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A mostrar mensagens de Julho, 2014

The devil is in the detail: NGO laws

Bond members have undoubtedly encountered what are commonly referred to as ‘NGO laws’, be it the Charity Commission of the UK, the Charities and Societies Agency of Ethiopia or the NGO Secretariat in Sri Lanka. However, having just worked in Ethiopia and now Sri Lanka, two countries that have used ‘NGO laws’ extensively to manage and shape civil society, it is evident they are creating increasingly complex challenges for the development sector.
In Ethiopia, for example, advocacy and ‘rights-based’ work are ruled-out for NGOs who get more than 10% of their income from abroad (just about all NGOs). While in Sri Lanka, NGOs are overseen by the Ministry of Defence and over 600 NGOs have been closed down (nearly half of all NGOs) in the past two years.
Penny Lawrence, International Director of Programmes at Oxfam GB states “NGOs laws are valid in the sense there is a legitimate role for government in coordinating such activities and asserting national authority over what is done. However w…