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Archive for November 2009


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It reminds me of a joke that we had in Malawi about the proliferation of useless (and often fraudulent) NGOs – we talked about the NGO TWACIB, which stood for “Two wankers and a computer in Blantyre.”

This joke from Aid Thoughts might be close to home for me, but there is a lot of need for introspection among all NGOs to make sure that, even if you are a wanker, you do no harm.

HT Owen Barder via Bill Easterly.

Barder relays a tale of “too small to succeed”

A friend of mine is the country director of a small NGO based here in Ethiopia. She thinks that what they do is worthwhile, but that they are far too small to be a cost-effective way to help people. Ideally she would like the work she does to be taken over and absorbed into a larger organisation; but there is no way in the aid industry for this to happen.


Written by Niall

November 1, 2009 at 11:53 am

Posted in Uncategorized