What came to your mind when you saw “watchdog?” A dog that watches over people? Well, if that was what entered your mind, you are not far from the real definition. Watchdog groups are organizations that critically monitor the activities of the government or leaders in a community. Their aim is to report back to the public when they detect actions that go against their interest.
Many different watchdog organizations that exist. In your neighborhood, you might have a small-town resident who attends and makes notes at every community meeting. Such individual might take the notes to the leaders in the community as the deliberations of the people. Also, some persons or organizations are set up to monitor a single corporation to ensure it does not illegally spew pollutants into the environment. We are sure there are many things you don’t know about watchdog groups. Here are some things you should be aware of:
- There are watchdog groups for every sector: A free and fair government has their activities checked by opposition groups. These opposition groups act as a watchdog. For instance, if the current ruling party is involved in illegal things which will adversely affect the interest of the people who elected them, they will act as a whistleblower. So, many news you see from opposition parties are sometimes as a result of them acting as a watchdog. Every sector in the work industry has a watchdog organization that checks the activities of the leaders.
- Watchdog groups don’t focus only on the local community: Many groups are set up to watch the activities of local organizations. However, some groups focus on the global effect of the activities of the institution. For instance, some facilities that are involved in activities that can cause environmental pollution exist. A watchdog organization might be more concerned about the effect their activities has on the globe, such as the effect on the ozone layer.
- Residential watchdogs are mostly established for the detection of crime: Have you ever been in a neighborhood that had series of crimes committed? When this happens, most of the residents come together to set up a watchdog group. The function of the watchdog group is to protect the members of the society and to catch the perpetrator of such crimes.
5 Benefits of Watchdog Groups on the Public
Watchdog groups are not only necessary for organizations. They are also needed for the public. Think about this questions: what would be your opinion if the activities of government were not checked? How would you feel if they were allowed to do anything they want without anybody calling them out? Now, let us tell you some benefits you should be aware of:
- Transparent dealings: the primary advantage of watchdog group is there will be transparent dealings between the leaders and anybody they are in business with. The essence of these groups is what had made many leaders who have illegal offshore accounts discoverable. If you cannot be transparent as a leader, there is a 100% possibility that the society will impeach you.
- Protection from endangerment: The truth is members of the public need protection. If you are not protected from danger, many external bodies would be able to attack you. Now, with a watchdog organization, you can be assured that of safety from danger.
- Protection from discrimination: Those who are members of a minority group in the nation needs an organization that protects them from discrimination. This group is also involved in making sure the majority members in the society don’t infringe on their rights.
- Representation of public interest: Every sect in the community has their worries. They want the problems to be solved. A watchdog organization takes note of the concerns of each sect and represents their interest to the leaders. Automatically, some problems have the tendency of being solved instantly.
- Monitoring actions and policies: The first function of watchdog groups is to observe how laws, actions, and policies affect members of the society. There are some groups whose main purpose is to challenge governmental bodies. They have the experience, the backing, and the personnel to take action once the rights of members of the public are violated.
How to Become a Member of the Watchdog Groups
Now that you know the benefits of the watchdog groups in the community, you might consider being a member. There are many things you should take into consideration. We will discuss some of them as we tell you how to become a member of any watchdog organization:
- Do your research: acting as a watchdog is demanding. Watchdogs are always involved in constant research. It’s one part of the membership that never ends. You need to learn many things to be able to give an adequate explanation of the history and background of the organization you are concerned about. As we discussed earlier, many of them have different goals. Make sure you choose one that interests you. That way, you will be more efficient, and you will be fighting for a cause you believe in.
- Make sure you meet the requirements: The majority of the organizations in America have certain guidelines for people that want to become their member. The most important criteria is age. You cannot be a watchdog member unless you are at least 18 years old. There are also other requirements such as the level of education you must have acquired. Doing your research will reveal all those things to you.
- Signify your interest: Many watchdog groups are always looking for more people to join in them. However, they cannot know who has interest and who doesn’t. After doing your research signify your intention to become a part of the organization. Send a letter or talk to one of the members that are there already.
The truth is watchdog groups are beneficial to all of us in the society. As a member, you will be exposed to newer things than you are used to. You will learn more skills than you already have. If you have a cause you believe in, join a watchdog group that fights for it. Fight for yourself. Fight for others.
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