In 2001, in collaboration with BoardSource, Washington DC, DARC undertook a study of the structures and practices of NGO governance in Nigeria. The study was part of a larger project to document NGO governance practices in West Africa. The outcome of the study confirmed that Nigeria, like other developing countries, had witnessed rapid growth in the non-governmental sector but organizational governance was largely rated poorly. NGO boards in Nigeria at the time served more as a registration requirement than a functional governance role. Board membership comprised friends and family of founders with little thought given to the value-add of the board candidate and to diversity.
In response to these findings the DARC/BoardSource partnership sought to strengthen the governance practices of the sector through programming that sensitizes organizations to the principles and best practices of good governance, the roles and responsibilities of governing boards, and the importance of upholding the public trust as one of the fundamental bases for institutional development.
DARC’s governance program has since become a core institution building strategy and the organization has, over the past 18 years, conducted board assessments, orientation and development exercises for some of Nigeria’s leading NGOs and facilitated board development training for over 93 NGOs in Nigeria.