FROM INNOVATION TO TRANSFORMATION
Humber’s International Development Institute (IDI) will host a Symposium on NGO Adaptation and Innovation on June 14 - 15, 2012 (located at Humber's Lakeshore Campus - 3199 Lake Shore Blvd. West, Building L, Toronto, Canada). The Symposium will consider forces causing significant changes in International Development; how International Development is likely to evolve over the next decade; implications for senior managers and board members in organizations that deliver aid programs, services and projects; innovative approaches aid groups are using to adapt to the changing environment; and what all of this means for International Development career paths.
This theme will resonate with Humber’s broad NGO stakeholder community and appeal to senior people in a cross section of Canadian and international organizations including research institutes, policy think tanks, public and private donors, and academic institutions.
Symposium topics will include:
Changing Aid Community Roles and Relationships
What forces are at work? (e.g., international efforts to improve “aid effectiveness”; the new private donors; shifting priorities and increasing emphasis on security and job creation; growing ranks of failed and conflict-ridden states; government regulation of NGO activities; tighter government budgets; a move to more right of centre political philosophies; etc.). How are these factors changing the roles and relationships of donors, recipients, NGOs, private sector players, etc.?
Implications for ID Organizations
NGOs are subject to momentous change, perhaps more than any other segment of the ID community. Many are scrambling to adopt new roles and find new ways of doing business. What are the main trends? How is this likely to evolve over the next decade or so?
How do ID organizations recognize the need for change and manage the change process? How does an organization break with long-held traditions to assume a new role? What is the Board’s role in the change process? What transformation approaches work best for ID organizations? What ID organization transformation case studies can we look at for inspiration and warning? How should the transformation process encompass the following:
- Changing the business model – How are fundamental business models changing? What must ID organizations do to shift away from reliance on sustaining grants and increase revenue generation through project management, professional services and other means? How might this lead to changes in leadership, stakeholder relationships and staffing?
- Partnerships and collaboration – What new roles and relationships are being formed? What sort of public/private and donor/recipient country collaborations and partnerships are evolving? How do management skills and attitudes have to change to develop and manage these new relationships?
- Modern management – How and to what extent are ID organizations adopting and adapting modern governance and management techniques and approaches?
- Organizational culture – How can organizational culture evolve to support new roles and approaches without losing core staff and stakeholder commitment and dedication?
Implications for International Development Professional Career Paths
What are the implications for the career paths of new entrants? How will the new professionalism affect ID organization staffing requirements? How will the shift to greater capacity of and reliance on recipient country experts affect donor country career paths? What mid career or late career transition strategies does this suggest?