Responding to the sound of (mostly) silence

Out of the blue, we sent you, our clients, partners and friends, a short survey that asked what you think about us. Here’s what you told us. Firstly, you told us that an out of the blue survey is not the right way to do this. Ninety-two of you responded, for an overall response rate of eight percent. For those of you in current engagements with us the response rate was 12 percent. Our reigning[…]

Surveys: You’re doing it wrong

I have a confession to make. Despite two years of surveying thousands of respondents for our clients I still fire up Google in the hopes that it will one day tell me how to conduct surveys the right way. Now, this is mainly due to being overly ambitious: I would one day love to see a 100 percent response rate or a completely full raw dataset. In the meantime though, I’ll settle for actionable insights[…]

Peace Direct introduces two way reporting to partners

International non-governmental organizations often ask a lot of partners in terms of reporting requirements – but how many provide reports in return? This simple innovation, introduced after receiving feedback from partners has changed the dynamic for INGO Peace Direct. Peace Direct, which supports local peace-building organizations, engaged Keystone to survey their partners about the state of the partnerships. They discovered that reporting to partners is an important step in accountability. Tom Gillhespy, Head of International[…]

Five things not to do with survey results

Today we explain what not to do with the results of our Partnership Survey. 1. Having commissioned the survey, paid for it and more importantly partners have spent time answering it – don’t ignore it. Even if you don’t like the results it is important to try and understand why your partners feel that way about your organization. The very best way to find out more about their responses is to talk about it with them.[…]

In partnering, rules don’t work but principles might

Localization makes partnerships in development all the more important. In this guest blog Ros Tennyson, Director of Strategy at The Partnership Brokers Association discusses the challenges of multi-stakeholder partnerships in development. Multi-stakeholder partnerships for humanitarian relief and sustainable development are much promoted (especially by donors) as the way to tackle the complicated and complex challenges we face. As a passionate advocate of such collaboration, I agree this approach is critically important BUT… only if those involved really grapple[…]

Taking the survey is the first step – it is what happens next that counts

Oxfam is serious about partnerships and so joined 76 other international non-governmental organisations in taking Keystone’s Partnership survey, which solicits views from partners. “The results were not particularly shocking to those of us working in programs although we hadn’t expected we would do so poorly,” said Makarand Sahasrabuddhe Program Quality Lead for Oxfam International. “The data was a gift. It came from over 800 partners. It pointed clearly to the fact that they did not[…]

The drive towards localization

Are international non-governmental organizations ready to surrender control to southern partners? Along with accountability and effectiveness, localization – essentially the process of handing over of control of programmes to locally based actors – dominates the discussions about how international NGOs (INGOs) should behave. And it is easy to see why; the issue of localization affects all INGOs whether working in development or humanitarian contexts. At the recent World Humanitarian Summit, yet again calls were made[…]

WaterAid explains how they used Keystone’s partnership survey

Collaboration is a core value of international non-governmental organisation (INGO) WaterAid. The organization knows it can only achieve universal access to water and sanitation (WASH) by working with others including government bodies, civil society organisations, academic institutions, donors, other NGOs and the private sector. WaterAid wants to develop empowering and mutually accountable and respectful relationships but knows this is easier said than done, especially when channelling money to other organizations. In some cases, a focus[…]

What do your partners really think of you?

Increasingly, international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) work through local partners. Constructive relationships between these organisations are critical for effective development. But do INGOs know what their partners really think of them? Keystone Accountability has surveyed thousands of local partners of INGOs. We ask about trust, support, communication and other areas, shining a spotlight on the relationship between the INGOs and their partners. Survey responses are anonymous so partners can express their opinions freely and the results[…]