Diakonia has defined ten main criteria for how we choose and maintain our partner organiozations. We also have critera for prioritization of focus contexts and programme building.
Criteria for choosing partners and for maintaining partnerships
Normally, a Diakonia country programme is composed of various organizations. All partner organizations are assessed regularly.
The criteria should be fulfilled by all partners where partner organizations as a minimum should:
Criteria for choosing country or context for long-term commitment
Diakonia considers ten criteria when assessing the possibility of opening a new country programme for long-term commitment. The criteria are also used when considering the closure of a programme.
It’s important to note that the criteria are not absolute. Programmes can be justified even though all criteria are not equally fulfilled. Nevertheless, all of these are always taken into account.
Criteria for programme building
A programme should be designed to be as powerful and strategic as possible. In doing so it may be tempting to only support skilful NGOs, thematic experts and lobby strategists. These actors can obviously play an important role in a programme, but the base of a programme should be grassroots’ organisations of different kinds.
The role of NGOs should be complementing and facilitating. Without the support and leadership of member based organisations, civil society will pose no challenge for power holders, nor will the agendas hold any legitimacy or sustainability if they address problems and suggest solutions for people that never participated in their elaboration. At the same time, NGOs are often better equipped in terms of analysis and tools than are grassroots’ organisations.
Diakonia's added value
Related to this is the idea to construct programmes where Diakonia’s added value is maximised. By constituting a platform and meeting point for partner organisations Diakonia should consider the “supply and demand” of knowledge and skills within the partner group. In a well constructed programme both these are met.
On the supply side it is crucial that the programme includes competence on gender perspective and advocacy as Diakonia’s overall development objective is not considered achievable without them.
Except for the above criteria, country programmes should:
Shekeza is an enthusiast with a passion for change. With the radio as her peaceful weapon she struggles for women's rights in her country Congo Kinshasa (DRC). She is one of many volunteers at Diakonia’s partner organization AFEM. If necessary, Shekeza says she is willing to scarify her own life to bring an end to rape and abuse. Photo: Joakim Roos, Moment Agency