June 24, 2016

International Non-Governmental Organization Survey

shutterstock_146728952editKeystone 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 enables a more open, data-driven dialogue for improving performance by both.

“I know this survey will enable the INGO to improve in their support to its partners.” – a survey respondent

To date, over 80 organizations have taken the survey (including Plan International, Oxfam International and Save the Children, UK, US and International) and 20 have repeated the process. While they have different goals and structures they all tackle poverty, injustice and suffering in developing countries by working in partnership with organizations. With data from thousands of local partners, the comparative data – the benchmarks – provide a sounding that reliably alerts INGOs to where you stand on each question against your peers.

“The confidential survey enabled us to validate with robust data what we had only been able to get glimpses of previously through anecdotal information. The sector benchmarking really helped us to affirm our strengths and highlight areas for further improvement.” – Carol Miller, Oxfam Canada

The results provide scope for INGOs to explore what is and what isn’t working in their relationships with local NGOs. INGOs are making real changes to how they do business as a result of taking the survey including how field staff manage relationships, introducing monthly reports from the INGO to the partners, and creating a new role focussing on partnerships. These changes are reflected in improved scores in follow up feedback, and lead to better outcomes.

“We knew we needed to address issues re partnership but were also 
surprised by the findings and there is commitment to act on it.” – INGO survey client

Benefits of taking the survey include:

  • An expert analysis of your feedback data in relation to the entire data set covering 77 organisations
  • Standard surveys crafted to provide you with exactly what you need to know
  • Comparisons against your peers
  • Multi-language support
  • Data collection carried out by Keystone Accountability
  • Customized questions
  • Hand-drafted professional reports
  • Consultant support throughout the process (question selection, maximising response rate, findings,)
  • Follow-up support on how to use the data and expert recommendations
  • Support to access your data and benchmarks on the Feedback Commons, Keystone’s online survey and data platform
  • Support in closing your feedback loop and building out a light-touch, continuous micro-survey system

Find out what INGOs who have taken the survey thought here. Some of the INGOs who have taken our survey, make their reports available – see which ones here.

Keystone Accountability is working on a joint venture with the Partnership Brokers Association to offer support, coaching and training to INGOs that wish to improve their partnering practices in the light of feedback from our partnership survey.  Our two organisations are highly complementary, Keystone with its focus on research and analysis and the Partnership Brokers Association with its focus on vocational training and organisational change.

It is not just INGOs who can benefit, Keystone Accountability also runs performance surveys for grantmakers, social investors and networks.

To find out more about the survey or our collaboration with the Partnership Brokers Association please contact kai@keystoneaccountability.org.