Online Program

How must organizational development change to facilitate country ownership

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 2:30 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

Malcolm Bryant, MBBS, MPH, Boston University Center for Global Health and Development, Boston University, Boston, MA
Background: Country ownership has become a key element of many donors' funding strategies in recent years, with the clearly articulated goals of improving the sustainability of development assistance; targeting more funds to people in need; and reducing the dependence on external agencies. We wanted to determine how effective capacity building of local organizations is in the context of country ownership

Methods: We conducted a small pilot program in India with three organizations and developed a tool capable of measuring organizational development. The tool was then modified to the Ethiopian context and applied to 44 NGOs comprising 61 different sites around the country. Measurements were made in 11 organizational domains

Results: There was considerable variation in organizational strength across the domains, with most organizations showing strength in the domains of mission and values, financial management, and human resource management. Most organizations showed significant weakness in strategic planning, financial security, and linkages to the community and other organizations.

Discussion: The similarity in patterns of organizational development suggests that there are significant isomorphic forces at work. The question remains as to whether these forces are positive or negative for organizational development. There is a lot to suggest that many of the forces for organizational development are somewhat coercive, related to project implementation, and leading organizations to conform to donor needs for accountability rather than organizational needs for capacity to fulfill their mission.

Conclusions: We question whether the current model of project-oriented capacity building of NGOs is compatible with a olicy of country ownership.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Define organizational capacity building Define country ownership Discuss the changes required in global programs to build locally owned organizational capacity

Keyword(s): Organizational Change, Quality Improvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator for the study under which this work is being done.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.