Mission-driven organizations and their leaders tend to take comfort in the notion that their commitment to doing good speaks for itself.
The international development sector is undergoing a seismic shift. Private overseas capital flows have come to dwarf official development assistance. Governments are ramping up efforts to engage local institutions and the private sector — both as investors and implementing partners. Foreign aid budgets remain dwindling and unpredictable, and in the past year alone, two bilateral agencies have been absorbed into their countries’ diplomatic and trade departments. And in the midst of it all, the international community is grasping for a new sustainable development agenda to replace the Millennium Development Goals by the end of 2015.
Aid groups need to keep up — and they need to protect and project their image as effective and innovative partners in today’s fast-paced development landscape.