Are bonuses ever ok in global development work?

Cash from a white envelope. Photo by: / CC BY-SA

In the global development community, especially within nongovernmental organizations, it is uncommon to pay bonuses. It is often frowned upon, especially when it comes in bloated forms.

For instance, last year, International Relief and Development was suspended from receiving federal funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development. Although the suspension was later overturned, the exposed lavish salaries and bonuses that IRD paid its executives raised the legal and ethical question of whether or not bonuses should be paid.