Compliance with the Principles of Governance for NGOs
within the Egyptian Capital Market Association (ECMA)
 

 

I. Defining the Concept

According to the survey conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the term Governance refers to prudent management. The concept is a product of an emerging global culture that supports the increased involvement of the different civil society sectors with the government in formulating and implementing public policies. It is a reflection of the interaction between the state, civil society, and the private sector to achieve sustainable development.

Researchers at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have put together the principles of good governance as follows:

1. Respecting the Rule of Law and Fairness.
2. Transparency.
3. Responsiveness towards all parties.
4. Consensus Orientation regarding public benefit.
5. Equality between men and women.
6. Efficient, Effective, and Optimum Use of Resources.
7. Accountability of all parties: the government private sector civil society within each other.
8. Strategic Vision and Crisis Management.
9. Efficiency in Providing Services.
10. Legitimacy and being accepted by all.
11. Enablement and empowerment for stakeholders.
12. Tolerance and appreciating the opposite view.
13. Strengthening Communication Mechanisms with stakeholders.
14. Participation.
15. Capability in the Mobilization of Resources for social welfare.
II. Governance Indicators in Non-Governmental Organizations

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) must incorporate the values and trends of governance in their institutional structure. These can be determined as: the ability to raise funds, internal democracy, accountability, and enablement.

1. Ability to raise funds for the organization

Raising the necessary funds for operation is the primary difficulty faced by non-governmental organizations (NGOs). This is particularly challenging in light of scarce resources and a lack of accurate accounting systems in addition to different opinions between donors and NGOs. There are also legal restrictions often imposed on foreign sources of funding. Therefore, good governance of NGOs for financing requires a look at the sources and an ability to secure their continuity as well as availability of alternative sources. In addition a sound accounting system must be established.

2. Participation and Internal Democracy

An NGO's ability to mobilize individuals' and organizations' efforts and attract them to become members is an important measure of its institutional capacities and its ability to achieve internal democratic governance. There are three levels in this regard. The first is the level of participation, which refers to the number of members, their attendance of meetings, their participation in sub-committees, and their regular payment of membership fees. The second is the elite turnover rate, which indicates the rate of change of the NGO's leaders through fair and competitive periodic elections. The third level involves the rate of female participation in NGOs.

3. Accountability and Transparency

Accountability and transparency go hand in hand within an NGO. Any progress achieved with either of the two issues leads to the improvement of the other simultaneously. Accountability means an organization's leadership will report the details of its activities to several parties: the government, stakeholders, donors, and members. Transparency refers to free access to information including all details of operation inside the NGO as well as sources of funding, relations with donors, government, and other NGOs.

4. Enablement and Human Resources Development

Enablement within the NGO context refers to improving the members' and employees' access to available resources. On one level there is managerial empowerment which promotes the organization to make decisions throughout the institution. There is also skills enablement which involves the transfer of skills and providing the necessary resources to work in an environment of trust and self-reliance. Finally there is the ability to affect political decision-making, referred to as political enablement.

III. Compliance with the Principles of Governance at ECMA

The Egyptian Capital Market Association (ECMA) announces its commitment to the principles of NGO Governance. This is clear through the following indicators:

1. ECMA's Resource Indicators

  ECMA is self-financed by its members and does not receive any donations from others than its members. In other words, ECMA relies on diverse and continuing sources of financing.
 ECMA maintains an accurate accounting system.

2. Participation and Internal Democracy Indicators

ECMA's members currently include 168 organizations (a total of 468 representatives) and 63 individuals engaged in the different activities within the capital market.
The members elect ECMA's board of directors for a six-year term in a way that a third of board's members are renewed every two years.
Female members in ECMA amount to 40 organizational representatives and six individuals.

3. Accountability and Transparency Indicators

The board of directors drafts a detailed report on ECMA's activities every year. In addition there are periodic newsletters that highlight achievements in a continuing manner.
ECMA's website provides access to all the information related to its membership, activities, as well as the progress of operations.

4. Empowerment and Human Resources Development Indicators

ECMA employs a highly qualified administrative team led by a fulltime Executive Director who effectively cooperates with the Board of Directors to successfully lead the organization.
ECMA enjoys strong relations with the different regulatory authorities and its opinion is frequently sought on matters important to the capital market and its players.