Supporting CSOs in establishing effective accountability measures

From May 10-13, 2017, a total of 40 representatives from 23 civil society organizations from Kinshasa, Goma, Bukavu, Fizi and Uvira were trained on Global Standard for Accountability.

The efficient, effective and ethical use of financial and other resources is essential for CSOs to manage programmes, achieve results and to develop trust from stakeholders. CSOs must follow generally recognized financial accounting standards, ensure the implementation of strict financial controls and reduce the risk of misuse of funds by handling resources responsibly. But many civil society organisations lack the knowledge, capacity, and tools to improve their organizational accountability.

During the 3-days training, these civil society organizations learned lessons and modules on effective guidelines and procedures for fundraising, procurement, and the ethical use and management of resources, including provisions for: sourcing and allocating funds and in-kind donations, preventing fraud, dealing with suspected or actual corruption and misuse of resources, and managing conflicts of interest.

By building knowledge and providing tools and resources, these CSOs can now be highly effective in implementing accountability measures within their own organizations.

At the end of this course, some participants did not hide their satisfaction. “It is an alert! Integrity and transparency are important in organizational management. How can we ask others to be honest and accountable when we are not? ” asked Father Dominique Riziki, Director of an organization participating in the training and added “I think we need to start cleaning up our organizations with integrity and ethical values before we pretend to demand them from the government and service providers.

“Now with this training, we have sufficient knowledge on the importance of integrity! We have learned how to improve our institutional integrity and ensure that funds are used according to budget and for the intended purpose to achieve strategic objectives and ensure that expenditures are monitored regularly, that independent financial audits using professional accounting standards are conducted and published, and that recommended changes are implemented, and to procure goods and services through competitive and transparent bidding procedures and provide open information on the sources and allocation of funds.” said Mr. Robert Mwibakeca, Director of ADIF FIZI.

Through different workshops, CSO representatives were able to improve their knowledge of SCO Accountability and become more acquainted with helpful tools necessary to constructively collaborate with their local communities to hold their local government to account, but also to reproduce the training for others CSOs.

The participants were encouraged to adapt the tools to fit their settings and situations as all of them indicated that before they didn’t have any resources.

We hope to see this work scaling up beyond Civil Society!

Byalukiza Kanana, Programme Manager