The core value of Nijera Kori’s management structure and decision-making system is guided by the philosophy of ‘participatory democracy’. The main decision-making body of the organisation is the Central Staff Convention, which is held every alternate year and attended by all staff of Nijera Kori. Here they constitute a three-tier council (Area Council, Divisional Council and Central Executive Council) for two years for overall management, decision and coordination by electing their representatives among the staff.
The core value of Nijera Kori’s management structure and decision-making system is guided by the philosophy of ‘participatory democracy’. The overall governance of the organisation rests with the ‘General Body,’ which elects the ‘Governing Body’ for two years. General Body, made up 39 members, which is responsible for overall governance and elects a Governing Body, every two years. The role of the Governing Body who meet quarterly, is to ratify policies and programs proposed by Nijera Kori, to approve the audited account and budget for the coming year, as required by government legislation and to appoint the Co-ordinator who is responsible for coordinating the overall programmes and management of Nijera Kori on regular basis.
Nijera Kori’s organizational structure and culture demonstrate the basic organisational principles to which it is committed. Therefore, for linking the grassroots, on the other hand, each area office has 3-4 sub-centres, which are made up of female and male field staff. They, through living collectively in a centre in the field, manage the activities of Nijera Kori along with the landless people. The groups themselves have their own structure for group activities.
Role and responsibilities of all bodies for overall programmee management
The Coordinator is appointed by the Governing Body possesses the highest authority in the organization. She is the Chairperson of the staff council, staff representatives meeting, and the annual staff convention.
The Coordinator is responsible for the overall management of the organization that includes the management of Nijera Kori staff structure, administration, recruitment, transfer, confirmation of newly recruited staff, increment, deal with organizational rules and procedures, sign the bills for the Staff Executive Committee members, approve vouchers as appropriate, raise funds for the organization and approve the expenditure etc. Besides the responsibilities with the international operations of the organization, the Coordinator also maintain networking with the government/non-government institutions, donor agencies including international aid organizations, other individuals, Governing Body of the organization and human rights networks. In addition, the Coordinator is the Chair of the staff Representatives meeting, Executive Council meeting, and Central Staff Convention. The Coordinator presents the overall overview of the organization in the Executive Council, Governing Body and in the Central Staff Convention. She is the official interface between Nijera Kori and others. As the Coordinator her role is to maintain a minimum of monthly review meetings, often more as per need, with the Central Team, the Report Team, the Finance and Accounts section, with the Administration and HR section, in order to coordinate and monitor progress of the organization in line with policy and objectives.
The Central Team: (Elected representatives)
The Central Team is consisted of experienced staff members of the organization as the Coordinator of Nijera Kori, as appointed by the Governing Body and acts as the Chair of the team; the three members of the Central Team (Organization) and the three members of the Central Team (Training) are elected by the staff at the Staff Convention for a period of two years. The same members are able to be reelected based on their performance. Of the six elected members of the Central Team, equal number of women and men are mandatory. The Central Team provides necessary advice and assistance as required by the field staff to identify weaknesses. The Central Team plays the role in coordinating, monitoring and implementing the activities associated with training, cultural programs, advocacy, reports, administration and accounts in the Head office and as per expected outcomes stated in the project document. The Central Team is also involved with the personnel section in the Head Office in recruiting new employees for the field. In addition, the respective Teams contribute to the monthly schooling program in the Head Office as part of the process to create an environment to nurture democracy.
The Central Team (Organization) members are elected in the Central staff convention for 2 years. The respected Team is responsible for implementing the programme as planned, expand the activities with innovation and take necessary actions for problem-solving to achieve the organization’s goals and objectives. The Central Team (Organization) is also responsible to conduct field visits in different working areas in the Divisional, Areas and Sub-Centers level to monitor the field level activities and provide necessary guidance and advice to the field staff to connect and ensure the coordination in all levels from Sub-Centre to the Central office.
In addition, this Team will prepare reports on the field visits including the day to day activities related to the progression and development of the landless organizations. The Central Team (Organization) also plays a key role in bringing consistency among internal affairs and establishing collective efforts between the divisions and areas.
