Changing the Narrative of Scouting Governance in Africa through GSAT
Since it was launched in the Africa Scout Region, a total of 26 NSOs have interacted with the Global Support Assessment Tool (GSAT) standard in one or more of its three different versions; GSAT Self-Assessment, WOSM Global Support Assessment and GSAT Third Party Assessment.
Implementation of GSAT Standard in Africa has resulted in many National Scout Organizations positively transforming their governance systems and practices that have led to greater stability, progress and growth in the respective NSOs but in the entire region as well. The number of NSOs in crisis resulting from changes in leadership have tremendously reduced giving a chance for young people enjoy Scout Programme uninterruptedly.
The World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) developed and rolled-out across the movement the Global Support System and Global Support Assessment Tool (GSAT) aimed at supporting and strengthening the capacity of National Scout Organizations to reach international standards with regard to Good Governance principles, a qualitative Youth Programme and well-focused Adults Management System. The Global Support System enables National Scout Organizations to readily acquire expert resources from other NSOs, allows the exchange of project data and provides ways to evaluate the NSO’s most critical areas and assists the World Scout Bureau Support Centres in providing the necessary support.
The Global Support Assessment Tool on the other hand is a Quality Standard owned by the WOSM that assesses compliance of an NSO towards international best practices in Good Governance and Quality Scouting. This Standard was developed in collaboration with SGS (Société Générale de Surveillance) and is based on a consolidation of requirements that are specific to the Scout Movement, and on Management and Good Governance Best Practices captured from the SGS NGO Benchmarking Standard.
The GSAT Standard has 10 dimensions namely: NSO - WOSM Institutional Requirements; Governance Framework; Strategic Framework; Integrity Management; Communication, Advocacy & Public Image; Adults in Scouting; Resource Allocation & Financial Controls; Youth Programme; Growth Potential and Continuous Improvement. It serves as a reference of Best Practices for NSOs, and its application enables NSOs to assess their strengths and weaknesses and, as an outcome, to improve their accountability to stakeholders.
The National Scout Organizations of Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and South Sudan and Tanzania have undertaken GSAT Self-Assessment, either individually or with the facilitation of a GSAT facilitator appointed by the World Scout Bureau Africa Support Centre. This has enabled the NSOs to use the tool on their own, to evaluate internally the performance of their organisation vis-à-vis international best practices; either focusing on all or some of the GSAT dimensions depending on their needs.
Another 7 NSOs and NSAs have benefited from the WOSM Global Support Assessment conducted by trained and certified Internal Assessors appointed by the World Scout Bureau Africa Support Centre. This has helped the National Scout Organizations of Benin, Botswana, Ghana, Malawi, Eclaireurs du Sénégal, Togo and Zimbabwe to gain a “friendly” midway external perspective on their performance as they prepare to take a GSAT 3rd Party Assessment.
Benin, Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, South Africa and Togo are the National Scout Organizations in the region that have undertaken the SGS/GSAT Third Party Assessment Conducted by SGS.
To support the delivery of this Global Support System and Global Support Assessment Tool a series of workshops have been held since 2015 to create awareness among NSOs on the system and the standard. A total of 23 volunteers have been trained as GSAT Facilitators and another 9 certified as GSAT Assessors in the Africa region.
The leaders of the NSOs that have so far utilized the GSAT Standard in one way or another had the following to say about how it has impacted on their operations:
“We are honoured and indeed privileged to have merited GSAT Accreditation and shall certainly strive to maintain our NSO's status as such. We also recognize that we cannot walk this journey alone and shall from time to time, continuously seek the ARO's counsel and support.
– Ray Charles Musau, former Chief Commissioner, Kenya Scouts Association
“We will expedite as is necessary because even as we relish the thrill of success the certification is not going to be an end; SGS/GSAT to us is a check list for good practice. It is a checklist that we will always use in our daily management of the Association”.
- Moses Danda, National Executive Commissioner, Kenya Scouts Association
“I would like to submit my appreciation for being privileged to participate in the SGS GSAT Audit as a GSAT Facilitator. It has been a great exposure to me, especially seeing how the NSO had prepared itself, and witnessing their success. This engagement has been a great motivation for me especially on how practically I can prepare my own NSO, the Tanzania Scouts Association for Assessment.”
- Rashid Mchatta, Regional GSAT Facilitator from Tanzania Scouts Association
“GSAT is the only method to make our NSO's vibrant in management towards better Scouting”
- Trevor Nyasulu, GSAT Volunteer, Scout Association of Malawi
The World Scout Bureau Africa Support Centre has also managed to use the data gathered from the GSAT Standard to identify and deliver tailored support to NSOs to help them address the major areas of non-conformity identified through the assessment exercises. This has greatly enhanced not only the impact of its services to NSOs but also contributed to the improvement of the quality Scouting delivered to the over 5 million Scouts across Sub-Saharan Africa.
World Scouting continues to encourage and support National Scout Organizations to fully understand and utilize the GSAT Standard to help them build and sustain strong, transparent and accountable institutions and deliver quality Scouting based of globally acceptable management and governance best practices. To find out more about GSAT, visit www.scout.org/gsat