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[…]

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[…]

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[…]