Other than this, they will collect enough information for the improvement of employees in order to transform their knowledge and understanding, and if necessary, they assess, plan and explore the opportunity for the staff so that the staff can participate the overseas training and seminars abroad.
This Team also set the guidelines to improve the conscious level of the landless organizations and encourage the staff to practice the same. They also play the key role in developing the strategies in managing the landless organizations in achieving consistent results by employees and the landless groups. They will take initiative to prepare and implement the plan in the field level. The Team will play the lead role in developing the policies to work with the socio- cultural and movement based organizations and to promote the rights of indigenous people. In addition, the Central Team (Organization) reports to the Coordinator, Executive Council and Central Staff Convention for their work.
The Central Team (Training) are elected by all level staff in the Central Staff Convention for 2 years. The Central Team (Training) will keep everyone informed about the culture of the organization. They will create innovation in training activities and finalize the training plan. In addition, they will collect information and arrange training to identify the relevant problems. They will conduct field visits and explore the training need assessment and determine methodology to develop staff and groups’ knowledge and skills, ensure follow up and prepare reports. They also evaluate to what extent training experience has been applied at the field level. They also monitor the progress and evaluate the training results. They also provide the TOT, implement the training plan and to work for the improvement of the training methodology. They will take necessary measures to form training cell at the field level.
In addition, the Central Team (Training) reports to the Coordinator, Executive Council and in the Central Staff Convention for their work.
The Coordinator of the Central Cultural Team is elected by the Central cultural staff in the Central Staff Convention in every 2 years. Their main responsibility is to set cultural programs, constantly create innovation, develop the capabilities of cultural staff, under take comprehensive plan including the coordination of all cultural activities and implement the plans accordingly. In addition, they will identify the cultural need assessment through field’s visits and will take necessary steps accordingly. The Coordinator of the Central Cultural Team will arrange the monthly meeting with the central cultural team. This Team will evaluate the activities according to the report provided at the meeting and take new initiatives. The Coordinator of the Central Cultural Team will work with coordination of Central Team (Training). They will manage their activities from any training centre that is convenient for implementing their activities. S/he will present her/his work at the monthly and quarterly meeting. The Coordinator from her/his level of position can attend any Divisional Council meeting
Administration, Accounts and Report Team
The Administrator along with other members of her/his section is in charge of maintaining all records and ensuring all HR policies as approved by Nijera Kori are maintained and followed, ensure coordination between the different sections within the head office, ensure procurement and other administrative policies and manuals are followed. Most day to day administrative matters are dealt by with them. S/he along with the team also assists the Coordinator to ensure regular liaison with the Governing Body for holding of regular meetings and linkages with the NGO Affairs Bureau and Partners as and when requested.
The Senior Accountant through her/his team maintain all accounts and ensure smooth financial running of the organization through following the Financial Manual. Nijera Kori maintains a centralized accounting system. A team of Accountants are appointed at Head Office along with Field Accountants. All field based accountants are responsible to the Senior Accountant. From time to time, the Head office accountants also regularly visit the field offices for financial monitoring. The Senior Accountant, Administrator, and when needed, the Programme Organiser in charge of the Report Team and the Central team, sit quarterly to review the expenditure as well as fund availability forecast, both programme and administrative in line with the project document and proposed outcomes. This is then presented at two levels, at the Staff Executive Council meetings and more so the Governing Body for approval.
The Report Team headed by the Programme Organiser in charge of this section maintain all field programme records, the MIS system and provide monthly and quarterly reports to the Central Team and the Coordinator, thus works closely with both. This team supports the Coordinator by providing quarterly reports for the Governing Body, prepares the annual report for Partners and the AGM. The Report Team has an important role to keep the organization aware of where it’s activities and status is currently located in the context of the stated outcomes. This information is crucial for all the different teams, sections and bodies to ensure strict, regular and accurate observation and information of the current situation prevailing. This is most important to ensure that each team can ensure correct implementation as per proposed programme outcomes. Members of the Team regularly visit different area and sub-centres to understand and get clarification of activities in line with proposed outcomes in order to try their level best to ensure accurate reporting. This filtering process is a key component of our monitoring system.
