Giving Compass’ Take:
• Tara Rao describes the consequences of the ‘indigenisation’ of international NGOs which aimed to increase diversity by increasing the participation of the Global South, but excluded women.
• How can diversity be fostered across gender, geological, and ideological spectrums?
• Learn about the progress of global gender equality.
In the early 2000s, the ‘indigenisation’ of international NGOs (INGOs) began to take root. This was an initiative on the part of these organizations to start including people from the global south in their leadership—global south being a more politically correct term for ‘developing’ nations.
The rationale was to create a work culture that would have representation from a broader part of the world, while also building local legitimacy in the developing countries that they were working in.
To start with, INGO indigenisation focused significantly on representation in leadership; and these organizations experienced an increase in the population of men from the global south—definitely a step in the right direction for widening representation.
This development though, quite unfortunately, also seemed to reinforce the ground reality in the geographies that these organizations worked in. The growing visibility of this group of ‘southern males’ not only heightened but also reinforced local realities, thereby perpetuating the gender disparity they were there to change.
Women head only 12-14 percent of the non-profits with the largest budgets in the US and 24 percent of the top 100 nonprofits in the UK. Of the UK’s top development nonprofits—Action Aid, CAFOD, Christian Aid, Oxfam, Save the Children UK—collectively known as the British Overseas Aid Group, just two are headed by women, today.
Over time, in the ‘wider representation drive’, we seem to have cemented ourselves to this new reality of ‘indigenised skewedness’.
Read the full article about the development sector and gender equality by Tara Rao at India Development Review.
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