Nguyen Thanh Tung from Vietnam participated in MDF’s course on Organisational Development. He tells his story on how this course empowered him to develop capacity of local NGOs and Community Based Organisations (CBOs) that reach out to disadvantaged groups to improve their health, livelihoods and well-being. 

Tung works for MCNV, a Dutch non-governmental organisation that works in the field of community development in South-East Asia. As a programme officer, Tung is particularly responsible for MCNV’s interventions related to organisational capacity development of CBOs in project areas in Vietnam.  

Why did you participate in the Organisational Development course?

One of the biggest challenges of my organisation is to achieve success in fundraising and to develop capacity of local NGOs and CBOs in this. Since Vietnam is not on the priority list of receiving foreign support anymore, it has become more difficult for small INGOs like us, although the need of the marginalised groups still remains big. On the one hand, we need to strengthen our own capacity in networking and fundraising, on the other hand, we also need to help strengthen organisational capacity of local NGOs and CBOs in fundraising, as well as in lobby and advocacy. So my question was: where to start to make proper analysis and develop a capacity building plan? I wanted to get equipped with practical tools and knowledge.

How did you deal with your challenge?

When we worked with the local NGOs and CBOs and helped them make their ‘plans of change’, it was very common that they found themselves, among other things, weak at building networks, enriching social capital and having close strategic relationships, leading to their limitations and hindrances in mobilisation of funding and other forms of support from the local government and other relevant actors.

We have started over again with many of these organisations from their strategic planning steps. The knowledge and my experiences from MDF’s Organisational Development course was really applicable in this process. For example, using the 5 Capability Model was very helpful to analyse and plan for the development of organisational capacity in networking, relationship building, lobby and advocacy.

Are you already able to see results from the intervention you did?

By the end of last year, based on our previous experiences in organisational assessment and organisational capacity development planning, we revised our manual on organisational development for local NGOs and CBOs in Vietnam.

We have seen a lot of positive changes in the capacity of local NGOs and CBOs we work with. In fundraising alone, there have been many efforts made to change the previous circumstances. For example, since last year till now about 10 out of 36 local NGOs and CBOs in two provinces where we work have been organising fundraising events to support people with disability and malnourished children. They have boldly and successfully approached the local authorities and some celebrities (famous singers and rappers) to support them in such events.

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