Spotlight on InsideNGO Training: In-house Rules & Regulations with International Care Ministries (ICM)

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June 08, 2016

Spotlight on InsideNGO Training: In-house Rules & Regulations with International Care Ministries (ICM)

Attendees and InsideNGO trainers at ICM’s in-house workshop on USAID Rules & Regulations: Grants & Cooperative Agreements.

By Elizabeth Walsh

Director, Communications and Marketing

International Care Ministries (ICM), founded in 1992, is a faith-based non-profit operating in the Philippines, whose vision is to see families liberated from poverty—from physical, emotional, and spiritual bondage. Its programs focus on values, health, and livelihoods. With approximately 500 staff working out of 10 different locations in the Visayas and Mindinao, and a management office in Manila, ICM reaches more than 34,000 families every year, impacting nearly 170,000 men, women, and children. In 2016, ICM will graduate its 750,000 family member from its programs.

Chief Executive Officer David Sutherland has been involved with ICM since 1998, starting on a part-time basis while serving as Chief Financial Officer of Morgan Stanley Asia in Hong Kong. In 2013, he left the financial services industry behind him and joined ICM full-time. Today he spends about one-third of his time in the Philippines, managing ICM’s operations, and the other two-thirds split between Hong Kong, Australia, the UK and the US, advancing ICM’s mission.

In addition to its mission of improving the lives of the poor, ICM considers itself a training organization—the NGO’s core program is based on a four-month community-based education curriculum—and as such, most of their staff development is done by its own capable training team. Last year, however, circumstances prompted Sutherland to take a different tack and reach out to InsideNGO.

"In 2015, ICM was blessed to receive its first grant from USAID," Sutherland said, adding that the organization hopes that it is the first of many. "We contracted with InsideNGO to build capacity within ICM’s internal staff to implement the regulatory protocols which will be required if and when ICM receives future USAID funding. By demonstrating we are compliance-ready with a track record of success, we are hoping it will make ICM a more attractive partner for future grants."

Trainers Libby Spader and Keith Edwards spent three full days in the training room in Cebu with 30 ICM senior leaders from across the organization, including Sutherland himself, delivering InsideNGO’s "USAID Rules & Regulations: Grants & Cooperative Agreements" workshop. Prior to the actual session, Spader had worked directly with Sutherland to tailor exercises to ICM’s specific areas of interest, particularly those with which the NGO had less practical experience.

"With all of our client-contracted workshops, we spend time up front analyzing teams’ organizational needs and capacity, ensuring that our training will be relevant and practical," says Spader. "For ICM, we knew that our training had to make a strong link between how specific internal processes would probably need to be revised if they expected to position themselves as a recurring USAID award recipient. We also knew that it would make a big difference that their most senior leaders—Dave and the leadership team—were in the room. Their clear commitment to the training made every participant that much more invested in the whole process."

The participants were eager to understand all the intricacies of US government regulations and how specific requirements might impact operating procedures. Sutherland and team found the answers they were looking for.

"Across the board, ICM staff reported that they found the InsideNGO training to be relevant, informative, and confidence-building," Sutherland said. "The trainers were professional and demonstrated a respect for the differing experience levels of the local staff. They also made what could have been an extremely dull experience into one which was engaging, interactive, and even entertaining."

In the months since the training was held, the ICM team has been following up on what they learned. They have been developing and implementing new operational protocols and practices around logistics, accounting, time-keeping, and purchasing to ensure their readiness for future USAID funding.


InsideNGO offers organizations and agencies—members and non-members—the opportunity to contract our workshops for on-location delivery. Clients find that these in-house workshops provide a cost-effective solution to their professional and organizational development needs. Please contact us at client@InsideNGO.org for more information about bringing our expert training to your organization.

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