Capacity Building of Council (CBoC)

The sustainability and effectiveness of development activities and service provision depends largely on proper consultative and feedback mechanisms. Capacity building of Councils and Councillors enables them to perform their core duties adequately, fosters checks and balances and strengthens the performance of local governments.

Project Goal & Outcomes

Development goal:
  • Councilors’ at different levels with enhanced capacities execute their core duties thereby contributing to quality service delivery, strengthened performances of local governments and improved living conditions of the people in the region.
Outcomes: 
  • Council members have developed the required competencies and put them into practice.
  • Adequate systems, structures, and processes contribute to a conducive environment for functioning councils.
  • Councils are responsive and ensure that the people’s needs and concerns are addressed.

Approaches

Based on the lessons learned from previous Woreda Good Governance Support Project (WGSP) Implemented in two Woredas (districts) of Amhara region between 2005 and 2010, implementation strategies and interventions of the project include:
  • Stepwise approach:  Interventions start with a preparatory and inception phase, they are followed by grounding of the basics and deepening the practice, and in the end set up the paths for up scaling
  • Partnership: A multiple partnership with main stakeholders (councils, cabinets and line agencies, civil society organizations and the communities) at different levels (strategic and steering, operational and implementation) enables the partners to assume their intended roles and creates ownership
  • Local Ownership: The Amhara National Regional Council at the regional level owns the project and is a co-financer, while the local Councils and the community mobilize in-kind contribution 
  • Inclusiveness: Addressing the needs of both men and women councillors and the provision of additional support to strengthen the role and involvements of women councillors and their forums
  • Capacity building and knowledge management: The project provides support for capacity building, development of tools and procedures, as well as documentation and dissemination of best practices.
 

Main Activities

  • Training of men and women councillors at regional, Woreda (5) and Kebele (10) levels on their core duties
  • Training of Woreda and Kebele Standing Committees (SC) on their core functions including oversight and social accountability mechanisms
  • Training of council leaders, executives and civil society representatives on leadership
  • Training Region and Woreda councillors including their experts and officers on participatory planning and budgeting cycle
  • Support to the Regional Council Secretariat in conducting capacity building needs assessment, development of the Regional Capacity Building Strategy, and production of different manuals and tools. Support to and strengthening of the Women councillors’ caucus, Experts Forum and thematic GO-NGO Forums at Regional and Woreda levels
  • Raising awareness on the core duties of the councils and the assembly among cabinet members, other stakeholders and the community
  • Support to councils to equip with basic office materials, equipment and small office building for Kebele councils on a cost sharing basis
  • Training of the Socioeconomic Officers and Follow up and Assistance Experts of the councils at different levels to execute their functions efficiently and effectively

Results Achieved (up to December 2014)

  • Baseline Survey and Capacity Need Assessment of Councils completed and the Regional Capacity Building Strategy of ANRC developed
  • 4465 men and women councillors trained on their core duties at all levels (Region Woreda and Kebele) and 188 Speakers, Deputy Speakers and Members of Standing Committees in ten partner Kebeles trained and coached on conducting follow up and supervision functions
  • 64,000 Booklets on Core Duties of Regional, Woreda and Kebele councils published and disseminated to the councillors at all levels and communities in partner Woredas and Kebeles
  • Experience sharing workshop on core duties of councils organized for Councillors from the region, project Woredas and Kebele councils
  • 647 Region and Woreda councillors including their experts and officers trained on participatory planning and budgeting cycle
  • 283 Woreda and Kebele SC members trained on deliberation skills and assembly procedures
  • 283 Woreda and Kebele members and 18 Woreda Socioeconomic Officers and Zone Follow-Up and Assistance Experts trained on Monitoring and Evaluation methods
  • 700 Zone, Woreda and Kebele leaders trained on leadership
  • 40 Socio-economic officers and follow-up assistants supported in conducting quarterly experience exchange forum
  • 11 Documentation and Public Relation (PR) officers trained on documentation and communication techniques
  • 8 Region and Woreda council leaders participated in an exposure visit to Switzerland on federalism and institutional capacity development
  • Awareness raised on the core duties of the councils and the assembly among 268 stakeholders
  • 350 Women caucus members at Regional and Woreda levels supported and strengthened through quarterly experience exchange forums
  • Small council offices built for 10 Kebeles with cost sharing latrines and 5 Woreda and 10 Kebele councils equipped with basic office materials
  • SC and community members trained on participatory information collection and explicability mechanisms including Community Score Card practical applications at 10 project operational Kebeles
  • Awareness created among communities on core duties of councils through radio programs and children’s parliament
  • Support to the Amhara National Regional Council for developing easy to use manuals and tools on oversight, monitoring & evaluation, ethics, participatory development planning and implementation, leadership and social accountability mechanisms for Woreda and Kebele Councils

Partners and Supporters:

Phase: Phase I (2012-2014; extended till 30.06.2015)

Overall budget: CHF 917‘000

Partners: 
  • Amhara National Regional Council Office (ANRCO) - Strategic Partner
  • Bureau of Finance and Economic Development
  • Civil Service Bureau (CSB) of the Amhara National Regional State
  • Consortium of Christian Relief and Development Associations
  • Amhara Development Association
  • Local Civil Society Organizations at Woreda and Kebele levels such as Women Associations

Donors: 
  • HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation: 91.5%  of the total budget
  • Amhara National Regional State Council: 11.8% of the operational (program) budget 
 
Direct beneficiaries are the Councils, i.e. the Councillors at regional and partner Woreda and Kebele levels. Representatives from the existing support structures like socio-economic experts or caucus of women councillors are other direct beneficiaries. The indirect beneficiaries are the people of the partner Woredas and Kebeles.

Project Office

HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation
Capacity Building of Councils 
Amhara Region, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia  
P.O. Box: 478
Tel: +251 58 2221357
Fax: +251 58 2221357