Monday, October 10, 2011

TO WHOM ARE NGOs ACCOUNTABLE?

There has been misconception about NGO’s and donors. Many people failed to understand to whom these NGOs are accountable. I have been touched by this subject and fix on to disclose the hidden mysterious to Donors, NGO’s members and those who wish to have NGOs in the near future since having this piece of information, I believe, will enforce the stakeholders to change their attitude positively and push forward Tanzanian’s developments in all aspects of culture, social economic and political.

Many NGO’s are actively accountable to their donors hence forget the communities they are saving. During project development they seems to be accountable to the communities but the story changes almost immediately as they receive funds for project implementation .It is so disappointing to see thousands of NGOs in Tanzania aiming to develop communities but there are positive impacts to targeted communities. Can you imagine, with this huge number of NGO’s claim to contributing to poverty reduction, yet we are still ranking among the poorest countries., A question to ask ourselves, how much have they succeed in achieving their good intended goals? Where are the impacts to count on? Are there any indicators to support their achievements?

I don’t say that all of them are spoiled, there are at least 5%-10% of NGOs doing remarkable work to communities they are saving but the percentage represents very few NGO’s out of total hence less impact to communities. Majority of NGO’s staff are opportunist, they keep looking for seminars, meetings, workshops with allowances to nourish their pockets hence investing little time for implementing other project activities.

These selfish behaviors has awakened Sponsors and projects stakeholders; donors are now very sensitive to any written proposal despite of being good and neat, they are ignoring proposals even though the people submitted had commitment to serve the community. Now should we keep protecting the NGOs that are being established for personal interest?

NGO's host huge programme/projects worthy millions of money yet the impact of the money is not realized to the communities the reason is simple that they do fetch the money to benefit their own pockets and ignore the needs of the target groups which was the reason for fund request from responsible donors.

That is why I insist nowadays there is no market for written proposal or sponsors who looking to buy well narrated proposals. This indicates that there is no need for NGO’s to concentrate writing proposal so as to get money which never make the difference to target groups.

It is surprise that others initiated their private NGOs, which are against Tanzanian NGO’s Act of 2002, according to this, Act NGO is a public enterprise or entity aimed at benefiting the community. Others pioneers name these NGO’s their own properties, hence end up serving the need of their families and not targeted communities. Let’s change our attitudes and understand that the NGOs should operate for public interest and not for just a group of people aiming to benefit from donor’s Funds.

Donors Funds, has made these people to baptize themselves with senior names, but all in all they are real becoming power mongers. You can cut across NGOs with strange varieties of power, Managing director, Program director, Executive chairman etc. But if you compare their titles and work done you will realize nothing but similar to clerks duties. Changes MUST start from this individuals and latter to the communities. We need to chance fellow Tanzanian’s/Africans.

In Africa, NGO's have been operating over past 40 years but communities are still the same in terms of livelihood improvement, when should we see the really impact/changes as a result of their initiatives?

If we want to keep on benefiting from Donors, let us use the funds/grants effectively to benefit the target groups otherwise, we should invest knowledge and skills to communities enabling them to live independent life i.e. they should learn to extract from our resources without the hand of the donors/investors.
“If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it."
Written by; Samwel Mathew – YET 2011
Edited by Victoria Maeda – Asst. Training Officer

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