Not so easy

Some educationists in the capital the other day said that for want of proper evaluation and transparency, it has become extremely difficult to assess the role and contribution of the NGOs and INGOs working in various areas, especially those involved in the education sector. They blamed the NGOs for engaging in a “race” for widening their reach rather than making meaningful contribution to the overall development of the districts they are working in. The impression is the NGOs generally focus on getting more projects without engaging in detail studies to determine the relevance of the programmes. It is believed that of the approximately

Rs 16 billion yearly assistance received by them, only 15 per cent reaches the target groups. In view of this, the need to set up a monitoring mechanism to regulate the functioning of all the NGOs is being strongly suggested.

Although a number of NGOs in Nepal have engaged in laudable socio-economic activities since their entry into the country in the 1980s, it is unfortunate that they have not been able to empower the weaker communities as a whole. The allegation against them negates the very idea with which these NGOs came into being in the first place. Since the governments around the world failed to utilise the direct grants or loans and could not work effectively at the people’s level due to lack of sound expertise, time and others, NGOs were established basically to tackle people’s problem at the micro-level of governance. But instead many NGOs misused the funds made available for social inclusion and advancement. It would therefore be better if a monitoring mechanism is put in place. However, this is easier said than done because the Ministry of Social Welfare, which has to undertake this job, neither has the required infrastructure nor adequate manpower. This would then imply that the Ministry would have to seek additional funds and create a new office, and in the process it would be defeating the whole purpose. This may mean giving birth to another problem, as often is the case in government ventures. It would be prudent on the part of the Ministry to first specify the basic requirements for setting up a truly efficient monitoring mechanism by identifying the key personnel and where in particular the resources to move ahead would come from.