THE MOST IMPORTANT MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES FACING NGOs Essay

Introduction

Management has been defined by Weirich & A ; Koontz as the procedure of planing and keeping an environment in which persons, working together in groups, efficaciously accomplish selected terminals or ends ( Weirich & A ; Koontz, 2005 ) . They besides submitted that direction is applicable to all sorts of organisations ( public, private, non for net income ) and that no affair the organisation, directors ‘ duties are to be after, form, staff, lead and control in such a manner that ‘surplus ‘ is created writers ( Werich and Koontz 2005 ) . This excess could intend net income as in the private sector, or run intoing a demand or holding a positive consequence, as in the non for net income sectors. So whether an organisation was set up in order to sell autos at a net income e.g. Toyota, or put up to run into the desperate demands of the hapless e.g. Food Aid, direction is of import if the ends are to be met.

However, while the importance of direction in all domains of human life has been highlighted by several writers, the world of NGO direction differs significantly from what obtains in the Public or the Private sectors. Basically, direction or managerialism has non been a major concern for many NGOs until really late. Why was this so? What are the curious characteristics of direction in this sector? What are the of import direction challenges confronting NGOs and why are they of import? While direction challenges abound in all sectors, this essay will research those peculiar in the direction of NGOs in order to reply these inquiries. It will besides critically analyse the instance survey of Project Literacy, a South African NGO to exemplify how some of these challenges were responded to. The essay will concentrate more on the most of import direction challenges, which have been taken to be leading, support, answerability, public presentation monitoring & A ; rating, and ‘scaling up ‘ . There are many different sorts of NGOs, nevertheless for the intent of this essay NGOs will be defined as are administrations that are non-political, non-profit, non-governmental, and accountable to their stakeholders and involved in public assistance and socio-economic development of people ( Rahman, 2007 ) .

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WHY NGO MANAGEMENT?

Since 1960, the figure and size of non-profit organisations involved in international alleviation and development have grown well ( Carroll, 1992 ; Clark, 1991 ; Fisher, 1998 ; Fowler, 1998 ; Edwards, 1999 ) . As the sector has expanded, it has been capable to new competitory force per unit areas. In the yesteryear, the word ‘management ‘ was considered synonymous with concern direction, but for NGOs, commercial activities are presumed to be against their non-profit mission and scored negatively. Since the last two decennaries NGOs themselves have realised the importance of direction, and academicians along with NGO executives have besides started thought over the issues of vision, mission, strategic planning, ends, effectual coordination and communicating, human resource development, motivational schemes, bottom lines and leading.

Today more NGOs compete for progressively scarce donor resources. Both private and institutional givers demand greater fiscal answerability and more concrete grounds of plan impact. Small, independent NGOs find it difficult to maintain gait with more efficient, larger 1s that take advantage of economic systems of graduated table in selling, operations, and support services. The universe of competitory market kineticss nowadayss hard paradoxes to many who work in the NGO sector. They believe that their organisation ‘s strength, fuelled by the staff ‘s primary motive, is in its finding to assist people better their lives. But in this more competitory NGO universe, it is no longer plenty to merely hold good purposes and a strong value orientation. As noted by Lindenberg ( 2001 ) , those working in the NGO sector now recognize that NGOs that do non accommodate their schemes and advance greater impact, efficiency, and answerability run the hazard of bankruptcy every bit good as irrelevancy. Yet they fear that excessively much attending to market kineticss and private and public sector techniques will destruct their value-based organisational civilization.

It has besides been argued elsewhere that the direction system for NGOs is supposed to be different from traditional direction ideas given by Fayol ‘s Modern Operational Management, Taylor ‘s scientific direction and Weber ‘s Bureaucratic Model, because of their peculiarity in vision, mission, organizational civilization, ends and values from the other two sectors ( Rahman 2003 ) . Steming from Henri Fayol ‘s ( 1916 ) definition of direction as prediction, planning, forming coordinating and control, Rahman ( 2003 ) gave a possible definition of NGO direction: ‘To manage an NGO is to calculate with shared vision, to be after strategically, to run professionally and to take civilization friendly ‘ . In this definition the word ‘organise ‘ used by Fayol has been replaced by ‘operate ‘ in order to give a more functional touch, and the word ‘control ‘ has been replaced by ‘lead ‘ because there is a minimal usage of control in NGO direction as the shared values of NGOs deter the concentration of power at the hierarchal degrees and in their maps.

Having agreed that direction has gained importance for NGOs, what so are the cardinal direction challenges for NGOs? Though direction challenges abound besides in the public and private sectors, the NGO sector has a alone complex nature with its ain characteristic direction challenges runing from funding jobs to leading, public presentation monitoring & A ; rating, answerability, scaling up, human resources, organisation civilization, and professionalisation. The undermentioned subdivisions will nevertheless concentrate on the first five challenges I believe a key in NGO direction.

