degradation and weather vagaries
  4. Improve advocacy for the ‘Right to Food’ for vulnerable households

Projects are designed to enable the beneficiaries to play a central role in their personal and community’s development by gaining the training and resources needed to improve their livelihood security and environment. Capacity building is a core component of our support, enabling groups to implement, monitor and evaluate their projects effectively, and ensuring their sustainability by accessing funding, building partnerships and securing resources to benefit more people. The projects address the cross cutting issues of gender equality, HIV and environmental protection. Women and girls make up the majority of direct beneficiaries and people living with HIV are a significant minority. Their involvement in all stages of planning, implementation and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) will ensure equal benefit for all participants and empower them to make decisions relating to their households and community.

Projects are being delivered at the grass-roots level through an established and proven delivery partner who is fully engaged with the local community.

WoWNI has been successfully working through partners with some of the most vulnerable and marginalised communities. New partners are selected according to WoWNI’s partner selection criteria which includes, appropriate registration and constitution, active governing body and benefiting the poorest sections of the community. We will provide tailored support to develop the capacity of groups to effectively deliver the benefits of the project to their community members. According to the conclusion to recent monitoring visit report by Irish Aid of one of our Ugandan projects, “It is clear that the ‘Teso Agriculture, Income Generation and Environment Protection project’ is having a very positive impact on the lives of the beneficiaries. Institutional strengthening and capacity building is a key feature of the previous and current project that is yielding significant results. Particular strengths include a strong partnership approach, a significant focus on transparency and accountability and solid advocacy engagement”.

Projects clearly demonstrate the local communities’ involvement and that necessary training and education is in place to sustain the project.

Communities are involved in the design and development of the projects. Memorandums Of Understandings with the farmers groups outline the systems in place and their role in monitoring and evaluating their project and also the channels for feedback to the implementing partners. Terms Of References are in place for all community based Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E), Procurement and Advocacy Committees in each farmers group to ensure openness, transparency and trust within the group and ensure economies of purchasing. A training needs assessment of each farmers group is completed annually and a capacity building plan is developed for each group and monitored quarterly with training evaluations conducted allowing for follow up. Advocacy committees ensure that appropriate engagement with decision makers is made to deliver local priorities and to build a more vibrant civil society. The objectives of the projects are in line with the national government’s development plan. Partners develop agreements specifying individual roles on M&E, technical training provision and other capacity building inputs from government departments. This approach builds on previous successful projects where beneficiaries said they would continue to use the knowledge and skills acquired in the project as they had helped to increase income and food productivity improving their standard of living.

Robust governance and monitoring procedures.

WoWNI is committed to the highest levels of transparency and accountability. We are governed by a Council of Management who publish annual Audited Accounts. Oversight of the overseas programme is provided by the Programme Committee. WoWNI ensures policies and procedures are in place to ensure robust financial management, including financial protocol manuals and procurement policy and procedures. The financial management accounts are reviewed quarterly by the finance committee made up of 4 people, 4 of whom are qualified accountants and who are trustees. Internal financial audits are conducted in country every 2 years. In addition to supporting the delivery of project activities, WoWNI’s Overseas staff carry out quarterly monitoring to ensure the project is on track to meet objectives as defined in its results framework. WoWNI’s Regional Manager oversees the Malawi project delivered by our managing agent in the country. Delivery partners submit quarterly reports on their activities as well as income and expenditure reports. The groups’ Monitoring and Evaluation Committees provide written reports on the inputs distributed, outputs delivered, challenges addressed and outcomes achieved to their members, partners and WoWNI. WoWNI’s Director reviews monitoring information reporting to the Programme Committee, trustees and stakeholders to allow strategic decision making. Baseline surveys ensures data against which to measure the achievements of the projects. Independent mid-term evaluations of our larger projects are conducted to identify strengths and weaknesses and the recommendations are shared with partners and stakeholders to ensure appropriate delivery of the remainder of the project. An end line evaluation takes place to assess the overall delivery of the aims and objectives our projects and capture lessons for future projects.