Integrity is a key element of our work. Our policies and procedures were developed with the intention of providing scaffolding for integrity through consumer-driven projects, expert-driven methods, and a commitment to transparency among all stakeholders.
Global Partners has a very active Board of Directors that is constantly striving to deliver the most effective new services and fine tune existing initiatives. The Board of Directors, in partnership with our staff and local partners, make up a network of experts in various fields that provide timely input on research-driven project methodologies, management techniques, financial transparency, and the latest in engineering practices for the highest levels of quality and cost-effectiveness in international development work.
Specific members of the Board of Directors and Global Partners’ staff make up the Projects Committee. The Projects Committee evaluates project need, vets proposals, and manages ongoing project work in coordination with our African partners to ensure quality, efficiency, and sustainability for every grant. Currently, the Projects Committee is composed of four board members and two staff members. Board members include Project Committee Chair, Steven Hurt (Civil Engineer), Yvette White, Andy Witthohn, John Cullison, and Michael Glaser (Civil Engineer). Staff members include Daniel Casanova, Amy Holter, and Sara Henning.
Project quality is monitored through monthly reporting from our African partners as well as from feedback from project consumers. We think of beneficiaries as consumer stakeholders because we understand that project services are only constructive to the extent that there is local willingness to “invest” in the project. For example, without the willingness of a local water committee to maintain Global Partners’ water projects or the willingness of local people to follow the guidelines discussed during their hygiene education, the usefulness of our water projects falls dramatically. Ongoing projects such as our scholarship program require ongoing community service from scholarship recipients to encourage a relationship fashioned by partnership instead of charity. Consumer need and satisfaction are very important parameters of our work and important indicators of the sustainability of our projects.
In addition to consumer satisfaction, quantifiable project impact is a key component of our monitoring and evaluation system, especially when many similar projects will be carried out in the same region. For example, a full statistical analysis of the impacts of our KC WASH program in western Kenya was undertaken using baseline and follow-up surveys and a matched difference-in-difference econometric analysis.
Life Cycle of a Global Partners Grant
- At the beginning of the project cycle, Global Partners receives initial contact from a local organization, leader, or other group with a request for partnership on a project that they believe can benefit their community.
- Global Partners then responds with questions based on initial project criteria. Initial project criteria include but are not limited to: compelling and well-defined needs; a logical theory of change revealing how the project will achieve its goals; a demonstration of organizational competency and dedication; high levels of community involvement; clear factors of self-sustainability; and a location reachable by Global Partners coordinators.
- If Global Partners deems the project viable, the applicant is sent a formal grant application requesting community and project details as well as full line-item project budgets.
- Once the application is submitted, a Global Partners subcommittee is formed to vet the project. In-country coordinators must verify all assertions made by the applicant through visits to the project area.
- The local project coordinator must assess the needs of the community, the viability and sustainability of the project, and the costs of budget items. In most cases, Global Partners’ Director of Programs (and a qualified engineer in the case of infrastructure projects) must also visit the community before the project can be considered further.
- Once the application has been vetted, the subcommittee presents the details of the needs assessment, the project plan, the projected impact, and the budget to the Project Committee. All strengths, weaknesses, risks, and opportunities are discussed at the Project Committee level. If applicable, questions from the Project Committee are asked of the in-country partner and the applicant. Grants are approved based on need and merit of the grant request whether or not funds are currently available.
- When funds are available for the project, the Chair of the Project Committee presents the need, the details of the project, the funding level, and the specific funds to be used to the Board of Directors.
- Once approved, a grant agreement is signed by Global Partners Executive Director and the grantee.
- Ongoing and final project reports specified in the grant agreement are then completed by the grantee and/or Global Partners’ coordinators and sent to the Director of Programs until the project is complete.
- Depending on the project, various monitoring and evaluation systems are carried out by the grantee, local project coordinators, and U.S.-based staff to test the impact, efficiency, and sustainability of the project.
- The sustainability of the project is also continuously monitored over the years through ongoing correspondence with grantees as well as visits from African coordinators and U.S.-based staff.