Strengthening francophone CSOs in data management: phase 2

We are delighted to announce that CartONG is launching the second phase of its initiative to strengthen francophone civil society organizations (CSOs) in program data management (GDoP). After four years of activity, and thanks to the renewed support of the French Development Agency, we will continue our strategic and operational support to Humanitarian Aid and International Development actors for the responsible, effective and efficient management of their data.

We are delighted to launch this second phase of our initiative to reinforce the sector. The external evaluation of the first phase highlighted the relevance of the proposed activities for francophone CSOs. It also highlighted the need for more time to consolidate the project’s achievements, keep the resource center up to date and develop activities to continue structuring and developing the sector. So it’s with great enthusiasm that we’re continuing along the same lines as four years ago. Building on this experience, we already have a strong program of activities, which we are sure will enable francophone CSOs working in the field of Humanitarian Aid and International Development to continue to take ownership of program data management issues, and thus improve the overall quality of the projects they implement“, comments Maeve de France, Head of Programs at CartONG and leading the initiative since 2021.

An initiative that has come a long way to meet an essential need

14 publications, 7 inter-NGO exchange days, 350 participants at our events from over 80 organizations, an online platform with two sections, making available nearly 400 sector-specific resources and 11 toolkits in French and English. What began in 2015 as a community of practice in Information Management between francophone humanitarian NGOs has today become a sector-wide initiative that sees the active involvement of tens of local and international stakeholders, and benefits hundreds of Humanitarian Aid and International Development professionals. To find out more about the results of the first phase of the initiative, please refer to this article.

Today’s NGOs manage more and more data, not only to be able to implement quality programs, but also to be accountable to the communities and donors. Data management also means the skills, methods, tools and technologies needed to manage this data responsibly, effectively and efficiently. While the importance of good data management is increasingly recognized as a key element of effective project implementation, including through initiatives such as the one launched by CartONG, much work remains to be done to integrate these methods and practices, especially for organizations that don’t have the resources to employ in-house specialists.

What activities are planned for this second phase? Resources and learning opportunities open to all

The new phase of this initiative is built around three main objectives:

  • To provide strategic support to NGO head offices as they address the challenges and impacts of GDoP

  • Practical support for NGO field teams in implementing GDoP methods and tools

  • Nourish sector-wide debates on technological and cross-sectoral developments

While the needs guiding the choice of activities and their topics are discussed primarily with the project partners, who will also have priority in activities that have a limited number of participants, the vast majority of the proposed activities are open to all organizations and professionals in the sector.

On the one hand, strategic support includes the organization of exchange opportunities on the topic, open to all interested professionals in the sector, as well as, for the first time, specific workshops for network heads. On the other hand, we will continue our work to select and disseminate sector-specific resources, as well as improving the self-assessment methodology we developed during the first phase of the initiative.

In terms of practical support for teams in the field, we’ll be offering a new series of webinars open to all, and we’ll be continuing our work to improve the Learning Corner, including with new toolkits. These will include one on the first steps with PowerBi, one on “gender and data”, and one on the often-forgotten “retention, archiving, destruction (RAD)” phase of the data management cycle. More specific and personalized coaching and training will also be organized, including face-to-face training in the field.

To continue the work of facilitating debates on the topic, we will be publishing an updated study on the panorama of the practices and needs of francophone CSOs, scheduled for autumn 2024. We’ll also be organizing sectoral workshops on the major stakes of the moment.

How to get involved, stay informed and find out more

Humanitarian Aid and International Development players are at the heart of this initiative, which couldn’t be so effective without your support, participation and contribution. Would you like to get actively involved, find out more, take part in planned activities or simply stay informed? Don’t hesitate to subscribe to our newsletters to receive the latest updates on the project, or to contact the project team directly at renforcement-osc@cartong.org. If you’d like to have an overview of all the resources made available as part of this project, click here.

A first way of getting involved right now is to take part in the survey we’ve launched to identify the needs and existing practices of Humanitarian Aid and International Development CSOs in terms of “program data management”, and which will enable us to feed into the update of our 2020 study mentioned above.

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