Dutch Government to NGOs: It’s a Hard-Earned Euro!

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Let the recipient NGOs feel that it’s a ‘hard-earned money’ of the Dutch populace, which deserves to be utilized very well, says Primitivo Cabanes Ragandang III from the Philippines.

The Netherlands gained a reputation of being one of the most generous countries of the planet. From a Political Science point of view, it is not a constituent duty of the government to support NGOs. While helping NGOs is just a ministrant function of the state, foreign aid becomes a vital component towards existence and sustainability to many NGOs from the developing countries. In this regard, Dutch government must continue to extend assistance to NGOs. It is a great help to many grassroots communities in developing countries. In effect, development organizations become partners of the government to ‘support budget deficits in implementing projects aiming to alleviate poverty of majority of its population’.

Milking cow
However, the Dutch government must set strong and strict requirements in the selection of recipients. This will not only insure that aid goes to the right beneficiaries but will also give justice to every Euro that a Dutch tax payer gives. I have a Dutch friend and talking about foreign development aid, he commented: “The government gives so much money to other countries, while it keeps rising our taxes.” It is so easy to fabricate reports on the projects done out of development aid, some are even making this as a ‘milking cow’ of boasting personal interest. Therefore, strong monitoring and evaluation scheme must be observed. Dutch embassy in the country can do well in the selection, monitoring, and evaluation of recipient NGOs.

Foreign Aid could be Transfer of Knowledge
Aid could be in the form of money or transfer of knowledge. For the Netherlands known to be flood experts (hail to the century-old canals throughout the Netherlands!), it would be a great idea if expert Dutch engineers can visit Cagayan de Oro City of the Philippines to train industrial and university engineers in mitigating the occurrence of flood (note: this city was hit by a typhoon last December 16, 2011 and left more than 1,000 people dead). There is also one university in the same city (known to be the country’s producer of great engineers), that is flooded at least thrice every year, as water rises as high as eight meters.

Financial Aid be Strictly Monitored
Financial aid is common. This is where strong monitoring and evaluation scheme must be observed. I suggest that a representative from the Netherlands must visit the recipient NGO and check whether the aid goes to the right project. It is so humiliating and disgusting to hear stories of fabricated receipts and fake photos of reports, as well as one project with two financing institutions.
In conclusion, Dutch foreign aid is a product of taxes collected from law abiding Dutch citizens intended to help people from developing countries. It must be monitored very well and let the recipient NGOs feel that it’s a ‘hard-earned money’ of the Dutch populace, thus so deserve to be utilized very well.

Mr. Primitivo C. Ragandang III is the Philippine Director of Dance 4 Peace, a global peace education organization based in New York City, United State of America. He was the founder and Executive Director of MasterPeace Club-The Philippines, a branch of the MasterPeace initiative in Egypt. He has been twice to the Netherlands as the Philippine representative to an international meeting on Millennium Development Goals, Youth Volunteering and Peace Education from developing countries, sponsored by the Netherlands Committee on Sustainable Development and International Cooperation (NCDO), under the Voiceover 2015 program.

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