This 10 point agenda sets out how NGOs can create a management framework that encourages and supports staff to contribute effectively to other people’s efforts.
It applies development principles to NGOs’ internal systems as well as their external projects, meeting the needs of managers as well as operational staff.
I hope managers may find it a useful and coherent way of tackling some of the major issues they face. It focuses on managing performance, rather than other areas of organisational management. It is not an inflexible or exhaustive blueprint.
1. Setting strategy. NGOs’ strategies should set out what they will do to make the biggest contribution to other people’s efforts to improve their lives and societies.
2. Planning activities. NGOs should develop activity plans in discussion with local people and other collaborators, identifying who would have to do what to achieve specific goals.
3. Feedback & scope. NGOs should measure how well they are contributing to other people’s efforts using a combination of feedback and scope indicators.
4. Managing relationships. NGOs should systematically build and monitor relationships with local people and other collaborators, and ensure they meet appropriate standards.
5. Technical quality. NGOs should systematically monitor the technical quality of their work and ensure it meets appropriate standards.
6. Frontline staff. NGOs’ first priority should be to support and encourage frontline staff to contribute effectively to other people’s efforts.
7. Continual improvement. NGOs should create organisational cultures of continual improvement.
8. Transparency. NGOs should operate open information policies, based on the presumption of disclosure, and make information easily accessible to relevant collaborators.
9. Ethical fundraising. NGOs should systematically check that fundraising claims are ambitious but realistic, within the limits of what they can achieve.
10. Sector learning. NGOs should collaborate in a collective effort to continually improve performance and use resources as effectively as possible across the sector.