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Over 50 Chief Executive Officers within the membership of the Nigeria Network of NGOs (NNNGO) from the six geo-political zones of the country gathered in Lagos on the 6th of April 2016 to learn, share experience and adopt global best practices in NGO management at the Network’s capacity building workshop with a special focus on responsibilities, productivity and efficiency held at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry Alausa, Ikeja.
The workshop which was mainly organized for members of the network took participants through the functional core duties of a CEO of not-for-profit organisation. Findings from our work revealed that not many NGO leaders have clear terms of reference for their work which has in most cases impacted negatively on their ability to lead effectively.
Taking participants through their functional roles, Oyebisi Babatunde Oluseyi, NNNGO’s Executive Director noted that efficiency is most important for a terrific outcome, he thus laid emphasis on job specifications, stressing the need for a robust knowledge, intelligence, commitment and dedication in ensuring and ascertaining a successful and impactful touch to their foundations which were established for the sole purpose of service to humanity.
And as result of the changing dynamics of running an NGO, Oyebisi admonished the CEOs to cultivate a healthy relationship with their board of directors for better and clearer strategic direction, further noting that a non-profit director should not only maintain a positive working relationship with employees but must as well function effectively balancing day to day leadership duties with accurate accountability to the board of directors, emphasizing that proper balance and accountability can only be achieved when both the board and the executive directors’ roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. He added that some initial degree of tension or disconnect between the executive director and board of directors is natural but that steps to address challenges will definitely instill mutual trust and strengthen the organization’s operational capacity at the long run.
Participants at the end of the workshop garnered more capacities on the running of their NGOs which included tips on executive director’s job description, committee responsibilities, working with board of directors, maximizing board meeting productivity, staffing, human resource, budget, finance and obtaining grants amongst others. The CEOs were most delighted on this new development which they said has broadened their horizons.
In particular was a participant who confessed that prior to the training, she had little knowledge of how to manage her organisation, she further opened up that she has been a sole funder of her Foundation since its inception but she realized that “it is now getting out of her hands and cannot handle it anymore” however with the knowledge gained at the workshop she now ‘’knows what to do in taking her organisation to the next level’’
The Nigeria Network of NGOs, established in 1992 represents over 2000 organizations ranging from small groups working at the local level to larger networks working at the national level.