Inclusive spaces and partnerships for improved public accountability, transparency and effective development
The NGO Expo, hosted annually by NANGO, is a premier event where Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Zimbabwe come together to showcase their initiatives through exhibition, knowledge sharing and social efforts. The Expo attracts close to 100 NGOs from across Zimbabwe and has recently witnessed an increased interest from the private sector, Independent Commissions and government departments to exhibit alongside NGOs. The Expo is the only platform in the country and in the SADC region that brings together NGOs to exhibit innovative solutions, best practices and create opportunities for knowledge sharing.
Social accountability and good governance for effective development is at the heart of many NGOs. In some countries, the opening up of formal democracy systems has led to an increase in the accountability of states to its citizens. This has led to strengthening the capacity of NGOs and citizens to effectively participate in decision making processes as well as to demand accountability of state and non state actors. Good governance requires credible and trustworthy institutions built on principles of legitimacy, transparency and accountability. It has been noted that, accountability goes beyond the responsibility of delivery of a task or service. It also means being answerable if a service is not delivered in a timely and efficient manner. In this regard, there is need to mobilise all stakeholders to work together for the improvement of the country’s public social accountability and transparency for effective development.
NANGO through the NGO Expo creates a multi-stakeholder platform where government, CSOs, CBOs, Independent Commissions and the private sector meet and share experiences and ideas for integrated development. This year, this will be realised through exhibitions running under the theme “Inclusive spaces and partnerships for improved legitimacy, public accountability, transparency and effective development”. Inclusive integrated participation can be understood as the joint sustained and concerted actions of policy makers, non state actors and communities that promote the standard of living and economic health of a country thereby bringing peace and justice in communities. It therefore follows that the progressive realisation of this inclusive integrated participation should not only be hinged in the efforts of government alone as the custodian of the economy but on a combination of multi-stakeholder efforts in development.
Therefore, the 2019 NGO Expo provides an opportunity to both state and non-state actors to identify gaps and opportunities for inclusive integrated development. It also provides a platform for exhibitors to interface with the general public thus promoting better understanding of the needs of local constituencies. It is therefore envisaged that the discussions and consultations during the three day exhibition will provide a foundation for a better understanding of people’s rights, and responsibilities as well as sharing knowledge on sustainable livelihoods through skills transfer.
2019 NGO Expo Objectives
The NGO Expo is premised on the following objectives;
- To showcase the various services and products of different NGOs , Independent Commissions and the private sector.
- To provide an inclusive platform for knowledge sharing between NGOs, private sector and Government with a view of attaining good governance, inclusive growth and development in the country.
- To promote accountability and transparency for improved public social accountability.
NGO Expo Expected Outcomes
It is expected that after the successful implementation of the Expo, the following outcomes will be achieved;
- Increased understanding by the public of the role of NGOs, private sector, and Government in Inclusive integrated development.
- A framework for multi-stakeholder collaboration and coordination in development is in place.
- An improvement in public social accountability, transparency and service delivery.