Carry YARO to the mountain top: A Step Change
Written by | 05 April 2015 | Published in blog

Youth Advocacy on Rights and Opportunities (YARO), supported by STAR-Ghana, is a growing organisation undergoing change in its strategic focus and direction.

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YARO called for a review of its structures, systems, procedures and processes in 2011 to reflect the required change needed to achieve their goals. This revealed some key issues in the governance structure, management, programme development and financial administration. 

Problems and gaps identified included: 

  • three separate boards for three operational areas,
  • no board charter,
  • a disconnect between current policy documents and new policy direction,
  • no comprehensive human resource policy,
  • outdated administrative and management manuals,
  • no succession plan,
  • no gender policy,
  • incomplete website,
  • no data management structure,
  • no monitoring and evaluation framework
  • no programme development frameworks
  • and inadequate financial planning and sustainability measures.

STAR-Ghana's support

STAR-Ghana shared in the new focus and vision of YARO and supported YARO’s three-year step change plan financially with a sustainability grant, and technically with the provision of a sustainability coach/mentor and other capacity building service providers.

YARO’s plan seeks to put in place a sustainability mechanism that would ensure the continuity and operational relevance of the organisation through key outputs including the building of an effective board with a charter, revision of all financial systems, formulation and adoption of communication and advocacy strategies, as well as putting a succession plan and a human resource manual in place.

Progress so far

YARO is two years into the step change plan, supported by STAR-Ghana, and has chalked some successes which include:

  • An Improved governance structure: there is a new nine-member board of directors which meet more frequently (quarterly) at a lower cost to deliberate on issues of staffing, salaries and financial administration and also to offer technical assistance to the organisation when necessary. This improvement in governance is as a result of the unification of the board and the development of a board charter.
  • Improved communication and advocacy: the organisational website has been completed and two Facebook pages created, which serve as a key way to communicate what we do to the rest of the world and to get feedback from beneficiaries and stakeholders. Communications with beneficiaries and key stakeholders is now also guided by our communication strategy. YARO now also works with the media as partners rather than collaborators.
  • Improved financial administration: the use of modern accounting software has made payment of salaries and claims quicker, efficient and has reduced the workload on the finance staff.
  • Improved monitoring and evaluation: M&E is now an integral part of YARO’s programme implementation and this improved efficiency in programme management. The improved M&E is also ensuring programme sustainability through downward accountability and feedback to beneficiaries.


Every Staff and board member at YARO understands and appreciates the relevance of the step change plan to the sustainability and relevance of YARO and is committed to making it succeed. We have now become attractive to partners like the World Food Programme, Plan Ghana, IBIS in Ghana and IITA who have approached YARO and have shown interest in working with us. Beneficiaries of YARO have also noticed the change due to their continuous involvement in planning processes and are attesting to seeing a change in the right direction for YARO.

By Hajei Douri Bennin, Executive Director of YARO. 

Find out more about STAR-Ghana's work and how we support our partners build their technical capacity. 

Read 95581 times Last modified on Tuesday, 05 December 2017 12:20

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