Many non-governmental organizations, especially in low-income countries, experience several challenges that interfere with their functionality and existence, and this makes sustainability a major concern that many continue to grapple with. The majority of them depend on funds received from donor organizations, which significantly affect their finances and organizational development, among other things.

These problems dramatically hinder development and further create obstacles to the enhancement of civil motivation in young people and the involvement of youth in organizational groups.

It is against this background that, through the Power to Youth program, the Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum, with support from Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU), organized a five-day training for its board members and management team to enhance their knowledge of governance, sustainability, resource mobilization strategy, resource management, and organizational growth.

The training held from May 2nd to May 5th, 2023, at Admas Grand Hotel, Entebbe, brought together 16 participants, including board members, the team leader (virtually), the deputy team leader, administrative assistants, the program manager, the fiancé team, advocacy and campaign officers, and the human resource manager, among others.

During the training, the facilitator emphasized the need for board members and the management team to understand and distinguish between their roles for the organization to run efficiently.

“The organizational environment is very competitive, so the institution’s board needs clear direction and good leadership, a consistent flow of thought from vision and mission down to strategic plans and streamlined structures, comprehensive policies and procedures, and operational practices to survive,” said Mr. Mukwanya Julius, one of the facilitators.

He further explained that the management team plays a supporting role by translating the plans and strategies approved by governing board members into result-oriented action, pointing out that many organizations are failing due to poor leadership and management.

“When organizations set and follow systems and procedures in place, this ensures that financial oversight, risk management, and internal control systems aren’t overlooked,” Mukwanya added.

He emphasized that the major aspects to be overseen by the board are financial regulations, accountabilities, budgeting, risk management, the internal control system, and resource mobilization, among others.

Mr. Chekweko Jackson, the executive director of RHU, while facilitating another session, explained that financial regulations should stipulate who is responsible for maintaining financial records and preparing reports, a scheme of authority delegation, and financial procedures for budgeting, salary payments, procurement, income, bank accounts, and signing the authorization, among others.

“While the controls put in place should be sensible in terms of the materiality of the area to be controlled, capable of being executed with minimal administrative effort, and able to be monitored whenever possible by the executive director and the governing body,” Chekweko added,