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REPORT OF NCVO-GHANA FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSION

REPORT OF NCVO-GHANA FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSION

DATE:13 DECEMBER 2017

VENUE: HOLIDAY INN ACCRA AIRPORT CITY

 

CEO Mrs Shirley Abedi-Boafo(CEO/Founder NCVO-Ghana)

Chair Person Mr Kwame Nuako (Accounting Professional And Public Administration Practitioner

Guest of honor Hon. Bright Wireko-Brobby (ESQ)

(Deputy Minister Of Employment And Labour Relations And MP for Hemang Lower Denkyira, C/R

 

Other Speakers

Okyeame Kwame Musician, Songwriter, Creative Director and Entrepreneur

Mr Collins A Sarpong (Procurement Expert And President Of The Ghana Institute Of Procurement And Supply)

Attendants /participants were 85

 

Mrs Shirley A Boafo CEO/founder of NCVO-Ghana gave the welcome address and a summary of what National Consortium for Voluntary Organizations is all about:

She talked about the importance and vital roles played by NGOs both in Ghana and other parts of the world and the differences they make to the lives of millions of people thereby benefiting not only the beneficiaries but society at large.

she also said as NGOs play increasingly important role in our society it has become critical for them to perform effectively.

Mission

To Promote and support the NGO sector in Ghana.

National Consortium for Voluntary Organizations is organization that brings NGOs in Ghana together under one umbrella to help them run their organizations efficiently and effectively.

Governments are increasingly turning to Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) or the Non-Profit Sector as potential service providers and partners in tackling our most pressing social issues, such as homelessness, hunger, crime, unemployment and many more so we have to ensure that the sector thrives and is sustained

NGOs serve as a safety net for our communities and therefore it has become more critical for NGOs to perform efficiently and effectively.

The Way forward for NCVO-Ghana

 

1. To build a national NGO database to enable funders and stakeholders to gain easy access to information.

2. Access to learning Group on facebook. A forum where we can share ideas and solutions and to kickstart online training.

 

Hon. Bright Wireko-Brobby (ESQ) Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations and MP for Hemang Lower Denkyira in the central region stated in his Key note address that his presence at the event was in two capacities:

  1. As a Government official
  2. As a community development practitioner.

Hon Bright Wireko advised that NCVO-Ghana must hold regular capacity building workshops to upgrade and improve the skills of its members.

He commended Mrs Shirley Abedi-Boafo for hosting the meeting at a highly prestigious Hotel such as the Holiday Inn and highlighted the essence of her ability to forge togetherness which he believed was a fragmentation of how things are organized in Ghana.

He also commended NCVO-Ghana for conducting needs assessment to identify the gaps in skills and networking to reach or approach trainers who are knowledgeable in the various aspects of the field in order to develop the capacity of its members.

He also added that , some twenty years ago, certain services such as barbering which is valued service in the western part of the world, were not valued and patronized in this part of the world and as such failed to attract payments for services rendered. It was therefore Imperative that NCVO-Ghana showcases their services well enough to gain value to attract payment for its services.

He also Encouraged participants:

  • To know their your own capabilities and have solid CVs
  • To attend training sessions organised by NCVO-Ghana as it will always assess their training needs accurately
  • To review their processes and gaps (What they do best and where they fall short)
  • Take advantages of up coming events, as synergies will be drawn and we can find solutions to our challenges.
  • To engage in continuous professional development.
  • To visit the Registrar Generals office annually to renew documentation to reinforce organizations credibility as a business.
  • Put into practice what they will be taught at training sessions

 

Mr Collins Agyeman Sarpong Procurement Expert and President of Ghana Institute of Procurement and Supply. This is what he had to say:

Procurement starts with you as a person. The reason why we need to take procurement seriously is because it is crucial for sustenance of the business as it is to do with costs and revenue.

