We position ourselves as a local organization with international standards. We find transparency, accountability, efficiency and strong local and international expertise to be our major competitive advantages. The Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia seeks to stimulate change – to have an impact.
We try to operate in a “continuous improvement” mode and use best business practices in our operations. Despite being a non-profit, some of the basis for our ongoing experiments comes from the for-profit world. The fundamental building blocks are familiar to businesses large and small: Find an effective niche – make choices about what you will and won’t try to give your customers (beneficiaries and funders). Be better than anyone else at what you choose to do. Work with outstanding performers. Focus on results.
EFCA works to translate these ideas into standards that are meaningful for our programming. In designing strategies we strive to:
- have a well-defined goal that is larger than a single project;
- have a discernible effect on the problem;
- tackle a problem on multiple fronts;
- be both ambitious and realistic;
- take advantage of timely opportunities;
- allocate an appropriate level of resources;
- show measurable progress in three to five years;
- and be flexible.
Flexibility, we find, is crucial to ensuring continued effectiveness in a changing environment. To improve effectiveness, the development, implementation and refinement of our strategies is always ongoing, so that strategies for reaching program goals are constantly evolving as new information and new variables emerge in the field.
Achieving sustainability has always been and will be our major challenge. However, in the coming years we want to focus more on evaluation of our programs and monitoring our impact. Among many benefits, this approach calls us to be accountable for results. It helps us direct our own – and our funders’ – resources to the places where they can have the greatest impact. It also continues to question our assumptions about the process of change, and gives us the room to make corrections when we find that we were wrong. We do believe that this strategic approach should yield stronger results; that the challenge to make better use of our resources is one worth taking on.