Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Where is the political will to change?

"Non-governmental organizations, especially those operating outside of the industrialized world, are rarely in a position to have a sophisticated technology infrastructure. Unless the NGOs in question focus on information technology, chances are the computers and networks they use combine donated hardware, a mix of off-the-shelf commercial software (which may or may not be legally acquired), and far too little time deal with technology hassles"

Tipped off to read the WorldChanging blog and what Jamais Cascio has to say about 'NGO in a Box' and I must say that this is good BUT...

I have met recently several people that are ready to take the NGO world further. At the WSIS meetings held in Geneva and Tunis, I was quite amazed at the passion for change but in the act, it will be the will of top management overcome the barrier to change. My recent experience working at the UN allows me to state the following observations:
  • there is certainly a void within the NGO/International organizations to successfully promote communication, channel convergence and knowledge sharing
  • people are being recruited who have skills, ideas and methods but do not have the authority or political backing \read: powerless to affect change
  • senior management has expressed their interest in 'moving forward' using new world tactics to reach their constituencies
The big questions are:

  • do the senior managers within the NGO/International Organisation have the will to lead change within their organisations;
  • do they understanding that when we talk about technology, we are not talking about IT departments;
  • do they understand that Communications is a high priority within the framework of planning, priority setting, up-stream, down-stream and horizontal information flow? \read: relationship building

Big questions. Answers are out there. But the answer is not technology - it's the will to change.

... nod to Euan Semple for the tip ...

2 Comments:

Blogger Euan said...

The world has never been significantly changed by people who wait for permission!

1:31 PM, February 08, 2006  
Anonymous David said...

I agree but there has to be a balance between change from outside and change from within.

plus risk adversity is ingrained in the corporate structure of most NGO/UN system.

1:58 PM, February 08, 2006  

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