NGO Leadership Challenges: Creating a Space for Reflection

NGO leaders face extraordinary challenges which are very distinct from those faced by leaders in government and the private sector. They often function in isolated and unsupported circumstances, and are faced with a set of complex and interrelated challenges relating to NGOs’ social change mission, increased pressure for accountability and transparency, the need for unquestioned integrity and to maximise limited resources, and the ability to network and position their organisations in an uncertain external and political environment.

Taking the Lead

Taking the Lead: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Stories is a booklet tells the stories of seven people who participated in the Institute for Democracy in South Africa’s (IDASA) Citizen Leadership for Democratic Governance training programme in 2003. The booklet contains articles that are remarkable for the strong sense of hope and democratic energy they convey.

Researching with Communities

‘Researching with Communities: Grounded Perspectives on Engaging Communities in Research’ presents a range of personal and grounded perspectives from academics, researchers and practitioners on undertaking research in ways that promote and privilege the voice of the community, out of respect for local or indigenous practices in a culturally safe manner.

A Citizens' Guide to Monitoring Government Expenditures

A Citizens' Guide to Monitoring Government Expenditures is a guide that reflects the growing focus of civil society organisations on monitoring the results achieved by government expenditures. The guide offers an overview of government budget implementation, including budget execution, procurement, impact measurement, and auditing and legislative oversight processes. It also provides practical, tested tools that can be used by independent organizations interested in monitoring government expenditures.

Democracy Development Programme Comments on the 2008/9 Budget

The budget still failed to address major concerns around job generation and poverty alleviation strategies. The reality in South Africa is that the economy has been unable to absorb labour sufficiently quickly into the economy and as a result, the level of unemployment continues to increase. This in turn affects levels of poverty within the country which in turn impacts negatively on issues such as crime, for example. The assertion that the Government has created 1.5 million jobs over the past five years has to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Centre for Policy Studies Comments on the 2008/9 Budget

Is this budget a deficit?

On Thursday, 7 February 2008, came the promise of “Business Unusual”. On budget day, 20 February 2008, we got “business as usual”. Hardly surprising given that this budget comes in the penultimate year of a sitting Government, hardly a time at which to be uncharacteristically unusual - especially with money, and probably a time at which a steady course that tries to please everyone is best. That is an unenviable task even at the best of times, and all the more so during the most extraordinary of them.

Peoples Budget Coalition Comments on the 2008/9 Budget

The Peoples Budget Coalition (PBC) believes that today’s budget defers the dreams and aspirations of the poor until the storm has subsided. Measured against our expectation that the budget would invest substantial resources towards reduction of poverty, inequality and unemployment, it does not live up to the challenges facing our society.

Dear Mr/Mrs President of any Country with Nuclear Armaments

We have placed you at the head of our country. Of course, we have done this upon what appeared to us to be sufficient reasons, and yet we think it best for you to know that there are some things in regard to which we are not quite satisfied with.

We believe you to be a brave and skillful leader, which, of course, we like. We also believe you do not mix personal preferences with politics, in which you are right. You have confidence in yourself, which is a valuable, if not an indispensable quality.


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