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Organisational development

Stemming from the recalibration of the organisational strategy, many structures, roles and responsibilities, primarily in head office, changed in order to better support the field. Information about the changes took time to reach each of the different departments and countries, which required repeated explanation of the plans in order to achieve both understanding and compliance.

Programme department

The most significant change in structure was the split of the Programmes Department into the Field Operations Department (FOD) and the Quality, Accountability and Learning Department (QAL), which creates better checks and balances in our country operations and programming. FOD runs country operations, including logistics, security, HR and finances, while QAL measures the quality of programming, including psychosocial support, education, child participation, and monitoring and evaluation. This division also led to changes in the content of some functions, resulting in some staff turnover.

The Institutional Fundraising Unit (IFU) initially functioned as part of the Programmes Department as the proposals they develop require close collaboration with programme experts. In 2013, the unit was moved to become part of the Marketing and Fundraising Department, bringing all fundraising activities under one department. This move does not prevent collaboration between QAL and IFU.


The decision was also made to eliminate one management layer at head office, the Operations Manager, previously responsible for HR, Finance, Procurement, Facilities and ICT. To compensate, a senior Finance Manager and HR Manager were hired and responsibilities divided differently amongst the sub departments.

The position of Facilities and Reception in the organisation changed several times over the last few years, and was moved under HR in 2013 because its link to working conditions and culture fits under HR in the new organisational structure. To provide stability for employees working in this unit, it will not be changed in the foreseeable future.

Management team

To provide direction and leadership in the implementation of the recalibrated strategy and achievement of our organisational objectives, a stable and balanced Management Team (MT) was formed, which includes the seven key department managers. Although originally not formal members, both the HR and Finance Managers were formally included in the MT to better steer the organisation as a whole.

The MT’s 2014 annual plan focuses on facilitating mutual understanding between all parts of the organisation, which can be accomplished, in part, through inspiring leadership to steer, motivate and inspire the organisation. To this end, the MT began following a leadership trajectory facilitated and sponsored by Aberkyn, which will continue in 2014. Due to the numerous developments in the organisation in 2013, developing leadership amongst middle management has not yet received attention, but will be addressed in 2014.

Lessons learnt

Professionalising the organisation requires significant HR attention to organisational development and improving leadership and management skills. The clarification of structures, roles and responsibilities and reporting lines is imperative. The strategy review process focused on three themes, which were central to HR’s work in 2013, and will be used as an umbrella for the Annual Plan 2014: focus, transparency and team play. The timing, form and content of internal communication remains challenging, but will be addressed by the hiring of a competent internal communication specialist. The specialist will develop an internal communication strategy to guide the organisation in effectively ensuring that relevant information reaches all staff.

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