Internal Governance For Ngos In Lebanon - Reference Book 2004
Why would a reference book addressing non-governmental organizations (NGOs) of different sizes, interests, and functions begin with a discussion on development?
A simple answer to this very relevant question is that development is the ultimate aim and objective that underlies the work of each and every NGO, association, trade union, and civil society institution. In other words, development is a common ground for all these organizations, as well as the long-term goal that enables them to broaden their range of activities, to cooperate with others, and to expand their scope from the local to the national and international. The concept of development roots such operations in the historical process and provides continuity for the future. Direct activities and monthly and annual work plans become key ingredients for a more progressive and sustainable path towards building free individuals and a just world.
The issue of development is the necessary starting point to discuss issues linked to the internal governance and working principles of NGOs. The form of an NGO is thus linked to its content, and, likewise, its methods to its objectives. The internal governance of NGOs and their working methods are defined by the content of their activities and the goals they seek to achieve. Therefore, the aim of activities is not the NGO itself, but the service provided to people and to society. Currently, developmental activity represents the overall and most prevalent theoretical and practical framework. It should empower NGOs to coordinate, develop, and share their activities on the local, national, and international levels through the latest scientific and pragmatic modern concepts and working methods; all in response to the needs of society.
NGOs in Lebanon are a major pillar for progress and sustainable human development. Their role lies in promoting democratic participation, empowering civil society, and safeguarding rights, freedoms, and good governance, whether within the framework of the NGO or in society in general. However, some NGOs suffer from major deficiencies in their internal governance, such as the absence of democracy; the lack of mechanisms for rotation of power; and the need for clear regulations, transparency, accountancy, and accountability.