Building organizational capacity across the continuum of care in Indonesia

September 13, 2016
TALI staff after completing the ITOCA workshop

For most of his life, John Jonathan Nap has dedicated himself to helping others. It was an example set for him by his father, who moved their family of nine from Indonesia’s comfortable coast to its desolate highlands to serve as a missionary and teacher when Nap was young.

“I believe that on this earth there should be someone who sacrifices their life to serve other people,” Nap says.

It’s why he eventually decided to become a priest, and it’s why he has spent the past several years leading an organization called TALI, in Papua, Indonesia, which serves people living with HIV as well as populations who are vulnerable to contracting the disease. (TALI is short for Tangan Peduli, which means “a hand for care.”) 

“People can put their hope in us,” Nap says of TALI. “We deal with the situation, whatever challenges we are facing.”

Nap says he thought TALI, which opened its doors nine years ago, was doing the best it could – until he and his staff took part in a recent Institutional and Technical Organizational Capacity Assessment (ITOCA) workshop, led by LINKAGES Indonesia.

The USAID-funded LINKAGES project is working in countries around the world to help governments, key-population organizations and private sector providers to collaboratively plan, deliver and optimize services to reduce HIV transmission among vulnerable groups and extend life for people who are HIV-positive. Pact is a member of a global consortiuum implementing LINKAGES, including FHI360, IntraHealth International and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

As a global leader in developing the capacity of local nonprofits and institutions, Pact is working with private clinics and civil society organizations like TALI to help them deliver the best HIV/AIDS services they can.

Nap admits he was skeptical before TALI took part in ITOCA, which uses fun and engaging methodologies to help organizations take an honest, in-depth look at their capacity. 

“I thought this was a kind of business-as-usual activity,” Nap explains, “but when we went through it, I was wrong.”

Nap and his staff were struck by some of their ITOCA results, including TALI’s low scores in capacity and consensus level.

“It opened my eyes that very basic things in the organization need to be built better,” Nap says, “for example, improving internal governance, financial management and induction training for new staff.” 

He continues, “I don’t know whether it was the facilitator or the module, but the process really helped us to honestly identify our strengths and weaknesses.”

Nap adds that ITOCA was especially useful for building trust and cohesion among TALI’s staff.

“We discussed very important things,” he says. “There wasn’t a border among us. Everyone was free to speak up and express their opinions and impressions about the performance of the organization to date.”

For TALI, ITOCA is already paying off. With LINKAGES’ assistance, the organization has developed a detailed institutional strengthening plan that it is now implementing.

And for Nap, ITOCA has brought him closer to achieving what he considers his life’s purpose: doing as much for others as he can.

“I am moved by the people who come to our office on their own, asking us to take them to a health facility,” Nap says. “This means very much to us. This encourages us to work harder to eliminate HIV and AIDS in our beloved land.”

Learn more about the ITOCA.