Risk Framework Mechanism for NGOs in Africa by AfricaX

Thursday, 29 October, 2020 - 21:42

South Africa NGOs have a rich history of significance in contributing to ending apartheid and  since 1994 they have been the “last line of defence, fighting on behalf of citizens against corruption, failure to deliver public services and abuse of power…” says William Gumede. Mail and Guardian https://mg.co.za/article/2018-09-28-00-our-heritage-is-a-successful-civil-society/
 
NGOs have been the moral and ethical compass in South Africa for a long time but now COVID is challenging everyone on multiple and more complex levels.  Funding has melted for many, at a time when beneficiaries need NGOs more than ever. How does an NGO know if it is sinking or just keeping head above water?  How can you and your NGO emerge more resilient? How can an NGO keep its donors as well as attract new support? As William Gumede noted “Depriving civil society organisations of funding will increase corruption, poor governance and violence.”
 
Certainly, the effectiveness and effectiveness of NGOs especially in African countries are increasingly being threatened by a barrage of factors, the huge one being diminishing state of funding. A number of research articles and review of literature debate the underpinnings behind NGOs mal performance in selected African countries. Findings indicate that NGOs are weakened by funding challenges, pockets of corruption and embezzlement of funds especially by the top brass management, poor synergy and poor collaboration between them and the government, and inadequately skilled workers.
 
The availability of funding is critical to service delivery of the NGOs while the unavailability of funds plays a debilitating role in the effective running of these institutions. Since most or all the NGOs operate on a non-profit basis and depending on donations, it therefore makes their survival unpredictable especially if market fluctuations occur and recessions descend upon global economies. Perhaps this may explain the low levels of success among the NGOs in African countries, South Africa notwithstanding. Inarguable, many NGOs are not living to their expectations of filling in the gaps that the government cannot meet. While funding is known to challenge these NGOs, there are questions that many minds cannot escape asking such as whether some of these NGOs in South Africa as in many other African countries such as Kenya are driven by the goals and vision they portend to follow, or are vehicles of directors to milk them at the expense of meeting their goals and expectations.
 
Undeniably, the NGO fraternity has seriously been affected by the recent global economic recession. This is because most donors stopped to donate when their financial houses went into a state of economic malaise. Gravely, the economic meltdown has not spared some South African NGOs that almost went on their economic knees due to the dearth of funding.
 
The World Economic Forum noted at the start of the pandemic that “Coronavirus has triggered a funding crisis for NGOs when they are needed most” and suggested that potential solutions might include “developing a Risk Framework Mechanism”. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/04/how-to-reform-ngo-funding-so-we-can-deal-with-threats-like-covid-19/
 
All NGOs face risk and without risk, there is no reward. But the downside is too much risk that can lead to failure. Risk Management allows a balance between taking risks and losing them.  AfricaXTRA is the first and the only Risk Framework Mechanism for NGOs in Africa.
 
So, what is a Risk Framework? All NGOs face risk and without risk, there is no reward. But the downside is too much risk that can lead to failure. Risk Management allows a balance between taking risks and losing them. That is what AfricaX can offer every NGO in South Africa. The organisation has Thought Partners with prestigious international institutions like Dasra in India and the model has been deployed, tested, and integrated in Harvard Business School and Ashoka University forums.
 
AfricaX has taken this model to a new level and tailored it for SA. They have come up with a way of tailoring these courses to each organisation’s needs with a full solutions toolkit. It offers a detailed and personalised report of each organisation’s needs and challenges. The organization is keenly aware that NGO’s need more than reports on problems and that’s why it is offering solutions as well! In the wake of Dasra’s recent workshop, 250 NGOs and 500 participants in India, AfricaXTRA is launching this innovation in South Africa.
 
Jessica Rees-Jones, founder of AfricaX, describes it as ‘We pinpoint the problems and do all the heavy lifting of where the problems are in the NGO organisation and clear solutions for what and how to address the issues. Then we match those to specific skills with online capacity building. This has never been offered before in South Africa with our range of certified courses from Harvard University, edX, Sustainable Development Goals Academy, Funzi and Philanthropy University.”
 
The organization’s special library has over 160 courses from ‘Capacity Building’ to ‘Measuring Sustainable Development’, ‘Faith and Finance’ to ‘ECD for Sustainable Development’ and ‘Setting up a Non-profit Board’  They also cover probably the most important, most misunderstood, and often most neglected topic fundraising! as Dan Palotta, Harvard Business Review says  “ https://hbr.org/2016/07/what-foundations-are-missing-about-capacity-building “ “It has superpowers… if you put a dollar into fundraising, you can produce….as much as ten dollars of new revenue” The organization have specialised courses on fundraising from ‘Introduction to Fundraising’ to ‘Fundraising Strategies’.
 
Jessica Rees-Jones says Africa X is aimed at NGOs that want to take stock of how their organisation is coping with the COVID crisis. She says ‘’Our aim is to help civil society know, with certainty, how to emerge stronger, and how to offer their donors a clear map of how they’ll do so. We have kept costs as low as possible because we believe NGOs need all the support in this challenging time in order to emerge resilient.” To find out more about AfricaX click here: https://africax.global/
 
SOURCE: Jessica Rees-Jones at 072 954 2828 or jessica@africax.global
EDITOR: Dan Thabethe, SANGONET

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