I work with Plan International now. In July, we held a seminar on our new Performance Agenda, which is based on the ideas set out on this website. 27 experts met in London, to talk it over and kick the tyres.
Our aim is to ensure that field staff are more accountable to (a) local communities, (b) managers and (c) donors – all through one coherent approach. It focuses mainly on managing the quality of assistance we provide (which is in our control), rather than long term impact (which is not).
The seminar was the first step in testing out the agenda with an external audience. Now there’s a short report available, which includes an overview of our approach, a summary of what people there said and a list of other new initiatives to improve quality & accountability by the NGOs in the room.
Overall, the assembled experts where excited by the agenda. They liked that Plan is trying something new in this field. They thought we should still keep monitoring impact. And they reminded us that development and organisational change are both difficult. All very good points, which will influence our work.
What do you think?
I’d be very interested and grateful for any comments you might have. Is this going along the right lines? Do you know any relevant work we could learn from? I’m keen to contribute to debates across the sector on how we can all keep improving the quality and accountability of our work.