Chapter One General Introduction And Summary
1.1 Background to the Study
Martens (2002, p.271) referred to the act of defining an NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) as a “mission impossible”. However, Martens gives the following definition; ‘’NGOs are formal (professionalized) independent societal organizations whose primary aim is to promote common goals at the national or the international level’’ (Martens, 2002, p.282).
The term NGO can be applied to any non-profit organization which is autonomous from government. NGOs are normally value-based organizations which relay, in whole or in part, on benevolent donations and voluntary service. Many NGOs have close working relationship with poor communities. Some are membership organizations of poor or vulnerable people (Community Based Organization or faith based organizations) who identify the needs of specific members of the community and work toward addressing these needs. Resources of NGOs are mostly additional; they complement the development effort of others, and they help to make the development process more accountable, transparent and participatory (Samuel 2005).Samuel noted that NGOs do not only "fill in the gaps" but they also act as a response to failures in the public and private sectors in providing basic services.
NGOs in HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) sector have a common goal which is to educate people with respect to HIV and AIDS leading to HIV and AIDS prevention if not elimination. According to Samuel (2005), the essence of NGOs remains the same: to provide basic services to those who need them.
With HIV and AIDS cure not forthcoming, the “multi-sectoral approach” as noted by Kemenade, (2002) is using civil society in controlling the spread, and mitigating associated effects. In the case of HIV and AIDS, NGOs have developed a number of strategies to alleviate the challenges which the disease has inflicted upon society. The developed strategies include: Care and support, education and sensitisation developed largely by People Living with HIV and AIDS (PLHIV) and NGOs. Emphasis is put on catering for the needs of PLHIVs through social support, empowerment, care and mobilisation of material (food aid, mattresses for needy families and scholastic materials for school going orphaned children) and financial support from different sources Kemenade.
The most commonly known NGOs in HIV and AIDS sector in Ghana are WAPCAS, Pro-link, Maritime, CEPEHRG, AGREDS, FHI-360, World Education Inc. CRS, and ADRA among others (GAC list of NGOs). Activities of some of these local and foreign NGOs operating in HIV and AIDS sector in Ghana have transformed whole communities. HIV and AIDS according to UNAIDS, (2002) is having profound impacts on livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa. These include the deaths of working-age adults, the diversion of resources to caring, and the rupture of traditional chains of knowledge transmission. NGOs are responding by providing assistance to communities affected by the epidemic in the fields of agriculture, skills training, and microfinance, as well as by offering home care and support. A key feature of such initiatives is the focus on previously neglected groups such as key populations (UNAIDS).
A 2003 report by UNAIDS/WHO indicated that in sub-Saharan Africa alone, approximately 26.6 million people are believed to be living with HIV and AIDS), while the estimated number of children orphaned in the region as a result of the epidemic stands in the region of 11 million (UNAIDS, 2002). In Ghana, It is estimated that
230,348 people were living with HIV in 2010 (102,713 males and 127,635 females) and 32,057 were children. In 2010 there were 14,165 new infections and 17,230 annual AIDS deaths, 2,472 of whom were children. In 2011 225,478 were living with HIV (100,336 males and 125,141 females) and there were 12,077 new HIV infections (10,373 adults and 1,707 children) new infections with 15,263 deaths. (Ghana Country AIDS Progress Report Jan. 2010 to Dec.2011)
The collective impacts of AIDS have become more visible, and include drastic reductions in life expectancy, the loss of adult workers in every sector, and an unusual increase in the number of orphans and other vulnerable children (UNICEF, 2002). To ensure that the challenges posed by HIV and AIDS are well managed, there is the need for local NGOs in that sector to operate more professionally by ensuring that they are able to account for all funds they receive from development partners and the central government as well as other philanthropic individuals.
As the power of NGOs continue to increase, both in the domestic and international fronts, their operations became more sophisticated and their roles more complex. Some
NGOs have become as large as medium-sized corporations (Commonwealth Business Council, ibid). Some (like those in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka) employ more staff than governments.
Jeffrey E. Garten, Dean of the Yale School of Management (in SustainAbility 2003, p.7) agrees: “NGOs have had too much of a free ride in identifying themselves with the public interest. They have acquired the high ground of public opinion without being subjected to the same public scrutiny given to corporations and governments … it is time that companies and governments demand more public examination of NGOs.”
Resource utilization among local NGOs in HIV and AIDS sector perhaps is one of the greatest challenges among: fundraisers, developing partners and policy analysts. This issue demand vigorous research into resource utilization challenges faced by local NGOs in HIV and AIDS sector in Ghana.
1.2 Research Field and Subject Area
According to Mary Parker Follet, management ‘’is the art of getting things done through people’’. Management is the organizational process that includes strategic planning, setting objectives, managing resources, deploying the human and financial assets needed to achieve objectives, and measuring results. Management also includes recording and storing facts and information for later use or for others within the organization. Management functions are not limited to managers and supervisors. Every member of the organization has some management and reporting functions as part of their job.
Management in HIV and AIDS therefore means the ability to work with people to design procedures to promote and protect sound management practices, both programmatic and financial.
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