" alt="Use data management to tell your development story" />
28 February 2013
When monitoring and evaluating social investment programmes, whether undertaken by donors or their beneficiary partners, data management should not be viewed as an administrative burden that reduces development work to numbers alone. Rather, says Tshikululu M&E specialist Amira Elibiary, it is an essential tool and function that helps manage complex programmes, mapping historic and current performance, and allowing for reliable communication of results.
By collecting, formatting, storing, analysing, and reporting quantitative data and qualitative information such as applications sent or received, interview transcripts, survey results, case studies, and beneficiary feedback, the guesswork is eliminated from decision-making and improved programme implementation can be achieved.
" alt="Charity gives way to social investment" />
25 February 2013
In the worlds of business and finance, when someone makes an investment, they do not simply give that money away; rather, they expect it to generate a financial return. Tshikululu Acting Manager of Advisory Services, Michael Rifer, points out that those making a social investment – both corporate and non-corporate foundations – may not be looking to make money, but they are beginning to expect a return for their outlay.
In doing so, the lexicon of development is beginning to sound more and more like that of business. Suddenly ‘performance’ and ‘value’ apply as much to the work of NGOs as they do to stocks. And as funders begin to expect clear ‘development dividends’ from their giving in the form of greater social impact, their development partners in the NGO sector must either adapt or risk being labelled a bad investment.
" alt="Good governance – why non-profits should care, and be involved" />
6 September 2012
When people organise communally to achieve a certain purpose, whether that purpose is to increase financial value for shareholders or to maximise social capital and quality of life for stakeholders, principles of governance will, at some stage, become material to the organisation’s ability to achieve that purpose in an ethical and sustainable manner.
14 February 2012
In the last six months, debate surrounding admitting failure in development work has escalated, swinging periodically between two “absolutelys” – yes and no. Tshikululu’s senior communications specialist, Gina de Villiers, discovers that the concept itself could be doomed to failure.
No one is arguing that increased transparency and knowledge about the realities of working in development would be a bad thing. In fact, in this debate, that’s probably all that everyone agrees upon.
The organisations admitting failure very publicly, and creating platforms on which others can do the same (see www.admittingfailure.com, the website launched by Engineers Without Borders Canada), assert that better clarity and communication is exactly what lies at the heart of this movement.
Those calling the movement a fad and the phrase a “meaningless buzzword” have pointed out that a noble cause could become one that is dangerous to development’s millions of beneficiaries, should funding be threatened.