Workshop on 
‘Experience sharing and Capacity building of SGP partners’
July 15, 2008
at
Committee Room
United Nations Development Programme, 55 Lodi Estate, New Delhi-110003

Abbreviations
GEF – Global Environment Facility
NC – National Coordinator
NGO _ Non Governmental Organization
NSC- National Steering Commitee
PO- Programme Officer
SGP- Small Grants Programme
UNDP- United Nationa Development Programme

Background:

GEF UNDP SGP programmes in India are widespread in terms of thematic and geographical areas. SGP India, as of today has supported 257 demand led, local area and community based action projects countrywide. The project partners working in different geographical and thematic areas mostly get chance to meet in regional forums to share their experiences and learn from each other. Workshops like this not only gives chance to SGP partners to present and share their experience but they also get chance to interact with other partners doing innovative programmes and project in different areas. This way they get an idea on practical and tested technologies, methods and approaches which partners share between each other and later apply relevant learnings in their projects. Through these workshops partners also come across projects which could be replicated in their areas and thus they get ideas to develop new and relevant projects quite required in their area, this leads to cross learning and replication.

In such forums SGP partners get chance to interact with the concerned people of the funding, implementing and facilitating agency who guides them on the proper planning and execution of the project.

Objective of the Workshop:

    • To share the recommendations and suggestions of NSC members on the projects discussed in the 23rd National Steering Committee meeting held on 6th June 2008.
    • Sharing ideas on the Principles of Sustainable development and concerns on project sustainability.
    • Sharing of experiences among SGP partners on the kind of works they have been doing and the impact the project has created.
    • Sharing of plan of action new project partners have planned in for their project and incorporation of successful action plans from old partners.
    • Updating partners on the system of documentation and reporting of project activities
    •  Enhancing capacities of partners to build linkages with local Governments at district and state level through watershed guidelines and NREG’s.

Process  Introduction

Mr. P.S. Sodhi (NC) welcomed all the participants and after a small round of introduction presented the purpose of the workshop to the participant. He clarified the status of GEF, UNDP, GOI and CEE in the Small Grants Programme. NC said that UNDP wants projects to be ongoing and such workshops give us a very good platform to make links and share experiences.

 Presentation by Mr. P.S.Sodhi (National Coordinator, GEF UNDP SGP India)

This was followed by a presentation by NC in which he presented an overview of concerns on project sustainability. The important points discussed were as follows-

    • Develop strategic, innovative projects specially in poor areas, reach the unreached
    • Cross cutting issues of community ownerships, local institution building, gender and equity and links to local governments should be emphasized and while doing budgeting all the points should be included
    • For common exchange of learning and experiences e-mails should be exchanged from both sides
    • Always document and share recognition of SGP projects
    • To keep yourself updated do visit SGP India and GEF websites
    • While reporting the activities and achievements give more of quantitative details. Your output should be measurable
    • Timely submission of reports facilitates timely completion of projects. So please be on time.
    • When in mid term let us know the project status
    • Process is more important than target, do mention the HOW factor while reporting activities.
    • For project sustainability mutual trust and rapport building among stakeholders is very important
    • Do not reinvent the wheel, learn from each others experience and share ideas and issues.
    • Know your target group , know their needs and document it
    • ‘PLEASE DO WRITE TO SGP SECRETARIAT’ for any kind of technical assistance required and we will guide you.

 Apart from discussing all the above points NC also discussed the importance of participatory planning. He also shared some case studies where due to involvement of communities in developing village work plans made the project successful, sustainable and replicable. He also shared that social, environmental and livelihood indicators should be documented to develop the project impact report.

After this NC introduced Dr. Preeti Soni (Head Energy and Environment Unit, UNDP CO) to the participants.
Dr. Preeti Soni presented an overview of history, reach and success of SGP India programmes to the participant. She also discussed the role of UNDP CO with the participants and the new programmes taken up by UNDP CO, in India. Later she said that the SGP Programme is graduating and after 2010 we would not receive from the GEF funding and so we have to depend on co-financing and get support from Government and multilateral organizations and develop linkages with UNDP Programmes and National programmes. 
She said that the partners should take learnings from scaling up projects to limit reinventing the wheel.   
She also said that the UNDP CO focus is on up-scaling projects and in the UNDAF states which includes, U.P, M.P, Rajasthan,Bihar, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Orissa.  
She laid great emphasis on identification, implementation and documentation of project activities and impact created.

