SDG 17 Partnerships For The Goals

Supporting Togolese NGO in its organizational and project development

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Project design & Evaluation: The Togolese NGO received donor financial support, which exponentially increased its health project portfolio. As a basis for decision making for further funding, we were contracted to conduct a qualitative evaluation of its health portfolio. We used a range of participatory methods such as focus group discussions and the Method for Impact Assessment of Programmes and Projects (MAPP). We found that while the NGO’s project activities were well conceived and adapted to the local context, it had difficulties to effectively communicate and report its successes towards donors. Our report thus included detailed recommendations on international monitoring, reporting and evaluation standards in order to enable the Togolese NGO to acquire further donor support.

Process facilitation & Training: Based on the evaluation results, we accompanied the NGO for several months to address the identified challenges and support them with a new project funding request. This remote support was completed with a one-week, on-site workshop for the NGO staff. During the first days, we developed an organizational assessment with the staff and analysed main challenges which needed to be addressed going forward. In the following days, we conducted needs- based trainings to improve the NGO’s reporting skills and to support the development of a logframe and M&E system. The NGO continues to extend its local outreach and to propose innovative approaches to support the Togolese health system in remote regions of the country. We are proud to be a part of its family

Supporting the creation of the Blue Action Fund

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Strategy & Concept development: Supporting marine and coastal protection is a strategic priority of the German government. We helped KfW to translate this priority into the setup of a conservation trust fund dedicated to supporting marine-protected areas and coastal waters of Africa, Latin America and Asia. The fund addresses an important funding gap and serves as a global platform and financial partner for NGOs to channel funding to marine/coastal conservation projects (

Project design & Evaluation: With the aim of creating an efficient, far-reaching, impactful funding vehicle, we developed the institutional and operational aspects of the Blue Action Fund in a Design Study. The study laid the groundwork for founding the fund as a German Foundation. Furthermore, we elaborated a Grant Procedures Manual and an internal Operations Manual to design all processes from project preparation to monitoring of ongoing projects. 

Process facilitation & Training: We supported the entire process from developing the initial idea to setup of the Fund and organising the first call for proposals from participating NGOs. This busy period of one and a half years saw a number of multi-stakeholder conferences, workshops and steering committee meetings. It served as an important source of inspiration and buy-in from the many stakeholders.

Strengthening the Partnership between KfW and UNDP as well as UNICEF

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Strategy & Concept development: To enhance smoother cooperation between UNICEF/UNDP and KfW in their common endeavor to support children and families living in conflict settings, we facilitated the development of standard operating procedures (SOPs). The key objective was to develop projects more quickly and make management more efficient and predictable. In addition, we supported the partners in engaging in effective knowledge exchange and in the co-creation of innovative approaches with the aim of leveraging existing knowledge in both organizations and harnessing it for more impact in projects.

Project design & Evaluation: We developed a concise and user-friendly SOP manual that elaborates the typical project design and implementation process. During the piloting phase, this was applied to several UNICEF and UNDP programmes to test its effectiveness in improving programme design.

Process facilitation & Training: Our support lasted over a year and was organized in an agile manner with enough space to analyze, define, test and adapt solutions. We organized stakeholder participation through dialogues at management level for joint planning and review as well as on the working level for joint development of solutions and testing. All exchanges used different live and online/virtual formats and methods that supported transparency and a strong results orientation.

SDG contribution tool: Analysing the impacts of a project portfolio in Albania

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Strategy & Concept development: The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent the guiding framework for development efforts in the next decade. Estimating the impact of programs and portfolios on single SDGs is difficult but allows to orient programs and helps to avoid unintended negative impacts. Therefore, we developed a tool to estimate a program’s SDG impact “ex-ante”. The tool allows quantification and weighting of expected project results, taking into account how strong, direct and relevant the impact is in a given the country context. We also provided strategic recommendations regarding the use of SDGs for impact estimation by comparing this strategy to the commonly used DAC framework.

