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A boost for community governance

The National Action Plan for Community Governance launched in August will help boards across 114,000 New Zealand non-governmental organisations, charities and community groups.

type
Article
author
By Institute of Directors
date
23 Sep 2020
arms shaped as the letters us

Work is beginning on the implementation of new ideas to support community governance in New Zealand.

The National Action Plan for Community Governance launched in August by the Centre for Social Impact brings together the expertise of 150 people from across the country, and across the community governance spectrum. It targets seven “outcome areas” (see below) for discussion.

The Centre’s focus will now turn to ensuring the Action Plan is effectively implemented. This will occur in two phases.

The initial “disrupt and support” phase includes the development of a good governance code of practice, campaigns to promote awareness of the vale of community governance and the On Board initiative to deliver basic training to board members when they first take up a role. The plan also calls for the enhancement of resources and opportunities for sharing knowledge across the community.

Phase two, “embed and sustain”, will seek to strengthen the pipeline of talented leaders in the sector, provide opportunities for chairs to support one another, and to promote increased business investment to support the work of community organisations.

In the foreword to the Action Plan, Steering Group Chair Mele Wendt MNZM MInstD and Head of the Centre for Social Impact Monica Briggs note that COVID-19 has put pressure on funding and presented huge challenges to the community sector, which is facing the potential of unprecedented change.

“There is always huge weight placed on those who serve on the governance (boards and committees) of community organisations, especially to make good strategic decisions and navigate changing environments,” they write.

“This Action Plan is for the 500,000 committed community board members serving their communities.”

Seven outcome areas

The Action Plan was developed to answer seven questions on governance capability and effectiveness in the community sector:

  1. How can we ensure all board members have the basic skills and knowledge needed for their governance roles?
  2. How can we ensure boards perform their governance functions well?
  3. How can we ensure community governance is understood and valued?
  4. How can we ensure a pipeline if diverse and talented community leaders become members of NGO and community boards?
  5. How can we ensure best practice in community governance is identified and shared?
  6. How can we ensure the boards of all community organisations are well chaired?
  7. How can we ensure all kaitiaki exhibit and role model the right behaviour needed for success in their governance roles?


Read the plan
The National Action Plan for Community Governance is available in full at centreforsocialimpact.org.nz

 

The article is featured in the August/September issue of Boardroom magazine.

Also see a recording of a webcast held on 16 September 2020 which explored the challenges faced by community trusts and the NFP sector, held in partnership with the Centre for Social Impact.

NFP hub - for passion and purpose

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