NGO accountability in Lesotho: a governance perspective of the societies (amendment) act 2001.
Khati, Kekeletso Jane.
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Non- Government Organizations (NGOs) have become very popular since the 20th century in developing countries because of the role they play in the enhancement of socio-economic development. The prevalence of NGOs in most developing countries is linked to the availability of foreign aid and a modernization agenda for developed countries to invest in the development of the global south countries. For these reasons, the governments of developing countries have embraced the existence and importance of NGOs towards the improvement of the livelihoods of the poor people within their region. NGOs have played prominent roles in poverty reduction, economic advancement, social alteration and democratization programmes in Lesotho. The growing reputation of NGOs has resulted in the global call for improved accountability of NGOs. In Lesotho, the Societies Amendment Act 2001 was enacted with the purpose to register organisations, including NGOs, with the hope of standardizing the way in which registered organisations in Lesotho operate. The Act also seeks to establish one law for non- profit organisations and regulate the registration of civil society organisations. The purpose of the study was to assess the accountability of NGO in Lesotho through the governance perspective as contained in the Societies (Amendment) Act 2001. The study adopted a qualitative approach, as such; secondary sources of information were relied upon. Relevant books, journals, government publications and institutional reports were consulted for vital information that formed the crux of the argument of the study. Thematic content analysis was used for making sense of the information gathered from texts to articulately present arguments and reach a logical conclusion. Creation of themes was guided by the principle of good governance such as public-sector management, accountability, a legal framework for development and transparency and information. The preliminary results of this study showed that although there are policies that regulate the operations of NGOs in Lesotho like the Societies (Amendment) Act 2001 which is implemented in conjunction with the Cooperative Societies’ Act 2000, and the Labour Law Code of 1992.Notwithstanding, there are no provisions for accountability in the Societies (Amendment) Act 2001as regards the operation of NGOs. This vacuum has resulted in the autonomous operation of NGOs without checkmate. Key words: Accountability, Governance and Good Governance, NGOs, Societies (Amendment) Act 2001.