|Organizational Performance and Change Management - Workshop proceedings - October 1-3, 1997, International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR), Philippines (IIRR, 1997)|
A WIDE SELECTION of tools is used by various organizations to generate a clear picture of their performance. A number of factors should be considered in using each tool, such as its internal and external circumstances, its historical context and the size of the organization. Flexibility should be given importance in using assessment tools as organizations are considered dynamic, the tools, static.
The externals include the field realities of a particular project, while the internals include the organization's resource capacities or constraints, such as their evaluation, budgetary and time allocation capabilities for an activity. Major shifts in strategies, programs, approaches, organizational structure were also added to the list of considerations in selecting institutional assessment tools.
MASAI commented on the above considerations by stating that the Fit Model was more appropriate for smaller organizations.
Organizational assessment tools can be mixed with project assessment tools to make more comprehensive assessments. For example, the Fit model can be used to assess the effectiveness of an organization, and the Log Frame can help further by establishing the responsiveness of the program outputs in relation to beneficiaries' needs.
Flexibility in applying and combining data gathering tools is necessary to get the best assessment of the current situation.
A lot of participants shared their dilemmas from their extensive experience in choosing and using performance assessment tools.
The first set of issues raised related to stakeholdership, such as who should largely influence the choice of assessment tool, the donors who funded the subject of assessment or the experts they contracted to do the evaluation? Or is it the NGDO that will be evaluated, or the partner-beneficiaries for whom most of the initiatives have been undertaken in the first place?
Discussions about the nature of the learning organization raised the following issues. If being a learning organization meant being entrepreneurial and tolerant of new things, as well as being willing to take the risks of new practices, how can NGDOs with limited resources bear the cost of the evolution of new and appropriate assessment tools such as the social audit?
How can flexibility or adaptability or the applicability of assessment tools to field realities, environmental and internal, as well as historical contexts of organizations and the capabilities of all those to be involved in the exercise be upheld?