Article from ROAPE Volume 24 Number 71
New Development Agendas: Change in UK NGOs
This article reports on research carried out on changes in the operational management of a broad sample of British NGOs. Despite the diversity of NGOs it finds surprising convergence towards the application of certain managerial concepts and tools. Three of these - Strategic Planning, Logical Framework Analysis and Evaluation are considered in detail and the questions of why they are being used and for what purpose posed. The evidence is overwhelmingly that they have been adopted to meet Northern needs - to satisfy the demands of Northern funding institutions and to help NGO headquarters control growing organisations. Faced with this evidence the article looks critically at the claims that such NGO practice can be consistent with development theories which are based on greater empowerment of Southern ‘partners’ and is obliged to repeat arguments, previously thought to be widely accepted, that the use and understanding of such tools are culturally mediated and far from neutral.