Are bonuses ever ok in global development work?

By Jennifer Ehidiamen 06 March 2017
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.

Devex talked with experts in human resource management to get their views on this issue.

Why some NGOs don’t pay bonuses

Lack of funds is one reason why some nonprofit organizations and development agencies do not pay bonuses. A source at the United Nations Population Fund explained to Devex, “We currently do not do salary bonuses in our work as we are under a bit of a financial crunch.”