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Harriet Namisi Programme Coordinator: Policy Analysis - Governance The Development Network of Indigenous Voluntary Associations, (DENIVA) Introduction.

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Presentation on theme: "Harriet Namisi Programme Coordinator: Policy Analysis - Governance The Development Network of Indigenous Voluntary Associations, (DENIVA) Introduction."— Presentation transcript:

1 Harriet Namisi Programme Coordinator: Policy Analysis - Governance The Development Network of Indigenous Voluntary Associations, (DENIVA) Introduction to Legitimacy, Transparency and Accountability (LTA) issues for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs): Experience from Ugandan Colleagues

2 2 Outline of the presentation 1.Introduction 2.What is NGO Accountability? 3.Why NGO Accountability? 4.Uganda’s road towards NGO Accountability 5.What are the gains of NGO Accountability 6.Conclusion and Recommendations

3 3 Introduction Cont… Accountability the world over is now an embracing concept that overrules all walks of live and it applies to governments and their citizens, politicians and their constituencies, private sector and their stakeholders, CSOs with their members, among others

4 4 Introduction Cont… Accountability to the NGO sector has always existed but less emphasized than it is the case today Governments have always regulated NGOs using legal, regulatory and policy frameworks (which vary from state to state – some favorable, others stringent).

5 5 Introduction cont… Internally, NGOs have their own set standards through organizational codes of conduct, constitutions, vision, mission, values, target group, and objectives, among others

6 6 Introduction cont… According to John Gaventa, accountability is sometimes reduced to a somewhat technical process of ‘accountancy’, to be achieved through clear procedures, transparency of information, and compliance with legal processes and regulations.

7 7 What is NGO Accountability? What is NGO Accountability? According to One World Trust, NGO Accountability are the processes established by an NGO to commit to meet the needs of all stakeholders on transparency and involvement in decision making processes Simply put, NGO Accountability is all about transparency and openness about all the organization's work and participation by all stakeholders in the decision making processes at all stages

8 8 What is NGO Accountability? NGO accountability has recently become prominent as a result of many internal and external factors. Internally, NGOs have realized the importance of internal accountability because it provides a learning platform for promoting responsive governance, effective and efficient management of resources as well as people participation in decision making processes

9 9 Motivation for NGO Accountability Externally, some governments have established restrictive legal, regulatory and policy frameworks purportedly meant to improve on NGO Accountability but they have not been effective because sometimes, the motive is derived from the need to control, especially parts of civil society like NGOs and the media that are critical to government policies and weak democratic practices

10 10 Why NGO Accountability in Uganda? The 2006 CIVICUS CSI Results

11 11 Why NGO Accountability in Uganda? DENIVA chose to take forward 2 dimensions – Value System (1.9) with the moderate score; and the NGO operating environment (1.4) – more disabling than enabling for CSOs. Both of which affected the sector directly

12 12 Why the Operating Environment? Parliament passed the 2006 NGO Registration (Amendment) Act with further stringent provisions that included among others; Overt powers to the Executive and the NGO Board to excessively interfere with the activities of the NGO sector as and when they deem it fit Functionality limitations and mandatory registration Dual liability/ Double Punishment Lack of an Appeal Process, among others Others include the 2008 Draft NGO Regulations and the 2009 Draft NGO Policy

13 13 Why the Values? NGOs in Uganda had already picked NGO Accountability (Self Regulation) as a key agenda for strengthening the sector and had developed the 2006 CSO Minimum Agenda that comprised of seven minimum standards for promoting accountability both within the sector and at the same time to be used for holding others like government accountable

14 14 The CSO Minimum Agenda 1. Equitable distribution of resources 2. Effective sharing and separation of power 3. Active citizen participation 4. Transparent decision-making 5. Openness to change/ willingness to negotiate 6. Integrity and accountability 7. Peaceful coexistence, tolerance, reconciliation

15 15 Quality Assurance Certification Mechanism (QuAM) NGO Self regulatory tool that aims at promoting the adherence by Civil Society Organisations to generally acceptable ethical standards and operational norms. It sets principles and standards of behaviors for responsible practice, to protect the credibility and integrity of certified NGOs and their networks in Uganda.

16 16 NGO Accountability DENIVA therefore considers NGO Accountability as a learning process that is continuous. It requires continuous monitoring and documentation of every step In order to achieve this, DENIVA while in partnership with the one World Trust and Commonwealth Foundation produced an NGO Accountability Toolkit to further enhance NGO Accountability

17 17 NGO Accountability DENIVA as a network of NGOs in Uganda does agree with the fact that government regulation is still important along side self regulation. However, government should adopt a partnership approach when drafting these laws to ensure that they are positive and aimed at facilitating a vibrant growth of the sector

18 18 Gains of NGO Accountability The gains of an accountable NGO sector are enormous can lead to the enhancement of NGO credibility, legitimacy, autonomy and protection as well as better cohesion amongst NGOs and good governance. The can also strengthen strategies of mobilisation, pressure and vigilance of citizens from below

19 19 Conclusion NGO Accountability is therefore a process that requires commitment to continuous learning and improvement. In order for it to be effective and efficient, NGOs have to desist from considering it as a privilege for the donors through upward accountability and take it as an internal improvement process that affects its own image, visibility, and legitimacy as a whole.

20 20 End

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