Solomon Islands, 2018. Photo credit: Patrick Rose/UNDP Solomon Islands

PODCAST: Are Development NGOs Fit for Purpose?

My guest today, Nicola Banks, is a lecturer in global urbanism and urban development at the University of Manchester. She has conducted some pioneering research on the role of the NGO sector in global development.

Some of her findings — including that development NGOs be more politically engaged — are being adopted and tested by some major aid agencies. Dr. Banks is also undertaking an ambitious project, along with Professor Dan Brockington of the University of Sheffield, of mapping the UK’s NGO sector and we discuss some of her findings from that study.

Her research that we discuss in this episode asks one big question: Are today’s global development NGOs suitable designed to achieve maximum impact in the fight against global poverty? That is, are they “fit for purpose” in a changing world. If you have 20 minutes and want to learn about the valuable contributions of the NGO sector to sustainable development, and how NGOs might change to achieve more lasting impact, have a listen.

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