The Divisional Council: (Elected representatives)
The Divisional Council is responsible for the overall planning, implementing, staff development and coordination in all level staff working in the field, sub-centre management, initiative for collective intervention and to nurture democracy in all levels in the organization to achieve the organization goals and objectives. All Area Coordinators under the Division are members of the Divisional Council.
The responsibilities of the Divisional Council are to maintain regular contact with field, meet in every 2 months to evaluate the field activities, identify the weakness, take necessary steps to overcome the weakness.
The Divisional Coordinator, Divisional Organizer, Divisional Trainer and Area Coordinators for each area office, will be elected as members of this Team by virtue of their position. The post of the Divisional Coordinator as is the Area Coordinator open for both women and men. However from the Divisional Trainer and Organizer, one will have to be a woman. The women staffs are strongly encouraged to participate in the elections.
The Divisional Coordinator: (elected representative)
The Divisional Coordinator is elected by the divisional level staff members in the Central Staff Convention in every 2 years. S/he is based and will manage and coordinate all the Divisional level programmes from the Divisional Training Centre. It is the responsibility of the Divisional Coordinator to stay in each of the sub-centre of the Division for at least 5 to 7 days in order to contribute to the management of the Sub Centre. S/he will participate and contribute to the schooling as well as the monthly meeting. S/he will monitor the practical situation in the field, identify the weakness and explore various innovative interventions to achieve the organizational goals and objectives. As part of the administrative responsibilities s/he will approve the bill vouchers and leave as applicable. S/he can approve 15 days of leave as recommended by the Area Coordinator. S/he will also maintain liaison with the government and other organizations, individuals as required for the best interest of the organization. S/he will arrange the Divisional meeting in every 2 months and the decisions of the meeting are shared to the higher authority through the Divisional Coordinator. In addition, s/he is responsible for internal transfer and can recruit the Service Staff by the consultation with the Central Team. S/he is responsible in planning, implementing and coordinating the Divisional activities to achieve the organizational goals and objectives. S/he is also arranging the Divisional level staff council every year to evaluate the Divisional level activities and results to achieve the goal and objectives of the organization. S/he will report to the Divisional meeting, Divisional Council meeting, Executive Council and Central Staff Convention. Either the Divisional Organization or Training as available will be the In charge of the Division by the consultation with the Central Team while the Divisional Coordinator is either on leave or out of work station for official tour.
The Divisional Organizer: (elected representative)
The Divisional Organizer is elected by the divisional level staff members in the Central Staff Convention in every 2 years. The key role of the Divisional is to explore the activities of different areas of the respective Division including planning, implementing and coordinating the Divisional activities related to develop the autonomous landless organization. The Divisional is expected to stay in each of the sub-centre of the Division for at least 5 to 7 days in order to contribute to the management of the Sub Centre. S/he will report to the Divisional portfolio, Divisional meeting and Divisional Council. S/he is based and will manage the activities from the Divisional Training Centre. S/he will also maintain liaison with the well wishers as required for the best interest of the organization. S/he will be a member of the Divisional Council.
The Divisional Trainer: (Elected representative)
The Divisional Trainer is elected by the staff of the respective Division in the Central Staff Convention in every 2 years. S/he is responsible to create innovation in training activities and finalize the training plan. In addition, s/he will collect information and arrange training to identify the relevant problems. In addition, this Team will follow up the progress, identify the weakness and send the proposal to the Divisional and Central Training Cell for further improvement. They will prepare the reports and will send it to the Divisional Team and Central Training Cell. The Divisional Trainer is the member of Divisional Council. S/he will report to the Divisional portfolio, Divisional meeting and Divisional staff council.
The Area Council:
The Area Committee is responsible for the area level planning, implementation and coordination to achieve the organization goals and objectives. The Area Council is formed by one or more than one sub-centre. The Area Council is responsible for the staff development of the sub centre, practice democratic values and culture and strengthens the activities related to the landless organization. All area level staff are the members of the Area Council. All staff will have specific groups in the field except the Area Coordinator. However, the Area Coordinator will take the responsibility for the specific groups if s/he is managing only one sub centre. The Area Council will analyze the overall situation, identify the weakness and evaluate the activities and decide for further actions for innovation. This Council through the Area Coordinator is also responsible to arrange monthly meeting, evaluate the activities and recommend the proposals for the administrative decisions related to the staff salary, allowances, bill vouchers etc as required.
