May 7, 2013

Keystone SPARK Partner Summary Feedback

The Keystone Partnership survey was administered externally and anonimously to SPARK partners from November 15 to December 19, 2012.

The Keystone survey requests that partners rate their satisfaction with different aspects of their partnership with Northern based NGOs. A group of 16 Dutch NGOs participated in a survey last year, and their results were added to and compared with an existing Global Cohort made up of 46 NGOs. Of the 17 SPARK partners invited, 8 completed the survey, which at 47% can be considered to be a high response rate. SPARK’s partners are especially pleased with the capacitybuilding support they receive, in contrast with the findings of the Dutch Cohort.
SPARK’s overall satisfaction rates are close to the global averages, but often lower than the Dutch Cohort averages. Our partners have expressed dissatisfaction particularly at our long contracting procedures, strict monitoring, and the linited core funding we make available. Partners see us as a “wise aunt” and SPARK is portrayed as “an organisation that maintains respectful relationships with partners and brings real added value to them – although there are a number of areas for improvement”.
SPARK will discuss the report at board level, as well as the main findings with staff and partners to verify and analyze and demonstrate that feedback is valued.
This discussion will focus on two main issues:
i) areas of improvement for SPARK, namely in relation to contract approval time, availability of core funding and M&E workload.
ii) questions that arise from the findings that need more time for interpretation; such as M&E workload and requested support in fundraising.

We aim to examine the opportunities and constraints with partners in order to identify specific actions for improvement.

We see the Keystone Partnership Survey as a very valuable step in strengthening a culture of continual improvement, mutual respect and open dialogue with partners. We are keen to collaborate with other northern based NGOs that are tackling similar issues, including those in this cohort, to share best practice and improve standards in the sector. We want to repeat the survey in two years to monitor progress.
SPARK is pleased to share this report and similar reports in the future, potentially coordinated with other Dutch NGOs.

Download the Keystone Report and SPARK Executive Summary below:

keystone   execsummary