In a joint venture between SANGONeT and Project Literacy, Friday 24 Feb 2006 witnessed the launch of the Gauteng based CEO Circle.
The aim of the CEO Circle is to create a platform for discussion within the leadership of the NGO sector encouraging networking, collaboration and peer support. An important objective of the forum is to create a safe space for decision makers to discuss common institutional and strategic development issues, creating the opportunity to highlight problems and share solutions.
Much has been said about fragmentation and decline in the South African NGO sector. This forum is an attempt to stimulate a level of unity within an important strand of civil society and build its reputation in relation to other sectors. It is particularly targeted at individuals and organisations with influential networks and institutional memory.
A special emphasis was placed on inviting organisations that have evolved in a responsive and responsible manner to the shifting socio-economic/development terrain of post apartheid South Africa. Membership is restricted to Directors of NGOs.
At the inaugural meeting some of the issues that were highlighted for further discussion were:
- NGO salaries;
- Incentive bonuses for staff;
- Recruitment challenges;
- Getting to grips with why seemingly established NGOs have collapsed;
- Leadership skills;
- Interaction with the business world;
- Engaging with the media.
Meetings will take place every alternate month where the highlighted topics will be discussed. Andrew Miller of Project Literacy said that this forum is an important initiative to help the NGO sector survive with integrity.
Organisations that attended the first meeting were:
- Lawyers for Human Rights;
- Mineworkers Development Agency;
- Charities Aid Foundation of Southern Africa;
- Group for Environmental Monitoring;
- The Independent Examinations Board;
- Project Literacy;
David Barnard of SANGONeT said he hoped the CEO Circle would expand to about 30 organisations. A similar initiative, known as the Executive Director’s Forum already exists in Cape Town.
For more information about the CEO Circle, contact: