RATIONALE OF THE SURVEY
There are indeed several compelling reasons why the need for transparency and prudence in financial management in various PLHIV Support Associations. One major reason is that increasingly, funding agencies are complaining of the inefficient financial and project management by PLHIV Support Association in the District. The situation has contributed to the decrease of funding from both external and internal funding agencies. This has led to decline in their objectives, and consequently affecting their clients (PLHIV) who are venerable in society and needs constant care and counseling.
Also the demand for the persons living with HIV/AIDS Support Association in Ga East District increases, it is therefore obligation for the Associations to equipped themselves with the necessary information and skills to be able to carry out projects and programs effectively and efficient and also to make sure that monies received from funding agencies and donor partners goes to the vulnerable population who really needs it.
Secondly the survey will act as baseline for knowing the level of their problem and where to harmer in the training. It will also act as level to measure progress during evaluation.
This section summaries the major findings of the study and would involve the linkages between financial prudence of PLHIV Support Associations’, level of knowledge of financial prudence, financial management, level of budgeting and how these impact on the implementation of their projects.
• Financial prudence, accountability and management are key to the growth and development of NGOs. The study involved PLHIV Associations in the Ga East District of the Greater Accra Region. The study revealed that all the organizations were established after 2001; they are young with majority of them still struggling to find their feet and still struggling to grow.
• On the substantive issue of financial prudence and accountability 61.5% of the organizations do not have staff with formal financial training. This posses a big challenge to smooth running of their organizations. This has made it difficult for them to win the confidence of donor organizations to be able to attract funds for their projects. Specifically in the field of budgeting, auditing and good reporting this is quite technical and need formal training. The reason for this is the organizations are still struggling to grow and are unable to engage the services of people with the requisite qualification.
• Another issue that emerged from the study is that although 92.3% of the organizations appear to understand the requirements of donors, they are unable to tailor their proposals in ways that would win donor support. This again boils down to the issue qualified staff.
• 70% of the organizations agreed that funding to PLHIV support groups have been decreasing and attributed it to the following:
• Lack of adequate transparency and trust;
• Poor reporting on the part of support groups;
• The proliferation fictitious PLHIV support groups; and
• Leaders of the groups not being fair to their members.
• Good project management skills are necessary for the effective implementation and sustainability of projects. The study, however, revealed that 53.8% of the organizations do not have staff trained in project management. They indicated to the researcher that they are able to manage their projects because of knowledge they acquired during workshops.
• Organizations should make staff development a major component of their strategic. This will make them budget for the training requirements of their staff in financial management, proposal writing, auditing and project management. It will go a long way to improve their activities.
• The organizations should network with others to enable some collaboration in their activities. This would enhance their activities.
• Donors should consider building the capacities of their clients’ financial management before giving out funds. If they are interested in a particular project they should budget for training the staff in what exactly they want them to do before releasing the funds for the project.
• The organization should make networking highly important to enable them overcome constraint, to rapidly assimilate and disseminate new information and build up a series of support services to solve problems.
• The organizations to collaborate with government services so as to facilitate regular consultation between the two.
Prepared by Felicai s. Odame (Lecturer, University of Development Studies, Wa Campus)
Sponsored by Open Society for West Africa (OSIWA)