Aid Works teamed up with Thomson Reuters Foundation to conduct a rapid survey on racism in the aid sector in August 2020. Through this survey, we aimed to provide a platform for aid workers to share their experiences and ultimately, to provide an evidence base for change in the sector.
You may spend a huge amount of time uplifting your teams and team members, showing empathy, listening, propelling them forward. But then a lot of what you do is outside of your control. The decisions may be made by your boss, or further up the chain. Continue reading →
After working across the donor, private and NGO sectors for over 15 years and being heavily involved in how procurement is designed, here’s what I’ve noticed:
Often communities are involved in very quick design processes (as procurement is running late) through rapid needs assessments and selective focus groups.
Evaluations of previous funding cycles play a critical role – evaluation teams are often made up of seasoned professionals – who may bring their own biases. Fresh ideas and diverse teams are often missing from the design process.
I’ve been privileged to coordinate procurement processes which involve the host government collaborating with the funders. Communities and users often have no say in which agency provides their services – they have little-no purchasing power. Perhaps I am wrong?
The procurement is competitive in some cases. Detailed Request for Proposals. Some agencies are funded without any procurement process at all. Often agencies feel like they are all competing for the same pot of money – so they end up providing the same kinds of services. Health agencies start providing wider services like education; education agencies start providing health services – so differentiation becomes difficult and specialisations diminish.
This private sector approach tendering is mismatched with the nature of the work. The market has become narrow and focused – stifling creativity and innovation.
The power is with those agencies who write proposals well and can pass due diligence – so local/grass roots agencies often do not lead big projects.
Here you can read the initial results of a survey done by Thomson Reuters Foundation and Aid Works, showing key messages about racism in the aid sector. In the video below, our Programmes Director Mo highlights three key findings. Continue reading →
We’ve been reading books exploring racism, anti-racism and raising children. We’d like to share a list of these books with you. It isn’t a comprehensive catalogue – please get in touch with us if you would like to recommend any books on these topics and we will add them to the list! Continue reading →