Ensuring NGO transparency to deliver change
In the wake of challenges from the media, public, politicians and Southern Civil Society, the need for re-evaluation of the entire sector and its mindset has never been more apparent. From a lack of transparency over aid workers movements to outdated and deeply entrenched attitudes such as sexism or the prevalent ‘West saving the Rest’ narrative, the issues are clear. However, the solutions are less so; How can we increase accountability and safeguarding in NGOs? Are such issues specific to certain organisations, or is it a network-wide issue? Would requiring NGOs to be accountable prevent them from doing as much good as they otherwise could? Finally, how do the structural power imbalances left behind by colonialism impact NGO - and individual - behaviour and how can we overcome that? Through this panel, OxFID will attempt to provide some answers to the key questions on how to ensure those we entrust to do good in our society can be held to account.
This panel will explore the complexities behind the global anti-poverty consensus, from disagreements on the definition of poverty, to how to measure and eradicate it. While traditionally development economists have identified poverty in terms of absolute income, others have adopted a more innovative or holistic approach. Traditional responses to poverty have been under fire for more than a decade, with well-intentioned but badly thought-out aid often failing to tangibly reduce poverty levels at all - and, in many cases, helping perpetuate the very crises it sought to solve. Given these oversights, a dramatic rethinking of aid-effectiveness is necessary to respond to the challenges and opportunities of today. This discussion will explore how we can achieve Sustainable Development Goal Number 1: ‘No Poverty’ and what the most productive tools and frameworks are to unite both the global private and public sectors in this goal.