INCIDIN Bangladesh functions under the supervision of its Board of Directors, headed by its Chairperson. The Board is in charge of formulation of organizational policies. However, the executive power of INCIDIN Bangladesh is vested upon the Executive Committee (EC). The EC provides group leadership by having three Executive Directors (EDs) with the responsibilities of heads of the organization. The EDs are accountable to the Board.
The formal structure of INCIDIN Bangladesh indicates the authority, responsibility and line of command and control. However, to understand the actual functioning human relationships in the organization, the formal structure helps little.
Our understanding of organization could be described in the post functionalist concept as “space”. The functionalist paradigm of organization (what is manifested in formal structure) is putting emphasis on efficiency and effectiveness; therefore, emphasis on formally defined role, responsibility, hierarchy, and line of command and control. Opposite to that, we adopted a critical/emancipatory management approach, emphasizing on both outcome as well as emancipation of the individuals within organization. To the organization this is finally a question of democratizing the power relations by creating “space” for participation of all concerned and self-management.
We are consciously trying to go beyond the formally structured organizational relationships. Such attitude indicates our “organic” organizational approach where one is “living one’s life in it”. We are putting great emphasis on “process”, as precondition for quality outcome.
The informal structure could be visualized in the following diagram:
[The above mentioned diagram was emerged through a dialogue process. The framework was not to use conventional ‘model’ to define the structure, rather articulate the reality of the organization/human relationships.]
Description of system in place
|Planning||Program/project plan is developed by considering monitoring and evaluation data, stakeholders’ opinions, but finally all team members collectively decides. The program/staff members with the counseling of the PD develop the budget.||Value-based practice: The process provides a high number of strategic options, more discussion and more rationale, clarity, conceptual input so that the decision is usually of better quality. Also it supports the strong sense of belongingness and identity within all levels of the informal organization.|
|Decision Making||The organization stays true to its principles of participation and includes all directly affected people (beneficiaries, staff) as early as possible. Their recommendations are taken seriously and decisions are made on basis of consensus. Additionally, problems or conceptual ideas are shared with available people from the Closer Support Circle (CSC) and the Support Circle (SC).|
Regarding taking up new projects the core group is sharing conceptual ideas with “friends” from the support circles who are considered relevant and contributing to the process before taking any decision. See planning
Four areas might be notable:
- Program/ project implementation
- Financial/resource departments
- Resource allocation/Donor partners
- Informal networking with like-minded people
The primarily implementation of the programs lies with the project director (PD) (usually one director). The PD works as liaison person between the program and INCIDIN main office, keeps close contact with donors and relevant network partners.
Projects work autonomously under the coordination of the project coordinator (PC), who is responsible for administration and coordination with the financial department.
The team leader coordinates temporary research projects. INCIDIN directors and other members of the core group are linking up like-minded grassroots organizations and with potential donor partners.The coordination approach provides ample space for flexible and fast operational decisions and pays respect to the practical expertise of the respective project teams.
Monitoring of the program output:
Responsible for the output monitoring of the Programs is the respective PD. He monitors the activities of the PC, works as trouble-shooter, provides consultancy to the program staff if required and ensures the overall quality of the program.
The outcome of studies and temporary projects is evaluated by members of the INCIDIN Bangladesh core team and like-minded professionals as well as the respective donor partners.
PC is the main responsible person to monitor programs. Formalized process-monitoring meetings with all staff members take place. The meetings are using monitoring tools that – with the help of an external consultant and donor funds – were developed to structure the process. All programs hold annual evaluation meetings, thoroughly analyzing strength and weakness of the ongoing program.
Due to the character of the campaigns requiring quick responses to a dynamically changing context monitoring process is less formalized. Yet, the process and progress of campaign programs is monitored in weekly meetings of the staff members working.
The project or study teams monitor the process of temporary projects and studies collectively.
Stakeholders’ monitoring and evaluation:
The organization emphasizes on the importance of stakeholders’ monitoring. The stakeholders’ monitoring process in Benaroshi School Program is structured in different monitoring committees including parents, elected students, community leaders and elder students. In the Misplaced Childhood Program an assigned member of the INCIDIN Bangladesh core team consults once a month with the children about ongoing performance and takes their suggestions to improve the program quality.
Regarding the CPRL program the team holds regular “planning meetings” with workers representatives and volunteers and incorporates their recommendations into the ongoing program. The organization INCIDIN Bangladesh as such is informally monitored and evaluated in a self-reflective process as well as it receives and appreciates the feedback of like-minded professionals, political activists and network partners. Besides, the organization is reflecting its financial situation at the end of each year to access the financial needs of the coming annual period. The organization emphasizes on the importance of stakeholders’ monitoring and evaluation as well as participatory monitoring and evaluation approach to support the feeling of belongingness and identity within all levels of the organization and with the stakeholders. To incorporate “outsiders” views on the Projects and programs helps the organization to learn and grow.
The programs are evaluated after each phase in a participatory self-reflective process by the staff as well as in consultations with other INCIDIN Bangladesh core team members and like-minded professionals. The outcome of studies and temporary projects is evaluated by members of the INCIDIN Bangladesh core team and like-minded professionals as well as the respective donor partners. See monitoring.
Based on oral and written reports of the staff members, the Project coordinator (PC) with the support Project Director (PD) prepares reports as far as donor requirements. Study reports and temporary project reports are prepared by the team leaders under the guidance of the EDs and with active support of all study team members.
All study reports are preserved in written and digital form and available to all INCIDIN Bangladesh staff members.
Besides of temporary projects where the HRD program is incorporated in the project design, the HRD process in INCIDIN Bangladesh is not formalized. It is the PCs and finally the PDs responsibility to plan HRD activities and link up existing capacities within INCIDIN Bangladesh’s broader circle with the requirements and demands of the staff members.
Considering time, need and availability staff members are given the scope to participate in external training.
Finally, INCIDIN Bangladesh offers planned capacity building workshops regularly for researchers, counselors, activists and volunteers where regular staff members are welcome. The need based approach takes into account the specific requirements and capacity improvement needs of the staff.
INCIDIN Bangladesh does feel the need to organize separated team building programs but provides ample space for informal, open sharing and discussions in its office premise, i.e. during joint lunch breaks, or during outing programs or festivals with the stakeholders where all INCIDIN Bangladesh staff members are welcome to join. The nature of the ‘Team’ could be defined as highly ‘self-managed’ and ‘effective’ team with strong informal interaction. Conflicts and team dynamics are handled within this formal set up.
The PC supervises the day-to-day activities of the program. The management is able to facilitate colleague and like-minded people with motivational capacity. The knowledge power is used (opposite to coercive power) in order to manage coordination, conflict and team dynamics. The participatory management approach supports the strong sense of belongingness and identity within all levels of the organization.
INCIDIN Bangladesh is a learning organization. The informal participatory reflection process plays an important role in dialogue and learning. The core team is fulfilling all the basic elements to be dynamic and effective; value and vision oriented, open, self-critical and transparent. The internal communication is basically oral.
The concept of structured, formal and bureaucratic approach is consciously and strongly denied. The organizers have the capacity to involve a wide range of activists/professionals and in most cases without cost. The Support Circle or Close Support Circle is work as a resource bases which is connected, and in case of need these activist/professional are ready to extend their support. Communication practice is value congruent. The organization delivers professional quality output in time. The non-hierarchical set up of the organization allows a lively, critical interaction between all level of staff and with the EDs as well as with like-minded “outsiders”.