The Zambian Government takes cognizance of the increasing role NGOs play in Zambia’s social, economic and political transformation and the process of globalization and how these transformations impact on the relevance and responsiveness to the needs and aspirations of the people of Zambia. Therefore, the Government acknowledges that these ends can be achieved through a professional NGO sector that is built on the core values of transparency, accountability and good governance, Hence the birth of the Department of Registrar for Non-Governmental Organizations.
The Department of Registrar for NGOs was established under Section 8 of the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) Act No. 16 of 2009. The Act was enacted to provide for registration and coordination of NGOs in Zambia. The purpose was to have an effective, efficient and well-coordinated NGO Sector that contributes to sustainable national development while at the same time promoting commitment, transparency, accountability, mutual respect, and trust among development partners. The Department was formed in 2011 and was operationalized in 2012.
To provide for Registration and Co-ordination of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) for enhancement of Transparency, Accountability and Performance of NGOs in Contributing to National Development.
The Department is headed by the Registrar of NGOs and it has two (2) sections, namely, the Registration and Standards Sections as well as a Documentation Unit.
The Registration section is responsible for undertaking the following functions: –
The standards Section is responsible for undertaking the following specific functions:
The NGO Registration Board is established under section five of the NGO Act No. 16 of 2009. The primarily function of the Board is to provide for registration and regulation of NGOs in Zambia as well as to advise Government on the Activities of NGOs and their role in the development process.
The Board shall consist of fifteen part-time members as follows;
The Council of NGOs is established under Section 30 of the NGO Act No. 16 of 2009. The functions of the Council are as follows:
(a) develop, adopt and administer the Code of Conduct for Non-Governmental Organisations;
(b) facilitate and coordinate the work of non-governmental organisations operating in Zambia; and
(c) perform any other functions relevant for purposes of the Act as the Congress may determine.
In line with section 30(2) of the NGO Act, 2009, the current Council of NGOs is composed of 12 members elected during the 2018 Congress of NGOs. The Chairperson heads the Council of NGOs. All the 10 provinces are represented in the Council.
The Council of NGOs Secretariat is hosted within the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services with an Officer from the Department seconded to provide Administrative functions
The following are the functions of the NGO Council;