Excerpts from Evaluations of COVA
Conducted by External Agencies

1. Excerpts from the Participatory Programme Evaluation Report of
“COVA Integrated Programme for Community Empowerment”
Evaluation Team: Y.L. Jayaraj, Anita Cheria – June 15 to 24, 2009

Organizational Assessment

  • COVA was a brave and ambitious initiative. It has been unique in its conception of confederation as a strategy and in its vision for communal harmony, social justice and the empowerment of the marginalized sections.
  • Unlike in many organizations, the Governing Body and the Executive Committee of COVA are functional and meet at regular intervals.
  • The different systems of management and the committees created to operationalize them reflect the intention of transparency, decentralization of power and democratic governance and the evaluators highly appreciative of it.
  • The financial monitoring component is one of the best practices in COVA worth emulating by other organizations.
  • The present COVA team is its major asset. All departments are headed by senior dedicated staff, high on ideals and commitment.
  • [In Children’s Programme] What is being done is commendable, the impact is visible and benefits to the children substantial.
  • The attitude of the staff and the organization as a whole towards people, from the community, partners, and organizations were marked with respect and showed genuine concern. From responses on the phone, to attending to visitors, ensuring that everyone is given a patient hearing and a minimum glass of water, it was all a matter of COVA culture. There is an eye for such detail without making a fuss. Everyone—from the driver, the cook and to the leadership—shares this basic value of respect for each other and has a healthy sense of pride in their work. This is one of the most important values for good networking, working in partnership and building trust.
  • Another important reason for the success of COVA, to make a dent in the most closed community, is its patience.

2. Excerpts from Evaluation Report on Financial Management of
COVA: Integrated Programme for Community Empowerment

Evaluator: Rozmin N Ajani, Chartered Accountant – July 2009

  • COVA has documented its financial policies and procedures as also service rules for Human Resource Management. COVA has also prepared formats for various procedure followed beginning from making of requisition for approval of budgets, monitoring of budgets to submission of bills for payment.
  • Receipt & Payment and Monthly Trail Balance for each of the funds are prepared and presented in the Finance Monitoring and Reports Committee (FMRC)
  • Overall, COVA has adequate internal control mechanisms in place for its current funding levels and activities.

3. Excerpts from the Financial Audit Report of
The Kashmir Earthquake Relief and Rehabilitation Project of COVA
Supported by Cordaid, Netherlands. Evaluation Period: April 2009.
Evaluators: Mr. Ramachandran of M/s RAMACHANDRAN & MURALI,
Chartered Accountants, Chennai.

Good financial management practices in COVA recommended for continuation:

  • Payments are supported by adequate documents. Payment voucher contain all relevant information. Third Party vouchers are obtained. Journal vouchers are prepared for non –cash transaction.
  • Cash Payment is restricted to Rs. 2000/- Salary payments are made through Bank only.
  • COVA’s Finance Department is headed by an experienced person.

4. Excerpts from the One Man Committee Report
On the Implementation of the
Economic Empowerment of Women Project of COVA
Evaluation Period: May 2008
By Mr R.MURALI, Director, Modern Architects for Rural India (MARI),

During the course of working on this committee I have observed some excellent systems in the organization. It is no exaggeration to say that the governance & management systems are quite exemplary in COVA and other NGOs can surely benefit from sharing of the same.

5. COVA Evaluation- Dr. A.K. Biswas- Ms. Geeta Ramaswamy- 1999

The staff are sincere and committed and have built a good working relationship with the communities.
The activity has yielded an enthusiastic response and amazing results. At the time of the evaluation in September – October 1999, 92 groups have been organised comprising 2,576 members and the total amount saved is Rs. 9,74,520. We find that women have become more enlightened about social and legal concerns and try to counter injustice. The groups also take up social and legal problems.
Administration is participatory and the decisions are take democratically. The staff are disciplined, committed and follow the rules and regulations existing in COVA. Planning and review meetings are held regularly and help monitor the programmes, and chalk out future activities. Inter personal relationships are cordial and there is mutual concern and solidarity in the COVA family. There is transparency and accountability among members at all levels of administration.
Most of the financial data is readily available from the reports, statements and books of accounts. The accounts are updated every day and cash closing of the Foreign Contribution and Indian Accounts is done on a daily basis. The overall expenditure is prepared under respective budget heads. There is a control system for indents, purchases and stock keeping. An inventory and asset register is also updated from time to time.
The Treasurer visits COVA every week and guides the Accounts Officers. The knowledge of accounting, fund dealings and openness of the finance department staff are highly commendable. Attempts are made to adopt stringency measures and financial stewardship in all matters pertaining to expenditure.

Financial Management Study of COVA
Conducted my M. Kandaswami & Associates- October 2006

The eagerness, involvement and cooperation demonstrated during the financial management study from the top management, finance executives, officers and staff prove that COVA will be able to not only upgrade its system and make it as a model to the non-profit sector organisation in Hyderabad.
There is an effective internal control system in COVA. Every transaction is checked by Accounts Officer and approved by the Executive Secretary of COVA before payment is made.