“Donors Shouldn’t Punish NGOs that Disclose Misconduct – Here’s How to Help Stamp Out Abuse”

The Conversation published an article containing the following excerpt:

“DFID and other donors shouldn’t stop pressurising[sic] NGOs to do better, but they also need to do more to promote the way organisations learn from when things go wrong. That includes adopting a positive and constructive attitude towards disclosures of wrongdoing.

It’s no secret that aid projects frequently fail and aid workers can commit appalling crimes. The first step towards stopping this is for NGOs to be transparent about transgression. And donors should understand that this is a hallmark of an accountable organisation. They should encourage NGOs to be candid about why failure occurs – which may include listening to explanations that reflect poorly on the donor’s preferred way of giving aid.

Some inconvenient truths may need to be shared, and some humility needed on both sides. NGOs that admit failure, that are genuinely contrite and that seek to provide redress to victims of abuse are abiding by accountability norms that donors claim to support. It would be perverse to punish them for doing so by removing their funding, or dragging their reputation into the mud.”

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