Action on the ground to help the helpless and voiceless in societies appears to be the noble objective behind the creation of non-governmental organisations across the world. In Western communities, the tradition of the civil society or non-governmental organisations is so developed and structured that many count on them for salutary solutions to problems of oppression and
free expression. These are noble objectives that NGOs have over the years identified themselves with. Those that they vouch for quickly find solace in their activities and identify with their actions. While it is however, understood that States must not readily accept international non-governmental organisations as they are, views differ on their actions on the ground. Talking to some specialists in international affairs, those who look at a performance assessment framework for NGO seek to explain the core factors behind the ability of international non-governmental organisations to carry out their mission. Others operating from the constructivist position equally accept the notion that international organisations are actors in their own right and accept the institutionalist claim that they are limited by the rules, procedures, and unwritten dynamics of the interactions with member States. Moreover, few analysts do contest the fact that member states exercise influence over international organisations by endowing them with certain means, including their formal status, functions or mandate, and financing arrangements. Although this influence may not necessarily be as stifling as it has been declared by some, the performance of international organisations is also undoubtedly determined by a set of capabilities – internal organisational capacities over which states have little power. Arguably, no one would deny that the performance of non-governmental organisations is determined by the presence of both the means to address the challenges at hand and the capabilities to do so. Yet, certain components of organisational design such as ??form, function, and financing are the means to achieve effectiveness??. The recent debate in Cameroon over the veracity of facts by international non-governmental organisations on officials in the country, especially the Head of State, has led to questions about the hidden agendas behind non-governmental organisation. In effect, an international NGO reportedly Catholic, published a list of African personalities against whom suspicion of corruption was heavy. Without, clearly saying how, they presented a series of newspaper publications in the country as their source of evidence. Many have doubted such information, even if they were to go only back the origin of the publication. Although they are internationally recognised, using culls from newspapers in the country as their sources of information on such sensitive issues, is enough call for concern given that such news organs find difficulties sourcing their information. This has also led many to wonder whether international non-governmental organisations do not at times allow themselves to be taken hostage by personal ambitions of some of their members. It could be an unfortunate glide down a faulty road should such suspicions be confirmed in the activities of non-organisations across the globe.
Richard KWANG KOMETA, CT