A rose by any other name…

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Or so we are told. But is it true? Words are powerful and we use them carefully to evoke certain feelings and emotions. For example, the vast majority of international NGOs work in “partnerships”. What does this word partnerships evoke? Shared mutual benefits perhaps? Shared risks? Collaboration between actors who jointly deliver activities, supporting each other and holding each other to account? I would argue[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

International Non-Governmental Organization Survey

Keystone Accountability’s Partner Survey gives international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) vital information to improve their performance. Since 2010, Keystone Accountability has been conducting benchmark surveys of partners of international non-governmental organizations. Partners are asked to rate and comment on different aspects of the INGO’s performance. The surveys are confidential and Keystone doesn’t reveal respondents identities to the INGO. This provides local partners with a safe space to express their feelings about working with international partners and[…]

Taking Feedback Seriously at Plan International

There is a growing understanding that constituent feedback is crucial to development work. The terms “feedback” and “listening” now permeate our collective discussions, so much so that Lucy Bernholz has made “Constituent Feedback” one of the top buzzwords in her recently published Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2014. As Lucy notes, however, feedback is not always simple. Well, let me refine that point. Some aspects of feedback are relatively easy; some commonly require some[…]

This is what 3,000 local partners of International NGOs think…

After almost four years, 62 participating international NGOs and over 3,000 responses from local partners to our Development Partnerships Survey, Keystone is proud to present a short report (it’s only 8 pages long!) on what we are learning so far. The headlines are: Financial support is well administrated by INGOs, but often conditions are too restrictive from the point of view of partners. INGOs offer a lot of non-financial support to their partners, in a[…]

Keystone’s Development Partnerships survey featured in Insight on Conflict blog

The latest version of the Insight on Conflict blog features a call for participants for Keystone’s Development Partnerships survey. To read the blog piece written by InterAction, please click here. Insight on Conflict is a project launched by Peace Direct, the UK-based charity that finds, funds and promotes local peacebuilders in conflict areas around the world.

Sam Worthington, President and CEO of InterAction issues an invite to Keystone’s Development Partnership survey

Sam Worthington, President and CEO of InterAction issues an invite to Keystone’s Development Partnership survey. The invite is below.   ___________________________________________________ Dear Colleagues, In 2010, 28 international NGOs in the United States and Europe participated in the Keystone Performance Survey: Development Partnerships to assess the quality of their relationships with their local partners across five key partnership performance areas: efficiency; relationship and communications; non-financial contribution; value added; and credibility. Since then, another 22 have commissioned[…]