I recently facilitated an exchange seminar for VENRO on the allocation of #overheadcosts between INGO and local partners. It was fascinating to hear about the perspectives of local partners and how some don’t receive any overhead costs. If they do, many feel they have little agency to negotiate the rate or percentage. There was also an acknowledgement on the part of some LNGOs that they need to do more to understand the details of what constitutes overhead costs in their organisations.
Listening to the INGO perspective offered interesting insights into how they struggle to develop a fair and inclusive overhead policy and how the pressures from their funders often limit their ability to find more equitable models of overhead sharing. Critical questions were raised about how to fill the funding gaps of overhead costs. For one of the sessions, Tim Boyes-Watson joined, presenting on the Fair Recovery of Support or Overhead Costs.
Resource and research conducted by Humentum were spot on and helped contextualise the topic.
Takeaways from the seminar:
· There is a need to lobby and build coalitions to mobilise for systemic changes on overhead costs.
· ‘We are not alone’ – many organisations are in the same boat regarding overheads.
· There is a need to share templates and guidelines on how to calculate overhead costs and how to include overhead costs in restricted budgets and overhead policy templates.
· Power relations and cultural differences play an essential role in the overhead discussion. NGO partners in some contexts might not be comfortable asking or negotiating concerning overheads.
· There is a lack of strategies and policies regarding overhead allocations.
· Platforms and sessions to discuss the ‘nuts and bolds’ of overhead costs are needed.
Thank you, Karoline Kraehling and VENRO for the opportunity to facilitate such an important discussion.
#overhead #ingo #decolonisation #NGO #LNGO
Photo – Unsplash