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Making choices for the 21 st century

Making choices for the 21 st century. A new strategy: What is needed?. Any new strategy should be based on: an understanding of key strategic challenges ; a review of core values ; a re-think of the organisation’s overall vision. Step 1: What are the issues?.

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Making choices for the 21 st century

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  1. Making choices for the 21st century

  2. A new strategy: What is needed? • Any new strategy should be based on: • an understanding of key strategic challenges; • a review of core values; • a re-think of the organisation’s overall vision.

  3. Step 1: What are the issues? Dóchas has undertaken an external evaluation, and summarised years of discussions about changes in the NGO sector. So what is our reading of what the key strategic challenges for Irish Development NGOs are?

  4. 1.1 The issues: What our members said. • In the evaluation, our members said that Dóchas works very well, and provides useful sector leadership, but: • The Working Groups do not focus on the most pressing issues in the sector; • The sector needs to do more to reach out to others (academics, private sector, media); • There is confusion about Dóchas’ role in relation to enforcing its codes of conduct; • Is Dóchas a ‘doer’ or a ‘facilitator’ in relation to changing public attitudes?

  5. 1.1 Our members also said: • Dóchas plays a strong role as voice of the sector, but it needs to speak more on non-aid issues; • The Working Groups should focus more explicitly on learning; • Dóchas must do more for small NGOs; • Dóchas should stimulate cooperation (and mergers) among NGOs; • Dóchas should engage with the media on post-2015 issues, and use “the World’s Best News” to influence policy makers; • Dóchas’ dependence on Irish Aid risks its policy agenda being ‘captured’; • Members feel their membership fees represents ‘good value for money’; • Dóchas’ own internal governance is a model of good practice.

  6. 1.2 The issues: What others have said. Internationally, much has been said and written about the changes in the ‘global development’ sector. On our blog(click on link), we have posted many articles on this topic. In summary: International NGOs are being challenged: Donors want them to work at scale, and Southern partners are asking them to “add value” based on expertise, not just funding; NGOs are criticised for focusing too much at project level, and being insufficiently present in discussions about global public goods; PTO

  7. 1.2 The issues: What others have said. • Many authors think the future lies in cross-sectoral, multi-actor partnerships, not in a smattering of smaller NGO projects; • Many activists in the global South say that NGOs need to focus on societal change, not only on community projects; • Management gurus say that NGOs need to develop their capacity to learn, because technologies and societies change fast, and a complex environment requires learning skills, not just technical skills; • Economists say that Aid is less relevant, and that the market is the main force for Development and jobs.

  8. 1.3 Summary of issues raised Codes of conduct need enforcement WGs not focused on key sector challenges INTERNAL -- EXTERNAL Is Dóchas a ‘doer’ or a ‘facilitator’? Small NGOs struggling Irish NGOs’ limited capacity to engage Dependence on Irish Aid Fall in NGO income Loss of trust in charities Post 2015 agenda broader than Aid Focus on Results & VFM Southern CSOs want partners with expertise NGOs too focused on projects, too little on policy and politics Scepsis about aid impact

  9. 2. Our Values Dóchas is a network of independent and diverse organisations. Our members value this diversity, but they know they need to work with each other and learn from one another. Our members believe in the power of organised civil society, and in the universality of human rights as the basis for all they do. Dóchas works to enable our members to build on the expertise and influence of others, and to form strategic alliances in the fight against poverty and global injustice. These values have not changed.

  10. 3. The vision Dóchas wants to work to improve the impact of Ireland’s global development efforts. • That means: • Strengthening the impact of NGO work; • Influencing the behaviour of donors, to ensure they encourage quality NGO work; • Influencing policies that impact on poor people and poor countries; • Changing attitudes in Ireland towards global cooperation and global development.

  11.  A new strategy? The question is now: If these are the strategic challenges facing the sector, what are we going to do about it?

  12.  A new strategy? • We need to hear from you: • Do you think we have identified the right strategic challenges? • Should Dóchas focus on building NGO capacity, or on influencing the environment in which NGOs work (attitudes to NGOs, aid, Development)? • If Dóchas takes on new roles, which old roles should it let go of? • What role can your organisation play in addressing the challenges our sector faces?

  13. So have your say Contact us at www.dochas.ie And let us know what you think!

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