Paying the Price of Transformation

11 May 2023

Mary Ann Clements and Tim Boyes-Watson wrote this amazing article containing honest and insightful reflections. I think the write-up is very valuable as it describes the real struggles organisations go through. Transformation is not easy (and is not necessarily meant to be). Reading about how ‘shifting the power’ happens in reality is very helpful.

“We recognise, therefore, that INGOs need to do more than transform the way they are led and structured. They also need to transform their funding practices if they are to genuinely share power and work in solidarity.”

“There are some difficult financial withdrawal symptoms from leaving the traditional and highly addictive project-based funding system. How do you sustain the programme staff that you need to design and implement the new participatory grant-making mechanisms, if you don’t keep applying for the next project in every country? And how do programme teams find the time to reimagine and design the future in partnership with indigenous disability rights organisations – if they are stuck on the treadmill of project-funding delivery and reporting timetables?”

InterAction 2023 CEO Insights on NGO Futures: Adapting in a Changing World

23 May 2023

The 2023 InterAction CEO Insights on NGO Futures: Adapting in a changing world report is out. –

It is the sixth time InterAction has asked its members’ CEOs to respond to the NGO Futures Survey. The analysis of the responses of 100 CEOs from different types and shapes of NGOs is contained in the report.
Three key points that summarise the main findings of the report:
1. OPERATING AND FUNDING ENVIRONMENTS ARE CHANGING – And in turn, CEOs are spearheading substantial transformations within their organizations.
2. EVEN ORGANIZATIONS WITH STABLE BUSINESS MODELS ARE UNDERGOING SIGNIFICANT CHANGES TO THOSE MODELS -Half of the surveyed respondents are diversifying their revenue streams, and their organizations are undergoing substantial program changes by adapting existing programs and expanding into new areas of programming.
3. THERE IS A STRONG COMMITMENT TO LOCALLY LED DEVELOPMENT – When it comes to what that looks like, there are differing opinions. But CEOs are rethinking systems and roles and what it means for their own organizations to localize and make changes.

I am glad to read and see that change and transformation are happening. Organisations are critically engaging their purpose and impact and answering the key questions: why should they continue existing? Those are good questions any organisation should ask itself once in a while.