Support AND INDEPENDENCE

Support is a really major challenge in NGO direction. NGOs necessitate financess to transport out plans and maintain the organisation. Inaccessibility of financess for an NGO could intend a entire ‘standstill ‘ . NGOs could most clip depend on authorities for support. However, NGOs that depend mostly on public finance run the hazard of going mere authorities subordinates by implementing activities once carried out by their ain authoritiess or many-sided establishments ( Senillosa, 1998 ) . Government policy may differ from the NGOs ‘ aims and/or the donees ‘ involvements, which may take to a struggle of involvement. The handiness of significant authorities grants may allure NGOs or the plan donees to go involved in plans inconsistent with their ain aims and capacities. The sheer size of authorities grants and certain authorities grant limitations ( specific states, certain societal groups, particular signifiers of aid ) may take to an instability in the NGOs ‘ plans. Some NGOs have, more or less, go contractors to authoritiess, peculiarly if they do non hold other plans or funding beginnings. NGOs may go unwilling to knock authorities publically therefore softening their protagonism work and/or human rights runs.

Besides, as authorities support may be relatively easy to obtain, there is the hazard of the NGO ignoring or downgrading their traditional beginnings of private support and traditional relationships with their constituencies. In add-on, as non-governmental suppliers of development services, NGOs ( and their plans ) became capable to the handiness of authorities financess ( with associated uncertainness about magnitudes and timing ) , to some grade of governmental control and supervising, and to the regulations and processs that went with the reception and usage of public financess. This tended to enforce heavy and sometimes inordinate demands on NGO administrative and audit capacities ( Van Der Heijden, 1987 ) .

Another job with support is the issue of rejection of ‘core funding’- a state of affairs whereby givers are merely willing to pay ‘project ‘ costs. Harmonizing to Bornstein ( 2003 ) , NGO directors that are non competent plenty to integrate nucleus costs within undertaking proposals normally have their cardinal maps non being funded. Organizational development, experimental pilot attacks and long-run impact analysis are being abandoned due to miss of financess.

Finally, fiscal uncertainness affects be aftering for NGOs. It has besides forced them to look for more fiscal beginnings and follow private sector-like methods like downsizing. Take for illustration ; deficit of financess is coercing many South African NGOs outside the giver cringle to diversify income beginnings. They are redefining their relationships to the province and the market, taking on authorities contract work, selling services to the private sector and bear downing user fees. Some have had to downsize and depend on short-run contract staff while others are experimenting with their legal position and turning into ‘non-profit ‘ companies. ( Bornstein 2003 ) .

Leadership

Leadership in NGOs is a affair of concern sing the extremely individualized nature of leading in the sector. The sector is full of anecdotal narratives about the damaging impact of paternalistic laminitis leaders, “ magnetic tyrants, ” or “ the guru syndrome ” ( Hailey, 1999 ) . On one manus such leaders demonstrate a thrust and committedness, and a singular ability to mobilise people and resources. While on the other manus they are criticized for ruling organisations, being unexplainable, and neglecting to accommodate to altering fortunes. Chambers ( 1997 ) points out that such NGO leaders can accomplish many things through their “ backbones, vision and committedness, ” but the manner they use power is a “ disablement ” that jeopardizes organisational effectivity. He argues such magnetic leaders are “ vulnerable to acquiescence, respect, flattery and conciliation ” ( Chambers, 1997 ) . They are non easy contradicted or corrected. As a consequence they actively suffocate assuring enterprises that may endanger their power base, relationships, or place of backing.

The construct of leading in NGO could besides at times be antithetical to the participatory civilization espoused by many NGOs. In a sector that believes itself to be more value driven, participatory, and less managerialist than the for-profit concern sector, there is an unwillingness to profess the of import influence of any one single leader. Directors in this new epoch therefore have to be witting of the greater acceptance given to thoughts of equality and participatory democracy in this sector if they are to win ( Hailey & A ; James 2004 ) .

Effective NGO leading besides requires the ability to equilibrate a scope of viing force per unit areas from different stakeholders in ways that do non compromise the leader ‘s single individuality and values ( Hailey & A ; James 2004 ) . The leading of development NGOs face extraordinary challenges as they work with really limited resources in unsure and volatile political and economic fortunes to assist the most marginalized and disadvantaged members of their communities. Civicus referred to the turning shortage in leading abilities in NGOs. In peculiar they pointed to rapid turnover of NGO staff in leading places into concern and authorities and the trouble NGOs have in replacing them ( Civicus, 2002 ) . All excessively frequently this failure of leading consequences in programmatic dysfunctionality and even organisational prostration.

