Compliance of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to reporting and registration requirements for the NGO Board of Malawi has reached 37 percent, triggering hope for a more transparent and accountable NGO sector.
NGO Board of Malawi Chief Executive Officer Voice Mhone has since attributed the improvement to a web-based NGO information management system dubbed MyNGO, which the board launched about three months ago.
Mhone said compliance was at 27 percent before MyNGO came on the scene.
He disclosed this on Monday when he introduced MyNGO to district commissioners (DCs) and town, municipal and city council chief executive officers at the Malawi Local Government Association Management Network (MALGA MAGNET) annual conference in Salima.
The NGO Board of Malawi, a state owned registrar and regulator of all NGOs and civil society organisations, launched MyNGO on 30th June this year in order to enhance its operations and services and simplify access and sharing of information in the NGO sector.
Mhone said the web-based NGO information management system is bearing fruits and he expressed hope that it would help the board in achieving the much sought after 65 percent compliance threshold in the NGO sector.
“For instance, NGOs are now required to upload their annual financial and technical reports to MyNGO. These reports are supposed to be accessed by the public, development partners and other relevant stakeholders. Previously, NGOs brought hard copies of these reports to NGO Board offices and members of the public drove or walked to our offices to access the files.
“Now, it is simple. Officials upload information about their NGOs in the comfort of their offices. The public accesses the information in the comfort of their homes. They know where NGOs work, what they do, the source of their funds and who they serve in community. This has cut costs and is transforming the sector,” he said.
According to Mhone, MyNGO captures NGOs that are compliant, meaning that those not found in the system automatically face public scrutiny and tracking, which eventually forces them to become compliant by, among other things, registering with the NGO Board and submitting annual reports.
At the MALGA MAGNET conference, some DCs had their phones linked to MyNGO, promptly enabling them to track and confront NGOs that are not in the system.
Mhone said the NGO Board believes that DCs and their councils can play a critical role in helping the board to enforce compliance and transparency among NGOs.
DC for Blantyre District Council, Bennet Nkasala, commended MyNGO which he already started using, saying “the system is very efficient”.
“I have now realized that many NGOs in Blantyre are either fake or briefcase. We will track them down to ensure that they get registered, comply with reporting requirements and account how their activities and donor funds impact on the lives of community members,” said Nkasala.
DC for Mangochi, Raphael Lawrence Piringu, who also started using MyNGO on his phone, echoed Nkasala’s concerns and sentiments, adding that stubborn NGOs risk being “kicked out” from the district.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :