Discussion Question 3: What impact did donor funding have on SIAAP? What steps could SIAAP take to minimise the disadvantages of accepting external funding? What strategies might SIAAP use to further develop the support it gets from local sources?
(a) Impact on SIAAP:
- All donor funding is accompanied by donor agency regulations. The WHO partnership programme required that SIAAP find an organisational partner.
- Donor agencies have their own approval procedures before funds are allocated. In this case, SIAAP suffered because the anticipated funds from the Partnership Programme did not materialise. Shyamla had to find other funds, from family and friends, to keep the workshop programme on track.
- Even following approval, donor funding may take a long time to arrive. SIAAP had to wait a considerable time before the Ford Foundation money was available to them in Madras.
- Donors require regular and systematic accounting of expenditures. SIAAP is having to look for help in maintaining their financial records and producing their financial reports.
- Donors usually require periodic progress reports on the project being supported. SIAAP is also having to consider hiring secretarial help.
(b) Minimising the Disadvantages of External Funding:
- SIAAP could establish criteria for those areas that could be financed by donors and those which should be financed by community, e.g. SIAAP could decide that investment costs were provided by donors, while they will attempt to fund recurrent costs by contributions from the community.
- Other steps that SIAAP might decide to take include: setting ceilings for the maximum amount of external funding that it will accept; setting time limits for the period for external funding; (iii) careful selection of the donors, based on previous experience, donor conditions, etc; restricting the number of donors at any one time; (iv) diversifying, the donors, so that SIAAP is not reliant upon a single source of external funding.
(b) Strategies for Local Fund-raising:
Strategies that SIAAP could use include: using personal contacts (both individuals and organisations) to seek support; identifying whether fees could be charged for SIAAP services; seeking for ways in which the communities served can make in-kind contributions; conducting regular or special collection campaigns; investigating the possibility of obtaining Government grants; conducting research on private sector organisations to identify their interests (and their skills), and develop targetted proposals for their support; targetting citizens overseas for contributions.
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