Monitoring AND EVALUATING Performance

NGOs are doing important attempts to demo how they are executing, a tendency impelled by three factors: stricter demands attached to official assistance ; uncertainties about NGO claims to be more effectual than authoritiess ; post-Cold War displacements in the function of NGOs, which increase their ain demands to cognize what is being achieved, in order to pull off the procedures of organizational reorientation and transmutation. However, about without exclusion, NGOs are happening it really hard to come up with sound, cost effectual methods to demo the consequences of their development activities, or even to show their effectivity as administrations ( Fowler, 1996 ) . Rick Davies attributed the jobs of monitoring and measuring the public presentation of NGOs to ambitious outlooks, complexness caused by graduated table ( hierarchal differences in ends and outlooks at assorted histrions ‘ degrees ) , diverseness of NGO activities, obscure aims, ‘fault-able ‘ measurement tools, and absence of baseline information & A ; equal monitoring systems ( Davies, 2000 ) .

Unlike commercial companies development NGOs do non hold the ‘bottom lines ‘ of market feedback, profitableness, and returns on fiscal investing, nor do they have the opinion of citizens through societal agitation or the periodic ballot. In other words, consumers and electors are the beginning of public presentation criterions for concern and government- but non for NGOs ( Fowler, 1996 ) .

Harmonizing to LeCompte ( 1986 ) , the trouble in mensurating the development public presentation of NGOs stems from the basic mutual exclusiveness between the premises on which the assistance system is based and the existent procedure of socio-economic alteration. Social economic alteration is largely contingent as different from the additive theoretical account the assistance system presupposes. There are three jobs with this attack. First, the right ways of making things can non all be sufficiently predicted in progress? Second, the premises rarely hold. And, thirdly, development – in the sense of sustained betterment in the lives and fortunes of people who are hapless or marginalised – does non take topographic point in a additive manner under the influence of one individual intercession ( LeCompte, 1986 ) . As resources move down the assistance concatenation, several things happen which undermine the undertaking attack, and therefore limit the ability merely to bind resources and activities to NGO public presentation in footings of development?

Furthermore, the steps of development are really complex, incorporating both touchable or physical elements and intangible factors of human and organizational procedures and capacities. Besides, the possibility of imputing the cause of alteration to an NGO ‘s work is really restricted.

Accountability

Who are NGOs accountable to, for what, and how? Concerns about the function and answerability of NGOs have been voiced from different quarters in recent old ages. As the World Bank ( 2005 ) noted, with growing in the influence of NGOs so besides are they pulling greater public examination, motivating calls for greater answerability. Some givers, authoritiess, corporations, and international bureaus raise of import inquiries about the effectivity of NGO work and the legitimacy of their protagonism. Some NGOs have besides recognized the demand to guarantee good pattern in the wider voluntary sector.

The inquiry of answerability is seen as a bureaucratic hurdle at best, and at worst as a menace to accomplishing an NGO ‘s purposes. Some fear that any toughening of answerability may take to an overbearing influence from funders and authoritiess, which could so take to cooptation and a warp of original intent ( Najam, 2000 ) , or lead to the stymieing of invention and cut downing the diverseness of NGOs ( Cnaan, 1996 ) .

The job of to whom answerability should be towards besides arises many times. Accountability is normally upwards to givers and non to the hapless who are the most instantly concerned. NGOs merely want to demo that money is non being misappropriated and that the sanctioned activities are completed instead than that desirable alteration was achieved, allow entirely sustainable. Bendell ( 2006 ) nevertheless argued that democracy and human rights should steadfastly be at the Centre of the argument about NGO answerability. By democratic answerability he meant that NGOs should be more accountable to those with less power who are affected by the organisation ‘s actions or determinations – “ the hapless ” .

Scaling UP

Much has been said about the demand for NGOs to increase the impact they are holding instead than using little piecemeal attempts to big scale jobs of poorness. Edwards and Hulme ( 1992 ) described schemes for scaling up to run into this demand for more impacts. Some NGOs are contented to concentrate on a individual little community within which they work taking a ‘small is beautiful ‘ attack to their work ( Lewis 2001 ) . Edwards and Hulme ( 1992 ) noted three sorts of scaling up for NGOs as ; linear ( increase size and coverage of plans ) , multiplicative ( derive more purchase by act uponing other development histrions, thereby making more people ) , and diffusing ( reassigning its attacks beyond the organisation ‘s immediate domain of influence ) . Bangladesh Grameen Bank was able to efficaciously pull off the challenge of the scaling up procedure. The bank impacted a batch of hapless people in the immediate community, but instead than turning any larger as an implementing organisation, it encouraged the version of its original microcredit bringing theoretical account around the universe ( Lewis 2001 ) .

