Fit for the Future? Development trends and the role of international NGOs

Publication date

11 Jun 2015

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How is our understanding of development changing? What are the implications of these changes, whether practical or conceptual, for the future role of international non-government organizations (NGOs)?

This short paper summarizes the main global trends in international development and then examines some pressing questions for international NGOs. It highlights the folly of simple, linear interventions and the merits of alternative approaches, such as bringing together stakeholders to find joint solutions (convening and brokering), or rapid iteration based on fast feedback and adaptation.

For Oxfam, this new thinking would mean relinquishing a command-and-control approach across all aspects of its work in favour of embracing a systems approach.