A new approach to funding
With the agreement of both Bishops, the mechanism of funding for the Croydon – Zimbabwe Link was changed in April 2015 from traditional project and activity funding to ‘Budget Support’ funding in keeping with the funding approaches used in recent years by a number of uni-lateral and bi-lateral funding agencies.
This means that the decisions on how the funds are to be used lie with the recipient within broad constraints. The Link Committee in Croydon hence no longer decides on the detailed application of the funds and no longer manages projects. The use and financial management of the funds remains the responsibility of the Central Diocese of Zimbabwe which is required to provide financial and narrative reports to the Link to account for the use of the funds.
Traditionally the link pursued a project based funding system where the donor would identify a particular project and decided whether or not to fund it. Projects have historically been a major focus of the link and were often managed at a distance by the donor. The purpose of making the change to the ‘Budget Support System’ has been to deepen trust between the two sides of the link and to establish a more mature relationship. It means the decisions about how money is spent lie with the recipient rather than the donor.
In order to maintain the donor’s interest, it is a good thing to earmark funds so that the Croydon Link group can report to parishes on how the funds they donated have been used. A balance has been achieved between Central Zimbabwe making its own financial decisions whilst at the same time recognizing that interest in particular issues and projects is what motivates giving in the parishes of the Croydon Episcopal area. Reports and communication is therefore key to successful fund raising and motivation.
“The new approach is mature and ‘un-colonial’. As Christians, we cannot maintain a relationship without trust.”
“Budget support is a brilliant idea, considering the history of projects in Africa. It means that projects are not imposed, but come from the people.”
“Funding should be an instrument for development not a cause for mistrust.”