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Best wishes for 2017

2016 has been a year characterized by major changes in two of the major business areas of Bente Consulting: support to civil society development through Danish NGOs and the upcoming closing of the Danish Embassy in Mozambique.  This has called for forward looking strategic choices in terms of new geographical areas and new clients. In spite of this, 2016 has been characterized by a mixture of old and new fields of work and the main tasks have concentrated on:

Civil society and organizational capacity development – unfolded through a Thematic Review of the Danish trade union 3F for Danida with field visits to Zambia and South Africa; mid-term-evaluation of Norwegian People Aid’s support to farmers’ organizations in Mozambique, and review of the Danish Association of the Blind’s Asia-Pacific Program with a workshop in the Philippines. And finally, the part-time position as grant assessment consultant for Globalt Fokus’ capacity development fund, has provided insight knowledge on Danish CSOs and innovative initiatives on organizational capacity building. I have, however, decided to leave Globalt Fokus, as the schedule is often incompatible with my other assignments. 

Governance and Human Rights – finalizing the formulation of the Danish Governance and Human Rights Program in Tanzania, including the preparation of Development Engagements with seven local CSOs, development programs and institutions. Youth rights were the main focus for the appraisal of BØRNEfonden’s Youth Program in West Africa carried out at a participatory workshop in Lomé with particioants from Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and Togo.

Program management – represented through two separate, yet interlinked assignments: A Lessons Learned Study for the Environmental Sector Program Support (institutional capacity component) in Mozambique, gathering lessons learned on program management and capacity development of involved government institutions; and the preparation of a perspective document on a possible Phase II of the Municipal Development Program in Mozambique. Both programs are components under the overall Danish engagement in the environmental sector in Mozambique.

Mozambique – going from bad to worse with looming civil war, economic crisis caused by the former government’s clandestine loans, political killings, increased corruption and inflation. In spite of 40+ years of independence and massive development assistance, poverty is still prevailing and little has changed for the small farmers, who are still demanding access to markets, technical know-how and farm input supplies. They have a mobile phone and easier access – but the basics in terms of education, health and social welfare bear a terrible resemblance with the 1992-situation I know so well from Zambézia Province.

At the doorstep of 2017, the first new assignment is a result of expanding into new business areas – francophone West Africa: Preparation of an advocacy training workshop with ASDAP BØRNEfonden’s Mali partner to take place in Lomé (Togo) in February. The ESPS II Lessons Learned Study will be finalized by end of January when comments from the Mozambican ministry of environment (MITADER) are due.  

Bonne Année - Feliz Ano Novo - Happy New Year – Godt Nytår!

ESPS II - Lessons Learned & Visibility Study

The Environmental Sector Program Support phase II in Mozambique is coming to an end by 2017, and Bente Consulting ApS has been contracted by the implementing consultant NIRAS to undertake a Lessons Learned & Visibility Study. The study focuses on capturing lessons learned related to program implementation (alignment, financial management, planning, monitoring and integration of climate change agenda). The study will also incorporate lessons learned captured by on going technical studies on Mangrove Restoration and Water Resources. The study will be presented at a seminar in Maputo on 7th December 2016. Read about the ESPS here.

PRODEM - focus for Phase 2

Bente Consulting ApS has prepared a zero-draft paper on possible focus for the Phase 2 of PRODEM (municipal development program) in Mozambique. This is the second assignment for PRODEM (implemented by COWI) which will be concluded by end November 2016 with a draft paper on the perspectives for focus of Phase 2 (2018-19). The zero-draft has focused on issues related to the implementation strategy, capacity building of municipalities, citizens' engagement and social accountability mechanisms, as well as the role of technical assistance. Read more about PRODEM here.

Appraisal of BØRNEfonden's Youth Program in West Africa

Bente Consulting is contracted by CISU to undertake an appraisal of BØRNEfonden's program proposal for a youth program in West Africa (Togo, Mali, Benin and Burkina Faso). The youth program focus on SRHR and socio-economic rights and will be implemented through national youth organizations. The appraisal takes place in July 2016 and includes a week's field work in Togo to meet the partners and interview the Togolese partner organization's (JVC) member associations. Read more about BØRENfonden here.

