Bono on Twaweza … a controversy
On his January 2nd, 2010, article titled People Power and the Upside-Down Pyramid, Bono (US celebrity) extols on the work of Twaweza, an entity that promotes citizen agency in bringing about positive change in societal organization. On the one hand, the column , http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/03/opinion/03bono.html ushers in criticism from author of a blog called http://swahilistreet.wordpress.com while on the other pulls support from Owen, on his website http://www.owen.org/ who is happy about Bono’s comments.
While the general criticism on how some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) operate, especially in Developing Countries, is valid, still it is important to scrutinize individual organisation’s operations and level of transparency within that particular organization. Transparency is key in ensuring that an entity is up to its objectives and has not deviated from them.
Modern means of communication offer us with ample opportunities to follow up on the activities of a targeted entity. When transparency is lacking in an organization – that is when it is important to double efforts on how we monitor its functionality. So far Twaweza has been transparent enough, as far as I’m concerned. It is this element that we first need to weigh whether it is up to standard or not.
I find that Twaweza’s targets of improving imagination, citizen agency and people’s accountability is a positive initiative that will surely bring in the much needed change in societal organization, particularly in the developing world. Above all, it is an entity that cherishes the art of learning and sharing the lessons learned. In doing that, flexibility is an important tool. All in all, it is also time to clear out the weeds in the farm so that only the crops remain.