R4CR Grant Recipients complete Learning Benchmark Training

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Philipsburg- Grant recipients of the Resources For Community Resilience (R4CR) program completed the learning benchmark training for Quick-Win Round 2 last week. This learning benchmark training forms an integral part of the R4CR program and is designed to enable grant recipients to learn from each other’s successes and challenges during project implementation.

The timing of this training was changed from the end of the funding round in Quick-Win Round 1 to three quarters of the way in Quick-Win Round 2 to allow grant recipients to make any necessary changes and adjustments before the ending of their project. The thematic event was held over two evenings in the lecture hall of USM.
The R4CR program includes a grant scheme as funding mechanism for community and social rehabilitation initiatives on Sint Maarten and focuses on improving the capacity of local civil society organizations (CSOs) in reconstruction and resilience activities post hurricane Irma.

The main topics during the first evening were Stakeholder & Beneficiary Engagement and Data Collection. The grant recipients discussed strategies and methods of engaging stakeholders and beneficiaries in different stages of the project in order to secure buy-in and long term commitment to the project’s goals. The Data Collection session focused on how to collect data in order to make better informed decisions. Collecting and using data effectively can help CSOs with accurately measuring the effect of a project but can also prove valuable when submitting funding requests to funding agencies or government for future projects.

The second evening was reserved for discussions about R4CR’s Grievance Redress Mechanism and Project Closing.

The Grievance Redress Mechanism in the R4CR program is a systematic way to register complaints, bottlenecks and challenges faced by the grant recipients and other stakeholders. It provides the opportunity for everyone to be heard, their concerns to be dealt with and is a learning exercise for all involved with or affected by the project. The grant recipients were encouraged to document all the issues faced (using the existing template) so that these experiences can be shared with all CSOs on the island. This is directly linked to the capacity strengthening for CSOs on Sint Maarten that the R4CR program was designed to achieve.

R4CR concluded the learning benchmark training with the subject of Project Closing. This final step in a project’s life cycle doesn’t always receive the attention it deserves. CSOs were reminded to verify if all (special) conditions were met, to report on objectives and outcomes but also to summarize important conclusions from the project using data collected during the project. All this information should be properly reflected in the final report (due at the end of January) for which R4CR also provides useful templates to assist grant recipients.

With less than 2 months left in Quick-Win round 2, the local R4CR team is now working on the evaluation and selection of project proposal requests that were submitted for Round 3. The selected Round 3 projects are scheduled to start in early January 2022 and must be completed by December 31 2022. A total of 25 project proposal were submitted and the selection process is ongoing. The Round 3 grant recipients will be announced in a couple of weeks.

The R4CR program is financed by the Government of the Netherlands via the Sint Maarten Trust Fund which is administered by the World Bank, monitored by the National Recovery Program Bureau (NRPB) and executed by VNGI. Project activities by registered CSOs can cover subject categories such as neighborhood initiatives, sports/recreation, nature/environment, culture, poverty relief, day care centers/after school programs, youth employment, skills development, psycho-social support and gender based violence.

For more information about the R4CR program or an overview of all current projects please visit www.r4cr.org or the Facebook page (R4CRSXM).