SAHGCA branches play an essential role in providing services to members at local level. Therefore, the development and establishment of branches countrywide are of strategic importance to the Association. But how effective and functional are these branches in delivering services?
SAHGA's Branch Evaluation Programme aims to measure the effectiveness of service delivery at branches. The evaluation period ranges from 1 October to 30 September the following year. The first element of the branch evaluation programme comprises measuring the monthly participation by members at management meetings, member meetings, shooting days and shooting competitions, training for dedicated hunters and sportshooters, involvement by juniors and other training.
But why focus on these five activities only?
These activities are the heart-beat of the branch and if they are offered in an interesting manner on a regular basis, more members will participate. This will automatically stimulate spontaneous participation in other activities. Member participation at branches nationwide increased dramatically where this method has been followed.
The most important benefit of this approach is that it establishes a standard that all branches know and follow. The results are used by branch management to measure participation at branch level. Secondly, it allows Inyathi Park to determine where assistance is needed; and thirdly, newly established branches can use it as guideline for branch development.
The annual self-evaluation by branch management, prior to the Annual General Meeting, is the second aspect of the programme that measures the success of management during the past year. This process ensures that non-performing aspects or portfolios can be investigated and remedial action can be taken if necessary. This is not a witch-hunt, but is aimed at supporting those persons who work hard for something they really care about. It is possible that a member's personal or work circumstances have changed, making it difficult to attend to branch matters. Remedial action may include offering assistance, or giving the person the opportunity to step down, making room for someone else who have more time for that activity. SAHGCA has been receiving positive comments about the evaluation programme from branches that apply this process successfully.
Results of the evaluation process are used to determine the branch champions in various categories. Branches compete against one another according to branch size (number of members). The winners in the five categories compete at another level for the Grand Champion Branch Award where criteria such as regular newsletters, women active at management level, fund-raising vs. branch subsidies, and the timeous submission of financial statements to the national office. The winners receive their awards at the SAHGCA Congress early in November.
With its 81 branches in 15 regions (as at April 2014), the functioning of the Association's branches is an unparalleled success story in our industry. But, we cannot afford to be complacent about our success. There is always room for improvement. The Branch Evaluation Programme was developed as management tool for Inyathi Park and branch management committees in our pursuit towards excellence. Together we are building an outstanding Association for the benefit of every member.