2013 was our most successful year since the creation of the Mission Development Office (MDO). Thanks to the support of the Congregational Leadership Team, Provincial teams, our donors and many sisters and lay partners around the world, the MDO contributed to, initiated and/or developed 24 projects across 15 countries. This work benefitted 353,007 people, primarily the poorest and most vulnerable in their communities. Despite the economic uncertainty, the funding approved to support Good Shepherd projects more than doubled from 2012 to over 2 million Euro.
Thanks to an enriched staff (Simone Capolupo joined us in July and Sr. Margaret Lynch is now the Coordinator of our Monitoring and Evaluation Team), we succeeded in:
Submitting 35 applications for projects and offered technical assistance in grant management to all those programs that received funds through MDO in the past years;
Train staff and sisters on “effective grant and report writing” and Monitoring and Evaluation;
Creating a team dedicated to Monitoring and Evaluation of Good Shepherd projects which has already developed a Document and delivered a training in January 2014 to 10 sisters and lay partners from six countries;
Supporting REAL (Circle of Province Leaders of Latin America) in establishing an MDO for the provinces of Latin America, based in Bolivia;
Supported the Economic Justice network, in collaboration with the Asia-Pacific Circle of Province Leaders, in reviewing the current operating models of the Income Generating Programs and studying new ways to ensure Economic Justice in the poorest regions of the world;
Strengthening relationships with other Good Shepherd committees and international offices: Justice and Peace, Spirituality Centre and Communication, including in our Strategic Documents an integrated vision of Mission Effectiveness, including advocacy and spirituality;
Encouraged and accompanied solidarity initiatives between Good Shepherd provinces, using funds donated from Provinces in the North and East as a leverage to match grants in support of sustainable programs in the South;
Creating an effective and supportive international Advisory Board, including lay and religious partners from Good Shepherd and from other Congregations, who have already began supporting us in fundraising and networking;
Preparing a three-year Strategic Plan.
In 2014, we have entered a new phase. We will leverage the results of the hard work done by Good Shepherd communities in, for example, Bolivia, Congo, Burkina Faso, and Lebanon to develop accurate research and prepare long-term strategic plans. This new data-rich approach is vital for funding opportunities in the future, in our opinion. Already it has enabled us to secure new funding from one major donor. In order to extend such positive results to other Good Shepherd programs, we have approved a Strategic Plan covering 2014-2017 entitled “Our Shared Journey of Transformation.” It commits our staff and partners to invest more time and resources in developing tools for training and planning.
As part of this process of empowerment of Good Shepherd partners, energy and time have been addressed to support organizational development processes initiated by some of our partners in Angola, Lebanon and Latin America and we will encourage other programs to initiate a similar process, especially in countries that have been marginalized the most in the globalization process due to conflicts and geo-political isolation. To that end, the Foundation opened mission development offices in Angola and in Bolivia; the third and fourth MDOs following Rome and Beirut.
The key projects we supported in 2013 are adopting a holistic approach to tackle the root causes of poverty. We believe we can affect change through the support of local groups in lobbying governments for the protection of human rights and access to basic social services by empowering women and children and encouraging community cohesion. This approach implements in practice the position taken by the Good Shepherd sisters and its partners at the UN Economic and Social Commission and within the “Global Conversation” on how to shape future policies and agendas of NGOs and Governments after 2015, when the UN Millennium Development Goals expire.
With a renewed attention to monitoring the results of our programs, we wish to positively contribute to this global debate by giving voice to those women and children living in fragile states and in deprived communities which suffer the most from the unresolved plague of poverty and entrenched inequality. While our journey continues, we invite all our partners to keep supporting our efforts.
Sr. Eliene Barros, Executive Director Cristina Duranti, Director