Democracywatch took a nationwide comprehensive capacity building program for local NGOs on Good Governance, Human Rights and Project Management. In this connection a total number of two hundred thirty local NGO's participated in this training program. This training program is recognized one of the best program of Democracywatch recently. This Capacity Building Program for Local NGOs started on 2003 and continuing till now.
It should be mention that the role of NGO's in Bangladesh has been to supplement and
Complement the works of the government agencies. It is clear that the NGOs reach to most needy people in a people friendly manner. The NGOs are strong in:
a. Making the people as the center of the development objective;
b. Making the people self reliant through the formation of saving and credit groups, micro credit, lunching small scale income generating enterprises, marketing etc.
c. Making the development process participatory involving the people in real sense i.e.
in planning process, implementation and evaluation of community based programs;.
d. Maintaining flexibility in planning, implementation and evaluation of the programs
taking into consideration of the people's culture and tradition.
But due to different reasons the performance of NGOs at the national as well as community
level has not been up to the expectation of the people. They are criticized for their lack of
accountability, transparency, competency, sustainability and quality. There are many
reasons for the low performance of NGOs such as:
Lack of clarity of the vision.
Lack of knowledge on how to develop organizational structure and system.
Lack of activism.
Scarcity of institutional materials and financial resources.
Problems like, lack of confidence, assertiveness, vulnerable to repression, weakpublicity, logistic constraints, and weak educational medium.
Facing the identity crisis & donor dependency
Lack of expertise in the field of their work
One of the important reasons for lower level of performance of the NGOs is because of low level of capacities of the NGOs. The NGOs have a plenty of people with volunteer spirit and willingness to work among the disadvantaged population in difficult situations. But a large numbers of NGOs do not have competencies and capacities to deliver program, undertake planning and management of the program, mobilization of local resources and their management etc. Because of lack of such competencies, most of the NGOs face questions about their sustainability and viability of their organizations. Another criticism they face is that they are concentrating only in Dhaka and other big cities. Whereas the development focus is changing towards local NGOs for implementing development programmes. As a consequence there has been a tremendous growth of local NGOs. These organizations, usually powerful and influential locally, often do not have the required management capabilities to see their decisions through, let alone have the capability to undertake development activities. What is needed is the capacity of doing what the traditional institutions have failed to do. Bangladesh's
decentralization act provides space for local groups to ask questions to both traditional and new social organizations. Therefore they are in desperate need to be trained properly to be able to manage development activities