Selection of Partner Organizations

Selection of Partner Organizations

This document defines the partner selection process of Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) that has been followed in selecting Partner Organizations (POs) for the Italian Funded “Programme for Poverty Reduction (PPR)” .

1. Announcing the Opportunity

In order to assure transparency and equity in partner selection, an advertisement for call for Expression of Interests (EOIs) is floated in National Newspapers.

2. Desk Appraisal: Screening and Shortlisting the EoIs

a) Once EoIs are received, desk appraisal of received EOIs is carried out. The purpose of desk appraisal of written EOIs is to determine whether:

  • The organization applying for support from the PPAF is a sound potential partner; and
  • The EOI submitted by the organization constitute an attractive partnership proposal for the PPAF.
To ensure the objectivity and transparency of the shortlisting process, a neutral, third party organization screens and shortlists the received EoIs as per PPAF partnership criteria Annex-1. Third party’s mandate is to categorize Potential Partner Organizations following strict PPAF partnership criterion. The evaluation of applicant organization is done against the following six areas (total score 100):
  • POs Legal Status / Governance / Capacity (total score 20)
  • Accountability and Transparency (total score 20)
  • Geographical Coverage (total score 15)
  • Financing/Implementing Partners/Sustainability (total score 15)
  • Monitoring and Evaluation Systems (total score 20)
  • Experience in Social Mobilization and Participatory Development (total score 10)
The third party organization categorizes organizations as A, B and C. “A” being organizations scoring a score of 80 marks and above.

b) A request for proposal is sent to organizations categorized as “A”

3. The Field Appraisal Process

a) A multi-disciplinary PPAF team, that includes officials from units such as Institutional Development, Education Health and Nutrition, Community Physical Infrastructure and Livelihoods and Enterprise units undertakes field appraisal of a potential partner organization. Field appraisals are conducted of organizations that have been categorized as “A” category by the third party organization. The purpose of field appraisal is to:

  • Validate information provided by the organization;
  • Agree changes in the proposal submitted by the organization, so as to incorporate the points of interest to the PPAF; and
  • Recommend suitable organization for partnership
The following general principles guide the field appraisal process:
  • Organizations qualifying the agreed minimum criteria for assessment are considered;
  • Area Presence;
    • For Secure Zone-2 years physical presence
    • For insecure Zone- Working presence of at least 6 months during the past 3-4 years
  • Organizations with experience of developing inclusive/well governed community institutions and expertise in any or all project area ; and
  • Organizations having linkages with other stakeholders

The specific steps to manage the field appraisal process are as follows:

For each District, the appraisal process is undertaken as follows:
Step 1: Field appraisal of all organizations listed in ‘A’ category is carried out first. If a suitable organization for partnership is not found in category “A” then:
Step 2: Field appraisal of all organizations listed in ‘B’ category is carried out. If a suitable organization for partnership is not found in category “B”, then:
Step 3: A fresh advertisement is floated in the newspapers for expression of interest (EoI).


b) Following field appraisal the field appraisal team recommends prospective partner organizations

c) To ensure that there is common understanding between PPAF and its implementing partner organization, a pre partnership meeting is carried out with senior management of these organizations, with the following agenda:

  • To introduce PPAF’s Framework for Effective Socio-Economic Development (Annex-2), and to ensure that the final project document is guided by this framework; and
  • PPAF’s ‘Terms of Partnership’ and key implementation principles are explained


d) The prospective partner organizations are then recommended to PPAF’s credit committee (comprising of senior management of PPAF) that is headed by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PPAF. The CEO of PPAF is responsible for approving the field appraisal report and recommendations, and putting up his own recommendation to the Board of Directors.

e) Following PPAF Board of Directors approval, offer letters to selected partner organizations are sent.


Selection of Union councils

Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) is implementing a three year intervention titled “Poverty Reduction through Rural Development in Balochistan, KP & FATA” (PPR), which is financed by the Government of Italy (GOI). The programme is operational since 2013 and aims to reduce poverty in 38 Union Councils (UC) of 14 selected districts of KPK, FATA and Balochistan. The project targets districts, which due to plights of poverty and internal conflict were deemed the most unstable. In order to progress further, it is necessary to devise entry points for the intervention in each district by selecting the most vulnerable UCs from the proposed districts. This policy document highlights the process and indicators that were used to select the UCs objectively for PPR implementation. The following selection process consisted of a multifaceted, objective, and structured approach which led to the identification of 38 UCs. The selection process included three key steps.

