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Can INGOs get better at ‘shifting the power?’

Deborah Doane, Partner, Rights CoLab

When groups in the global south talk about #ShiftThePower, they’re often pointing their fingers at large International NGOs (INGOs). For most of the 25 years I’ve spent working in civil society, I have found myself both equally inspired and dismayed by some INGO practice. INGOs can seem to have too much authority over decision-making; or account for a disproportionate share of the resources. In sum, there is an overarching sense of power imbalance between global actors and local actors. So I’ve been asking myself, how do we genuinely shift the power to where it’s needed?

I spoke to four senior leaders from the north and south about the role of INGOs in helping to #ShiftThePower to the local, specifically to the global south, and compiled some of their thoughts as part of the dialogue for the “Pathways to Power” Symposium taking place in London in November 2019.

Download the full conversation here

By: Deborah Doane

Deborah’s work with Rights CoLab explores reimagining the International NGO (INGO) community to address creating more equal governance, funding, and delivery models. This piece also appears on the Rights CoLab website

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