human development, social justice and sustainable social systems

ODSS learning path

Caritas Europa's Organisation development solidarity system

The organisational development solidarity system (ODSS) is an expression of solidarity in the Caritas network: Support for organisational development (OD) is necessary to level the differences that exist between member organisations in the light of having strong members and a strong network. When we act in generosity and solidarity, we acknowledge that we are not isolated organisations that happen to live side by side, but that we are organisations that are really interdependent on one another.

The annual activity peak in the ODSS cycle is drawing near:

On the one hand, the 18 participating CE member organisations have been reminded of the process and the deadline for applying for support from ODSS next year. They will be getting ready to apply for financial support or technical support – or both. The required organisational audits are being organised, and activity reports are being written reflecting how the activities implemented contributed to the results foreseen in the OD plans.

On the other hand, the network has been invited to contribute to the ODSS 2021 and pledges are slowly coming in. Caritas organisations are making available financial as well as technical resources: experienced staff can be called on to support other organisations in specific areas of activity ranging from financial planning to safeguarding policies.

Such technical support has already been taking place this year, e.g. when Caritas Spain shared two of their staff with Armenian Caritas in view of improving their HR policy and guidelines. This opportunity was experienced as very positive and successful: “the atmosphere of openness and trust enabled the technical advisor to come up with a set of recommendations, and a commitment was made to follow up the process also from distance later on, if necessary”.

Many participating MO are working on policies this year in an effort to live up to the Caritas Internationalis management standards (CIMS). Others are improving their fundraising strategies and skills or are developing a communication strategy and increasing their visibility. Others still are reinforcing their volunteers’ base or fostering the identity of their organisation.

2020 has so far not been quite like other years though, COVID-19 has interfered with, and disrupted many plans and lives… This will of course be considered when evaluating the 2020 mid-term reports and the planning for 2021.

A new learning path is being prepared (with EC financial support) to better accompany member organisations in the implementation of their OD plans. It will start this Autumn (CE Autumn academy 21-24 September 2020).  ODSS coordinators will gather to share their practices and learn from each other. The contents will be in line with the ODSS cycle and as concrete as can be. In the first workshop, one of the topics will be how to adapt to external influences.

We wish all ODSS participants the very best with their applications (deadline 18 September ) and look forward to welcoming them in the ODSS learning path in Ghent on 21 September.

more information

Miriam Pikaar
Institutional Development Officer
Tel: +32 (0)2 235 03 99

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