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Strengthening civil society
Improving governance and efficiency

As part of the Mountain Societies Development Support Programme, a Community Health Promoter in Darootkorgon, Gulzada, Kyrgyz Republic, instructs young mothers on preventative measures against Iodine Deficiency Diseases (IDD). IDDs are a cause of goitre and mental retardation.

Although democracy has been growing in the developing world, the UN still categorises 40 percent of its member states as “failed democracies”. It has become clear to many governments that successful states require more than the introduction of democratic elections and political parties. Civil society, particularly indigenous NGOs, must play a central role in promoting good governance and accountability.

But to be effective, NGOs must be well-run and well-governed themselves. They must operate under a code of ethics and governance that stresses accountability so that resources are not wasted. They must also have a quantifiable impact on development challenges, as measured against well-recognised indicators, such as infant and maternal mortality, literacy and the reduction in the incidence of disease. Increasing community participation is also vital to progress.

To help these organisations become effective and self-reliant, AKDN offers resources and training for essential administrative skills such as record-keeping, accounting and methods of good governance. It also helps communities to lobby for change by working in collaboration with other villages when liaising with the government.