NPA mid-term evaluation in Mozambique

The mid-term evaluation of Norwegian People's Aid's NPA program in Mozambique focused on all aspects of the program to determine success of the partnership on implementation of the program two years after the project commenced. It looked at rationality points of relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, alignment and assessed achieved results based on the plans, reports, results and baseline study. The NPA program supports the capacity of the national peasants’' organization (UNAC), provincial delegations in Tete (UPCT) and Cabo Delgado (UCP) and their affiliated associations, as well as the national land rights organization (ORAM) and its provincial delegations in Manica and Niassa. Field visits were carried out in Tete and Cabo Delgado. Bente Consulting was contracted by NIRAS to undertake the mid-term evaluation. Read more about NPA's work here.

Thematic review of 3F trade union program

The United Federation of Danish Workers - 3F - is the biggest trade union in Denmark. Its international work aims at securing decent working and living condition in well-regulated labor markets where workers fundamental rights are respected. 3F has received funding from Danida since the 1980es for the international work of strengthening unions’ capacity to organize, activate and safeguard the interests of workers in a number of development countries. Danida has commissioned Bente Consulting to undertake a review of 3F’s international strategy with focus on partnerships and effectiveness. The review will take place in April-July 2016 and includes a field mission to Zambia and South Africa. Two external consultants are subcontracted to ensure strong trade union capacity and knowledge of the local labor market in Zambia. Read more abou’s international work here.   

                                                                                                                                   

 

 

Review of Danish Association of the Blind's Asia-Pacific project

In March - May 2016, Bente Consulting will undertake a review of the Danish Association of the Blind's (DAB) Asia Pacific project. DAB supports three national partner organizations (MNFB - Mongolia National Federation of the Blind; LAB - Lao Association of the Blind; and MNAB - Myanmar National Association of the Blind) and the regional network organization (WBUAP - World Blind Association Asia Pacific) in terms of organizational development, claiming and realizing rights, and basic skills and empowerment. The project runs from October 2014 to September 2017 and it is time for a midterm review (MTR) with focus on outcome reporting against established indicators. The MTR is based on document review, skype interviews with project partners and a workshop for discussion of preliminary findings in Manila, the Philippines by the end of April. The contract is based on previous collaboration with DAB in 2014, where Bente Consulting did the evaluation of the second phase of the Asia-Pacific project and capacity assessment of MNAB prior to establishment of a partnership with DAB. Find more information in Danish about DAB and the AP-project here.

Happy New Year 2016

Looking back on 2015…..

2015 has been a busy and interesting year for Bente Consulting. First of all, the company has celebrated its 5 years anniversary – a milestone, considering that it has been five good years with a string of interesting and challenging assignments. Second because the year represents a breakthrough in relation to diversification of the client base with assignments for the EU, NORAD, the Danish NGO platform Globalt Focus, as well as the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Not to forget contracts with private companies: Altair, COWI and NIRAS.

Civil society and good governance is still the key note for assignments, of which the mapping study of civil society organizations in Mozambique for the EU has represented the major part of this year’s work – an enormous effort in collaboration with an excellent team of four consultants, starting in December 2014 and ending in September 2015. 2015 also added new experience on work with exile Syrian CSOs based in Turkey to the record. Mozambique was again on the map in October and November with two different jobs – elaboration of an Investment Manual for the COWI-implemented municipal development program (PRODEM) and a mid-term review for NIRAS of the NORAD-financed conservation agriculture program (PROMAC). Two rounds of screening of applications for Globalt Fokus’ fund for Danish NGOs’ capacity building initiatives have provided an interesting insight in the diversity of small and major Danish development organizations. And finally, the last assignment which will bridge into 2016: formulation of a new Danish Good Governance & Human Rights program in Tanzania.

In spite of the somber perspectives for financing of development programs, 2016 so far seems to continue on a positive note in terms of jobs………………let’s hope for continued employment!

Happy New Year to all of you – and thank you for great collaboration!!

Formulation of Good Governance & Human Rights program in Tanzania

Bente Consulting ApS in collaboration with Rightshouse has been contracted to undertake the formulation of the Good Governance & Human Rights program under the Danish Tanzania Country Program. The formuation builds on previous experience in the field of good governece and focusses on the demand side of governance - i.e. support to various non-state institutions and organizations. The program will have a string focus on women's rights and empowerment and be supplementary to the other components of the country program - helath, business ssector and general budget support. The overall budget for the GGHR program is DKK 250 million over 5 years.

  

Bente Consulting ApS 
Egholmvej 32A, Agersoe
DK - 4230 Skaelskoer
Denmark

+45 2257 2207 (Denmark)
+258 82 7679 357 (Mozambique)

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Skype: bentetopsoejensen

CVR-number: 3335 2956