What will it take for NGOs to both work and compete with the private sector?

By Lisa Cornish 19 January 2016

NGOs are increasingly seeking to better engage and partner with the private sector. Effective training in communication, risk taking and relationship building is one aspect fundamental in achieving successful collaboration, says Chris Roche, associate professor and chair in international development at La Trobe University. Photo by: John Santerre / PopTech / CC BY-SA

In Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is continuing to push ahead with a strategy of greater ties to the private sector to deliver development outcomes. It’s far from alone; around the world NGOs, too, are increasingly seeking to better engage and utilize the private sector in aid and development.

Effective training in everything from power dynamics to relationship building is one aspect fundamental in achieving that collaboration, Chris Roche, associate professor and chair in international development at La Trobe University in Melbourne, told Devex.

Development happens in a “chaotic and nonlinear, power-riddled way,” Roche said, and timely knowledge of the power and politics behind it are crucial in order to navigate it successfully.

This understanding, in fact, is the first step to managing processes and projects, although organizations also need to be able to create a culture comfortable with uncertainty and the rapid changes inherent in the sector.

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About the author

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Lisa Cornish@lisa_cornish

Lisa Cornish is a freelance data journalist based in Canberra, Australia. Lisa formerly worked with News Corp Australia as a data journalist for the national network and was published throughout Australia in major metropolitan and regional newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph in Melbourne, Herald Sun in Melbourne, Courier-Mail in Brisbane and online through news.com.au. Lisa has recently been awarded the 2014 Journalist of the Year by the New South Wales Institute of Surveyors.


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