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Recent happenings from the TNGO Initiative

TNGO Initiative wins Moynihan Faculty Challenge research grant to research digital civil society networks

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The TNGO Initiative has been awarded one of five small research grants as part of the Moynihan Challenge competition. The small, exploratory study ‘Digitally Enabled Civil Society Organizing: What are the Challenges and Opportunities for Traditional NGOs?” will compare and contrast  the organizational as well as leadership attributes of digital networks as compared to traditional ‘brick and mortar’ NGOs. It hopes to examine organizations like, Avaaz, ONE, Ushahidi and others which have emerged as important civil society players in the last five years or so.
The study will result in publications as well as in a ‘debate style’ panel at the planned Moynihan Symposium (Feb. 2015) between leaders of NGOs as well as digital networks, and academics.

Caitlin L Chandler, ''Kenya’s first mockumentary takes on the NGO world''

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Finally, a new TV show exists to highlight some of the absurdities of the international aid sector. The slyly named The Samaritans is a comedy about the perils – and pleasures – of the “NGO world”. Created by a Kenya-based production company, it chronicles the work of Aid for Aid – an NGO that, in the words of its creator, “does nothing." ..... 

The following is a link to the rest of the article: 

Alina Tugend, Crowdfunding’s Effect on Venerable Nonprofits Raises Concern

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The ads ran for years. The global charity Save the Children asked for a monthly donation, and in return, a few times a year the donors received a photo and handwritten note or drawing from children in impoverished places like Haiti.

The idea, of course, was that donors would have some sort of connection to the contribution. Most people knew that, in reality, the few dollars were not given directly to those children but to projects that would supposedly benefit them. .......

Read the whole article here:

Matthew Sherrington, The Changing Big Wide World for NGOs

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Matthew Sherrington reflects on how changes in the development sector are shifting thinking about funding and communications.

What international development looks like has changed. The old ‘north/south’ paradigm no longer fits. NGOs and the private sector now compete to deliver contracted services. Mobile technology is one of the biggest catalysts for change today. It’s as important to change the system that drives poverty, as the circumstances of people who experience it. Does this change how we should engage the public? ...........

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The Bridgespan Group, ''Making Measurement Work in Large, Complex Organizations''

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It's one thing for large social-sector organizations to embrace the idea of measurement as a way to enhance program impact. It’s entirely another for them to figure out how to design and implement measurement systems for multisite, multiservice, and even global organizations. One NGO leader we spoke with described the experience as "wading through the measurement mess."

While there's no easy fix for this "measurement mess," multiservice global NGOs we've studied and advised have forged ways to cut through the complexity—here's how:

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