Over the last two to three years, NGOs in Kyrgyzstan have increasingly been considering issues of legitimacy and accountability to their target groups. NGOs in Kyrgyzstan are facing a number of fundamental questions, including: How to build relations with a state that exhibits an increasing tendency to criticise NGO activity? How to improve one’s public image and credibility in the eyes of the general population? How to convince both target groups and donor organisations that NGO activity is effective and has a real impact on the development of the country? So far, no coherent responses have emerged from within the NGO sector, but NGOs have come to realise that answers to these questions will have to be found.
This study analysed the NGO sectors’ existing comprehension of accountability and its mechanisms, and the degree to which NGOs understand the implications of, and are willing to address, issues of legitimacy and social responsibility. The study produced recommendations to NGOs on how to improve their accountability to target groups and the community at large. The broad conclusion is that, if NGOs intend to continue to position
themselves as democratic institutions of civil society and as checks and counterbalances to the state, they must appreciate the need to provide an example of good governance, transparency, legitimacy and responsibility to target groups and society in general.