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AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS IN THE ADVANCEMENT OF GOOD GOVERNANCE IN CAMEROON

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AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE  CONTRIBUTIONS  OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS IN THE ADVANCEMENT  OF GOOD GOVERNANCE IN CAMEROON

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

NGOs have a crucial role in development due to their organisational structures and missions. They exist to supplement the governmental jurisdictional functions and the combined efforts of people in promoting human development and environmental sustainability (Ako & Nkongho, 2018). NGOs take on many forms and, in certain cases, function in close alignment with government organisations and departments in all the nations where they operate (Ako & Nkongho, 2018). They are often known as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that operate as not-for-profit entities, highlighting their independence from governments and their charitable goals. NGOs, as defined by the World Bank, are private organisations that engage in activities aimed at alleviating suffering, advocating for the interests of the impoverished, safeguarding the environment, delivering essential social services, or facilitating community development (Njong, 2015). These organisations may take the shape of charities, foundations, associations, nonprofit companies (NPOs), and private voluntary organisations (PVOs).  Their popularity and importance have significantly expanded throughout the years. The National Centre For Policy Analysis (2022) estimated that in 2002, there were more than 25,000 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) operating worldwide. This is primarily focused on their recognition by prominent entities such as the United Nations, European Union, African Union, other global organisations, and influential states. This is particularly true for foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs), which are often seen as virtuous by some international authorities. They refrain from engaging in immoral actions; they are free from corruption; they prioritise assisting the underprivileged; and most importantly, they possess exceptional insight and perception. The operational methods of these international NGOs have directly sparked a rise in the number of local NGOs with varying characteristics in many developing nations. The relevance of these organizations cannot however be over-emphasized, as they contribute to the advancement of good governance. 

Good governance is a widely discussed concept in the present day and has captured the public's interest over the last 10 years. The idea is rapidly becoming a crucial factor in assessing a state's capacity to adhere to widely recognised democratic norms (Tadzong & Langmia, 2016). The Centre for African Family Studies (2015) highlighted that governance has emerged as a matter of global significance. The efficacy and transparency of organisations is a subject of both public and private concern. Critical research contends that the notable rise in the quantity of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), financial support, and other partners has recognized governance as a pivotal concern in organizational efficacy and efficiency. According to Fru & Nkwetta (2017), Camay and Gordon (2016) recognized that NGOs should be responsible for having efficient, transparent, and democratic internal governance. This would improve their credibility, legitimacy, and influence on the people they serve. It is further elucidated that governing bodies, in the form of a board of directors, play a pivotal role in organizational governance, as substantiated by other authors.  Kang (2015) recognizes that strong governance is an essential need for development. Numerous nations worldwide are actively competing to effectively use their existing resources in order to promote development for their population, demonstrating a positive step towards good governance.There is currently no universally accepted definition or authoritative explanation of what "good governance" entails, nor is there a clear guideline on how they should implement it while providing help to vulnerable populations. Good governance is often associated with the effective management of public affairs and the appropriate administration of public assets or resources. The International Journal of Governmental Financial Management (2015) defines governance as a deliberative process for making decisions and determining their implementation. It is important to emphasize that "good governance" encompasses not just the act of making correct judgements, but also the process by which such decisions are made.NGOs have a diverse and extensive role in promoting good governance. First and foremost, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) serve as proponents for openness and responsibility inside governmental establishments. Through careful examination of policies, methods, and choices, they enforce responsibility among public officials, therefore reducing corruption and guaranteeing the appropriate allocation of resources..Therefore, the study investigate the contributions of Non-governmental organizations in the advancement  of good governance in Cameroon. 

Statement of the problem

The prevailing view on NGO is that they are a effective tool in promoting good governance and this entails being able to tackle and speak up on some of government policies rather than just to the public or stakeholders. Kang (2015) from the Ford Foundation contends that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) often neglect to address issues of accountability, including concerns about the dependability and validity of their organizations in speaking up on matters that concerns governance. In their study, Tadzong & Langmia (2016) found that NGOs are consistently pressured by donor agencies, stakeholders, funders, and academics to demonstrate accountability in three dimensions: downward, horizontal, and vertical. The majority of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are not complying with the three categories of accountability indicated. These types of accountability are essential principles for improving good governance. As a result, there is needless duplication or a lack of suitable collaboration, leading to the inefficient use of resources (Kumi 2017). Although there is a large body of research discussing the positive impact of NGOs on promoting good governance, there are still unresolved concerns that need attention. Hence, the study investigate the contributions of Non-governmental organizations in the advancement of good governance in Cameroon. 

1.3 Objectives of the study

The broad objective of the study is to investigate the contributions of Non-governmental organizations in the advancement  of good governance in Cameroon. The specific objectives is as follows

Examine the extent to which NGOs have been involved in promoting good governance initiatives in Cameroon.

Determine whether there is partnership between NGOs and government institutions in promoting good governance in Cameroon.

Investigate the challenges faced by NGOs in their efforts to promote good governance in Cameroon.

Propose recommendation aimed at enhancing NGO contributions to good governance practices in Cameroon.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the following

What is the extent to which NGOs have been involved in promoting good governance initiatives in Cameroon?

Is there a partnership between NGOs and government institutions in promoting good governance in Cameroon?

What are the challenges faced by NGOs in their efforts to promote good governance in Cameroon?

What are the recommendation aimed at enhancing NGO contributions to good governance practices in Cameroon?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The findings of the study will be significant in the following ways

NGOs: the study will be of benefit to NGOs as it will reveal the extent at which there have been lapses in their contributions to good governance, the findings of the study will therefore propose strategies aimed at that will help NGOs in their quest to advocate for good governance.

Academia: the study will be of benefit to the academia as it will contribute to the existing body of literature on governance, and also add to library resources in other to guide future research on the topic of study. 

1.6 Scope of the Study

The study focuses on women contributions to the political system of Cameroon. Empirically, the study will examine the extent to which NGOs have been involved in promoting good governance initiatives in Cameroon, determine the level of partnership between NGOs and government institutions in promoting good governance in Cameroon, investigate the challenges faced by NGOs in their efforts to promote good governance in Cameroon and propose recommendation aimed at enhancing NGO contributions to good governance practices in Cameroon.

1.7 Limitations of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

1.8 Definition of terms

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs): NGOs refer to non-profit organizations that operate independently of government control and are typically formed to address social, environmental, or humanitarian issues. In the context of this study, NGOs specifically denote civil society organizations engaged in activities related to governance reform and the promotion of democratic principles in Cameroon.

Good Governance: Good governance encompasses the processes and structures through which public institutions conduct their affairs and manage resources to meet the needs of society in a transparent, accountable, and participatory manner. It involves principles such as the rule of law, respect for human rights, effective public service delivery, and inclusive decision-making.

Civil Society: Civil society comprises non-governmental organizations, community groups, advocacy networks, and other voluntary associations that operate independently of the state and the market. Civil society organizations play a crucial role in representing citizen interests, fostering social cohesion, and holding government authorities accountable.


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