„YMCA Europe is a working fellowship to strengthen movements where people grow in body, mind and spirit.“

QUALITY STANDARDS FOR PROGRAMMES AND PROJECTS

4th October 2021

By this article we want to introduce the concept of Quality Standards, typical content and several specific examples.

The engine of any civil society organisation is the activities it implements. This is the main way to fulfill the mission and reach positive changes in a community. 

Many organisations use a “project approach” which includes proper planning, setting criteria with indicators, monitoring, joint thorough evaluation. Proper management system and often control from a donor allow to reach good impact and keep high quality in delivery. 

A “programme” approach often does not have a definite cycle of planning, implementation and evaluation. It is often linear and repetitive. It has more flexibility for adjustments. 

The proposed information can be helpful for organisations implementing both approaches, because it presents practical information.


The Standards usually include the following areas: 

  • Mission and Values
  • Impact
  • Participation and Inclusion
  • Prepared People
  • Adequate methods
  • Transparent communication
  • Adequate resources

Below you can find basic standards which you can develop according to your needs. 

No.

Standards

Check list

1. Mission and Values

1.1

Activities promote the values of the organisation or at least do not contradict them

¤

1.2

Activities contribute to implementation of the mission of the organisation

¤

1.3

Activities contribute to implementation of the strategic plan of the organisation

¤

2. Impact 

2.1

There is a written plan with objectives, expected changes, events, time frame, responsible people, etc.

¤

2.2

The objectives in the plan are based on the needs assessment of the specific target group

¤

2.3

There is a clear vision what kind of positive social changes will happen due to the programme implementation  

¤

2.4

The team is running monitoring 

¤

2.5

The team is running annual evaluation 

¤

2.6

There are indicators, examples, success stories that show that the programme/project is creating positive social change in a community

¤

3. Participation and Inclusion

3.1

The target group is actively involved in all stages: needs assessment, planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation.

¤

3.2

The events are open for community members generally

¤

3.3

The management team includes representatives of the target groups

¤

3.4

Representatives of vulnerable groups have information about the activities and access to the activities

¤

4. Transparent Communication

4.1

There are mechanisms of informing the community members, target groups, members of the organisation about the activities

¤

4.2

The management team has a good system of internal communication

¤

5. Prepared Leaders

5.1

The leaders are properly skilled to deliver the planned activities

¤

5.2

The leaders are properly skilled to work with the particular target group

¤

5.3

The leaders share and promote the mission and values of your organisation

¤

5.4

Part of leaders belong (belonged) to the target group you are working with

¤

5.5

The leaders do not have records for criminal affairs and checked (if possible) for the records in child abuse, sexual harassment, etc. 

¤

6. Adequate Methods

6.1

The methods are chosen to reach the objectives in the most effective, safe and engaging way

¤

6.2

The methods are in line with the values of the organisation

¤

6.3

The methods are chosen in such a way that they bring motivation for active participation and personal growth 

¤

6.4

The methods promote interaction and intercultural learning

¤

6.5

The methods are joyful 

¤

6.6

Non-formal education methods are used

¤

6.7

The methods promote inclusion, diversity, non-discrimination

¤

6.8

The methods are adopted according to different vulnerable groups in the community

¤

6.9

The methods are safe in terms of physical and mental health

¤

7. Adequate Resources

7.1

The activities are cost-efficient

¤

7.2

The activities are environmentally friendly 

¤

7.3

The activities are properly resourced 

¤

7.4

The participants are paying a participation fee (even a very small one)

¤

7.5

The physical room is adequate in terms of size, can be aired easily; has good lighting; has an appropriate regulated temperature; has bathroom and water

¤

7.6

The physical room is safe in all terms (electricity, neighbourhood, fixed equipment, etc.)

¤

7.7

The room is equipped with all necessary technique

¤

7.8

The room is physically inclusive (people in a wheelchair can have access)

¤


Useful resources:

For those who work with Erasmus + projects

For those who pay special attention to Community engaging programmes and projects

For those who implement Educational initiatives

For those who implement Mobility Projects

For those who manage Youth Centers

Example for Programme area from YMCA Czech Republic

The project “Organic Governance and Quality Development” is supported by Erasmus+, Key Action 2 programme.


Movement Strengthening in YMCA Europe is aimed at building the capacity of organisations in different spheres including governance, internal policies, quality standards.

Within the Organic Governance project we are collecting and presenting the best practices as examples of the documents which can be helpful for civil society organisations’ development.

Author/Source: Olga Lukina, YMCA Europe Executive Secretary for Movement Strengthening

donate now


OUR SIGNATURE PROGRAMMES

      


AR2020