She also told the SGP partners about the Solution Exchange, which is an initiative of the United Nations Agencies in India, and is harnessing the power of Communities of Practice to help attain national development goals and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), leveraging the knowledge, experience and energies of development practitioners towards the common objective of problem-solving. She said that this is a very good platform where partners could become members and share their experiences and learnings.
       The link to view the website is - http://www.solutionexchange-un.net.in/en/

   Points put forth by Mr. Anil Arora (Programme Officer, UNDP CO)

He said that Small Grants Programme is a flagship programme since it deals directly with NGOs and CBOs but all other programmes of UNDP are linked through ministries. He said that our NGO partners have been doing wonderful work but it is not know to UNDP. He said that our NGO partners should document success stories even in the local language and should send it to the UNDP CO.

He said that there are lot of avenues to work together and such workshops provides a forum to understand, learn and give an understanding of administrative procedures and clarify problems faced in project implementation.
He also emphasized the point of timely completion of reports and said that in case the project needs an extension then it should be informed 3 months in advance so that the payments does not get stuck.  
He said that the NGO partner should also give feedback on the problems (if any) faced from CEE.
Partners should not shy away from showing the support got by any other donor, as that could be sown as co-financing and would expand the scope of your project

 Presentations from NGO partners of new and old SGP projects
Below given are the projects on which presentations were made by various NGO partners on plan of action/ongoing activities of the project and impacts created by the project in case of ongoing project.  

    S.No Name of the Organization Project Name
    1 Jaipur Zila Vikas Parishad Develop Sustainable Choices for Leather Scrap and minimize Air Pollution
    2 Winrock International India Techno-social and energy saving interventions for improving the reliability of pots in glass melting furnaces
    3 The Friends of the Doon Society Ecological and Energy Conservation- The Rasalpur Eco- Development Project in Haridwar District/ Biodiversity Conservation
    4 Sujagriti Samaj Sevi Sansthan,Sujagriti Samaj Sevi Sansthan Reclamation of ravines through endogenous technology & ex-situ conservation of local biodiversity in Piprai Panchayat of Morena District in Madhya Pradesh
    5 Dhriiti Promote Conservation practices in forest areas through Bamboo Workers Cooperative Development
    6 Lokpanchayat Food Sovereignty through Women Leadership and Secure Agro Bio Diversity
    7 Bioved Research and Communications Centre Waste and barren land development through agro lac host plantation
    8 Jai Nanda Devi Swarojgar Sikshan Sansthan Establishing traditional Water Harvesting System of the selected villages full of water and recharging of Ground Water for their Sustenance
    9 Adhar Demonstration and dissemination of “Biomass based Biogas Plants” Technology
    10 Pradeepan Environment Protection through Sustainable Livelihood of Tribal
    11 Navnreet Energy  Research and Information (NERI) Pilot clean and green technology and organic farming concept towards empowerment and better livelihoods

Presentation by Dr. S. Parthasarthy (IAS):
“Sharing links with local Governments at district and state level through watershed guidelines and NREG’s”.
Dr. Parthsarathy introduced the watershed guidelines to the participants and discussed as to how they could make use of this guidelines in development and implementation of their projects and build links with the local government.
He said that deployment and convergence of resources in country is important.
He said NGOs has the same right as the Government agencies and that funds are equally available to the committed agencies. He also discussed the important roles to be performed by the Gram Panchayat under the watershed guidelines and shared some of the selection criteria for watershed projects.   
He also encouraged the participants to go through the watershed guidelines to get a better idea to develop linkages which is necessary for project sustainability and replicability. 

Immediate outputs

    • Sharing of experience and learnings between NGO partners.
    • Clear understanding of roles and status of GEF UNDP CO, GOI and  CEE in the small grants programme
    • Clear understanding of reporting formats and timelines  
    • Direct interaction with the funding agency and clear understanding on the expectations of the funding agency from the project partners.
    • Some partners got inspiration from successful running projects to replicate the project in their region (Friends of the Doon Society and Pradeepan decided to consult Bioved to replicate the project of ‘Waste and barren land development through agro lac host plantation’ )
    • Guidance and inputs on the plan of action for the project implementation and sustainability
    • Guidance by NC to document impacts created by the project