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.
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.
Corporate citizenship or corporate social responsibility (CSR) may be defined in terms of proactive efforts by business decision-makers to contribute to sustainable development (WBCSD 2002). Many hope or even expect that such efforts will be decisive.
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:
In response to David Bonbright’s article on “Making Social Investment Decisions - What do we need to know?” which was published on the SANGONeT Portal last week, a number of issues came to my mind while I was reading it. The issue of measurement has become a new industry in the non-profit sector.
The New Reality for South African NGOs
South African NGOs need to be aware and take cognisance of the fact that skills shortages and high turnover have become a global phenomenon. Skills are easily transferable across international boundaries and employees have an abundance of choice in an age where access to information is just a broadband connection away.
Fifteen years ago, an idea for an agency specialising in placements within the NGO sector was born from a need to ensure that rigorous recruitment processes are followed in appointing appropriate people for posts within this dynamic and crucial sector.
Responding to this growing need, Action Appointments was born.
Quite often mining companies come under severe criticism by environmental and community groups for the negative impact that mines have on the surrounding communities. In 1986, the Palabora Mining Company (Palabora) responded to this scrutiny by establishing a sustainable development arm, the Palabora Foundation.
The NGO environment in South Africa continues to be characterised by various strategic changes that impact on the state and well-being of the NGO sector. The closure and collapse of key NGOs as a result of increased competition for funding and related opportunities, changing donor and programme priorities and high turnover of senior staff are some of the key issues facing the sector.
By Prof Adam Habib: Regime change can have significant impacts on society. And, this is all the more so if it occurs in an era of globalisation. Nowhere is this more evident than in South Africa where democratisation and globalisation have fundamentally transformed the society. In the process, civil society has itself been remolded in significant ways, the effects of which are only now becoming evident.