CSOs, NGOs urged to mobilise local funding
The Head of Programmes at Star Ghana Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Eunice R. Agbenyadzi, has said it has become necessary for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to mobilise local funds to fund their programmes and activities.
She stated that external funding of activities of NGOs and CSOs comes with a lot of challenges as the external funders often have their own interests and also become the priority of the organisation it is funding.
For example, she said “sometimes, an external funder can change focus and cease support after funding an organisation for a while which makes it very difficult for the local NGO to fund their programmes due to lack of funds”.
Madam Agbenyazi was speaking at a day’s validation meeting for some selected participants in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region last Monday.
The participants were representatives from CSOs drawn from the five northern regions.
The meeting was aimed at soliciting the inputs of the participants to help the foundation in its quest to develop a draft strategy to guide its philanthropy work for the period 2023 to 2027.
She explained that the priorities of external funders sometimes change based upon domestic and foreign policies, saying “we are not saying that we do not want to receive external funding, but we know that something can happen that their funding support can cease”.
Madam Agbenyazi stated that the workshop was to build consultation around the strategy with all relevant stakeholders to receive their views to enrich and finalise the strategy to pave the way for its implementation.
Additionally, she added that the meeting was to allow the participants to challenge the thinking of the foundation in its attempt to develop the strategy towards the transformation of communities.
“We want to know from you whether we are ambitious or over ambitious and whether the ideas that would be contained in the strategy were practicable and what it would take to effectively and efficiently implement the final strategy,” she stated.
The Chief Director of the Northern Regional Coordinating Council, Alhassan Issahaku, underscored the importance of active citizenship and vibrant CSOs towards the progress of the country.
He admitted that if government loses the contributions of the citizenry and CSOs, it would be very difficult to achieve the desired transformational development of the nation for the benefit of all.
He commended the foundation for taking the bold step to develop the strategy that would seek to have an integrated and deliberate approach towards putting together the policy to drive the forward march of communities.
The Communications Officer of Youth Empowerment For Life (YEFL), Hamdiatu Yakubu, one of the participants, in an interview, said the workshop was intriguing and was expecting that the concerns of participants would be included in the final document.
She stressed that the external donor community might not always be available and that it was essential for CSOs to look within their areas of operations to mobilise resources to fund their activities.
Another participant, Bismark Adongo Ayorogo, the Executive Director of Northern Patriots in Research and Advocay (NORPRA), said over the years funding for CSOs continued to dwindle and that the new strategy which aimed at tapping into resources to improve the livelihoods of people was laudable.