The principles of good governance hold true in the dynamic environment the NGOs face today as the issues of accountability, transparency, responsibility, disclosure practices and organizational relationships among the board and stakeholders have come to the forefront in the case of NGOs.
It is thus advisable for NGOs to follow good governance practices, to strengthen its own internal structure, to avoid any crisis arising out of poor governance, and to establish the public image and credibility of the organization by exhibiting transparency, accountability and responsibility. Though there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach that can be taken here, but these points guide for NGOs to put together good governance principles into the structure and functioning is here for your use.
Vision, Mission and Objectives:
An NGO must have well-defined statements of its mission, vision and objectives. These statements define why the NGO was started in the first place. These must be clearly defined, written, and must be revised time to time.
The NGO must have clearly defined and transparent policies for appointing the board of directors. They must be elected by a democratic process. Further, selection or election of the chairperson/ president/ treasurer and others must be well-defined in the policies of the organization.
Policies and processes for accountability of leadership:
For ensuring good governance by the organization, the NGO must ensure that accountability of the leadership (board) is well-drafted in the policies. But this is not enough, having a policy is one thing, and having it operational is another.
Annual general meetings:
The annual general meetings (AGM) are very important platforms for getting all the key stakeholders together to discuss the journey so far and plan the way ahead. Various important issues like programmatic, administrative and financial, are discussed during the AGMs.
Decision making systems:
The organization must define who makes the decisions, like important and strategic decisions, or routine and administrative decisions.