Making Aid Agencies Work: Reconnecting INGOs with the People They Serve

Terry Gibson
Inventing Futures, UK

Product Details
01 Jul 2019
Emerald Publishing Limited
216 pages - 138 x 216mm
The development industry is worth billions. International non-governmental organizations (INGOs) have become an integral component in international development and humanitarian response. Yet as recent scandals at Save the Children and Oxfam have highlighted, such organizations can overstep moral boundaries, raising questions about the scale, power and role of INGOs. Are they dedicated to continuous learning and self-improvement, or are they development dinosaurs driven by their own need for survival and by the political agendas of their paymasters? 

Drawing upon his experience as an international development practitioner-one who has worked with NGOs large and small, international and local, in over 40 countries-and drawing also upon his own academic research, Terry Gibson addresses these questions head on. He combines large-scale industry analysis with attention to the lives and worlds of the people the aid industry aims to serve, and he demonstrates how to overcome barriers between the two worlds and free flows of learning, resources, and even political influences that might lead to better outcomes. 

Making Aid Agencies Work is essential reading for practitioners and researchers, as well as for anyone concerned about the future of this vital area of human endeavour.
Preface and Acknowledgements
Introduction: Development Dinosaurs?
Chapter 1. Evolution of the Industry: History of INGOs
Chapter 2. The Whole World Has Changed
Chapter 3. 'When There's A Crash, Blame the Pilot': Local Failings or Broader Problem?
Chapter 4. The Architecture of the Industry: 'Show Me the Money'
Chapter 5. Before You Can Agree a Goal, You Have to Decide Who Should Agree a Goal
Chapter 6. Learning from the Local
Chapter 7. Which End of the Telescope?
Chapter 8. Turning INGOs Upside Down
Terry Gibson is a researcher and activist digging into the conundrums and chaos of international development. He travelled over a million miles filming aid and humanitarian work in villages, towns and cities around the world before becoming operations director of an international network of over 800 small NGOs. He developed and led a major research programme at the network, which consulted over 100,000 people facing everyday disasters, combining this with research at Manchester University. He is engaged in research and writing concerning international development, local learning and action, the experience of 'everyday disasters' and the role of NGOs.
Terry Gibson uses his expertise and knowledge to achieve the objectives of providing a critical analysis of INGOs and proposing a radical agenda of how they can be transformed. The book raises critical questions. It answers them using both academic theory and empirical literature, as well as examples from the author's own experience. The book is thus of interest for any third sector theorist and practitioner concerned about the role of INGOs, their effectiveness and accountability.

Dineo Shirley Seabe - International Society for Third-Sector Research

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