Discovering A Project Has Problems

What happens if we discover a project is having problems?

Very occasionally when we visit projects to review their progress, we discover a problem. Most often it is simply a delay in completion, but occasionally it is something more serious.

We discovered one partner was keeping important information from us. Situations would arise at a project, and rather than letting us help with the resolution, he hid the information. We discovered this while visiting his projects and speaking directly with the workers there, in Spanish. He also had a habit of sending email rants occasionally. After meeting with him and discussing these issues, he assured us they would not recur, but they did. While we loved the work his small NGO was doing, we decided the integrity issue left us no choice. We no longer fund projects with him as a partner.

When visiting another project, the local indigenous beneficiaries expressed several concerns. The project involved power generation and distribution for their remote community. They didn’t feel adequately trained to operate and maintain the equipment. We also discovered that details related to the power distribution had been overlooked in the planning stages. This was a joint project involving two of our partners. One of these partners understood our concerns and assured us this would be properly resolved, which they have been. The other partner, who failed to take responsibility for resolving our concerns, no longer receives funding from Meal a Day.

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Your Meal a Day Directors take our stewardship of your donations seriously. Here are some of the steps we take to assure our joint success:

  1. We only consider new partners who come well recommended by Brethren or already well-established partners.
  2. We carefully review their financial situation.
  3. We *meet them and review their project history.
  4. If all looks good, we consider funding an initial smaller project.
  5. If that goes well on this first project, we consider them for additional funding of projects.
  6. We make semi-annual *visits to review their success on all the projects we have funded.

*All Meal a Day Directors have visited projects. This is viewed as important for their understanding of the realities ‘in the field’. Most of these travels are paid for by the Directors themselves, or from a separate ‘travel fund’ established for this purpose by a few kind donors. This means virtually ALL of your donations go directly to support the projects…less than 1% of donations are used for administration costs…in contrast to the 20–30% common among charities.