As the largest network of NGOs and foundations in the Philippines with capacity-building as a core competency, AF advocates for continuing professional development of NGO talents within and beyond its members. This is crucial in nurturing and sustaining a pool of competent and committed NGO leaders and talents, who build and maintain credible, capable and sustainable NGOs that will collectively help achieve the desired developmental changes in the country.
Recognizing the various factors that may enable and hinder in strengthening individual talents as well as the organizations, AF support through the LEAD to Serve Academy (Academy) will be at three levels:
a. individual through capacity building
b. institutional by linking enhanced individual capacities to improved policies and systems in the organization
c. sectoral by supporting innovations and collaborations to build a learning, innovative and collaborative culture for the Philippine NGO sector
The main programs under the Academy include:
a. LEAD to Serve Course: AF will continue to implement the LEAD to Serve Course, which is competency-based targeted for transitioning NGO leaders and talents. Action planning and mentoring are part of the LEAD to Serve Course to translate enhanced individual competencies into improved institutional policies and systems. Visit https://afonline.org/LeadtoServe/
b. Learning Sessions: AF will also continue to organize the Conversation on Innovations to engage with other sectors such as academe, business, and government about innovations that are relevant to the NGO sector. These Conversations are meant to nurture an innovative, collaborative, and learning culture for the NGO sector. In addition, AF will conduct knowledge sharing, skills sharing, and well-being sessions among NGOs and civil society organizations.
Knowledge sharing are sessions intended to impart new knowledge, concepts, or theories. The expected outcome of these sessions is additional information and knowledge. Examples could be sharing of new SEC memorandum circulars, and DSWD guidelines on Registration, Licensing, and Accreditation.
Skills sharing are sessions meant to impart skills and know-how. The expected outcome of these sessions is a new skill or enhanced application/practice in a specific area. An example of this is a session on using Kahoot or Mentimeter as online tools.
Well-being sessions are meant to share practices of taking care of the NGO talents particularly in this time of the pandemic. With many NGO talents serving as frontliners during emergencies and also needing practical tips in working from home, applicable systems and practices should be in place for the general well-being of NGO staff. Examples of such sessions would be mindfulness or art expression sessions.
c. Mentoring: In addition to the mentoring support offered under the LEAD to Serve Course, AF will continue one- on-one consultations and mentoring sessions on a case-to-case basis. Interested AF members may contact the AF Secretariat as needed. Either the AF Secretariat handles the specific concern or the requesting member may be endorsed or referred to another member or partner.
d. Innovations Fund: This offers modest grant funds to encourage and support innovation among NGOs in areas that affect the broader sector. Examples of these would be on projects related to shared services, and the mental well-being of development workers.