We help to ensure that the sector has the skills and the capacity necessary to create and maintain a healthy, accountable and independent NGO sector.
Fundamentally, the sector needs to have sufficient capacity and skills to be able to do its vital work effectively, thereby bringing significant and enduring benefits to all in society. More narrowly, it also needs a minimum level of capacity and skills to comply with the expectations and requirements placed on it by law, government and society to be well-run, effective, transparent and accountable. Therefore sector capacity is an important area, deserving proper attention, when working towards effective regulation.
In its broadest sense, sector capacity concerns the ability of NGOs to carry out their purposes as defined in their constitution; to meet the minimum requirements set down in law; to adhere to the principles of good governance; and also to effectively organise and represent themselves to government.
The operating space of NGOs needs to be protected so that the sector has the power to achieve these objectives effectively.
Vibrant and legitimate representative bodies for NGOs, themselves from the sector, play a key role in building the capacity of the NGO sector and championing its effectiveness, including through self-regulatory initiatives. Such organisations include NGO membership and umbrella bodies, and specialist capacity building organisations.
These sector support bodies can act as effective advocates for the sector, communicating the needs of NGOs to the government and the public.
It is important not to overlook this fundamental aspect of NGO regulation; if an NGO sector is weak and underrepresented effective regulation will become impossible.