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«The SPO ChrOniCle 20 Years of Public Service All Rights Reserved The SPO Chronicle 20 years of public service Published by Strengthening ...»

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The SPO ChrOniCle

20 Years of Public Service

All Rights Reserved

The SPO Chronicle 20 years of public service

Published by Strengthening Participatory Organization

House 9, Street 51, Sector E-11/3, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan

UAN: +92 51 111 357 111

Tel: (92 51) 2228681-4

Fax: (92 51) 2228691

Website: www.spopk.org

Email: info@spopk.org

Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO) is a non-government, not-for-profit

organization registered under Section 42 of Companies Ordinance (1984) on January 15, 1994. SPO is entitled to tax exemption under Section 2(36) of Income Tax Ordinance 2001.

Extracts from this book can be reproduced with prior written approval of the publisher, SPO.

ISBN: 978-969-8699-46-8 Copyright: © Strengthening Participatory Organization 2013 Honorary Editor: Tahira Abdullah Published by: Strengthening Participatory Organization Printed by: Vision Graphics, Islamabad |3 The SPO Chronicle, 20 Years of Public Service Contents Acknowledgements


List of Acronyms


About the Chronicle

Structure of the Organization

Small Projects Office 1985-1993

The Foundational Years 1994-1998

Programme Areas

Capacity Building of Community-Based Organizations......... 21 Learning Information System

Management of SPO

Building SPO

Governance and Management

Special Projects

The Introspective Years 1999-2003

Programme Areas

Strengthening of Community-Based Organizations.............. 53 Women Emancipation Programme

Participatory Development Coalitions

Institutional Strengthening of SPO

Building SPO

Governance and Management

Special Projects

4 | Strengthening Participatory Organization Rights-Based Approach 2004-2008

Programme Areas

Capacity-Building for Good Governance

Social Sector Funding

Strengthening of Civil Society Networks

Institutional Strengthening of SPO

Building SPO

Governance and Management

Special Projects

Reaching Out to the Margnalized 2009-2013

Programme Areas

Democratic Governance

Social Justice

Peace and Social Harmony

Institutional Strengthening of SPO

Building SPO

Governance and Management

Special Projects


|5 The SPO Chronicle, 20 Years of Public Service Acknowledgements SPO would express gratitude to all those who contributed in making this book a reality. Especially Mr. Amar Ellahi Lone who compiled the book, collected information, provided support, read, wrote and assisted in the editing, proofreading and design process.

The organization is also indebted to Mr. Zafar Zeeshan for his guidance throughout the compilation process. We would like to thank the Department Heads/Representatives at SPO National Centre for providing write ups for this work. The organization also acknowledges inputs of Mr. Riazat Hussain for designing the publication in its present form.

6 | Strengthening Participatory Organization Foreword Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO) is celebrating its 20th Anniversary since its transformation in 1994, from a Small Projects Office, operating as a unit of the High Commission of Canada in Pakistan into an independent, indigenous, volunteer-led NGO. The past twenty years have seen the evolution of SPO in terms of size and resources, scope of activities, outreach across the country, and the impact of its work. Together with our many partners in Pakistan, we are honored to look back at two decades of successful collaboration aimed at improving the lives and expanding opportunities for all Pakistani citizens.

This publication begins with a timeline that reflects some of the important milestones and achievements over the past twenty years.

We have also presented selected results on the range of projects SPO has implemented, as we seek to stay relevant, and want to ensure that our work is responsive to the emerging challenges and opportunities of Pakistan’s dynamic development context.

SPO Programmes focus on forging strong relationships with individuals and nascent organizations, and supports them in establishing the building blocks of a democratic Pakistan. The organization’s early programmes sought to create opportunities and provide exposure to Pakistanis to different approaches, models, and institutional arrangements on issues such as the rule of law, judicial and parliamentary reform, independent media, civil society, and human rights.

Over the years, SPO, through its long-term, result-oriented approach to identifying and supporting key institutional and policy reforms, has worked with government and non-government partners on programmes promoting and strengthening transparent, accountable, and participatory governance at the national and sub-national level;

improvement of services; judicial and legal reform; environmental protection and responsible resource use; economic policy reform and private sector development; civil society and civic engagement; women’s empowerment and security; international and regional cooperation;

and educational support.

–  –  –

partners over the last 20 years for their support and cooperation, and congratulate them on the tremendous achievements they have made in helping to drive an impressive development and democratization process as evidenced in this publication. Similarly, I would like to express my gratitude to our donors for their generous support of our programmes, which have allowed us to grow, innovate, and expand in new areas - all in service to the people of Pakistan and their aspirations for a brighter future for their country.

The work that SPO has carried out over the last two decades can be attributed to the invaluable contributions made by many committed and professional colleagues. I feel extremely privileged to be able to lead SPO’s dedicated staff in continuing to promote democratic, just and tolerant voices in society. I look forward to a continued fruitful collaboration with frontline flag-carriers of SPO’s citizen Voice and Accountability initiatives i.e. the partner country-wide civil society organizations.

