Strong CSO governance is an enabler for legal Compliance

Published By UNNGOF |  August 25, 2023

Civil Society Organizations are born out of passion and the desire to respond to a given community challenge. These organizations operate under a legal framework that is set both internally by their governance documents or externally by the government.

In Uganda, CSOs have over 10 laws they are expected to comply with.

The 9th Annual Youth Festival provided UNNGOF an opportunity to offer free legal health check to youth-focused organizations. Not only was a booth with legal books and lawyers set up at the festival venue, but also a session (under the leadership and governance village) to offer joint learning was convened; where a lawyer with extensive knowledge on NGO regulatory framework was hosted and youth leaders’ questions responded to.

Emerging strongly was the clerical call for youths to pay extra care on how the boards of their organizations are constituted so that members with value, knowledge and experience are recruited to these boards. “Your organization is as good as your Board. Please ensure you recruit board members who are ready to sacrifice for the organizations, ready to offer strategic guidance. That’s how you will be able to comply to your internal regulations which automatically prepares you for external compliance to government, donors and the communities you serve,” Counsel Peter Magelah said.

UNNGOF is alive to the fact that CSOs can hardly mobilize people towards community philanthropy if they are illegitimate, therefore sessions like this one are critical in preparing organizations to strike a balance between passion and professionalism thus addressing the question around their credibility and legitimacy.

Youth-focused organizations were encouraged to make use of the ongoing #BeLegit campaign that UNNGOF is undertaking; which involves a site visit to organizations and a comprehensive legal health check.