PORTLAND, Oregon — Chief financial officers at development and humanitarian organizations face a challenging prospect: How do you create a responsible financial plan when your mission is responding to unpredictable crises?
CFOs in the humanitarian and development sector often work on behalf of government and institutional donors with varying compliance demands, funding levels that rise and fall, and strict requirements about what their money can — and can’t — be used for. On top of that, CFOs must strike a balance between spending on individual programs and investing in the internal systems and capabilities that can help build more innovative, effective organizations.
Devex spoke to Beth deHamel, chief financial officer at Mercy Corps, about some of the biggest challenges facing the people responsible for financial planning, stewardship, and accountability at humanitarian and development organizations.
Here is the interview, edited for length and clarity.