Despite increasing collaboration between business and the development sector, it’s often hard to ignore the palpable differences between the way development organizations — be them donor agencies, national governments, nongovernmental organizations or other implementing partners — and the private sector operate.
In this era of competition, value for money and intense scrutiny over development projects, adopting private sector rigor and practices — particularly in the areas of people, process and technology — can increase the efficiency and competitive advantage of development organizations.
Devex explored this issue by surveying a small group of our members who have significant experience working in both the private and nonprofit sectors. The results were fairly clear: despite the cultural shift and upfront investment required to build private sector systems and processes, there are huge payoffs in terms of winning donor projects, staffing those projects, streamlining delivery, and measuring and reporting on results.
Based on our survey and interviews, here are five private sector best practices that can help small, medium and large development organizations improve their operations.