INGOs can still avoid the fate of dinosaurs

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My aim was simply to offer an opportunity to think a bit about the future of international not for profit organizations in the country. Ultimately I believe there is a pathway for them to avoid a natural extinction but Darwinism is going to be strong. Here few suggestions:

-Adopt a “Turbo Accountability” Approach

INGOs should do much more to open up and show the great things they are doing but also what they are doing less well. Real, in depth Social Audits should become a normal habit. What’s wrong to share the salaries scale? Is there anything to be ashamed of? I guess not as long as you are able to deliver. Right to Information approach should also be endorsed and mainstreamed into daily practices.

-Start a real conversation

It might be that the status quo will persist for long but at the same time INGOs could think a bit about new ways to operate in the county. They should look at their role. Why are so many people making so much noise about them? Instead of rejecting always criticism, INGOs should start a real conversation with the Government, local NGO federations and donors about the future of development aid in the country.

-Show your real value for money

INGOs have been providing a terrific support to the Nation. There is no doubt about it. Are INGOs really indispensible? If they are, then they need to show how and why. Organizational Development and partnership support are two real gems. How much were INGOs able to capitalize on them?

-Can the Donors be the impartial referee?

Donors have a unique position to facilitate the government in shaping up a comprehensive new approach to development. The new aid policy is full of inadequacies. We need something much more far-sighted, something bold and able to shape the future of aid in the country. Donors have been “using” INGOs for years and now it is time to assess and review the achievements and shortcomings. Just dumping them would not be fair. Ultimately donors can help the Government to ask itself: how can we make the best use of not for profit sector to deliver social policies and development? How can we do away with the existing fragmentation? How to entrust the not for profit sector (here it could include national and international) with key responsibilities to create a “well being” society?  

INGOs can adopt/adjust or become less and less relevant. INGOs have been set up to bring positive change to the society. Let’s think on new ways and models to make partnerships for development a win win. Let’s think aloud about new scenarios and opportunities. After all aid is just a means.

Position: Co -Founder of ENGAGE,a new social venture for the promotion of volunteerism and service and Ideator of Sharing4Good

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