Apia, Samoa – On Tuesday 8th and Thursday 10th November, the Samoa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) conducted a series of Capacity Building Workshops, targeting pivotal civil-society organisations (CSOs) in the waste management sector, in their capacities as both waste generators as well as enabler of waste recycling and recovery.
The workshop, conducted through the Circular Economy for the Recovery of (CERO) Waste Programme, included representatives from Samoa’s two prominent waste management associations, the Samoa Recycling and Waste Management Association (SWRMA) and the Samoa and Tokelau Association of Recyclers (S.T.A.R.), as well as representatives from key industry associations, the Samoa Association of Manufacturers and Exporters (SAME), Samoa Qualifications Authority (SQA), and the Samoa Hotels and Hospitality Association (SHHA).
The participants were able to absorb the expert knowledge and advice from SCCI on understanding the donor world, budgeting and cash flow, compliance, due diligence, donor grant management, accounting issues and donor reporting. The first training session provided participants with a holistic overview of the donor world, allowing CSOs to better understand the process of accessing funding and improve their skills in submitting applications for grants. The second training session provided a more in-depth understanding of grant management and donor reporting. This session was targeted for CSOs management level staff
and executive members and covered writing grant proposals, submitting applications for funding, and the importance of compliance towards funding agreements.
“The biggest challenge CSOs face is they find it very difficult to understand the donor world and compliance, this workshop is about bridging that gap to help our CSOs understand those challenges and better access those grant opportunities,” said SCCI CEO Lemauga Hobart Vaai.
One of the participants, Joyce Teo, representing SWRMA said, “As a youth activist, I am honored to be part of this [training] and thankful for the opportunity to learn new things that expose me to practical skills development for project management. This experience will no doubt enhance my future career progression and importantly allow me to contribute more to my role at SWRMA”.
In addition, SWRMA President Marina Keil spoke about the impact this capacity building training will have on their organization moving forward, “The training today was very useful. We learnt a lot of things that can help us with our organisation in terms of writing a successful proposal as well as being transparent in our work, in terms of reporting and expenditure. I hope to use the lessons today and implement it on a daily basis for the association so that we can help build the association to be more successful in the future,”.
Hans Wesche of S.T.A.R., who attended both trainings, also shared how these Grant Management trainings would benefit S.T.A.R.’s future operations, “What I’ve learnt is the importance of compliance and that compliance cannot be bent. We have to stick by what the donors want and I think that’s what everyone needs to go by. I would also like to extend appreciation to UNDP and SCCI. I’m really grateful for the opportunity to participate this week, thank you”.
The workshops concluded with UNDP Assistant Resident Representative, Lepale Aussie Simanu, providing his closing remarks, stating “First of all, on behalf of UNDP, I congratulate all participants of both workshops for their proactive engagement and successful completion of the two CSO Grant Management trainings. CSOs are the engines of sustainable development which means it is crucial that they are supported through capacity building to ensure entities have the necessary grant management skills to comply with the oftentimes complex and diverse donor requirements. UNDP encourages participants to apply and proactively pass down the knowledge attained to build accountable, dynamic and compliant
teams that share a culture of good practice in donor engagement and grant management.
It is also important to acknowledge the gender diversity witnessed across the two days, particularly in light of a traditionally male-dominant waste management sector, therefore UNDP commends the women in leadership present today and the active engagement of youth across the organisations who are not only driving Samoa’s circular economy but paving the way for gender equality and equity in waste management.”