Step 1, Develop UC/Sections Database for the Targeted Districts:

compiled. It is imperative to mention that the population coverage of each UC was projected using the population survey of 1998, whereas the geographic coverage for the same is done using the available data from the following sources:

  • Population census, 1998.
  • Housing Survey, 1998.
  • PPAF UC Database (priority ranking, beneficiaries, investment, social mobilization).
  • Delimitation/Administrative Boundaries Data collected from local government offices.

Step 2, UC/Sections Ranking by Deprivation Index and PPAF’s Priority Index: The average deprivation index was calculated for each UC based on illiteracy, proportion of ‘Katcha’ houses and un-electrified households. Due to the non-availability of relevant data at UC level, the deprivation indicators were obtained from the Population and Housing Censuses of 1998.

Step 3, Final Selection of 38 UCs: Priority 1 – Cluster Approach: UCs selected are in close vicinity of each other therefore are clustered into groups. UCs were also evaluated with respect to the distance and time taken to travel to the district headquarters.

Priority 2 - Presence of PPAF: The selected UCs were required to have PPAF presence through partner organizations.

Priority 3 - Law and Order Situation: The law and order situation in the selected UC has a conducive and enabling environment. The project target districts are mostly border districts with Afghanistan and Iran, and are already vulnerable in terms of law and order. Therefore, law and order was measured in relative terms. The UCs were categorized as “No Risk”, “Low Risk”, “High Risk” and “No Go Area”. Information on law and order was gathered through local teams, government, law enforcement officials and longstanding residents. Unfortunately the law enforcement agencies were reluctant in sharing the details publically.

Priority 4 - Social Mobilization: Selected UC has incidence of social mobilization by PPAF Partner Organizations or other INGOs Social Mobilization was measured in terms of the number of Partner Organizations, Community Organizations and Common Interest Groups operating in UCs.

Using the above mentioned UC selection criteria, the 38 UCs that exhibit social mobilization, while being located in close proximity to one another and having a social and law & order environment conducive to intervention, were selected.

General Eligibility Criteria for Partner Organizations

Partner organizations are all those NGOs, RSPs, CBOs, private sector institutions and entities that are involved in the work of poverty alleviation through income generating activities. They will be selected through transparent pre-selection criteria. In order to be eligible for support from the PPAF, potential partner organizations have to meet the following eligibility criteria established by the Board of Directors of the PPAF.

  1. The potential partner organization must be registered under one of the existing registration laws of Pakistan. Preference will be given to organizations registered under Section 42 of the Companies Ordinance 1984, the Societies Registration Act 1860, or Voluntary Social Welfare Agency Ordinance 1961.
  2. In order to be eligible to work it must have a “proven and demonstrated capability in the area of Social Mobilization and Integrated Rural Development”.
  3. It should be involved in participatory development at the grass-roots level, have the capacity to expand its outreach and have a well-developed strategy and work plan for the future.
  4. The sources of present funding should be transparent and the structure of governance must be democratic.
  5. The organization must have a proper accounting system supported by balance sheets and profit and loss account statements or income and expenditure statements with the minimum requirement of a cash-book supported by a bank statement.
  6. The organization awarded grants will be required to submit regular monitoring reports and should be willing to submit to monitoring and evaluation by the PPAF or any outside agency appointed by the PPAF for this task.
  7. The organization must have a system of internal controls and external audits, in accordance with the relevant laws of its registration, with audit scope acceptable to the PPAF and annual audits by a reputable QCR listed Chartered Accountant firm. It should be willing to accept mandatory external audits by a firm of Chartered Accountants acceptable to the PPAF.
  8. The organization must be financially sustainable, or on the path to sustainability. In this regard, it should have a realistic business plan for achieving self-sufficiency, and show steady progress towards that goal.
  9. The organization would be willing and able to maintain all relevant records, documents and information in respect of financing received from the PPAF, and to furnish these to the PPAF
  10. The organization should have good and strong governance and management structure
  11. The organization shall not be political, discriminatory, ethnic, sectarian or exclusionary in nature.