ARUA. Arua district local government is set to embark on a process of vetting local nongovernmental organizations (NGO’s) in what they say is to eliminate “brief-case” organizations.
Assistant chief administrative officer (ACAO) Mr Simon Ababo said many of the local NGO’s are “talking big” but actually have no or very little capacity and vetting them would be a way of eliminating them since they have no impact in the communities.
He was presiding over a coordination meeting of local, national and international NGO’s at Arua hill division offices.
“There has been a lot of pressure for local contracts in the last 2 years and yet we only have 5 to 6 capable NGO’s with capacity to handle these projects and yet we have thousands of people talking big; This is the reason we need to scrutinize them so that we eliminate those which are talking bid for nothing” Ababo said.
He complained that many organizations operating in the district had continued to defy their directive to declare their activities to the district administration which would help in proper planning and avoid duplication of work by partners. He also said organizations operating in the district must engage the leadership in monitoring their activities.
The coordination meetings are primarily formulated for the members of Arua district NGO network, but non members are also called to attend for the purposes of better coordination, many of the international NGOs operating in the district are non members.
Mr Twaib Feni, the chief executive officer of Arua NGO net work, the umbrella body under which the coordination meetings are organized said through the forum, activities of various partners are streamlined so that they can “speak a common language” and avoid accusations against one another.
Responding on the lack of capacity of the local NGO’s, Mr. Feni said 136 NGO’s have registered under the network including faith based organizations with the number totaling over 3000 in the district alone.
“We have tried our best to reach the NGOs and profile them so that the information can be accessed in a common pool, perhaps the notion of local NGOs being invisible is misinformation” he said.
Mr Joe Aritua, the chairperson of the quality assurance mechanism (QUAM), a standards process formed within the NGO’s that vets them said many of the local NGO’s are missing on contracts because they have shunned the process.
Aritua on the contrary said organizations that have embraced the quality mechanism have succeeded in getting contracts from international Bodies. He pointed out rural initiative for community development west Nile (RICE-WN) and CEFORD as living examples; 31 NGO’s both local and national had undergone the QUAM) process.