The NGO Board of Malawi which was established under the NGO Board 2001 act will soon have an act which will be guiding activities of NGOs in Malawi.
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Gender, Children, disability and social welfare (MoGDCSW) who is also chairperson of the Steering committee on the formulation of the policy, Dr Mary Shaba has confirmed about the consultation process on the NGO Policy.
“Yes we are indeed doing consultation process on the policy as you are aware NGOs have been operating without policy, that caused a lot of confusion and some dishonest people even took advantage of the loophole to start stealing from Malawians in the name of operating NGOs in Malawi, this will not be the case now.” Said Dr Shaba.
Shaba gave example of what was found during the NGO mapping where it was found that there has been inconsistent information on the number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as recorded by the Registrar General, Council of non-governmental organisation in Malawi (CONGOMA), District Social Welfare offices at district council level and NGO Board of Malawi.
The Malawi Government, through the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare (MoGCDSW) desired to know the number of NGOs operating in Malawi, their focus areas, budgets, and sources of funding as well as their target populations, and experiences with coordination at council level.
According to Dr Shaba, the NGO Board in line with section 18 (1) (f) of the NGO Act commissioned a mapping exercise to understand the NGOs operating in Malawi.
“During the mapping exercise we found that there were almost 300 NGOs which were not registered,” Said Dr Shaba.
NGO mapping project was undertaken at a historic moment for NGOs in Malawi where donors are moving from direct funding to the government to funding NGOs.
Information in our possession indicate that apart from the NGO Board documenting the different NGOs working in Malawi, it was an appropriate moment to try to recognise the different areas of focus of the NGOs as well as the funders of the different NGOs operating in Malawi.
“The initial goal of the project was to document NGOs in Malawi to provide the Ministry with a more systematically- developed base of information upon which to rely in their own planning, priority-setting and decision-making with respect to NGOs in Malawi.” Reads part of the document.
The NGO mapping resulted in NGOs reporting that some Government officials are fond of demanding allowances if they are to participate in the NGOs activities at local council level.
Meanwhile Shaba has revealed that consultation process on the upcoming policy is going on very well.
Spot check on the policy most Malawians view the policy as very important.
John Chakale a businessman from Bangwe said the policy will help to bring sanity among the NGO sector.
“You may be aware that sometimes every Jim and jack wants to have an NGO this was not good.” Said Chakale.