Selection Processes: An Opportunity to Enhance Ownership and Build Trust

Selection Processes: An Opportunity to Enhance Ownership and Build Trust

To improve trust, ensure transparency and to enhance its accountability, Iraqi Al-Amal Association (IAA) has put in place a public selection process for both individuals and NGOS for capacity building or receiving funds.

In the capacity building trainings for individuals, youth-led NGOs, or youth platforms, the selection process starts by an online public application, shortlisting, and interviewing the shortlisted candidates to select. Usually, IAA receives from few hundreds to 1,700 applications from which they select only 25 or 50 to participate.

Evaluation is based on concrete criteria and a scoring system. The selected list is usually published publicly after taking consent. Moreover, the scoring system is presented to the selected applicants during the activity. This has improved their trust in the process and IAA’s selection procedure. It makes applicants feel they are selected based on their qualifications. In a country which has high level of corruption this is an extremely important message to send.

The micro grants provided in the fields of culture of peace, entrepreneurship, and advocacy to individuals, youth platforms, and NGOs follow a similar structured selection process based on a concrete scoring system. The selection committee usually brings in external consultant to advice the team. For those selected, IAA provides space to develop their own ideas, and supports them if requested to fine-tune their proposals. Implementation stage is the sole responsibility of the applicant. This has improved the level of ownership and creativity significantly.

While this practice is very organisation specific, it can easily be adapted to other organisations.

According to the Corruption Perceptions Index 2018, Iraq ranks 168 out of 180 countries and territories, with a score of only 18/100. The index ranks by the perceived levels of public sector corruption, and since the Iraqi public sector is relatively vast with more than five million employees in thirty-six million population, mistrust is widespread in public and private sectors and the civil society organizations.

Within this context of mistrust, IAA is working to continuously select activists for capacity building activities or funds for initiatives. Therefore, they found it as an opportunity to start the change right from the beginning, i.e. from the selection process, which is designed to build trust in addition to its basic goal of selecting qualified candidates.

The structured process was also designed to help the team select properly and decide more easily. After all, this approach has proved to be more effective in influencing positive results. Usually, the participants selected through this process are much more committed and creative than those who had received direct invitations, a methodology IAA was using but no longer does. Overall, this practice helps building trust and mutual accountability between IAA and its stakeholders.

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Contact Person


Muntather Hassan, E-mail, Iraqi Al-Amal Association Website:

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"Alamal presented to us how they select proposals of initiatives to be funded. They have shown the criteria and the methodology. This helped us to focus on developing our proposals creatively, since what matters was made clear."