The Area Coordinator: (Elected representative)
The Area Coordinator is elected by the area level staff members in the Central Staff Convention in every 2 years. S/he is responsible to organize group activities, explore new field, play facilitating role how the trainee will apply her/his knowledge and experience in the field, evaluate the results of cultural activities, staff development, sub-centre management, encourage staff and group members for collective initiative, implementing the activity plan and identify the strategies to achieve the organizational goals and objectives. S/he will monitor the activities, identify the weakness and will take necessary steps according to the policy for further improvement. The Area Coordinator will not have any specific groups in the field except the area where there is only one sub-centres operating. However, the Area Coordinator of such area will take the responsibility for the specific groups if s/he is managing one sub centre. It is the responsibility of the Area Coordinator to stay in each of the sub-centre of the respective Area for at least 5 to 7 days to facilitate the field activities, identify the change out of the intervention, prepare reports for Division and Central Team including area level reporting as required by the organization.
The Area Coordinator is responsible to arrange monthly meeting to evaluate monthly activities of the area. In addition s/he will approve the bill vouchers, staff leave up to 10 days.
If required s/he can transfer the staff within the area by consultation with the Divisional and Central Team. S/he can send the proposal to the Divisional Council in case of the transfer required outside of the area.
S/he is responsible to evaluate the probationary staff in every six months and will send the report to the Divisional council. In addition, s/he is responsible to evaluate the regular staff yearly and send the proposal to the Divisional Team for annual increment.
Sub-Centre Representative: (selected representative)
Sub-Centre level activities are closely attached to the groups and considered as the main strength of the landless organization. The staff working in the sub-centre plan and implement the activities based on the demand in the field. There is one representative in each Sub –Centre to manage the sub-centre level activities. The women staff if available in the sub-centre will represent the Centre as per organizational policy. The Area Coordinator will take the responsibility if there is only one sub-centre exists in the area.
The sub-centre representative is selected by the Divisional Council as proposed by the Area Council. The responsibilities of the sub-centre representative are to manage the sub centre, maintain discipline, planning and implementing the activities of the groups of the landless organization. S/he is also arrange weekly meeting to evaluate the activities and to develop the consciousness level of each staff working in the sub-centre.
However, the sub -centre representative has no role in approving leave, bill vouchers including proposing the staff salary or increment including dealing with other administrative issues.
The Programme Organizers are recruited through advertisement centrally. S/he will be based in the sub-centre to manage the activities related to the group members. The key role of the Programme Organizer posted to the sub centre is to form the landless organization through building awareness of poor and marginalized for collective movement, conduct group meetings, explore data collection and documentation, analyze the information and finally engage her/himself in regular mentoring the knowledge level through schooling and exploring the reading materials. The Program Organizer reports their work in the weekly and monthly meeting. In addition, s/he arranges the meeting with the well wishers of the organization in every three months. Only when the Programme Organiser has been elected to a particular position within the Organisation, s/he will then take on the role and tasks given, as per the description given above.
Participation of Landless Organisation
Nijera Kori has been practicing a comprehensive planning monitoring and evaluation and reporting system ensuring equal participation of staff and landless groups at all stages in the whole process. The landless groups evaluate their activities and formulate plans through regular meetings. In these meetings leaders, representatives of landless groups/committees from other working areas actively participate, along with the field staff of Nijera Kori. In fact, these meetings constitute the basis of the PME and management system. The information and recommendations generated from these meetings of the landless groups are discussed at various other levels (i.e. village, union, area and Upazila committee meetings and conventions etc.) of the organisation (Annex-B). The opinions and proposals of the landless received through this process are then sent to the sub-centres of Nijera Kori through Nijera Kori field staff, which later are discussed and evaluated at various levels of the organisation. Guidelines for Nijera Kori activities are set, through this process, and Nijera Kori staff members formulate the plans for the organisation on the basis of that. The executive council, divisional council and area presidents directly participate in field level activities on a regular basis. In addition, the staff and the groups at times visit each others’ working areas with a view to assess, evaluate, monitor and provide necessary counseling to their counterparts. The same process is followed when written reports are produced in each meeting based on which the annual report is made at the end of activity year.