Ibrahima Sory Sylla, National Coordinator of Carbone Guinée is happy his organisation took part in a two-year capacity development programme implemented by WACSI with support from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF).
“This programme has given us some tools which we have used in our efforts to become more credible,” he recounted with utmost satisfaction.
Carbone Guinée is a local non-governmental organisation (NGO) created in 2009 in Guinea with the goal of preserving the environment. The organisation strives to be more efficient in its engagements with beneficiaries, partners, and donors. However, the organisation grappled with some institutional challenges.
Thanks to a capacity development programme for six mentees of the Critical Ecosystem partnership Fund in Guinea, Carbone Guinée stands out as one of the organisations that capitalised on this support from WACSI.
After taking part in trainings, online and face to face coaching sessions, Carbone Guinée focused on revising the organisation’s policies (procedures manual, organisational constitution). In addition, they developed a new strategy plan (2022 – 2025), communication strategy, human resource plan.
Also, after the training, Carbone Guinée initiated the process of creating and setting up a Board of Directors (3 potential members already identified) to strengthen its institutional governance with separation of role between the management and the board.
The National Coordinator of the organisation, Ibrahima Sory Sylla recounted that; “formerly Carbone Guinée en participating in this capacity development project organised by WACSI, there have been some noticeable changes in terms of governance, resource mobilisation, financial management, communication, and advocacy.”
As a result, the organisation has secured funding from four (4) out of five (05) proposals that were submitted in 2021.
This came on the heels of assiduous work to boost the organisation’s visibility. “We also have more visibility, and we are working to attract financial and technical partners,” Sylla confidently added.
The realm of successes chalked by Carbone Guinée stand to make the organisation glow in a country there is in a dire need of NGOs’ interventions to promote nature conservation efforts.
Our team paid a working visit to Carbone Guinée in January 2021. In an interview with our communications team, The Executive Director explains the relevance of this capacity building support to his organisation, adding that his organisation is experiencing some noticeable positive changes because of WACSI’s intervention.
WACSI: What led to these changes in your organisation?
Ibrahima Sory Sylla (ISS): Thanks to WACSI we have acquired practical skills and WACSI has been monitoring our progress for over two years. We now have sound grasp in governance, financial management, advocacy, and communication.
WACSI: Concretely, what actions have you taken or set up to ensure that you have more visibility on the local and international level?
ISS: Regarding this, the first thing we did was to review our management tools. We had archaic management tools, but also in terms of communication and visibility, they were really limited. But thanks to WACSI’s coaching, we have now improved these tools and our visibility in the field.
WACSI: You stated that your management tools were archaic. Can you give an example of a tool that was archaic and that, thanks to the support you benefited from WACSI, you were able to transform this tool?
ISS: For instance, we noticed many inadequacies in our procedure’s manual. But during the training we received from WACSI, many questions were raised internally, and we realise that the best way for us to answer these questions was to change the procedures manual.
We had a communication plan that was not relevant to our organisation’s needs. Many crucial elements were missing. But during the training, we understood that we had to completely revise or update the communication plan. We had never thought about making a strategic plan, which means that we were navigating blindly, but now we have a strategic plan which will guide our annual action plan, based on the organisation’s needs.
WACSI: And how are these tools helping the organisation to achieve its mission?
ISS: The first thing is that internally, each member of the staff knows what they must do which was not the case before. We used to come together and discuss certain things, but it wasn’t as clear as it is now, and as a result, we know that we have a lot of results because many partners are interested in what we are doing and how we are doing it.
WACSI: Two years into this process, how do you see yourself as an organisation?
ISS: Looking back, we can assert that there have been a lot of changes. Our objective is that at the end of this programme or within two- or three-years’ time, we will be a reference organisation in the biodiversity sector in Africa.
WACSI: Do you have a message for the partners?
ISS: We thank the partners for the choice they have made, not only by selecting WACSI to train us but also giving the Guinean civil society organisations the necessary support, which improves our operations in the field and help us to contribute in a sustainable way to the community development.