CASE STUDY: PROJECT LITERACY, SOUTH AFRICA

This instance survey is about Project Literacy, an NGO based in South Africa. The NGO was founded in 1973 by Jenny Neser to assist supply an chance for non-educated marginalized workers to larn how to read, compose and larn other basic life accomplishments thereby undertaking the job of really low educational degree in the society ( projectliteracy.org.za ) . Just like most NGOs, it started with the leader placing a demand in the society which neither the authorities nor the private sector is doing proviso for. The NGO started out doing usage of church installations for the preparation and acquiring voluntary instructors to assist out with the preparation. Much of the financess at this initial phase were from the laminitis ‘s bag and small fees low-cost by the donees. Even at this early phase, some other churches excessively started to copy Project Literacy ‘s programme, thereby increasing their impact ( ‘multiplicative scaling up ‘ ) . In 1985, the NGO enrolled up to 200 scholars in its Adult Basic Education Training ( ABET ) programme and had an one-year budget of about R4000.

The first major turnaround nevertheless came when the NGO received a contribution of $ 10,000 ( deserving R33, 000 ) from USAID. With this, the NGO registered Project Literacy Trust Fund, and with extra fundraising thrust, built its first mini office. By 1990, preparations for community based organisations and commercial clients were initiated. This helped in farther diversifying the NGOs income beginning. The plan besides enjoyed a batch of support from other organic structures like the South African Council of Churches and the Independent Development Trusts which both gave financess for the farther development of an ABET instructor preparation programme and development of suited ABET stuffs. The NGO was able to construct its cardinal office in 1994 through a contribution from the Joint Education Trust.

However, the direct support enjoyed by most South African NGOs from international givers shortly dried up. With democracy in South Africa in 1994, givers began come ining into bilateral understandings with the elective authorities instead than straight with NGOs, ensuing in the turn uping up of most NGOs. This highlights the centrality of support to the operations of these NGOs and likely their overdependence on it. Project Literacy nevertheless, was able to last this period by placing the chance in this challenge ( Farouk, twelvemonth unknown ) . The new Government saw the demand to supply sector broad preparation to run into the instruction and skill demands of its work force and the unemployed. This was done through the constitution of Sector Education Training Authorities ( SETA ) e.g. agribusiness SETA will go to to demands in agribusiness. Project Literacy ‘s scheme was to construct capacity to tender efficaciously for authorities contracts, and the organisation moved from direct bringing to service bringing. It besides restructured its fiscal direction construction, retrained staff, and adopted a robust selling scheme, all of which were non normal patterns in the sector. This kind of bold move required strong leading able to venture into countries non treaded before. By 1999, the NGO had gained national ill fame, with offices in all of South Africa ‘s states.

Besides critical to Project Literacy ‘s success was its leading construction. Unlike most other NGOs that depend on the personal appeal of the leader and his influence or connexions, Project Literacy was able to set in topographic point a standard construction with board of legal guardians and board of managers, with a direction squad. By 1995, Jenny Neser the laminitis resigned and a new CEO was appointed. Continuity was therefore ensured.

Growth nevertheless has its challenges, and Project Literacy ‘s biggest challenge of all time came in 2010 when it lost a major authorities contract worth R 90m. By this clip the organisation spent up to R1.2m monthly to keep its offices nationally. The loss of this contract resulted in the demand for the organisation to shut all its provincial offices and lay off 47 out of its 78 staff members ( Independent online, 2010 ) . This highlights the danger of a growing dependant on authorities support, and besides the danger of linear scaling up. Politicss could play a major function in who gets authorities ‘s contract, and a domineering monopoly might non be the best manner for NGOs to follow in their command to scale up. Whether or how Project Life will be able to manage the current direction challenge remains a inquiry to be answered, but the lessons learnt from it will be priceless to every aspiring NGO.

In decision, this essay has highlighted the importance of direction with regard to NGOs and how it differs from direction in the populace or private sectors. It has besides considered the direction challenges of leading, support, answerability, supervising & A ; rating, and scaling up as the most of import direction challenges confronting NGOs. The instance survey of Project Life has shown that direction in the NGO sector could be likened to a ‘rollercoaster ‘ drive, monumental success could bear with it seeds for prodigious failure. NGOs in the foreseeable hereafter will hold to go on to work in a really unpredictable environment, accommodating rapidly as the demand may be in order to last diverse challenges that will go on to confront them.