For good cooperation and to achieve success, it is important to be in close and regular contact with the projects. Our country managers in Basel visit each project once or twice a year. The National Coordinators, who live in the country itself or in a neighbouring country, also go and visit the projects in the field two or three times a year. They are the first points of contact for our partners in the South and work closely with them every day.
Visits provide support
The visits to the projects are not only about inspecting them but also about supporting them, witnessing the successes and working together to find ways of making improvements.
Help with what to do and how to do it
Naturally, the visits also involve administrative work. We talk about subjects like book-keeping, organisational structures, personnel issues and, of course, the project work itself. What has gone well, what less so? Where are the problems and what are the solutions? What aspects and new developments are important at the moment? We help our partner organisations with the actual focus of the project and with technical expertise, and we contribute specialist knowledge.
Direct contact with young people in the project
The other important occasions are the field visits, when we can talk directly to the people and observe the project activities. The target group for our project work is always the young people. It is important for us to be in direct contact with them and to use the field visits as a chance to talk to them and work with them.
Contracts and reporting systems
At the start of our cooperation with each partner organisation, a contract is signed in the form of a service agreement. This sets clear targets for each phase of the project. A project phase normally lasts three years, and then an evaluation is carried out.
Approving any variation from the target
Each partner organisation also submits half-yearly and yearly reports which are divided in two parts: the content of the work and the finances. The report on the content describes the progress made by the project. If this varies from the targets that were set during planning, terre des hommes schweiz has to approve that variation. Only when we have signed off the report will the next payment be released.
Annual financial audit
For projects receiving funding of over 50,000 francs, an annual financial audit is carried out. For those receiving less funding, the National Coordinators inspect the finances. The organisation, structure, procedures and so on are also evaluated as required.