Catalysta: Aurelie Viard-Cretat | June 2018
Synopsis: Catalysta Aurelie Viard-Cretat improved staff capacity and overall office capability for Caritas Kosovo, in particular for the Mitrovica Regional Office, building strong team relations, supporting fundraising efforts, monitoring and evaluating programs, developing new programs and long term strategies, and conducting an internal organizational assessment.
Through regular, short interventions carried out over the span of two years, Catalysta Aurelie supported the Caritas Kosovo Regional Office in Mitrovica in becoming a more professional, independent, and efficient environment. She also improved the capacity of the office’s multi-ethnic team, allowing them to reach their full potential.
Towards an Inclusive Future…
The Caritas Kosovo Regional Office in Mitrovica was founded during the Kosovo War in 1999.
In the city of Mitrovica, where ethnic tensions are still widespread, the team of Caritas is an example of an inclusive space overcoming these tensions to build a strong community. The Kosovo Office is comprised of a multi-ethnic and multi-religious team, with members from the Serbian, Albanian, Turkish, and Roma communities.
Over its 20 years of operation in the greater region, Caritas Kosovo implemented a wide range of projects in the areas of economic development, community integration, volunteer promotion, and human rights. However, the office faced a variety of challenges: a lack of program efficiency, a decrease in funding, and a general loss of staff motivation.
Assessing the strengths and areas of improvement…
Starting in late 2016, Aurelie began her work with the Mitrovica Regional Office following a request from their main partner Caritas France, in order to evaluate their Peace and Reconciliation program. In order to provide an objective and exhaustive assessment, she used mixed data collection methods, meeting no less than 60 staff members, partners, and beneficiaries, and analyzing more than a hundred documents.
A workshop to present the preliminary results allowed her to discuss the findings with the local team, and ensure their acceptance of the process.
The evaluation process, as well as the evaluation report and the many recommendations formulated by Aurelie allowed the team to have a clearer idea of their upcoming priorities, and also gave them the necessary motivation to tackle the challenges ahead.
… in order to reinforce the existing capacities in a sustainable way
In a context of a drastic reduction in donors willing to fund programs in Kosovo, there was an urgent need to improve the effectiveness of Caritas programs, and to establish a clear organizational strategy, including fundraising aspects.
Deeply satisfied with the evaluation she conducted, Caritas France and Kosovo contracted Aurelie to support the team in the drafting of their three-year strategic plan, and to set up and implement a fundraising strategy. Since then, thanks to the tangible progress realized by the Caritas Kosovo team, led by our Catalysta, Caritas Kosovo has continued to contract Aurelie on a regular basis in order to provide holistic and tailor-made support for the Mitrovica Regional Office. Aurelie is now assisting Caritas in the implementation and monitoring of the new EU-funded program she supported them in developing.
Small and bigger wins…
A more effective team
“Her working methods have transformed my working methodology and increased my work performance.”
Increased participation of beneficiaries (especially women and minority groups)
“Before, we didn’t involve our beneficiaries enough. We focused on delivering planned activities. Now we go deeper, and we really involve the communities.”
Better cooperation with partners
“Now we join forces with others.”
545.000 euros raised (enough to cover the coming three years of operation)
Mapping of national and international donors
Mentoring of the staff on proposal writing
Organization of strategic workshops
Participative drafting of a three-year strategy
Monitoring and Evaluation
Final external project evaluation
Set up of an M&E system
Training and mentoring of the team on M&E
Training of the team on beneficiary participation and representation, and on beneficiaries’ complaint mechanism
Gender and disability mainstreaming