Business practices in INGOs – good idea, or bad?

In the wake of the massive, worldwide response to the Ethiopia famine in 1984 and 1985, international development organizations grew in size, and began to attract increased public scrutiny.  As a result, consciously or not, we began to adopt many private-sector practices, and to import a number of basic for-profit cultural influences.  Has this been good for our sector, or bad?

Based on my own experience, I think the answer is mixed: in some ways the systems and ways of working and viewing the world that we imported from the business world were of crucial help as we scaled up in the 1990’s and beyond.  But in a number of fundamental ways, these influences have undermined the effectiveness of our agencies, and the sector in general.

In 2010 I presented a paper on this topic at the “Reconceptualising Development” workshop, held at Deakin University in Melbourne.  It will be published later this year, and is attached here.


3 thoughts on “Business practices in INGOs – good idea, or bad?

  1. Pingback: Another “Kony 2012″ blog post … | Mark McPeak

  2. Pingback: “Trust or Control? Private Development Cooperation At The Crossroads” | Mark McPeak

  3. Pingback: Galehead Mountain (31) – What We Think About When We Think About A Great INGO Program | Mark McPeak

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s