newritings

May 2, 2008

Current Debate: Should NGOs and TI and the movement do consultancy work?

Filed under: Mwalimu (Vol 1.1. - First Quarter 2008) — newritings @ 9:50 am

Should NGOs be consultancies or pitch for consultancy jobs?

This is a hot debate inside the TI movement or maybe more at leadership level. I find the debate of a high standard, and must admit that from its inception the very concept Consultant was seen by many including me as those vultures who were eating off the public sector (circa 1980s). True, whilst large sections of the public sector were in need of serious reform, the attacks were ideological and now the debate has to deal with an evolved, we have to admit that there are some consultants whose values and practices are building of public goods and services, and values… But should a movement like TI itself (or its country chapters) avail bid for this type of work? What is the motivation for such considerations in the first place? (it’s a reality for some and for others it’s to fulfill the mandate…).

I have tried to assert the view that IF, as I assert, the aim of the current debate within the movement on the above must be to LIMIT a creeping privatisation of a social – not for profit movement, then a different set of programmes, processes and institutions must follow.

Others if we must ask, as Sion Assidon (TI Morocco and Board member of the global movement) has asked, the fundamental question: What kind of NGO are we? What is the balance we should have in each country and in TI in general between advocacy and consultancy ?

Sion further argues that we must be commited to building the grassroots and citizens movement rather than spending time on becoming a consultancy: “otherwise, the risk for any chapter (and more for a weak beginning chapter) to become quickly and exclusively a paid consultancy firm is very big.” Practically, he argues, there are tax implications and also: what of the collective intellectual property rights that we build up as a movement voluntarily that will not be used for profit? There are many viewpoints but what do you think?

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1 Comment »

  1. […] National Self–Assessment Process (APRM): some reflections · Is Kieber a whistle Blower? · Current Debate – Should NGOs and TI and the movement do consultancy work? · Resources · Next […]

    Pingback by Contents « newritings — May 2, 2008 @ 3:43 pm | Reply


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