In the development sector, the power scale is tipped in favor of organizations that have the right connections with aid bilaterals and multilaterals and foundations that can absorb millions of dollars. That means a “dog eat dog” environment for organizations in the Global South as well as the Global North. It is the survival of the fittest where you have to play up to the hand that feeds you and dim the light of your competitors.

NGOs in the Global South are predominantly dependent on foreign donor funding and many would not exist without it. They are mainly accountable to the hand that feeds them for the delivery of their mission. They are forced to dance to the tune that foreign donors play. They are bereft of power in many ways.

But should organizations be motivated by their foreign donors or by the constituency whose problems the organization exists to help solve? The #ShiftThePower movement calls for the direction of accountability to change. This would mean that the matrix for measuring success would not be a Western log-frame model or an imported European model, but one that suits the context.

In recalibrating the dynamics of Global South/North relationships, we will build genuine solidarity across continents, interests and organizations by overcoming the ego, logo and silo mentality.

The full article can be found at the Bond website.


Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash