We have examined the major risks to which the charity is exposed and review them at each Board meeting. Systems and procedures have been put in place to manage those risks.
The Risk Register is maintained by the Chief Executive and Treasurer, under the supervision of the Board. Below is an overview of the major financial and operational risks we were facing at the time of the writing of this report (August 2015).
|Funding and lack of core funding
|There are challenges to funding due to the closure of WSEP in March 2015 and GWEP in November 2015. Funding strategy needs to focus on large institutional grants, and to diversify to target additional unrestricted funding.
|SURF secured an additional DFID grant for 2015 and other donor funding, but this does not fully cover core costs. Staffing costs are under control, and we have visibility ahead of our future funding, but we need to diversify our funding base, in particular securing additional funding from Rwanda.
|SURF is structured to be very much dependent on the Chief Executive, a post currently based in the UK. However it is increasingly difficult to secure funding for the post, but without which it will be challenging to engage and secure UK donors.
|Support is being provided by the former Director of SURF for 2 days per week. Focus is required on managing existing programmes and applications to institutional donors. Within financial limitations, this support is to be maintained, whilst exploring transitioning the post of Chief Executive to Rwanda.
|Political and security issues
|There continues to be uncertainty on Rwanda’s borders, and risk of destabilisation. There has been an increase in tensions with high profile arrests since April 2014 and debate about a possible constitutional change has intensified. The latter may result in negative perceptions from the international community and affect Government funding and spending on programmes for survivors
|SURF is monitoring the situation, and is in a position to advocate on the situation for survivors if there are attacks against survivors in future. Risk has been slightly reduced since the M23 defeat, and the funding environment is improved although fragile. We continue to monitor how government programmes are affected by reductions in funding, and to monitor the increased state of tension, and whether this adversely affects survivors too.
|Post-20th anniversary environment & positioning of Survivor NGOs
|Survivors and their NGOs are faced with GoR mainstreaming policies and the question of their wider role in Rwanda today. This is linked to international donor alignment and other funding streams. SURF’s role and funding is vulnerable, as long as it is aligned to Survivor’s Organisations.
|SURF is supporting Survivor’s Organisations in their approach as to how they adapt to the new environment and is actively facilitating joint working to address the challenge. SURF will also consider its own role and future activities/fundraising through its 2015-2017 strategic review and plan.