NAG Organizational Regular Quarterly Meeting Defines Real Task Force

Summary of NAG Third Quarterly Meeting
(28-30 June 2017 at Crystal Jade)

Recent interpersonal communication that looked beyond ordinary paper based reports and telecommunications etc will take us a long way toward a mission of which we can all be proud.

Introduction

From 28-30 June 2017, NAG organized third-quarter meeting of year 2017. We did forecast for upcoming three months, finalized code of conduct and set up HR and Finance policies on those three days. This report also highlights the challenges and complexities of implementing development activities in today’s challenging environment.

On 28 June 2017, master of ceremony firstly invited the Dry Zone programme manager. He stressed that gender awareness is required to be mentioned in progress session. Quality work done is a multi-dimensional challenge. Therefore, an integrated approach is necessary at all townships. The teams also need to bring all expertise together to complete M&E forms to ask for next budget and should take necessary preparation to be ready to respond to possible township’s staff officer’s enquiry in the future.

The second speaker, hilly region program manager shared the experience of urgency to work towards increased inclusion for the vulnerable in sharing the project’s savings. Agriculture is not a local major livelihood, so it is still lack of fully participation in Karen.
Points raised thereafter by the other seven department heads, included the following:

• All stakeholder participation is a must in fishery sector.
• Defining fishery areas in Pathein should be addressed through seeking skillful experts.
• For meaningful implementation in UNDP Dry Zone project, a solution of too large project area should be sorted out to be implemented by existing limited HR.
• In order to better address challenges in MPT, the role of evaluations should be emphasized; project areas are too remote for NAG implementation team to be completed in promised time.
• Need to further address common approaches to risk financial management, timely reporting and monitoring especially for CDD projects.
• The advantage of using GIS for better/more precise estimation in an effective cost, more visualized work plans & done. Need to formulate communications action plans based on NAG’s four strategic aims. Suggest to collect inputs for NAG’s 10th year anniversary in 2018.

In the afternoon of the 1st day, NAG members made planning by using new “creative” work plan formats that will surely bring more scrutiny to our organization in the months ahead. In retrospect, it is now clear that because of our desire to avoid ad-hoc plans, we made a number of strategic work plans and instigated a series of systematic planning. However, it does not mean the previous actions and others were necessarily all that wrongheaded at the time.

The second meeting day, 29 June 2017 was a day of discussion about code of conduct.

Before going with CoC, in the early morning of that day, CEO delivered a short speech with comments. During nine-year travel, NAG has become more and more focused on governance. It is acknowledgeable that always NAG projects’ activities have been implemented professionally responding to the needs of the community. But he encouraged all of us to foster our effort to emphasize on advocacy in some project regions such as Karen, Sagaing, Mandalay excluding non-project/upcoming project regions Chin, Southern Shan, Kayah, Kachin states.

A code of conduct has value as both an internal guideline and an external statement of values and commitments.

A well-written code of conduct clarifies an organization’s mission and vision, linking them with standards of professional conduct. The code articulates the values the organization wishes to foster in management and employees and, in doing so, defines desired behavior. As a result, written codes of conduct or ethics can become benchmarks.

Additionally, a CoC is a central guide and reference for employees to support day-to-day decision making.
Externally, a code serves important purposes:

• Risk Mitigation: Organizations with code of ethics can reduce all risks associated ethical misconduct by demonstrating they have made a “good faith effort” to prevent illegal acts.
• Reputation building: It builds a reputation of the organization among partners and fosters an environment of trust and ethical behavior by prohibiting all kinds of misbehaving in both workplace and daily life.
On the last day of the meeting, 30 June 2017, we focused on policies. Driven by the need to meet 2020 NAG goals, we’ve invested a lot of our time in making HR and Finance policies profitable. Furthermore, since few years ago, we’d defined our organizational policies regarding finance, HR, procurement, gender etc. again and again—How do we grow our image, team work, transparency both internally and externally?

Conclusion

By being more forthcoming in an open manner, we can get to focus on what we’re actually managing quarter to quarter—the organizational growth. It also relieved us of the burden of surmising the cause-and-effect relationship between our strategies and results.
Overall, the messages were shared each other and provided suggestions to CoC until it was confirmed and set up the HR and Finance policies in our respective dialects of the different constitutions. But the overarching theme was the same, it embodies NAG’s mission- facilitating social and economic development, creating inclusive networks and empowering people to participate in decision making processes.
We could motivate each other with “Let’s knock ourselves out again to make another stretch quarter.” We could inspire each other to follow all policies, to commit ourselves to the organizations endeavor, to make needed sacrifices after taking a marvelous attempt of gathering regularly. It wasn’t just dramatic, but meaningful. It is strongly believed that recent interpersonal communications that looked beyond ordinary paper based reports and telecommunications etc will take us a long way toward a mission of which we can all be proud.