A scene during the session.
PHILIPSBURG--The twelve grant recipients of the recently launched Resources 4 Community Resilience (R4CR) programme completed their pre-disbursement training in the gym of Hillside Christian School in Cay Hill on Monday and Tuesday, November 23 and 24.
The session in progress.
Prizes of face masks being presented to representatives of K1 Britannia and the library.
This mandatory training, spread out over two evening sessions, is an integral part of the grant process. It is designed to familiarise recipients with R4CR’s requirements, procedures and expectations prior to the disbursement of actual funds.
The R4CR programme is a grant scheme that focuses exclusively on financing and strengthening local civil society organisations (CSOs). The programme is financed by the Government of the Netherlands via the St. Maarten Trust Fund administered by the World Bank and implemented by the National Recovery Program Bureau (NRPB).
R4CR is executed by the Vereniging van Nederlandse Gemeenten International (VNGI) in close cooperation with the NRPB, Foresee Foundation and other local partners.
The grant scheme will be active for four years and will provide grants to local CSOs (also known as non-governmental organisations (NGOs)) to execute projects focused on reconstruction, resilience and improved service provision.
Project activities by registered CSOs can cover categories such as neighbourhood initiatives, sports, nature, culture, poverty relief, day-care centres/afterschool programmes, youth employment, skills development, psycho-social support or preventing gender-based violence. In the first year R4CR will organise two “Quick Win” rounds that will focus on small projects that can be completed in six months with a maximum budget of US $50,000.
The topics covered on Monday evening were of a technical nature. The roles and responsibilities of R4CR and the grantee were explained by R4CR Team Leader Rolf Hunink.
The social and environmental safeguards applicable to the R4CR project were discussed by R4CR safeguard specialist Veronika Neumeier. The safeguards are essentially a set of conditions with which all projects must comply to guarantee that the project causes no social or environmental harm.
Training and capacity strengthening were the topics presented by R4CR Capacity and Training Manager Jose Sommers. Grantees were also requested to complete a survey to assess their future training needs.
Hunink closed off the evening with a presentation on reporting. Each CSO must submit monthly reports that will allow R4CR to monitor their progress and provide additional support where needed.
The focus of Tuesday evening’s session was squarely on finance and procurement. R4CR financial and control specialist Chi Hing Roger explained all the details of the accounting procedures, budget controls and the various audits with which CSOs will get acquainted. The main goal is to ensure that the funds are used in accordance with the approved budget and established guidelines.
Hunink presented the subject of procurement. He explained that despite the word “procurement” being a tongue-twister it is nothing else than purchasing goods and services for the project. The details of how to go about it and the requirements were discussed at length.
Each evening session was closed off with a fun online quiz in which randomly selected teams could win a prize: a five-pack of face masks.
With the grant agreements fully signed and the pre-disbursement training complete, the 12 grant recipients can now start executing their “quick win” projects.
For more information about the R4CR programme and details of the selected projects, visit
www.r4cr.org or the Facebook page (R4CRSXM).