The Resources For Community Resilience (R4CR) program completed the pre-disbursement training with the twelve grant recipients of Quick-Win round 2 on June 26.
The “Quick-Win rounds” have been designed for projects that can be completed within six months with a moderate budget (maximum $60,00 per project in this round).
The training was held at the newly renovated premises of the Senior Citizen Recreational Foundation (itself one of the grant recipients) in Hope Estate.
The goal of the pre-disbursement training was to familiarize the grant recipients with the technical, administrative and financial processes and procedures of the grant scheme which are detailed in the project operational manual.
The interactive session started with each of the twelve grant recipients doing a one-minute pitch about their project. This was followed by a general introduction of the R4CR program whereby the roles and responsibilities of the grantees and R4CR team were explained.
The environmental and social framework and the relevant standards, also known as safeguards, applicable to the projects were discussed. These safeguards are meant to ensure that all risks and their impacts are adequately accounted for, described and mitigation measures put in place to guarantee that the project has no negative effects on individuals, the community, the environment and that all stakeholders are engaged and properly informed. Each grantee was asked to list the potential risks and possible mitigation measures of their project.
Monitoring and evaluation of the projects by means of monthly progress reports was also a topic of interest. Grantees are required to submit monthly technical and financial reports that give detailed accounts of how their projects are progressing financially and technically. Financial accountability is a crucial part of the R4CR program. The grantees were given information on how to submit an activity plan in order to have the project funds released, what costs are eligible and what checks and balances should bein place.
The twelve grantees were encouraged to communicate with all stakeholders and tell their stories to the general public. “Local non-profit organizations do so much great work that no one has heard about. It’s time for you to tell “your stories”, implored Jose Sommers, Capacity Strengthening and Training Manager at R4CR.
Procurement of goods and services was the last major topic broached during the pre-disbursement training. As with most World Bank projects, the R4CR program also requires 3 separate quotations for procuring goods or services (above the one thousand dollars threshold) and the different methods of doing so were explained.
With the pre-disbursement training complete, the grantees can now start to work on their activity plans and submit a request to release the funds needed to execute their projects under Quick-Win round 2. The total available budget for Quick-Win Round 2 is US$564,288.
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 (CSO’s) in reconstruction and resilience activities post hurricane Irma.
The R4CR program is financed by the Government of the Netherlands via the Sint Maarten Trust Fund which is administered by the World Bank and monitored by the National Recovery Program Bureau (NRPB). Project activities by registered CSO’s 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 a detailed overview of all current projects please visit www.r4cr.org or the Facebook page (R4CRSXM).