Strengthening Non-Governmental Organizations accountability through beneficiaries’ participation : the case of NGOs in Botswana

05 Apr 2019

Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) play a critical role in development. This is particularly the case in developing countries such as Botswana where the state suffers from limited capacity. Botswana has a sizeable number of NGOs involved in all sectors of national development, notably in education, health, the environment and gender empowerment. Notwithstanding the important role played by these organizations, NGOs face a number of challenges such as lack of self-regulation and failure to ensure accountability, which limit their effectiveness. The focus of this paper is on beneficiary accountability. Studies on NGO accountability argued that upward accountability to donors has been effective at the expense of accountability towards beneficiaries. It is imperative that strong enforcement mechanisms exist for NGOs to demonstrate accountability to the people they reason to serve. This paper argues unprofessional conduct exist in every society, hence internal governance mechanisms needs to be strengthened to ensure accountability to beneficiaries, government and funding organizations. Effectively balancing the needs of these different stakeholders is the core of being accountable.