Project Design & Evaluation: We piloted the impact estimation tool by evaluating the German Development Cooperation portfolio in Albania with regard to its SDG contribution. The evaluation reviewed project appraisal reports and literature on the country context across all implementing institutions. We validated the results through peer verification with our wide network of thematic experts. The outcome of our evaluation showed the contribution of the portfolio to individual SDGs and thus allowed for a strategic discussion on the reorientation of the portfolio. Furthermore, piloting led to further refinement of the tool to improve its validity and explanatory power.

Supporting organizational development of the Nature Trust Alliance (NTA)

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Strategy & Concept development: Globally, there are more than 50 conservation trust funds, which are all managed separately. While some funds, especially in Latin America, regularly share experiences with each other, collaboration on administrative matters is virtually non-existent. However, as experience from the private sector shows, sharing such services holds the potential to reduce costs. In this context, we analyzed two conservation trust funds to identify strategies for pooling resources in the areas of administration, investment and grant activities.

Project design & Evaluation: We calculated the potential cost savings and synergies and recommended an institutional set-up for the shared services provision. As a result of this study, the Nature Trust Alliance was founded, a unique collaboration between three of Europe’s leading conservation trust funds. It provides operational support services, thus enabling the trust funds to focus on their core mission of nature conservation.

Process facilitation & Training: After its foundation, we supported NTA in developing its vision, mission and core services through a series of workshops with NTA employees and the Executive Directors of the supported funds. In this process, we used a wide range of design thinking methods, such as the “Painting from the Core” to facilitate the development of practical and innovative ideas. In close cooperation with the NTA team, we elaborated the Operational Manual with related tools to support the alliance’s daily work and structure processes and workflows, in line with the possibilities of the newly established organization.

Operations manual for the Climate Bridge Fund in Bangladesh

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Project design & Evaluation: The Climate Bridge Fund supports areas affected by climate-induced migration in Bangladesh. We developed the governance structure and processes of the Fund and ensured that the institutional set-up is in line with the objective to set up a legally independent Trust Fund according to Bangladeshi law. We also developed an Operational Manual, including rules and procedures for the decision-making bodies of the Fund and templates for all processes such as project selection, contracting and reporting.

Process facilitation & Training: Applying our expertise in Fund solutions as well as donor requirements, we developed a customized concept for the Climate Bridge Fund in close cooperation with all stakeholders. We held two interactive workshops with BRAC in order to ensure alignment on Fund procedures. We also interviewed potential implementing partners as well as representatives of the target group to ensure ownership of the fund approach.

Developing a methodology for Peace and Conflict Assessment (PCA)

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Strategies & Concept developement: A further development of the Peace and Conflict Assessment (PCA) methodological framework was needed to integrate the dimensions of fragility and violence. We developed a practical guideline for conducting PCAs. The objective was to coherently interlock the steering instruments on the BMZ side (e.g. country strategies) with the steering instruments on the side of the implementing organizations (Minimum standards, PCA application) for improved coherence.

Process facilitation & Training: We conducted a series of workshops with GIZ, KfW and BMZ to facilitate expert discussions on best-practice approaches to conflict analysis and conflict monitoring. We facilitated the workshop, engaging participants and guiding the thought process using the metaplan method. In addition, we incorporated academic insights on the dimensions of state fragility and drew insights from our experience with risk assessment and management on the ground.

Revising the German implementation strategy for Afghanistan

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Strategy & Concept developement: Deteriorating security conditions pose great challenges to the activities of German Development Cooperation in Afghanistan, as they severely limit access of international staff to partners and project regions. Based on many interviews with experts located in the country, we conducted an in-depth analysis of implementation risks and assessed the openness of the Afghan government to reform and change. As a result, we developed various scenarios for a future engagement strategy in Afghanistan.

Project design & Evaluation: In order to develop concrete proposals, we also assessed the suitability of alternative implementation modalities to support the priorities of the Afghan government and adapt to the changing context. These included financing of UN organizations, working with international NGOs or funding additional Trust Funds. To that end, we developed a tailor-made assessment system with alignment, efficiency, risk and “Mitgestaltung” as major criteria.