Sustainability is central to all aspects of AfriKids' work. From the individual level - working with each child and family until they can support themselves; to the community level - embedding ambassadors and structures in local communities to lead and maintain changes in attitudes and practice; and of course organisational sustainability - ensuring that AfriKids Ghana can continue to operate for as long as needed, without compromise to its mission and philosophy.
For AfriKids Ghana, organisational sustainability is comprised of three key areas:
Sustaining world-class programme delivery and impact
AfriKids Ghana has been delivering award-winning child rights and community development programmes in northern Ghana for over 10 years, directly benefitting almost 1 million people. Its impact and credibility has positioned it as the go-to NGO for child rights work in northern Ghana, and in 2014 it was approached directly (without the need for involvement from AfriKids UK) by the UK Department for International Development, UNICEF and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to deliver major strategic programmes improving education and health in the region. The organisation is renowned for its industry-leading monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) systems, which underpin its firm commitment to transparency and accountability, including comprehensive stakeholder consultation processes, a robust reporting framework, independent evaluations and annual financial auditing.
Sustaining financial security and autonomy
As an established and reputable organisation in northern Ghana, AfriKids Ghana secure an increasing level of funding in-country without the support of AfriKids UK each year. In 2014, this amounted to just under £200,000 before profits from its social enterprises. AfriKids UK and Ghana are working together to build the capacity of the local team to secure and manage these funds alongside its investments in business. This capacity building has included extensive work developing robust financial management systems and a governance framework informed by international best practice. AfriKids’ Livelihoods programme is working to become a financially self-sufficient institution, with the interest repaid on loans being recycled to provide new ones to expand the reach of this valuable service to increase family income and reduce reliance on children to support their households. The Energy for Life Initiative, AfriKids’ clean cook stove business, generated a profit of £2,106 on stove sales in 2014, and in addition will earn an annual fee for the carbon credits (CO2 emissions reductions) that this programme delivers for years to come. Investment in a business development expert in 2014 enabled AfriKids UK to better support AfriKids Ghana in designing its business appraisal processes to identify and pursue new opportunities for its social enterprise portfolio, including a second phase of the cook stove initiative.
Sustaining best practice operations and governance
AfriKids continuously reviews and benchmarks its operational systems and processes against local legislation, regulations and industry best practice. In 2014, as well as its annual policy reviews, AfriKids UK began a pro bono legal health check, offered by Advocates for International Development
, provided by global law firm, White and Case LLP
. The outcomes of this review will be used to improve systems in the UK and Ghana and inform the processes AfriKids Ghana will use to continue managing and developing its operations and governance in the future. Both AfriKids UK and Ghana have also reviewed their Board members in the last couple of years to ensure a comprehensive mix of qualifications and expertise at this top level of oversight and accountability.