Recently we have seen the terms “governance” and “good governance” being increasingly used in development literature. Bad governance is being increasingly regarded as one of the root causes of all evil within our societies. Major donors and international financial institutions are increasingly basing their aid and loans on the condition that reforms that ensure “good governance” are undertaken
However due to the fact that CSO’s influence, advocate and mobilize people against anti-people policies and question or challenge the policies of the government from time to time, or act as “watchdog” organizations hence the government seeks ways and means by which to discredit the sector through the use of the media.
In the interest of governance reform so as to make civil society organizations effective, efficient, professional, transparent and accountable, SANSAD based on its experiences with the Credibility Alliance formed in India and the experiences of partners in Pakistan and Sri Lanka, plans to introduce the concept of Good Governance, which is beyond the concept of rules and standards. This is illustrated in the figure below:
SANSAD plans to achieve this through:
- Educating, sensitizing the voluntary sector to agree to follow such good governance norms
- Develop indicators of good governance based on local situations. In addition, the elements of governance may cover issues such as Standards of behaviour, Organisational structures and processes, Control and External reporting
- Support such body(ies) who can monitor CSOs in the region
Build links with the Credibility Alliance website CSO’s are key determinants in whether a nation is able to create and sustain equitable opportunities for all of its people. If CSO’s do not function efficiently and effectively, scarce resources will be wasted. If it does not have legitimacy in the eyes of the people, it will not be able to mobilize people and achieve its goals. If it is unable to build national consensus around these objectives, no external assistance can help bring them about. Equally important, if people are not empowered to take responsibility for their own development within an enabling framework provided by government, development will not be sustainable.
What has SANSAD done so far?
We have conducted programmes, given lectures and organized workshops in collaboration with other CSO’s through which we seek to:
- Change the paradigm from governance to accountability.
- Get organizations to improve local action, not through top-down mandates but through strong involvement with stakeholders.
- Endeavour that organisations have the capacity, the will, and the incentive to create these relationships.
- Develop a mechanism at all layers of the system for measuring the system’s attempts to create meaningful relationships. Without such benchmarks, relationships will continue to be peripheral.