The Foundation’s scope of action is so far-reaching that it covers a wide range of large, multi-faceted areas. In terms of management, this led the Foundation to give up applying the rules of subcontracting and to switch from the status of project manager to that of contracting authority. This means that the Foundation has opted for a management approach based on projects which meet specific needs and spell out specific targets for financing and budgeting. The project, which often has a local dimension, is then transferred to another partner who takes over and operates it.
However, designing and implementing a project do not mean just erecting a building or developing a given activity. Actually, the Foundation’s missions include:
Project implementation steps: making a reliable diagnosis, providing guidance for actors, assessing perception of and response to the needs, anticipating potential problems.
The sub-contracting approach is in itself a profession in its own right, involving diagnosis, careful preparation, monitoring and follow-up activities.
Making a diagnosis is a multi-stage process. It implies breaking down one single action into several tasks. It is a multi-dimensional undertaking which requires forging contacts with different actors. This is bound to be a comprehensive approach, which makes it necessary to ensure the sustainability of projects due to be carried out jointly with partners. Its efficiency depends on the reliability of the analytical effort, and on a good perception of the services to be provided. It also hinges on the relevance of the responses to the problems raised and to adjacent or related needs, and on how they are translated into projects. Each stated need induces specific projects, because of the multi-dimensional nature of the problems to be addressed, such as family-related, social, economic and environmental problems, in addition to concrete difficulties in connection with receiving visiting expatriates, transportation, existing infrastructure, existing or potential staff, availability of local support.
It is a fact that the diagnosis process, with its various stages and its components, comprising guidance missions in support of the various actors, as well as problem anticipation activities, are considered part and parcel of the project. However, the implementation of the latter falls within the scope of the concrete action discharged by the Foundation. The project fosters the conditions for making quick projections and ensuring predictability. It helps organize relations between the various partners and to ensure effective management, thus turning the concept of solidarity into concrete action.
Partnership: A role of intermediation in the support network
To implement its projects, the Foundation has built a network of partners in conjunction with government agencies, local authorities, state corporations, local communities, NGOs, economic actors and international foundations. Such a partnership provides for the implementation of joint projects wherein the Foundation contributes fully or partially with respect to financing, construction or equipment. Partners’ contributions include provision of plots of land, or part of funding and equipment, in addition to an input in engineering, management and secondment of staff, as well as in efforts designed to ensure sustainable budget allocations for operating costs. In most cases, the management aspect is entrusted to NGOs. However, to make projects- especially major ones- viable and to endow them with perennial resources, there is a growing tendency to assign management tasks to a joint entity which, apart from the NGOs concerned, includes state corporations and local governments. The Foundation’s approach consists in initiating or joining a project and ensuring its funding. It also sees to it that it is a perennial undertaking by assigning its management to other actors, in compliance with its action-oriented policy based on sub-contracting. This partnership also covers projects which are initiated by other actors, while the Foundation contributes to their funding.
Points of Focus for Action: priority to rural areas and to precariousness
Notwithstanding their diversity, the Foundation’s activities are governed by an action plan wherein program scheduling and funding are established according to rational standards, including making projections and performing implementation control and impact assessment activities.
Action plans so far (1999-2003, and 2004-2008) have focused on:
More specifically, the Foundation’s work consists of the following:
Besides such activities, the Foundation encourages other actors sharing the same preoccupations, especially NGOs, and more and more, local communities, by providing facilities and financing for their projects. Through such action: