Governing for Accountability: Principles in Practice
10. Governing for Accountability: Principles in Practice
I. Governance in NGOs/CSOs
What is governance in NGOs/CSOs context?
ü Internally, ensures accountability by clarifying authority, procedures, operations, and conflict of interest. An internal system of checks and balances that restrain the control of decision making and ensures public interest is served.
ü Externally, adherence to applicable laws and standards
Why is Governance an issue in CSOs?
ü Growth of NGOs
ü Corporate governance spill over
ü Need for competent leadership (internal)
II. Governance and Organizational setting – ‘An organization is as good as its people”
ü Governance and governance body often regulated by law (see Canada)
Who are board members in CSOs/NGOs?
ü What do NGOs need board members for? (Glamour, visibility, legitimacy, leadership, others)?
ü Contribute counterweight or decorate: Will they be able to contribute or counterweight or are they just figurative or used as ‘sleepy partner’?
ü Why do they need them for? Main aim should be to bring diversity to better understand complex situations, and lead with competency
ü Does size matter?
ü What are the roles and responsibilities of boards? Policy, oversight, guidance in compliance with mission, values, resources and outreach (Refer to Governance matrix, p. 154)
ü How important is the separation of the board and the management? What is the danger of not having the two separated? How to ensure the two are separated?
ü What does an effective board process involve?
o Make meeting work (board meeting cycle) – frequency, length, preparation, background, facilitation, records, approval, ratification
o Roles and contributions (added value) of members: Do committees have values or is it ‘A group of incompetent people doing unnecessary stuff’
o Addressing board performance – training and evaluation