So you have set out to establish a nonprofit organization in Haiti, whether grassroots or an international organization. Everything was set. You obtained grants and donations from all corners of the world as well as from family and friends; however, you failed. Where do you go from here? Is your organization accountable? Do you stop providing help to that community? Or are you doing this for the right reason?
To answer you, nonprofits are accountable to multiple constituencies, including donors, the public, their boards of directors and staff, partners and the people they serve or represent.
What is accountability?
The fact that we have to define accountability is a problem, nevertheless, we need to remind each other to take responsibility for our actions, good or bad.
Accountability is promoted within our own community in several different ways:
- PVO Standards: Private Voluntary Organization (PVO) Standards – These standards help ensure accountability in the vital areas of financial management, fundraising, governance and program performance.
- Monitoring & Evaluation: M&E are separate practices dedicated to the assessment of your NGO’s overall performance. Monitoring is a systematic and long-term process that gathers information regarding the progress made by an implemented project. Evaluation is time-specific and is performed to judge whether a project has reached its goals and delivered what was expected according to the original plan.
- Transparency: Transparency is a precondition for accountability. The condition of transparency in NGOs is to provide for financial clarity that will help preserve the very-important trust each donor places in a nonprofit with each contribution and is transparent to those you serve and the government.
In addition, to promote accountability within your organization and as an individual will then ensure NGOs are more transparent about how aid is spent and hold them accountable for achieving development results.