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Strengthening the Capacity of NGOs in Afghanistan

2010–2012 || U.S. Agency for International Development

Abstract

As part of USAID’s Health Systems 20/20 project, Deloitte is building the capacity of Afghan non-governmental organizations (NGOs) implementing the Basic Package of Health Services (BPHS) and the Essential Package of Health Services (EPHS). These NGOs often lack sufficient financial management capacity and tools to meet donor requirements. To help improve their ability to manage resources more effectively, the project team is developing process improvements and capacity-building activities to increase programmatic and financial accountability among Afghan NGOs. Capacity-building activities include training and mentoring on areas such as program and financial planning, program budgeting, donor financial management and reporting, and monitoring and technical oversight. By strengthening a small set of specific skills, Deloitte can aid these organizations in their efforts to demonstrate their ability to prioritize and monitor programs, produce anticipated results, and manage funding in an accountable and auditable way.

The Challenge

Afghanistan has been experiencing a rapid increase in external funding from numerous donors, each with its own reporting requirements. Many Afghan NGOs are experiencing difficulty in balancing these diverse reporting requirements with their health service delivery mission. These NGOs often lack financial management systems and those with adequate systems often lack sufficient manpower and technical capacity to fully utilize these systems to submit detailed and timely reports on the use of grant funding. As a result, they spend a large amount of time preparing financial reports for multiple donors, distracting from their service delivery mission. Health Systems 20/20 was tasked with improving the ability of NGOs to meet their financial reporting requirements and improve financial accountability without neglecting their missions.

How We Helped

The team began by conducting an assessment of specific NGO financial management systems and gaps. In parallel, Deloitte worked with the Ministry of Public Health to develop a standardized reporting tool. This technology solution should allow NGOs to have basic financial data automatically uploaded into multiple donor reporting forms, thereby alleviating the burden of repetitive reporting and reducing human error. Once the NGO assessment is completed, the technology solution will be implemented in tandem with a broad capacity development program in order to facilitate the development of a better managed and integrated BPHS and EPHS. The capacity development plan is likely to focus on such areas as financial management systems and reporting, financial management roles and responsibilities, program monitoring procedures, and data use for planning, implementation, evaluation, and decision-making.

Solution

The coaching, mentoring, and supervision as well as the technology solution provided by Health Systems 20/20 and Deloitte should allow NGOs to improve their budgeting, grant reporting and overall financial management based on directives provided by the various donor grant management units. This can enable Afghan NGOs to better prioritize and monitor programs, manage funding, and produce expected results.

Deloitte’s work in Afghanistan under Health Systems 20/20 is carried out under a subcontract with Abt Associates Inc., prime contractor for the Health Systems 20/20 cooperative agreement. Health Systems 20/20 is funded through the generous support of the American people through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The project helps USAID-supported countries address health system barriers to the use of life-saving priority health services. In the process, the project works to strengthen health systems through integrated approaches to improving financing, governance, and operations, and building sustainable capacity of local institutions.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte Consulting LLP, which provides strategy, operations, technology, and human capital consulting services, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP, which provides financial advisory services, and Deloitte & Touche LLP which provides governance and risk oversight and reporting advisory services. These entities are separate subsidiaries of Deloitte LLP. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

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