Join our team!

logoWe’re recruiting for two great new jobs at Plan International. It’s a great place to work, in our dynamic Programme Quality Management Team.

Both jobs will play a huge role in working with Country Offices to put our new Programme Quality Policy into practice. Join us, and help shape one of the biggest international NGOs around, globally (our total income is over €700m).

  • Programme Quality Manager. Lead work on finalising & implementing our new Programme Quality Procedures. The procedures combine clear management at the project and strategic level with a real emphasis on participation and partnership.
  • Planning and Reporting Manager. Lead work on annual planning & reporting processes used by our 50 Country Offices. Make sure these processes work for country management teams, to drive performance, as well as provide an organisation-wide overview.

Interested? Apply on line. And please forward this and spread the word.


The inside view : Philip Tamminga replies on Certification and Core Humanitarian Standards

I’m delighted to introduce a guest blog, by Philip Tamminga, the Project Coordinator of SCHR’s Certification Project. He replies to my blog on the Core Humanitarian Standard and Certification processes with his own unique insights and five key points for success.

You may also be interested in Ed Schenkenberg’s informed & critical response (below the original blog).

TammingaThanks for drawing attention to these two important initiatives, the Core Humanitarian Standard and the Certification Review project. As you say, this is a real opportunity to make history in the humanitarian sector, and one we collectively can’t afford to miss.

For the last two years I have been leading the Certification Review project and have been heavily engaged in the CHS process. I would like to share some personal reflections on the issues you raise – this should not be interpreted as the position of the SCHR or it members. Continue reading

Easy ways for philanthropic donors to see if they’re doing well

A re-post from the Social Impact Analysts Association. The excellent and experienced Caroline Fiennes from Giving Evidence describes simple ways for funders to measure their performance. The ideas are widely applicable to NGOs.

The approach is based on exactly the same principle as this site: focus on your performance, not their impact. I also loved some of Caroline’s other blogs, like Most Charities Shouldn’t Evaluate Their Work: Part One Why not?

Caroline Fiennes
Some skiers are better than others. Some singers are better than others. The same for teaching, nursing and curling. So it seems reasonable to suppose that some people are better at supporting charities than others.

Continue reading

Certifying NGOs … again! What are the lessons from last time?

Where did the tracks lead last time?

Where do the tracks go?

Have you seen the current call for comments on a new initiative to certify humanitarian organisations?

It’s a big deal. It aims to ‘professionalise the humanitarian sector’. It’s backed by the Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response (a group of 9 big independent humanitarian organisations) and some major donors.

The discussion paper makes specific proposals. Feedback is sought on whether they are “feasible, achievable and would meet the requirements of the sector”. Revised deadline for comments: 22nd November. Continue reading

Time to Listen by Dayna Brown and Mary B Anderson

Time to listenHave you seen the great, new, free book: Time to Listen, by Mary B Anderson, Dayna Brown and Isabella Jean. It presents a vast research exercise on what the people who receive aid say about our work. It’s a powerful critique and evidence that we – as NGOs and donors – ignore at our peril.

The researchers listened to 6,000 people who live in countries that receive aid. This serious effort was undertaken from 2005 to 2009, by the consistently thoughtful CDA Collaborative Learning Projects. (Mary B Anderson is the author of Do No Harm.) Continue reading

Monitoring in the real world

Monitoring that helps NGOs achieve more

I just read a great new manual on monitoring NGO work. It’s called Integrated Monitoring, by Sonia Herrero of inProgress. It’s available for free and I highly recommend it.

It’s easy to read and written in Plain English. The text is genuinely quick and easy to follow. The ideas are excellently explained. Hurrah! This is all too rare in NGO guidance. Continue reading

GiveDirectly: Applying the golden rule?

Word of a new NGO is flitting round the blogosphere (hat tip: Duncan Green). It’s called GiveDirectly and it only does one thing: it gives poor families in Kenya $1,000 each over two years.

It looks like a great pilot. The founders quote impressive evidence that giving poor people money is a good way to help them tackle poverty.

Personally, I’m convinced. It’s not going to fix the causes of poverty, like making governments work for the poor, providing decent jobs or tackling discrimination. Those are all still crucially important. Continue reading

Throwing off our results-chains

Here’s something I’ve been meaning to write about: one diagram that’s done more than anything else to stop NGOs truly measuring their performance. You’ll know it if you work in the sector. It’s the results-chain:

The example about teacher training shows why it’s so wrong. Look at it for a second and you can see it’s just not true. Continue reading

The Istanbul Principles for CSO Effectiveness

This week, the Open Forum launched its international framework for CSO Development Effectiveness. It’s an impressive achievement, very relevant to improving performance in NGOs.

Here’s what it means: Continue reading