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Non-governmental organizations
Challenges and contribute to infrastructure projects



Ahmed Tawfik Nassim

Monitoring & evaluation consultant

Treasurer of FAODA

 I'm writing about my experience in non-governmental organizational learning, and in framework of supporting the exchange of experiences between NGOs, although this experience that I introduce it, is unsuccessful of my organization in implementing certain activities involving infrastructure, which made me hesitant in introducing this experience, as in general level, we don't introduce to others that we failed to achieve any activity, and also at the NGO projects level, rarely when I work in monitoring and evaluation, I can see a project fails to implement any activity, contrary, always project's team work succeed in achieving all of the core activities of the project proposal, and also implement other initiatives are more impressive supports the success.

The experience that I introduce is, we are as a team work in our Organization we failed to implement certain infrastructure activities in two Assembly's projects, these projects are reduce ground water level in a poor village, and another project is the activities related to its infrastructure as follows (building portals, well-developed tourist market, and workstation for selecting residues), the two projects are funded from two different donors.

I made an analysis of the failure's causes to complete these activities, and forced the team to modify and get approval from donors to amend the proposed activities, and converted from infrastructure activities to other activities related to trainings, raising awareness and capacity building. I and my colleagues conducted severe substantive analysis of the reasons, we found two important reasons:

The first reason: these reasons not related to the activities planning of these two projects, and its real requirement of to meet the geographical scope of the projects, where needed still exists already, first community suffers strongly until now of the ground water level rise, and the other community still need infrastructure activities, that have been referred to and which was involved in planning. All these activities have been obtaining Government of many governmental agencies led by local units exist in these communities to implement these activities, and this was one of the annexes in approvals of project proposal.

Second thing: the nature cooperation process between government agencies and NGOs caused mean reason at this failure, which is why we as a team work to get more focus on the nature of this relationship, and implementing further researching and analysis of that, and we got number of results:

• A Government's approval with the presence of the contact person, because it can share with you an effective support participatory planning process in communities, and facilitates approval contained in the annexes of project proposals, and suddenly moved to another location and hiring another, you have set different sharp in cooperation of governmental body but instead find decisions contrary to what has already been approved by the same author.

• weak  role of the local people's Councils at local units, where they may participate in the planning process and facilitate approval, if there is a collaborator manager with projects, while its role is weak if a certain entities not approved and only addressed or to display on board.

• Non-logical sequence in approvals, multiple government agencies and conflicts of competence, for example, when there are connections for drainage pipes, it needs to dig in sandy road or in a part of asphalt road, then, you will surprise "as a member of team Association implementing the project", the follows, while the approval of the local unit and the local village Council and Council of the city centre, during the participatory planning process, during implementation you need following approvals (roads approvals, railway's approvals if a campus railway, irrigation approval, government IT approval), which raises an important question, on what basis it has been approved by the local government during the planning process, you may get approval, and other refuse or associated consent is consent.

• That such approvals need previews, meetings and committees totally contrary to define development project, " the number of activities to achieve specific objectives under specific resources and time was agreed", where may end age for project without the consent of one or the other.

 • There are a number of fees and expenses, gratuities, transportation, in order to go previews don't have a financial allocation, and no way classified in budgets of projects, where there are external financing, has it seemed a challenging to obtain necessary approvals for infrastructure projects.

• Some responsibilities see that some donor's names for example (EU, World Bank, etc.) will not finance limited budgets, so they get a high estimate of approvals fees or they expect participation in committees oversee projects and expect huge attendance allowances for their participation in these committees.

• Some officials try to charge the organization with a number of other activities to support the objectives of the governmental body, and that's activities outside the specific activities of the project, which is rejected by the Organization and the subsequent refusal of the granting organization representing approval.

I prefer to introduce this experiment on the challenges facing NGOs in contributing to the implementation of certain infrastructure projects in communities, and in spite of these challenges, we may find some organizations are implementing infrastructure projects and succeed in completing all of its activities as a result of conditions help these organizations, as example, cooperation of government officials or of one of the prominent figures within the governing body, or a complete agreement with plans for governmental agencies or support an influential figures of the project or for other reasons, but I see that the NGOs must put this expertise through planning activities to provide the infrastructure, so that approvals obtained by the organizations during the final approvals and do not represent any surprise the Organization has a list of other approvals and have to amend its activities affect the objectives and target outcomes for communities.



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