Ghana: Index Report to Ensure CSOs Sustainability Launched

PAn Index report meant to ensure the sustainability of civil society organisations (CSOs), has been launched in Accra, with a call on government to provide a legal framework to enable them to source funding from the private sector.

That, the report noted, would enable the CSOs to outline clear polices to reduce its dependence on foreign donors.

Presenting an overview of the 2017 report, yesterday, Douglas Quartey, a Development Consultant and Author of the report, indicated that the financial viability of CSOs in the country continued to be the weakest due to lack of support from local donors.

He said the report was conducted with focus on seven key dimensions, which included; legal environment, organisational capacity, financial viability, advocacy, service provision, sectoral infrastructure and public image of CSOs in the country.

"Most available funding support short-term activities only in 2017, as in most post-election years, donor funding for CSOs fell as election related projects ended," Mr Quartey stated.

Adding, "CSOs fundraising efforts are usually focused on foreign sources of support rather than local communities. CSOs are rarely able to secure substantial financial support from their constituencies, which are often marginalised," the report indicated.

Mr Quartey said there was the need to provide a legal reform, indicating that the country's quest to go beyond aid would largely affect the input of foreign donors.

On the organisational capacity of CSOs, the report said, it had been stable despite major challenges in maintaining permanent staff.

On advocacy, the report revealed that coalition was active in 2017, as government recognised the contributions of CSOs in nation building.

Mr Quartey noted that service provision by CSOs in the country recorded a modest increase, as they continued to provide services in diverse sectors.

However, sectoral infrastructure dwindled as CSOs lacked support and access to resource centres.

"Even though, the public image of CSOs remained positive at the national and local levels in 2017, there was still vacuum in observing the code of ethics for Ghanaian CSOs," the report said.

Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, Executive Director of the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), said there was the need to put in place legislation and regulate policies for CSOs.

"When our partners pull out, would government expect us to disappear?, so there is the need to have laws that are fit for purpose," he stressed.

On his part, Dela Ashiagbor, Deputy Director, Programmes Development, Department of Social Welfare, urged CSOs especially non-governmental organisations to form a national body to help them network and share information.

He added that the national body would enable them set up strong regulations.

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