In the first quarter of 2019, the Nigeria Network of NGOs (NNNGO) kickstarted activities by conducting needs assessments and review meetings of 2018 activities in relation to organisation development and growth of member organisations. The outcome of these meetings and assessments was the production of an annual report guide for nonprofit organisations titled “Practical Guide on Writing Annual Reports for Nigerian Nonprofits”. This publication was produced to aid nonprofits in their reportage of activities, outcomes and successes achieved during the year with the aim of improving communication with their different audiences while promoting transparency and accountability within the nonprofit sector.
The Nigeria Network of NGOs also worked to encourage creativity and innovative use of technology within the third sector to improve nonprofit work and put Nigerian CSOs on the global map by partnering organisations that provide technological tools and services to CSOs, across the world, at subsidized costs. This was done through the introduction Techsoup West Africa, a program supported by WASCI with the aim of giving all nonprofits that form part of NNNGO’s membership, the opportunity of easily accessing technological advancements.
NNNGO also actively worked to improve its book-keeping and accounting systems by employing the use of electronic accounting softwares. The use of these softwares have hitherto helped to eliminate human error, improve transparency and accountability. Meanwhile, work commenced on the 2019 phases of ongoing projects which had been undergoing implementation by the Network in previous years.
Overview of “Strengthening Statutory Regulations for Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria: Amending Part C of CAMA” Supported by the Commonwealth Foundation.
Activities for the third and final phase of the commonwealth foundation project began on January 9, 2019 with the publishing of a newsletter titled; “The Part F of CAMA and its implications for Nigerian NGOs” This newsletter was produced to sensitize the civil society community on the new and efficient way of registering organisations with ease, minimizing compliance burden of non-profits as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to bring Nigeria’s foremost commercial law in line with international best practices.
The second newsletter published in February focused on how NGOs incorporate trustees and their board of directors; it also stated the governing role of the board of trustees to ensure smooth operations and running of their non-profits. This learning was important in order to help nonprofits understand the role of their board and how best to appoint appropriate persons to form their board.
The third newsletter published in March paid particular attention to the filing of annual returns; stating the need to file and the advantage a nonprofit enjoys by filing annual returns with the Corporate Affairs Commission. Part of what was included in this newsletter were penalties attached to noncompliance and non-filing of annual returns as and when due.
In the next quarter, compliance workshops will be organised by NNNGO in different geopolitical zones across the country. The “Compliance Trainings on the Part F of CAMA” are a set of workshops designed to provide a comprehensive grounding on how to set up systems and procedures for complying with nonprofit regulatory requirements and holistically drive organisation wide-performance. The workshops will hold in four locations in different parts of Nigeria and provide a thorough grounding on how governance and financial systems are developed, implemented and comprehensively utilized to drive compliance across organisations. Attendees will benefit from case study examples of how this process can be achieved. This interactive workshop format will enable a combination of learning and peer-to-peer experience sharing among our members.
Part of activities for the second quarter include correspondence with newly-elected legislators while focusing on the need to create relationships based on mutual understanding and commitment towards providing an enabling environment for Nigerian nonprofits.
Overview of “Improving Engagement and Communication between NNNGO and its Members” Supported by Forus.
The Nigeria Network of NGOs embarked on a communication needs assessment consultation with members of the Network to ascertain their preferred communication tools in receiving updates from the network. This was done with an aim to engage, inform and share information, as well as build capacities based on the communication tools that can be easily accessed. This will further enable the Network to ensure that information shared with its members are received and read with necessary actions taken and also members are able to provide feedback, inputs and make enquiries with ease.
372 members of the network were reached and subsequently provided valid responses, with a coverage on the 6 geo-political zones -34 states and the FCT. Results show that member organisations preferred the use of EMAIL as a primary media for information dissemination.
Awareness on the Istanbul Principle has started among members of the Network with the development and circulation of info-graphics on the principles. Also, four newsletters have been published focused on issues ranging from the need to effectively understand the Istanbul Principle to grants and opportunities for Nigerian nonprofits. The design and deployment of the NNNGO App is ongoing and advancing towards the grand launch by May 2019.
A capacity needs assessment survey questions; the Nonprofit Assessment Tool (NOPSAT) was developed in the first quarter. The aim of this assessment is to identify the areas of non-profit member organisations that needs strengthening and tailor their needs in the Networks capacity building workshops and toolkits.
NOPSAT is a tool that helps non-profits analyse their strengths and weaknesses to know the capacity needs of their organisation. It measures the governance strategy and structure, human resources and administration, programme management, monitoring and reporting along with its financial management and sustainability of your organisation.
Plans for the validation workshop based on the need’s assessment is ongoing as the Network collates more responses from member non-profits.