Thursday 18 June 2015

Rehema Kasule Changing lives of youth through training

Rehema Kasule. Changing lives of youth through training. Social entrepreneur Rehema Kasule the Chief Executive of CEDA international is impacting lives of young single mothers in slum areas in the Kawempe Division . With assistance from the American Peace Corps and plan international hundreds of girls are given an opportunity to acquire a skill that they use to go out strategy businesses. The young people who graduated yesterday are enabled to acquire skills in tailoring hair dressing, baking among others. The girls some of who came with their babies at the ceremony are young single mother who get into his position due to their vulnerability. The girls gave testimonies of what they had been able to do after their training. A business plan competition was arranged and five girls won money ranging from 210K to 500K . The girls cried as they received these monies. This was life changing awards. Thank you Rehema and your CEDA staff for touching the lives of these girls.

Monday 8 December 2014

NGO accountability should go beyond mere compliance

Calls for NGO accountability have grown louder in recent years, some to improve performance and others on a desire to muffle advocacy activities. For a long time, NGOs have been demanding accountability of governments, extractive companies and the corporate sector. This stems from the fact that NGOs represent absentee owners, most NGOs collect money on behalf of the poor and trust the NGOs to deliver on the promise.
The increased cost of living, compounded by the mushrooming NGOs coupled with the awareness on civil liberties and increased education in most developing countries has led to donors and communities demanding value for money. Governments have also realised that there are many NGOs that have emerged in the name of supporting the vulnerable but in essence have no reach or impact.
In response to the Daily Monitor editorial of December 2, “NGOs should also be Accountable”, my view is that NGO accountability should not be for mere compliance. Being accountable is a good thing to do.
By their nature, NGOs stand on the moral pedestal, which is reason enough for all NGOs in ensuring efficiency and effectiveness of their work. Just being moral crusaders without demonstrating authenticity, integrity, capability and inclusiveness in their work is playing double standards. NGO accountability should be about value addition to the households and communities where NGOs work.
NGOs complain when local governments demand ‘another’ registration; they say they are already registered by the central government. I presume the local government authorities want to ensure that every NGO operating in the district is registered for accountability and coordination purposes. Submitting externally audited financial reports to central governments is not enough.
To some NGOs, accountability is about community participation in the different stages of the project cycle. While participation is an important step for project ownership and sustainability, in itself, it is not the best measure for accountability.
Project participants should be able to influence the direction of the NGO based on the feedback that they provide. Involvement and empowerment is key, space for transformative conversations with project participants and other stakeholders should be encouraged.
In NGOs where accountability is for compliance, they put emphasis on accountability to donors and governments. As for NGOs where accountability is beyond compliance, they equally place significance on downward accountability or what is known as accountability to beneficiaries (citizens).
For the World Vision Uganda Citizen Voice and Action approach, accountability is not just to donors and government but also to the communities where we work. We focus on both downward and upward accountability.
Through Citizen Voice and Action interventions, local level governance has been strengthened. Demand for better service delivery has been strengthened and at the same time, utilisation of these social services has also increased.
The community members are not just demanding accountability from government agencies but also from World Vision and other NGOs who are working in the areas where World Vision works.
Giving the people the voice to express their opinions on the quality of the project deliverables is one way for ensuring accountability is beyond compliance.
The contribution of NGOs in eradicating poverty cannot be disputed. The governments of developed, developing or emerging economies cannot dispel the work of NGOs. The third sector (as NGO sector is referred to) has its place in our society today. NGOs reach many places or sections of society, which governments cannot effectively reach. This comparative advantage for NGOs should, however, not misplace accountability and transparency. Demanding accountability from governments without demonstrating accountability beyond compliance is unacceptable.