Local, international NGOs feud in Malawi: Board consulting on regulations for partnerships

The feud over projects, funds and grants between local Non-Governmental Organizations (LNGOs) and International NGOs (INGOs), has prompted the NGO Board of Malawi to start getting recommendations from stakeholders to feed into the development of subsidiary regulations that will help enhance good working partnerships between LNGOs and INGOs.

Congoma executive director Ronald Mtonga addressing delegates
INGOs representatives posing for a group photo

According to the board, the recommendations will be submitted to the Ministry of Justice which will draft the regulations that will also help ensure effective operation of LNGOs and INGOs for the betterment of the NGO sector.

Bickering between LNGOs and INGOs is indeed long standing in Malawi with the former always accusing the latter of monopolizing projects, funds and grants, among other things.

Actually, in April this year, LNGOs petitioned the then Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare–demanding her office to issue a decree stopping INGOs from implementing projects at district and community level, saying they should be working through LNGOs.

And the NGO Board of Malawi, a state owned registrar and regulator of all NGOs and civil society organizations, empowered by sections 3.2 (i) and 2.4 (vii) of the NGO Policy, has decided to gather recommendations for partnerships to help iron out differences between LNGOs and INGOs.

Speaking at the first consultative meeting held in the Capital Lilongwe, which involved over 40 INGOs, the Director of Corporate Services for NGO Board of Malawi, Linda Njikho, described the gathering as very crucial, saying it was an opportunity for INGOs to give their views on how they can improve their working relationship with LNGOs.

“As a board, we are determined and moving forward with the process of helping to come up with recommendations of partnerships of INGOs and LNGOs in order to help the NGO sector. We want to ensure that there is peace and no any other issues in the sector. We want to involve all parties and stakeholders so that when the regulations are eventually done and approved, they should be implementable and acceptable by everyone,” said Njikho.

The board, in this task, has collaborated with the Council for Non-Governmental Organizations in Malawi (Congoma)–a membership umbrella organisation and coordinating body for NGOs–which has fully backed the need for the formulation of these regulations.

On his part, Congoma executive director Ronald Mtonga, who officially opened the meeting, said the regulations are very important because they will help govern partnerships between LNGOs and INGOs in order to achieve unity of purpose between the two parties.

And Chairperson for the INGOs Forum, Ulemu Chiluzi, said it is the absence of regulations which brings about issues with their counterparts because there are no guidelines to follow on how they should work together.

“So the regulations will really help. Through them, we look forward and hope to compromise and strike a balance on how we should work together for the betterment of the communities we serve and NGO sector,” said Chiluzi, who is also the Country Director for Water for Hope.

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3 years ago

Local NGOs just source your own funds and use the resources rightly osati zofuna ku hussler zi.. or else siyani muamba business.. shupit zanu

3 years ago

Kususukatu basi

3 years ago
Reply to  Mulopwana

afunana kuba local NGOs are shit

Rocky Dada
Rocky Dada
3 years ago

Very few NGOs are providing meaningful social services and development initiatiatives which contribute to the enhancement of the National economy, hence improving lives through poverty reduction. Again, very few. In total how many people do they enploy? I’m sure it’s less than a third of that employed by the public and private sectors, but they do get a lot of grants for their budgets and projects which never materialise on the ground. This is duping citizens of the highest order. These grants are disbursed based on percieved positive impacts on the people of the land through provision of social services… Read more »

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