A common critique of organisations working in the development sector is that of excess spending, with little result or impact. Whether this is a fair criticism or not, the vast majority of NGOs, CSOs and development agencies are cognisant of the need to demonstrate that they spend wisely on projects and interventions that are making a difference. This is only possible, however, if development work is underpinned by transparent monitoring, evaluation and response mechanisms that support our work. Unfortunately, we do not always get it right.
The Guide to the Nonprofit Organisations Act was prepared by the NPO Legal Support Project of the Legal Resources Centre in Cape Town. Researched and written by Mary Honey, this publication aims to assist community leaders, NPOs, service providers, paralegals, advice officers and all roleplayers involved in building and strengthening NPOs.
The role of an NGO leader involves much more than just ensuring that their organisations comply with all laws, policies and expectations. NGOs, for the most part, have been set up to have a positive impact on society, and so I believe that when necessary leaders should be “rebels” who can take on “the system” and be agents of change for good.
Some years ago, while working as a lecturer at the Wits School of Education, a student of mine asked me why it was that so many school rebels seemed to have good leadership qualities.
Founder’s Syndrome (FS) is not unique to the nonprofit sector. In fact it exists in the business world and many other sectors including sports clubs, professional associations and even in political circles. This syndrome can be identified in a church choir or a multi-billion rand corporation. It is everywhere! Transitional leadership is difficult and fraught with challenges and this is often exacerbated by ‘founders’ who will not let go of what is perceived to be their ‘baby’.
Developing your board, or effective governance as it is commonly known, is a challenge for many NPO’s in the African context. Wherever I go, it is more the exception than the rule to find a well governed organisation. There are many reasons why we grapple with board development. One reason I believe is because we do not have a tradition of effective governance in the African context born out of our concrete realities on the ground.
Riding the Wave: Monetary Responses to Aid Surges in Low-income Countries proposes an appropriate mix of money and exchange rate targeting and defines the role of temporary sterilisation. Authored by Adam,C, et al, this paper uses an inter-temporal optimising model that allows a portion of the aid to be devoted to reducing the government's seigniorage requirements.
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The NGO Handbook is a wiki-based work, which contains carefully selected articles that were written by a team of scholars and NGO practitioners with competence in their subject areas. This resource provides an overview of the NGO sector, country profiles, legal and financial topics, project management and networking articles, and other practical information of relevance for the success of NGOs.
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On behalf of CAF Southern Africa, I would like to enter the public conversation on resourcing for civil society which has been taking place in various media over the past few months. For example, in a recent Sunday Times article, Andile Ncontsa of the Old Mutual Foundation states: