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Chairperson’s Report for FY2016-17

Our Context

This fiscal year, covering the period of August 1, 2016 to July 31, 2017, marked the last year of implementation of the CODE-NGO Strategic Plan 2012-2017. The year ushered in a newly-elected President and the need to build a stronger CSO-led multi-sectoral alliance for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which significantly influenced the work of CODE-NGO. We also jumpstarted our fiscal year with a strategic assessment of our past 5 years to create a roadmap for CODE-NGO’s strategic directions from 2017 to 2022.

The following summarizes our accomplishments for the year on the key result areas:

Resource Generation Assistance

Regular and Expanded Capacity Building Fund (CBF) grants to our Member Networks (MNs) amounting to PhP13 million supported their operational stability and the crafting of their strategic plans and corresponding financial sustainability and resource mobilization plans. Through consortium projects collectively raising PhP17 million, CODE-NGO also enabled MNs to access resources, allowed them to build their reputation capital with donors and partners and developed their capacities in project management and implementation. Our consortium projects were supported by our trusted partners for years, such as the Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF), National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Christian Aid Philippines, Misereor and our new partner and Humanitarian Leadership Academy (HLA).

Strategic Capacity Building for Members on Governance, Networking, and Advocacy Effectiveness

Through the Expanded CBF project, MNs were able to update their strategic plan, operations and finance manuals, membership policies and monitoring of member’s performance. The members also continued to work on their respective network’s good governance campaigns targets. To date, 682 or 32% of member base organizations (MBOs) have accomplished our Good Governance Checklist and 98 or 8% are PCNC-certified. Further, 1,368 or 63% of our MBOs have renewed their commitment to our Code of Conduct, upholding our pledge to demonstrate transparency and accountability in our own operations. The 35 volunteer mentors of the networks, whom we trained last year, already started mentoring the other member organizations of their network on organizational development.

Our various consortium projects with MNs also delivered 34 capacity building and training events which have directly reached 243 CSO leaders from our member organizations and partner communities:

The Strengthening Decentralized Governance project supported by Misereor has trained CSO leaders in Advocacy and Networking, Program/Project Development Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation, Finance and Administration Management, Strategic Visioning, and Youth Leadership. The DataGov project supported by NED trained partner CSOs in Constructive Engagement and Public Financial Management. The DRRM Fund Watch project supported by Hivos Making All Voices Count capacitated CSO leaders on monitoring of local DRRM budget. The Advancing CSO Engagement in DRRM-CCA (ACED) project with Christian Aid trained DRRM champions on monitoring shelter rehabilitation projects in Yolanda- and Sendong-affected areas and provided support in the establishment of 10 regional CSO hubs. Through this initiative, additional P5.15 million was also raised to support the MNs’ emergency response activities during Typhoon Lawin in October 2016, Typhoon Nina in December 2016 and for those affected by the Marawi armed conflict in May 2016.

Our network will continue to work on strengthening local CSOs to engage in governance processes and to respond to emerging concerns of the sector. We recognize the contributions of the Commission on Institution and Capacity Building (CICB), Commission on Internal Reform Initiatives, and Advocacy Commission (Advocom) in these.

Knowledge Development and Management

We conducted 2 learning exchanges and online fora among members and the broader public on topics such as Board-Executive Director Relations and Volunteer Management. We published 10 knowledge products such as the CSO Perception Survey, Guidebook for CSO Network Sustainability, 25th Anniversary Book titled “Higit Pa”, Storytellers’ Journey written by CODE-NGO volunteer writers, Strength in Unity and Addressing Concerns and Facing Challenges, case studies of the Citizen’s Monitoring of LGUs project, and Scoping Study on Surge Capacity of Philippine CSOs. These were shared publicly through our website and social media pages.

We completed our research on CSO Sustainability Index 2016 with support from the Management Systems International and USAID. We presented to the national government agencies our recommendations resulting from the Enabling Environment National Assessment, a research supported by CIVICUS and the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law. We have updated our membership database, now with 1,408 profiles of our members, accessible through http://code-ngo.org/network-members/.

Increased Effectiveness of Development Advocacy

Through our consortium projects with MNs, we focused on advocating CSO good governance, people empowerment, and disaster risk reduction and management. Collectively, our 5 consortium projects reached 12 regions and 38 provinces, involving 235 organizations and 256 CSO and community leaders. Our MNs were influential in their regions and sectors in assessing and influencing local development agenda and implementation of full disclosure policy were they are and on communicating project results and analysis to government at local and national levels. We have advanced policy recommendations on DRRM not only to local and national government, but also to UN, business and international NGO communities.

At the national level, we were able to communicate our network positions on People’s Fund Bill, Strengthening the Political Party System, Social Welfare and Development Agency (SWDA) Bill, Assistance to Disadvantages Municipalities and our statements against Marcos Burial, Death Penalty, and Minimum Age for Criminal Liability. At the local level, our members through our consortium projects worked on strengthening linkages with the youth sector, the local governments and the development councils and continued the constructive engagement at the provincial and regional level. This year, we renewed our PCNC certification for another 5 years.  And finally, we moved to the new CODE-NGO office.

Our new Strategic Plan for 2018-2022 builds on the gains we have made in our first 26 years. It renews our aspirations for a Philippine society that promotes the total well-being of the Filipino people and the full realization of our human rights.

Our strength as a network comes from our reach, our presence in the communities, our commonalities and our unity. There will be a number of issues where our consensus will be required; where we will have to engage in more dialogues to better understand our respective positions. Let our 26 years of coming together, our vision of the society unite us and help us unify our voice.

Mabuhay tayong lahat!

Sylvia Okinlay-Paraguya

CODE-NGO Chairperson

 

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