– Rolland Agbessi, improving governance of West African civil society
Rolland Agbessi is the Executive Director of Scoutisme Beninois (Beninese Scouts), an Alliance Droits et Santé member.
How is specific support for organizational development valuable for Scoutisme Beninois?
We set ourselves the challenge of making our organization one of the best in our region, specifically in terms of good governance and management. In order to achieve this, we realized that we might need to make deep institutional reforms, change our habits, and make other efforts. Beyond our commitment to raising funds and carrying out community projects like we do every day, organizational development, or OD, seemed to be a solution tailored to our need to know our strengths and to see how we could improve other points. Thanks to the OD process that we underwent, in August 2018, the SGS Society used the GSAT 2.0 tool – a comprehensive benchmarking tool that sets quality standards for the worldwide scouting movement – to certify Scoutisme Beninois as one of the best scouting organizations in the world for good governance – the first in Francophone Africa.
So far, what have you managed to do with this OD support?
To date, OD has allowed Scoutisme Beni–nois to complete five priority improvement projects. They, in turn, led us to create a 2016-2019 strategic and operational plan and a communication strategy. We have also been able to acquire accounting software and create an administrative- and financial-mana–gement manual.
How do you see the rest of the process?
We believe that the challenge centers on hel-ping other Alliance Droits et Santé member organizations and individuals benefit from the OD process and the achievements and other experiences that can be drawn from each organization’s commitment to it. Syste–matically capitalizing on lessons learned and sharing experiences can be a way forward. The future cannot be envisioned without orga-nizational development because, as the wise man says, reaching the top is not the problem – being able to stay at the top is the challenge. Thus, we will meet this challenge with support from the Organizational Development Fund, the upcoming quality-certification process, ongoing assistance from Equipop during new self-assessments, and by executing priority improvement projects, among other efforts.
How do you like civil society organizations’ new role in the governance of the Organizational Development Fund?
Our Alliance values transparency. Therefore, we welcome the ingenious idea of involving Alliance members – at every level – in alloca–ting ODF funding.