CEDG’s Community of Practice on Municipal/Union Outreach to local CSOs
Under USAID-funded BALADI CAP’s Civic Engagement for Democratic Governance (CEDG) component, a community of practice on municipal/union outreach to local CSOs took place on Tuesday 13 June, 2017. The community of practice constituted a platform for 30 municipal representatives from 23 municipalities and 2 unions to stress the significance of outreach to local CSOs and share the different practices put into place by their municipalities. The community of practice also enabled participants to present the challenges and hindrances facing municipalities in respect to their rapprochement to local CSOs. Moreover, it invigorated representatives to give recommendations for more effective municipal-local community outreach and suggestions for targeted interventions by BALADI CAP through capacity building. Accordingly, the CEDG team will utilize all findings from this community of practice in order to tailor its activities joining municipalities/unions and local CSOs, which ultimately feeds into CEDG’s outreach and advocacy with local community element.
Open Resource Material: Community of Practice Report
Community of Practice on Income Tax
October 7, 2016
Following the first Community of Practice meeting on payroll in late September, BALADI CAP Program held another Community of Practice on Income Tax in early October. Twenty one participants from fifteen civil society organizations attended the meeting, which was facilitated by Mr. Fadi Farhoud from the Institut des FInances Bassel Fuleihan.
During this Community of Practice, finance staff from participating CSOs developed a unified approach towards the practical issues underlying the implementation of payroll policies in Lebanese civil society organizations. Participants discussed Ministry of Finance requirements to report on income tax, forms, deadlines, procedures and ways to resolve problems pertaining to late declarations and accruals. After the Community of Practice, which took place at Bassel Fuleihan Institute, attendees took the initiative of creating a group on Whatsapp application aiming at sharing any relevant information and official policies regarding the subject matter. One of the attendees volunteered to take the lead on the topic and to provide colleagues with updates on the topic, including latest ministerial decisions. This confirms the group’s commitment to improving its understanding of financial policies and procedures and its willingness to support its members in a sustainable manner. This is the first BALADI CAP group of practitioners to be formed with the aim of exchanging knowledge and providing advice on matters of financial transparency and declaration, thus contributing to enhancing accountability and good governance among BALADI CAP beneficiaries.
By completing the above training, BALADI CAP ensured to cover every aspect of payroll, starting with the calculation and implementation of National Social Security Fund (NSSF) policies, to Income Tax. With the addition of the community of practice participatory sessions, CSOs now have acquired the needed know, and they have discussed their mutual questions and concerns, drawn lessons learned, and formed a virtual group through which they can continuously enhance their knowledge of the subject matter. The momentum built within financial management group is a testimony of the learning culture that BALADI CAP is instilling within its beneficiaries, a culture that is to have a spill-over effect on other areas of intervention specifically organization development and monitoring and evaluation.
This comes within the framework of BALADI CAP intervention to strengthen institutional capacity of Lebanese CSOs, and thus enabling them to actively participate in improving socio-economic and life conditions of their beneficiaries.
Open resource material: Income Tax
Community of Practice on National Social Security Fund (NSSF)
September 30, 2016
Following its capacity building activities implemented during Cohorts 1 & 2, the Building Alliances for Local Advancement, Development and Investment – Capacity Building (BALADI CAP) project detected that most civil society organizations (CSOs) were facing challenges in implementing the payroll policy. Most of the challenges faced are related to unresolved problems they encountered in the past with government authorities such as the National Social Security Fund (NSSF). As a result, and in order to help the CSOs implement best practices under payroll, BALADI CAP conducted a Community of Practice meeting entitled “Payroll- NSSF”, whereby all CSOs would address their concerns, share experiences while learning from each other, and have the opportunity to develop both personally and professionally. Twenty one participants from 14 organizations attended the meeting, which was facilitated by Mr. Fadi Farhoud from the ‘Institut des Finances Bassel Fuleihan’.
In previous payroll trainings, CSOs were trained on how to calculate their NSSF contributions and how to declare them using the appropriate forms and templates. During this Community of Practice meeting, participants discussed answers to practical problems that were based on practical experience and know-how. CSOs were able to share their unique knowledge and experiences. Going through the Community of Practice, CSOs developed a collective understanding and unified approach towards the practical issues underlying the implementation of payroll policies, while also creating a pool of knowledge that will offer them proper guidance on how to approach the common areas of concern they share. Attendees, in addition to sharing their experiences in calculating and reporting on NSSF payments, have drawn lessons learned that have already improved their current practices.
Through such communities of practice, BALADI CAP CSOs are able to bring to fruition previous trainings they have undergone in order to fully implement best practices and to adapt trainings and policies and procedures to actual everyday realities that they face while conducting there businesses. This effort comes to further enhance institutional capacities of BALADI CAP beneficiaries and empower them to manage future USAID funding.
Open resource material: CNSS
BALADI CAP conducted its third Community of Practice was organized on Messaging and positioning for CSOs. The workshop was held on May 16, 2015 at Padova Hotel in Sin El Fil and attended by representatives of partner organizations.
Participants shared their achievements in the media further to the Communications and Social Media training. Then they talked about the challenges they have faced. The benefit was visible and measured by all attendees, some of them were more advanced than others were due to experience, time and staff.
Report on Communication and Social Media-Messaging and positioning – The Event on Facebook
BALADI CAP conducted its second Community of Practice on “Volunteer Management for CSOs” on September 20th, 2014 at Padova Hotel, Sin el-Fil. The event was attended by 22 individuals from 10 BALADI CAP CSO partners.
Les Scouts du Liban, Caritas and Red cross presented their individual expereiences in Volunteer Management (each hosts more tan 2000 volunteers). Each of the panelists (from the above-mentioned CSOs) presented on Needs Assessment, Volunteer Management, Volunteer Recruitment, Volunteer Management, Success Stories, Challenges and Way Forward.
Each of the BALADI CAP CSO Partners presented their own experience in Volunteer Management and highlighted challenges, plans and way forward.
Community of Practice on Fundraising
July 5 2014
BALADI CAP conducted its first Community of Practice on “Fundraising in Lebanese CSOs” on July 5th, 2014 at Padova Hotel, Sin el-Fil. The event was attended by 22 individuals from 8 BALADI CAP CSO partners.
The Community of Practice was led by a panel of presenters composed of: Director of Rene Moawad Foundation, Mr. Nabeel Moawad; Director of Development in Lebanese Red Cross, Mr. Nabih Jabr; and representative of Caritas Liban, Mr. Salim Khalil.
The three speakers explained Fundraising Models within their own organizations, highlighting the process of fundraising as well as internal institutional capacities that exist at organizational level to augment fundraising. Presenters also highlighted success stories as well as setbacks when it comes to fundraising within their organizations.
In the afternoon, participants discussed in work-groups the following topics:
- Techniques and methodologies for fundraising
- Institutional requirements for fundraising
- Way Forward on establishing a Community of Specialists in Fundraising among BALADI CAP beneficiaries, the objective of which is to generate knowledge on the subject and to make use of lessons learned and best practices from the academic and professional worlds.