The Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare through the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) Board of Malawi is building the capacity of Area Development Committees (ADCs) to enable the committees help in bringing about transparency and accountability in the operations of NGOs.
One of such capacity building interfaces -held Thursday in Nsanje – drew together all nine ADC chairpersons from that district.
A transparent and accountable NGO sector is the priority of the government of Malawi and its NGO Board–who say the task towards the realization of that goal require even the involvement of grassroot structures.
Speaking at the Nsanje interface meeting, Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati, emphasized that ADCs must act as government’s eyes in communities to ensure that NGOs programs benefit the intended beneficiaries.
“It has been noted that there are some NGOs that are operating without registering with the NGO Board, something which is contrary to the NGO Act.
“Worse still, it has come to my attention that some of these unregistered NGOs are not transparent nor accountable to Malawians in whose name they generate resources from donors or development partners. This is uncalled for,” said Kaliati.
The minister observed that the President, her ministry or MPs cannot be all over the country to monitor the work of NGOs.
In this regard, she said government must rely very much on community leaders such as ADCs to be its points of contact on NGOs work in their respective communities.
“It is for this reason that the Government has decided to empower all ADC leaders in the country with the sole purpose of ensuring that they are well equipped to take NGO leaders to task in case of any malpractices.
“Government has also empowered ADCs to help in updating the database of NGOs at ADC level. We want them to track any NGO operating in their respective communities in terms of what they are doing, who they are targeting and where they are getting their funding,” she said.
Kaliati said ADCs must achieve that role by being proactive and continue working with dedication, honesty and integrity.
However, the minister said government is committed to ensuring that a conducive working environment is provided for the NGOs that have the interest of Malawians at heart and not those that are busy enriching themselves at the expense of people.
Apparently, the NGO Board already trained NGOs themselves in legal reporting requirements the board needs so that it ably avails NGOs operations and activities to Parliament, donor community and citizens.
The Board, on behalf of government, is mandated to register and regulate the operations of NGOs in Malawi.
While in Nsanje, Kaliati also toured NGO Board’s satellite office there, where she noted that the empowered ADCs have already began helping the board in collecting information of all NGOs operating in the district.
She said that is commendable and pledged that government will continue providing financial resources to the NGO Board to enable it establish more satellite offices across the country.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :