Communication: An avenue for showcasing accountability and transparency for Nonprofits

Communication: An avenue for showcasing accountability and transparency for Nonprofits

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To quote the famous musician Drake in the song Poetic Justice “They say communication saves relations”. Every human relationship starts with communication of interests, wants or needs and the best of them thrive on communicating openly and sincerely. 

Communication and relationships are fundamental to human existence. Due to this, we have developed complex cultures, systems and societies around them. These two form the foundation of every human institution. 

Just as meaningful relationships on the personal level are formed on openness and candidness, long-lasting organisational relationships are built on the same foundation with a different label called accountability and transparency. In both cases, it is the way we communicate that determines the lifespan of the relationship. 

Accountability and transparency are related but distinct concepts. Accountability refers to the responsibility of an organisation or individual to provide a detailed account of their actions and decisions to stakeholders. This can involve providing information on how funds and resources are used, and how decisions are made. 

On the other hand, transparency refers to the quality of being open and honest in communication and operations. A transparent organisation provides information about its operations and decision-making processes in a clear and accessible way and is open to scrutiny and feedback from stakeholders. 

Accountability and transparency are important for organisations to build trust and credibility with stakeholders and demonstrate their commitment to responsible and ethical operations. By being accountable and transparent, organisations can show that they are accountable for their actions and decisions and are open to feedback and improvement. 

Nonprofits can use communication as a tool for accountability in several ways. For example, they can use communication to share updates and information about their work and its impact on the community. This can help to engage supporters and potential donors, and to show them the progress the organisation is making towards its goals. 

Additionally, nonprofits can use communication to be transparent and accountable in their operations. For example, they can use communication channels like their website, social media, and newsletters to share information about their finances and governance, and to provide updates on how they are using funds and resources. This can help to build trust with supporters and donors and to demonstrate the organisation’s commitment to accountability and transparency. 

Another way that nonprofits can use communication as a tool for accountability is by soliciting feedback and input from stakeholders. For example, they can use communication channels to ask for input from supporters, donors, and members of the community on the organisation’s work and plans. This can help to ensure that the nonprofit is meeting the needs and priorities of the community, and to make any necessary adjustments to its operations. 

Overall, effective communication is an important tool for nonprofits to be accountable and transparent in their operations and to build trust and engagement with supporters and donors. By using communication effectively, nonprofits can demonstrate their commitment to accountability and engage stakeholders in their work.

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14 Comments

  1. Ewurama Diana

    Says April 01, 2023 at 6:16 pm

    This write-up is great. I believe that communication is a two edged sword that can either make or unmake an organisation. Grassroot organisations really need to sharpen their communication tool.

    • Jimm Chick

      Says April 20, 2023 at 10:06 am

      Thank you for your feedback. We very much appreciate your spot on perspective on communication being a two-edged sword. We hope many organisations can take note of this insightful remark.

  2. Josephine Ogazi

    Says April 01, 2023 at 6:36 pm

    Greetings this was a well articulated message on the importance of communication Dr Josephine ED, WEWE

    • Jimm Chick

      Says April 20, 2023 at 10:06 am

      Thank you for your feedback. We very much appreciate.

  3. Kojo Pieterson

    Says April 01, 2023 at 6:50 pm

    Is organisations really serious about transparency?In Ghana,it is a mirage and even when you are being offered a service if you insist on certain details it is ignored.And the institutions you report to also don’t care.

    • Jimm Chick

      Says April 20, 2023 at 10:08 am

      Wow, your opening statement is interesting. Would you be interested in sharing some tips on how organisations can be more transparent, we can publish it as a blog piece on this platform. You can write to communications@wacsi.org

  4. Sinneh Lahai Sen Sesay

    Says April 01, 2023 at 8:51 pm

    Thank you for sending me a learning materials which can empower communication ethics.

  5. Mustapha Jarju

    Says April 02, 2023 at 12:20 am

    The message is clear and educative, that can broaden ones knowledge on the importance of communication and how communication can help in bringing effective coordination of an institutional development.

    For an effective information, there must be a good communication skill.

    • Jimm Chick

      Says April 20, 2023 at 10:14 am

      Amazing feedback. We are happy to read this from you and we invite you to keep visiting our blog platform and read more of these insightful pieces. We also have interesting articles in the Newsroom section, the publications section and the success stories section of the website you can explore. Do let us know which of these resources you find most useful to your work. Thank you.

  6. Robert Abana

    Says April 02, 2023 at 11:38 am

    Good morning ,
    The content is accurate, straigh forward and it Awould be very useful in our activities during discussions with stakeholders.
    To use our news letters ect for transparency and accountability etc to our stakeholders, is something new to learn from this document.
    In summary, is great and we would always reffer to it for guidance.
    Thank you and best regards to you all.
    Robert.

  7. Isaac Ijafiya

    Says April 05, 2023 at 5:35 am

    For safe learning to take place there should be a accurate medium of communication, which is a medium of conversation between one another. Communication is an essential tools for accounterbility and transparency. For learning to take place an organization set – up, there should be a accurate medium of communication.

  8. JosephAkhor Sakyimante

    Says April 07, 2023 at 6:07 pm

    Great exposition on positive application of communication. An issue however arises when the subtle negative application of communication, viz miscommunication may have to be addressed under the legitimacy of “confidentiality.”
    How may confidentiality and miscommunication be seen as complimentary and permissible bed fellows, or might need to be perceived as obstructive, stifling progress and night need to part company, please?

  9. Olanike Olugboji-Daramola

    Says April 10, 2023 at 8:04 am

    This is a very insightful and handy piece. I particularly like the idea of creating avenues for stakeholder feedback. Our organization will certainly integrate the learnings.

  10. Jimm Chick

    Says April 20, 2023 at 10:12 am

    Thank you for this feedback. We will be excited to know how you use this for your discussions with stakeholders and how you further apply some of the knowledge gained from this article. Also, if you have some insights to share with us for publication, do write to communications@wacsi.org and we will discuss further on how to go about this. Thanks once again and keep visiting our blog and sharing your views on those articles that are relevant to your work.

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FIIFI BOATENG

Fiifi is a Ghanaian and currently serves as Communications and Information Officer at the West Africa Civil Society Institute. He joined the Institute in December 2020.

NANCY KANKAM KUSI

Nancy is a Ghanaian and currently serves as Programme Officer in the Knowledge Management unit at the West Africa Civil Society Institute. She joined the Institute in January 2021.

AGNES ADWOA ANIMA

Agnes is a Ghanaian and currently serves as Head of the Administration unit in the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She joined the Institute in October 2021.

DORIS ODEI

Doris holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social sciences (Economics and Sociology) from the University of Cape Coast. She is passionate about impacting young lives hence co-founded Impart Foundation. A non-profit organization which seeks to empower young lives through education, technology and entrepreneurship.

PRINCE AKOWUAH

Prince Akowuah is a Ghanaian and currently the Programme Assistant in the Translation Unit at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She joined the Institute in 2020.

MAXWELL APENTENG

Maxwell Apenteng is a Ghanaian and joined WACSI in September 2010. He provides gardening and janitorial services at the Institute.

GEORGE ADU-MINTAH

George Adu-Mintah is a Ghanaian and currently the Protocol Assistant/Driver at the West Africa Civil Society (WACSI). He joined the Institute in October 2006.

IBRAHIM KWAKU GBADAGO

Ibrahim Kwaku Gbadago is a Ghanaian. He joined the Institute in 2008 and provides janitorial services and assisting the institute's errands. Before joining the Institute, he worked at the Palestinian embassy in Accra, Ghana.

RUTH YAKANA

Ruth Yakana is from Cameroon and currently the Receptionist at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She joined the Institute in 2020.

BETHEL KWAME BOATENG

Bethel is a Ghanaian. He provides technical and IT related support to the Institute. He joined the Institute in October 2006.

WHITNAY SEGNONNA

Whitnay Segnonna holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Management from the University of Benin. With 2 years of experience, she has a strong knowledge of organizational and project management. Combined with her bilingualism, she is very passionate about her work. She joined WACSI as Project Assistant on Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) for the Capacity Development Unit.

STELLA YAWA WOWOUI

Stella Yawa Wowoui holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Translation Studies. She has a perfect grasp of both French and English, as well as an intermediate level in Spanish. She is currently working as a Project Assistant on the Techsoup Project.

KWAME ASANTE

Kwame is an experienced IT Consultant/Software Developer. He is skilled in Web Applications Development, Digital Security, Database Management, Digital Marketing and Brand Management. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Information Technology and is a Microsoft Programme Alumni. He is currently serving as a Marketing and IT Officer on the Techsoup Project.

GRACE AKPENE ZIGGAH

Grace Akpene Ziggah is a Togolese and currently the Logistics Officer and also assists in administration duties at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She joined the Institute in June 2009.

LILLIAN DAFEAMEKPOR

Lilian Dafeamekpor is a Ghanaian and currently the Assistant to the Executive Director at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She joined the Institute in 2020.

JOHN P. FRINJUAH

John P. Frinjuah has expertise and interests in civil society, international development, democracy and governance, conflict, crisis, and security. He has extensive experience working with civil society and international development organizations where he supported and managed research, programmes, and provided technical assistance on a variety of themes around public policy, governance, and development. He is an alumnus of the University of Ghana and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy - Tufts University in the United States, with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from two institutions respectively. John speaks English, French and several Ghanaian and regional West Africa languages.

GERVIN CHANASE

Gervin has extensive international development experience, including 5 years of policy advocacy and capacity building of grass root organisations. He has implemented over the years a combination of agriculture value chain, livelihood, food security and governance and rights programmes.
Prior to joining WACSI, Gervin worked on two USAID projects focusing on agriculture value chain development and governance in northern Ghana
Gervin holds a master’s degree in development & Governance from the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany as well as a Masters in Global Studies from the Universities of Vienna (Austria), Leipzig (Germany) and California (Santa Barbara), USA. He is passionate social justice and inclusion.

LEANDRE BANON

Leandre Banon, Beninese, joined WACSI in September 2014 as Capacity Development Programme Assistant. Since then, he has worked in various units within the Institute to support operational and institutional capacity strengthening programmes for civil society in the region. Currently serving as Capacity Development Programme Officer at WACSI, his main responsibilities involve designing, planning, implementing and monitoring capacity development programmes for civil society constituents and grouping across the West Africa. Leandre is a certified Change the Game Academy Programme Trainer. His background lies in the areas of economics and development planning.

SAMUEL APPIAH

Samuel Appiah is a Ghanaian and currently the Programme Officer in the Finance and Administrative Unit at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). He joined the Institute in May, 2016.

JIMM CHICK FOMUNJONG

Jimm Chick Fomunjong, Cameroonian, joined WACSI in May 2018 as the Head of the Knowledge Management and Communication Units of the Institute. He has over ten years’ experience as a journalist and a development communications expert. He has a vast experience in supporting African organisations to strengthen their internal and external communications, building and sustaining relationships with the media and, leveraging on the power of social media to promote their mission. He is also excellent at supporting organisations to set up and operationalise functional communications and knowledge management systems. He has a deep passion and expertise in supporting Africans and African civil society organisations to document their praxis, share and learn from experiences documented from the African civil society sector.

FRANCK A. SOMBO

Franck Sombo is a development practitioner with the drive to lead self and others to influence productivity and efficiency. His work involves supporting organisations to develop strategic plans, design monitoring and evaluation systems, develop and use relevant performance measurement tools to track progress, assess organizational growth and institutionalise learning. Franck has eight years of experience working with WACSI where he currently serves as the Head, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning. His academic qualifications include Masters in Organisations’ and Projects’ Management, and in Business Sciences and a High National Diploma in Finance and Accounting.

Franck is a Fellow of the International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET) and a graduate of the Graduate Training Institute (GTI) - Ghana with specialization in Strategic Management and Corporate Leadership. He has a rich experience in Project Management, Capacity Development, Strategic planning, Data Analytics, Monitoring and Evaluation, Training and Facilitation, Mentoring and Coaching among others.

OMOLARA T. BALOGUN

Omolara is a development practitioner and advocacy strategist with over 15 years of progressive experience in development programming targeted at strengthening civil society in West Africa.

She joined WACSI in November 2009 as a Regional Advocacy Consultant and later became the first Policy Advocacy Officer of the Institute in 2010.

She was promoted to Head of the Policy Influencing and Advocacy (PIA) Unit in 2015. As the Head of the PIA unit, Omolara offers strategic direction to the Institutes’ ambitions to connect and convene groups of organised and organic civil society actors; and influence regional and global discourses on crosscutting policy issues including—civil society regulations, sustainable development goals, civic space and enabling environment, aid effectiveness, gender equality, and civil society accountability.

Previously, Omolara served as a Programmes Associate with the Women in Peace and Security Network-Africa (WIPSEN-Africa), where she worked with her team to design and implement pan-African programmes on—multidimensional peace support operations and gender mainstreaming in security sector reform in Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.

She also served as a Service Development Marshal at TVQ Consulting Group, a customer service firm focused on designing strategic customer relationship and business growth plans for private and public financial institutions in Nigeria.

Omolara is a social justice advocate, a network weaver, and a convener. She has a postgraduate degree in Peace and Conflict Studies; a degree in International Relations and History, from the University of Ibadan and Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria respectively.

She also holds executive certificates in Behavioral Science in Public Policy from Harvard University Executive Education in Cambridge and in Citizen Advocacy from the Coady International Institute, St Francis Xavier University in Canada.

KWABENA KRODUAH

Kwabena Kroduah is a Ghanaian and currently heads the Finance Unit at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). He joined the Institute in January 2008.

CHARLES KOJO VANDYCK

Charles currently serves as the Head of the Capacity Development Unit at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). Charles has over 10 years of experience working in international development and social justice issues in Africa. Charles has expertise in strengthening civil society and public agencies including the design and implementation of governance and leadership programmes, development of knowledge pieces and policy advice. Charles was the founding Board Chair of Innovation for Change (i4C)-Hub Afrique, as well as the founding member of the International Consortium on Closing Civic Space (iCon), an initiative of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC. Charles currently serves as the Member of the Governing Board (Coordination Collective) of Africans Rising. He is a Member of the Development Studies Association, United Kingdom. Charles is a 2017 Stanford University Fellow for Nonprofit Leaders and a certified Change the Game Resource Mobilisation Trainer.

NANA ASANTEWA AFADZINU

Nana Afadzinu is a Ghanaian and currently serves as the Executive Director of the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She joined the Institute in October 2010.