It’s highly unlikely that corporate bosses regularly ask themselves if their businesses have a right to exist. Their goal is to sell stuff and make a profit. But if your goal is to alleviate poverty and human suffering – in the face of statistics showing mixed outcomes – is this, in fact, the most important question an International NGO can ask of themselves?

Plagued with concerns about accountability and effectiveness, alongside an NGO backlash both at home and abroad, there is clearly something afoot. Oxfam International is shifting its headquarters to Nairobi. ActionAid moved to Johannesburg long before, while Amnesty International is decentralising at a rapid pace too. But aside from a shuffling of senior staff and some programme staff, none that I’m aware of – with the outstanding exception of Everychild (an INGO dealing with children’s rights) – has gone so far as to ask the question “do we have a right to exist?”

The full article can be found in The Guardian.


Photograph: Akhtar Soomro/Reuters