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CSOs asked to look beyond donor funding

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dollarsMrs Chris Dadzie, a policy analyst at the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC), has called on Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) not to limit their dependence on donor funding in order to retain their independence and maintain their institutions.

She explained that it was possible for CSOs to improve their performance without necessarily relying so much on foreign sponsorships.

Mrs Dadzie was speaking at a public lecture organised by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS) in Accra on Tuesday.

The three-day public lecture series, which runs from Monday July 22 to 24, 2013, is on the theme: “Accountability in Governance”.

Mrs Dadzie, who spoke on the topic: “Civil Society Groups and Social Accountability”, also stated that CSOs must not create a false view of their role by pretending to take over the responsibility of state agencies, which tended to diminish government’s accountability to the citizenry.

She said CSOs owed it to themselves and the communities that they served to explain their functions and keep to their role of supporting the state at all levels.

She stated CSOs had to be proactive in seeking capacity enhancement from best practices that enabled other countries to attain high levels of comprehensive development.

She cited for example that there had been low level of appreciation of the challenges of natural resources management even among leading CSOs, which she said was worrying given Ghana’s involvement in the petroleum industry with its own challenges.

Mrs Dadzie also stated that since CSOs generally required funding and legitimacy to be effective, they should develop mechanisms for receiving critique and input from those they serve.

She said for CSOs to ensure high levels of accountability for the donor funding, they must develop tools for peer and internal review of their financial management and governance processes in a professional and transparent manner.

She said this process would ensure accountability without compromising the heterogeneity of the voluntary sector while helping to set a good practical example of the very norms that CSOs espoused.

Mrs Dadzie stressed the need to establish measures for learning and application for basic human rights principles, standards and rights-based approach to both organisational and operational behaviours.

She said, otherwise, the process would be a merely supply of services without engendering respect for and promotion of the rights of target populations.

She said the measure would also in turn leave the community without relevant learning for active participation and ownership of both policy formulation and implementation of the interventions thereby leaving them with a dependency syndrome and making them more vulnerable.

Source: GNA

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