RINGO is convening a new INGO Board Action Pod to support INGO Board members who are committed to shifting power and practice, and to reimagining ways of working within global civil society. 

To launch this new initiative, we held two Open House sessions on 27th September (10:00 and 15:00 GMT). We invited our community to learn how RINGO will support Board members through a creative and interactive process to move from ideas to action, both individually in their own organisations and collectively where we need to shift barriers at the systemic level. 

Over the past two years, RINGO engaged in a comprehensive exploration of the challenges facing INGOs, seeking solutions and addressing root causes. We developed eight prototypes with the potential to transform the sector. One key discovery has been the influential role of INGO boards in shaping organisational operations, particularly in their relationships with local and national partners. However, we also found that conversations on transformation and reforming policy and practices most often happen at senior management level: INGO Boards are often overlooked in discussions around systems change. As a response, our ‘INGO Board Action Pod’ serves to share our learnings at a governance level. We will offer facilitation, support and peer engagement for Board members, and encourage the implementation of innovative approaches to overcome existing barriers to shifting power. 

The INGO Board Action Pod will explore the following key areas: 

  • Addressing systemic inequalities
  • Balancing INGO impact and local empowerment
  • Shaping strategy participation
  • Redefining global solidarity 

As a collective, we will interrogate issues around race, power, decolonisation and localisation. We will explore the impacts of the changing funding space, with more going directly to local CSOs and/or the private sector, and the potential need to adapt your business models and income generation. We will discuss the changing role and purpose of the INGO, looking at more open and participatory ways of working and questioning your operational delivery models. Duty of care to staff and partners is high on the agenda for most INGOs, and we will look at how this needs to go beyond safeguarding. We will also consider leadership, the issue of staff turnover and questions around recruitment practices. This list is not exhaustive, and we will welcome your suggestions to help shape the agenda around the challenges that are pressing for you.

The intention of the INGO Board Action Pod is three-pronged:

  • TO CONNECT: this is a space for lively conversations with other Board members. You will get to cross pollinate and learn from each other, and share best practices. 
  • TO CULTIVATE: you will be introduced to new frameworks, new tools and new case studies, have access to experts and also some coaching.
  • TO CONTRIBUTE: this is a space of co-creation and ownership, where you will have the opportunity to develop new tools and new knowledge in order to influence the system.

In the first phase of the INGO Board Action Pod, we will host onboarding calls in October, followed by an Inception meeting in November. We will then host two further sessions in February and April 2024. We are designing 1.5 – 2 hour workshops which will be highly participatory and engaging – be prepared to get out of your comfort zone!

If you are an INGO Board member and would like to participate in the INGO Board Action Pod, or if you would like more information to take to your Board, please get in touch: info@ringoproject.org