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Mar
23

14 changes UK NGOs must make to be relevant in 10 years time

How can UK NGOs face the challenges of the next 10 years? Our panel has these suggestions

By Rachel Banning-Lover

The Guardian US

Be open to new ideas: There’s a sense that NGOs feel that we have to protect our space but civil society has always been organic and evolving. Some large NGOs are now seen as part of a broken system but we need to be better at being provocative, challenging, and value-driven when looking at how we can make changes. Connell Foley, director of strategy, advocacy and learning, Concern Worldwide, Dublin, Ireland @Concern

Phase out the expat aid worker: In 15 years we should see more of local civil society occupying local and national spaces and crowding out INGOs. ActionAid moved our headquarters to Johannesburg to devolve power and agency to the south. In practice this means always hiring local staff and leadership wherever we operate and having collective agreements on sharing financial resources rather than purely a bilateral north-south transfer. Nuria Molina Gallart, director of policy, advocacy and campaigns, ActionAid UK, London, UK @nmolinagallart @ActionAidUK

Disaggregate and diversify the sector: We need to see a sector that is less white and less male. In 2025, I also hope we’ll see a UK humanitarian force composed of big service delivery organisations alongside small, guerrilla style lobby outfits and diaspora-based organisations; traditional NGOs alongside private sector groups. Duncan Green, senior strategic adviser, OxfamGB, Oxford, UK @fp2p @oxfamgb

Support weak civil society groups: The added value of UK NGOs in natural-disaster or hazard-based disaster response work is as a non-partisan convener in areas where local civil society is compromised. Thomas Guiney, futures project manager, Bond, London, UK @bondngo

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