This is a very important message. If voluntary groups are expected to fill gaps being left by government cutbacks, it is important to develop an accurate picture of what they are accountable for and how they can best deal with this responsibility.
Building on Strength addresses what voluntary organizations can do to enhance their own accountability and what needs to be done by donors, funders, and governments. It provides several useful tools for better governance and accountability, including a Good Practice Guide for Governance; sample codes of ethical behaviour and ethical fundraising / financial accountability; and descriptions of several approaches to outcome-based performance assessment.
A new relationship with government
This report and other work of the Voluntary Sector Roundtable are part of a dynamic of change in the relationship between the voluntary sector and the government. Recently 14 federal cabinet ministers met with representatives of the voluntary sector to discuss ways that the government and the sector can work together. At that meeting, the Honourable Pierre Pettigrew, Minister of Human Resources Development, said The governments ability to redress the public finances of the country without major social disruption owes a great deal to the voluntary sector. He went on to conclude that Government and the voluntary sector can do a lot more if they work together. Consultations between the two sectors have begun on three themes: building a new relationship between the government and the voluntary sector, strengthening capacity in the voluntary sector, and improving the regulatory framework.
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