Botswana Council of Non-Governmental Organizations (BOCONGO) and Institute of Development Management (IDM) have entered into a partnership to develop a Centre of Local Governance.
The centre is expected to help stimulate public interest towards compliance with international standards of good governance.
Speaking at the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Monday, BOCONGO Board Member Robert Letsatsi said one the objective of the agreement is to strengthen the leadership role of BOCONGO in order to drive the NGO movement to work effectively with other stakeholders.
“We want to increase the visibility of NGOs and how they contribute to inclusive development, value addition to the socio-economic development of this country,” said Letsatsi, adding that the civil society movement has played a key role in the development of the country.
Letsatsi said the other objective of the partnership is to develop and use accountable and transparent systems and processes.
“To get information from government is like squeezing water out of a stone, the country does not subscribe to transparency mechanisms internationally. As we speak right now, the country is not a member of Open Government Partnership and does not have Right to Information Act,” said Letsatsi.
He said the two institutions are involved in the conceptualization, planning and the delivery of tailor-made programmes.
Some of the programmes to be offered include Certificate in Leadership, Financial Management and Resource Mobilization among others.
For his part, IDM Deputy Director Matius Chida said the institution is determined to work with NGOs to sharpen their skills as they undertake their duties.
“Our pursuit is not only to build a strong knowledge-based economy as espoused by government, but more importantly a society that is compliant with the principles of good governance,” said Chida.
He said the school’s journey with the NGOs dates as back as 2000 when IDM tailor-made programmes geared towards supporting their interventions at the time when HIV/AIDS pandemic was at the highest peak in the country.
“While these programmes still exist, we have widened the scope to cover a broad spectrum of participation, to ensure inclusivity and applicability to changing situations,” he said.