In many low socio-economic communities, money is frequently coming in from various donors and the government with the intention of individuals and politicians to give and effect change. However, there is no noticeable change in the community. Whose responsibility is it to ensure that the right people receive the money they need and deserve?
Communities stricken by the hard reality of poverty and crime, are frequently approached by organizations wanting to help and change the face of the community. Many people in society want to donate and be able to give people greater opportunities for better lives. However, there is no noticeable change in the communities’ realities and there is limited transparency as to where the money is being used.
Members of the community have a right to know, understand and be privy to the decision making processes affecting their own community. There is great importance for accountability and transparency in every organization, be it governmental or nongovernmental to ensure that budgets are being adhered to and money is being spent appropriately.
In view of their responsibilities to stakeholders, including donors, sponsors, program beneficiaries, staff and the public, there is an even greater importance for transparency than to commercial undertakings. Surprisingly, these values are often found to be lacking in NGOs.
Justice must be brought to organizations to ensure that citizens get what they are entitled to. Let’s all remember, that giving and helping one another, is most important in life and let’s not allow money to blind us.
During my two years of national service, I volunteered in a low socioeconomic, high crime community. Most of the population had made aliyah from Ethiopia in the 1980s. They had many difficulties acclimating into Israeli society. Until this day, the state and many donors give millions of shekels a year towards the community in order to help them integrate the best way possible into society. Unfortunately, the results do not reflect the amount of money being donated.
There is a systemic problem that there are not checks and balances in place to properly monitor, audit and punish abusers. An ideal system would not only include the checks and balances but would have a mechanism to reward as well. One potential solution could be a non bureaucratic, low barrier to entry, charitable conduit for small organizations under a predetermined threshold. I think that this proposal is realistic, as it could be beneficial for many politicians who are looking for a cause to further their political futures, as this appeals to the broader spectrum of society. I trust you, the reader will recognize how I have turned the problem that we face, into its solution, by looking towards the politicians to use donations for good, rather than to abuse for bad. To be balanced and fair, it would go a long way to hasten the integration, if members of the community would be involved in the decision making process.