ISF’s Annual Plan 2023

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The International Solidarity Foundation (ISF) is a Finnish development NGO established in 1970. ISF aims at creating a world where women and girls are empowered to build their own future, their self-determination is fully realised, and their right to bodily integrity is respected. Its vision is to “be a pathfinder in empowering women and girls in East Africa by 2030”.

For ISF, the vision means first and foremost:

  1. the ability to support and encourage local civil societies to operate boldly even in difficult conditions and on taboo topics
  2. sustainable growth and stability that ensures the realisation of ISF’s basic function
  3. resilience in the face of challenges.

If the ISF operating environment is favourable and the organisation is capable to employ its full potential, in 2030 it will:

  • Be a leading specialist in the empowerment of women and girls by combining the promotion of livelihoods with the prevention of gender-based violence.
  • Be an innovative organization whose mission and operating models are relevant, bold and ahead of the time.
  • Have a diverse and stable funding base.
  • Be an adaptive organisation where learning is at the core of our operations.
  • Have efficient stakeholder relations and strategic partnerships.

To achieve its vision, the following strategic objectives will guide planning and decision making in ISF from 2022 onwards:

  • ISF is a key enabler in the eradication of FGM in East Africa
  • ISF has growing, stable funding
  • ISF is an adaptive and learning organisation

To enhance its role as a key enabler in the eradication of FGM, in 2023 ISF systematically supports staff and partners to participate in pan-African end-FGM training programmes. ISF will also map and participate in relevant regional and national anti-FGM networks/forums and advocacy campaigns. In external communications, ISF will continue to focus on reaching the relevant audience segments through social and traditional media in order to become a top-of- mind organization on FGM within the Finnish audience.

To achieve its long-term aspirations of growth and diverse funding, ISF will continue to build relations with key international FGM/GBV donors in East Africa. During the year, it will seek to identify and participate in at least one FGM/GBV call for funds. Subject to the availability of funds (it is expecting news about EU funding in late 2022), it will also consider creating a new position (Partnership Manager) to intensify the engagement with key international donors, including preparation of funding submissions and management of donor funds.

To ensure steady growth in private sector fundraising, especially concerning monthly donations, ISF continues with outsourced F2F campaigning throughout the year and aims to strengthen digital fundraising and campaigning further. ISF communications will support the growth aspirations by building brand awareness through social and traditional media, as well as significant campaigning efforts.

In terms of the Finnish Parliamentary elections on April, ISF will partner with coalitions maintaining women and girls’ rights and climate justice in the top of national development policy and its resourcing.

In the beginning of 2023, the core financial and administration functions as well as related HQ team structure will be reformed to better serve ISF strategy and programme goals. The new position of Programme Controller is to be created by the end of 2022 and a new professional will be recruited to improve the financial support and control to the partner organisations, as well as monitoring and reporting of ISF programme.

In 2023, the newly reformed staff barometer in English will be introduced at global ISF organisation (including staff in Helsinki and in partner countries) instead of Finnish staff barometer. This is part of the process of building ISF organisation culture which encourages all the staff to participate and co-create boldly.

Annual report & annexes in pdf format