By Isaac Salima:
The Covid pandemic is a worm that has been eating into the fabric of civil society organisations (CSOs) financial resources, a report indicates.
The report, which Institute of Public Opinion and Research (IPOR) has released, further indicates that, as a result of financial incapacitation, a number of CSOs are in the red in Malawi.
Before coming up with the report, namely 2020 CSOs Sustainability Index, the researchers rated CSOs based on seven dimensions of legal environment, organisational capacity, financial viability, advocacy, service provision, sectoral infrastructure and public image.
Research findings indicate that, as a result of the Covid pandemic, CSOs’ financial standing was weakened, resulting in their failure to implement planned activities.
However, the report observes that the opposite was true for the government.
“For example in 2020 local philanthropists and corporate philanthropic programmes responded to the government’s appeals and donated directly to the government’s pandemic response activities. CSOs in Malawi invest very little effort in raising funds from their communities,” the report reads.
This notwithstanding, the research, which was carried out between 2019 and 2020, scored non-State actors highly on infrastructure, organisational capacity and legal environment.
Presenting the findings in Blantyre, IPOR Deputy Director of Research and Operations Michael Chasukwa called on the CSOs to engage an extra gear in their operations.
“The CSOs have to do more on accountability if they are to win back donor confidence. This was a concern in our research and they also have to improve on financial management,” Chasukwa said.
Henderson Mhango, who represented Human Rights Defenders Coalition, described the findings as an eye-opener.