Empowering Capacity Change in CSOs

The Civil Society Support Programme (CSSP) uses a number of tools to monitor and measure progress against the programme’s performance matrix (known as the Babogaya results framework) and ultimately assess whether CSSP is contributing towards its overall objective of strengthening civil society’s contribution to Ethiopia’s development, poverty reduction and good governance.

CSSP’s Capacity Change Scale

One of the most valuable monitoring tools is CSSP’s capacity change scale, that reviews the self-assessed progress of 137 grant recipient CSOs against baseline measurements of their:

  1. Capacity to respond to the priorities determined by poor people, especially ‘hard-to-reach’
  2. Capacity to manage finances appropriately
  3. Capacity to design and deliver projects which are people-centred and emphasise innovation
  4. Capacity to develop a strong leadership culture, and maintain appropriate governance structures and leadership quality
  5. Capacity to have effective dialogue with the government.

Capacity improves across CSOs by 20%

CSSP-supported CSOs report that their capacities are improving in all areas of CSSPs capacity change scale – engaging hard-to-reach agendas, financial management, people-centred programming, leadership and governance, and their relations with government. Between October 2012 and January 2015, CSOs’ self-assessed scores increased by a minimum of 20% on average. Most progress has been made with regard to CSO’s financial management and people-centred programming, see the table below for further information.

Capacity Change Scales
(Higher score = better)
 Average score Oct 2012(1-5)  Average score Jan 2015(1-5) Percentage change
1: Engaging HTR people/issues 3.53 4.15 +24.5%
2: Financial management 3.47 4.13 +26.7%
3: People-centred projects 3.42 4.06 +26.4%
4: Leadership and Governance 3.51 4.03 +20.7%
5: Relations with the state 3.57 4.12 +21.4%

Enhancing CSOs’ capacities in these areas aims to bolster CSOs’ effectiveness, efficiency, transparency, accountability and credibility, and ultimately enhance the impact that CSOs achieve in the communities where they work. In the longer term, it is anticipated that the improved performance and reputation of CSOs will yield more effective working relationships with government agencies, greater opportunities for partnerships with other CSOs and businesses, and enhanced trust amongst the public.


 “Working with CSSP has helped the organisation to understand the concept of ‘hard-to-reach’ issue clearly and the importance of focusing on the most marginalised and poorest sections of the communities. The training participants also reported that they learnt the importance and ways of involving stakeholders in the whole processes of project programmes.”

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