last update: 16-05-2022


NGOs' Pioneering in Standardization
Performance monitoring in NGOs and the mechanisms for ensuring about the accuracy of their performances is an important issue in this area. This supervision is divided into two categories: 1. the official supervision by the official in-charge organizations 2. Supervision by specialized informal organizations.
Since the donors, especially the natural ones, in general lack the necessary skills for analysis of organizations’ formal and performance reports; the organizations which are regarded as the third party define performance indicators for these institutions as the unofficial, impartial, specialized and trustworthy supervisors to the public opinion. The third parties measure these indicators in organizations and then report them in comparison to the standard values of those indicators.
Focus on the national and international indicators of governing the NGOs can assure donors of the efficiency and effectiveness of these organizations in converting received donations to the services that the target groups require. This is a common chapter in the relationship of NGOs with the standard issue. This is a common theme of the association of NGOs with the concept of standard.
It can be generally said that the humankind has always been looking for the criteria that measures the quality of his actions and achievements and determines the correct path towards them. Today this criteria, in the form of national, regional and international patterns and standards help the organizations evaluate the quality of their services and products and guarantee that the NGOs are of no exceptions. Presenting audited financial statements to the finance providers through the available media is the most important standard in the area of the NGOs’ performance. In addition, the possibility of observing certificate of incorporation, the changes and the certificate of its termination via the official newspaper, the possibility of paying visit to the charity, observing the reports of financial statement on the valid communication channels, as well as introducing charitable practices are some of the criteria that can make a charity trustworthy. On the same basis, the stakeholders of an organization can get informed about how their donations are being utilized in support of the target groups. These principles are among the international standards based on which NGOs can be supported. But, what is under focus in the international society is paying attention to the standards that adapt the performance of an organization to the world class. Planning to achieve such standards occurs voluntarily but it is only in this path that you can get assured about the efficiency and effectiveness of these organizations in transforming donor funds into the services which the target groups require.
Since the national standards for the performance of the community-based organizations which have been designed based on cultural and social requirements are limited, MAHAK has always strived to identify international standards and has voluntarily had its performances assessed. Accordingly, the followings are some of MAHAK’s efforts to move towards provision of qualified services for cancer-stricken children:
Becoming the top scorer in the global NGO Benchmark practice conducted by Societe Generale de Surveillance (SGS) – 2019
Becoming the Gold Winner of the International Project Management Association (IPMA) Global Project Achievement Award in the category of Sustainable Development Projects (2014 and 2018)
Receiving the Quality Gold Trophy from GIC International Institute - 2017
MAHAK, in the path of standardization of its activities, in 2019 as the first non-profit organization in the world has voluntarily exposed its processes to this high-level assessment and achieved the third level of this standard in its first trial and audit. The third level means that there are fully defined project management standards, structures and processes which have been majorly implemented and operated in the organization.  It should be noted that only 10% of the organizations which have had the same experience, have been able to achieve the third level of Delta model in their first audit.
Delta Assessment model has been designed to evaluate and develop the competency of project management system among organizations.  IPMA creates noticeable added values for organizations through honestly and precisely identifying the most important area of the project development and acting in line with the project improvement.
In terms of optimal resource allocation and management, Delta standard assesses the organization’s strategic and operational levels through defining system of project, program and portfolio (PP&P) in addition to ensuring the transparency of the allocation system based on the organization priorities and generating the most benefits for the stakeholders. It should be noted that almost 30 years of activity according to transparency and accountability has led MAHAK to be successful and achieve the stage it stands.
Limitation in national standards for NGO's organizational performances is one of the deterrent factors for community-based organizations to be a pioneer in the area of standard. We hope that these standards will be defined by the responsible authorities taking the infrastructural steps. Relying on 28 years of activity in this field and obtaining numerous international standards, MAHAK is eager to provide any consultation in this regard in order to improve the activity observation of NGOs in the country.
Arasb Ahmadian