He advised that most funders and stakeholders will only contribute or donate to an organization that is resourceful and uses its funding appropriately and for the cause or mission it embarks on. Also, to support, Funders will look at what the impact or difference the organization has made in society

He also spoke about

  • Value for money.
  • Funding and accountability
  • 3rd Parties outsourcing

 

Okyeame Kwame Musician, Songwriter, Creative Director and Entrepreneur

Spoke about the Importance of Social Media for advocacy

Firstly, he spoke about his NGO - OK Foundation which was established 10 years ago . The mission is to fight against Hepatitis B. Every year as part of Hepatitis Day activities,(May 28), free vaccinations are administered to 1000 people in Ghana. Additionally, free medication is given to 30 pregnant women who would not otherwise be able to afford.

He continued by saying that In Ghana alone, more than 25 million people have cell phones/ smart phones . Consequently, the cell phone business is gradually replacing television, newspapers and radio as you can access all these online. In the whole world population, more than 1 billion people are on Facebook. People are willing to pay attention on Facebook throughout the day (whilst eating, they go online to browse to know what is happening and can find out the time) This is an excellent way of reaching people for free. He therefore recommended advertising through the social media.

Still on social media, he compared the cost of advertising through the TV station which is very costly and that of Youtube which is free of charge and encouraged the use of social media as alternative means of advertisement and promotion of content.

He gave 5 points for social media success

1.Relevance

You must make sure the information you post is relevant –

2.Consistency

Your information needs to be consistent across board on all your social media channels

 

3.Feedback

  • Look at the time of the day and the best time to post your videos
  • If you put the information out on a specific day and a specific time, use this knowledge and create a pattern for social media marketing.
  • Act upon the comments of the mediums and interact with those who are commenting

4.Coherence

Whatever you do on social media to your Facebook, Website, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, you must integrate all your platforms

Finally, Social media is relevant and current trend so all must endeavor to move with current trends by understanding and making use of its advantages.

 

Mr Kwame Nuako - The Chairperson’s Remarks

In his remarks, the chairperson expressed how fruitful the event had been and suggested the extension of time for future events as he realized that participants had lots of unanswered questions due to limitation of time.

He also advised all participants to be members of NCVO-Ghana.

He said two keynotes that needed to be addressed were:

National Policy on the Activities of Charities in Ghana

He highlighted the need for national policy on the activities of all for NGOs in Ghana and urged the founder of NCVO-Ghana to make a proposal to the honorable minister Bright Wireko Brobbey for a policy to be put in place. He pledged to add his voice to this proposal by deliberating on this issue with the honorable minister.

CAPACITY BUILDING

The chairman advised participants to continuously develop their skills to improve their knowledge and skills for effectiveness of service delivery. He encouraged all participants to take advantage of the capacity building opportunity that is being offered by NCVO-Ghana.

 

 

 

LEGITIMACY

He stressed on the need for NGOs to be legitimized by renewing registration of business and to ensure that business collaborations are equally conducted with legitimized organizations.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Lastly he remarked on social media by stating that since we lived in an era where social media played a vital role in profitable organizations, it will be beneficial to all participants to take into consideration what Okyeame Kwame said in terms of Relevance, Consistency feedback and content.

Needs assessment

  • NGOs need a unified voice to resolve problems collectively
  • Stuff that gets stolen at the ports
  • NGOs Mapping to be actioned by NCVO
  • National Policy of NGOs should be put in place
  • NCVO- Ghana Develop NGOs Database
  • The need for Policy Change re Tax exemption. Petition to be actioned by NCVO as very urgent matter
  • Credibility and authenticity of NGOs sector in Ghana
  • Social Welfare versus NGOs registration
  • Delegates agreed there are needs for policy write ups
  • How to complete funding forms
  • Awareness raising within the communities
  • How to get support from the government
  • Governance and operating legally as an NGO
  • Training
  • Fear of sharing information and ideas
  • Shipment of goods and support from abroad. Paper work and documentation is a real disadvantage and deterrent
  • NCVO's role is really needed to act as a problem solver for NGOs to work together and build trust in the communities
  • Network between NGOs.