–  –  –

GEF-UNDP Global Environment Facility-United Nations Development Programme GAP Grassroots Assistance Programme - Embassy of Japan HANDS Health and Nutrition Development Society IDPM UK Institute for Development Policy and Management, United Kingdom IDRF International Development and Relief Foundation IOM International Organization for Migration ISIS Integrated Set of Information System IUCN International Union for Conservation of Nature LEAD Leadership for Environment and Development LID Local Initiative Development LIS Learning Information System MER Monitoring, Evaluation and Research NDMA National Disaster Management Authority NEF National Education Foundation NGORC NGO Resource Centre/Aga Khan Foundation PMRM Programme Management Review Meeting PPAF Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund PRIA Society for Participatory Research in Asia PC Programme Coordinators PAC Project Approval Committee PDC Participatory Development Coalition RNE Royal Netherlands Embassy RPACs Regional Project Approval Committees RSDP Rural Social Development Programme RBM Result Based Management RD Regional Director SAP Social Action Programme SMC Senior Management Committee 10 | Strengthening Participatory Organization

–  –  –

Introduction Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO) is among the leading rights-based civil society organizations in Pakistan in terms of its national presence and outreach. SPO owes its origins to a bilateral development project of the Government of Pakistan and Canada created in the mid 1980s. In 1994, the Small Projects Office, operating as a unit of the High Commission of Canada in Pakistan, was transformed into an independent, indigenous, volunteer-led NGO. The past twenty years have seen the evolution of SPO in terms of size and resources, scope of activities, outreach across the country, and the impact of its work.

The story of SPO’s growth is marked by a commitment to continuous improvement. The culture of introspection and evaluation, internal capacity-building, developing innovative systems and processes, and a willingness to learn from its own experience and from others are the reasons which explain how SPO has achieved the position where it is today in 2014.

About the Chronicle In order to commemorate twenty years of SPO’s existence this Chronicle documents the journey of the organization. The work is thematic in nature with a chronological narrative in the background. The book is arranged according to the themes of the SPO Programme as they were implemented over the years. The Chronicle is divided into four sections of five years each as the broader chronological framework.

Each five-year period chronicles the activities of SPO’s Programme during that period. However, SPO’s interaction with communities made it clear that the organization will have to address issues that did not fall within the sphere of its programme. In order to meet that need various special projects were initiated from the beginning. Eventually, this was combined with SPO’s response to natural calamities. Since the Earthquake of 2005, SPO’s humanitarian response witnessed a staggering increase in its operations. All such projects are dealt with in a separate section in each five-year period. In 2008, after a strategic planning exercise the programme was transformed and its themes were organized into Democratic Governance, Social Justice, Peace and Social Harmony, and Institutional Strengthening of SPO. The organization has been working under these themes since 2009 and SPO is committed to carrying out its Vision and Mission through its programme for many more years.

12 | Strengthening Participatory Organization Structure of the Organization SPO’s Vision and Mission are complementary. The organization’s Vision is “a democratic, socially just and tolerant society guided by participatory principles, which realizes the full potential of its people and their aspirations for sustainable and self-reliant development.” In accordance with this Vision, SPO’s Mission is “to strengthen and support community organizations and public interest institutions of Pakistan for the benefit of poor and disadvantaged sections of society for sustainable development through a participatory approach.” SPO operates through nine permanent offices that include one National Centre and two Regional Centres in each of the four provincesBalochistan (Turbat and Quetta), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Dera Ismail Khan and Peshawar), Punjab (Multan & Lahore), and Sindh (Hyderabad & Karachi). The National Centre is managed by seven support departments. These are Programme Management and Implementation (Programme Technical Support), Monitoring Evaluation and Reporting, Finance, Internal Audit, Human Resource, Administration, and Disaster Preparedness and Response Department (DPRD). SPO is currently working in 72 districts, two tribal agencies in FATA, and four frontier regions.

The National Centre in Islamabad plays the crucial role of coordinating activities of all its regional offices. Apart from its corporate functions, the National Centre provides technical support and guidance on issues such as programme policies, strategies, funding, and networking.

The Regional Centres are directly responsible for implementing SPO’s Programme in the field.

The functioning of SPO is a process structured in the form of different fora. Each one of them has a defined role and responsibilities but they work together in achieving the goals of the organization. They define the direction of the organization, craft the business plan, and implement its programme. These diverse fora are the General Body, Board of Directors (BoD), the SPO Senior Management Committee (SMC) and the Advisory Council. In addition to these, and the biggest of all, is the forum of SPO staff currently numbering around 320 regular and six emergency personnel.

–  –  –

SPO is governed through a fourteen member Board of Directors thirteen elected members and the Chief Executive. In accordance with the Vision and Mission of the organization, members of the Board, as well as the General Body, represent a wide range of disciplines with relevant social development experience. The members of the Board represent all the Provinces and also incorporate a gender and religious balance. The Board meets on a quarterly basis. Through presentations of quarterly progress it monitors the performance of the organization, prepares the annual work plan and approves the budget.

The SPO Management Committee is composed of senior managers in the organization. The committee oversees general management issues and develops SPO’s detailed policies and procedures.

SPO is also steered by an Advisory Council which comprises representatives of the BoD, contributing donors and government agencies. The Council provides a forum for the government and donors to express their views on SPO’s policies and direction. It serves to link SPO with the Government of Pakistan as well as with donors on policy development and plans for social sector development.

Apart from this fora, the SPO staffs from across the country which includes the SMC meets twice a year for the Programme Management Review Meeting (PMRM). It is held to decide programme related issues and make recommendations for operational matters and policies.

However, SPO recognizes all its stakeholders as partners which includes partner communities, community based organizations, women’s groups, local government institutions, civil society networks, academia, donors and other support organizations. In short SPO engages all key stakeholders in the review of its strategic direction.

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