Effective Governance & Coordination in Practice
The need for improved governance in the security and justice sectors is increasingly understood as a key component of effective reform programming.
Coordination is also recognised as an important component of this broader governance picture – particularly in contexts with a wide range of stakeholders and a complex security architecture.
Yet applying these principles in practice is difficult and is often deprioritised in favour of support centered on training, infrastructure or other transactional activities.
Siren finds innovative ways to make these principles a reality, combining systems-thinking, a client-centered approach and custom-built digital solutions to improve public sector governance.
Evidence-driven decision making is a prerequisite for good governance, and the donor coordination platform embeds this principle at the heart of the ministry’s work with funders.
It finally provides the ministry with the capability to collect, monitor and assess information in relation to donor programming occurring within its remit.
The platform’s cutting edge visualisation tools also help the ministry move from paper-based record keeping to live data tracking systems, leveraging the accessibility and affordability of new business intelligence technologies.
This kind of digital solution can, however, only help to enable change. Policies, systems and processes, structures, staffing and skills, and leadership must also be addressed to ensure sustainability.
Siren therefore assisted the ministry to define the terms of reference for the APC Unit; recruited competent staff; refurbished new fit-for-purpose offices for the APC Unit; and developed and refined new processes for donor and inter-ministerial coordination.
Through intensive, long-term mentoring of unit staff, Siren is building a wide range of capabilities – from data analysis and strategic planning, to programme management and communications – to ensure that the Lebanese government not only owns reform efforts in the country, but leads them.
Despite having only recently been inaugurated, the APC Unit is already producing a weekly report on municipality coordination in Lebanon, primarily focused on Covid-19 preparedness and response.
Siren’s British Policing Support Programme, which is supported by UK funding, will continue to provide ongoing mentoring to the APC Unit members as they move forward in establishing donor coordination meetings, project reporting processes, and ministerial strategies.
In keeping with Siren’s approach to developing client-centered digital solutions, BPSP staff are continually enhancing the web-based application, with input from the ministry, donors and other stakeholders. This guarantees that it stays fit-for-purpose and responsive to the needs of end users.
Opportunities to extend this approach beyond the Interior Ministry abound.
The donor coordination platform remains flexible, and can be adapted readily to other institutional needs. In addition, the capabilities required by an institution to improve coordination all coalesce around a core change management and strategic planning skill-set. Some tweaking of that institution’s mandate may, however, be required.
In Lebanon, where unprecedented economic, security, and political challenges are going to have to be met in a situation of decreased donor support, making effective use of the available resources will be paramount, and these capabilities are going to be indispensable.