Articles authored by Roche, Chris


What are the implications for NGOs of the increasingly unpredictable environment in which they work? This article highlights lessons from the natural sciences and from private-sector management. If development is about the process of change, then we need a more refined analysis of what change is. Food crises and conflicts are about struggles over power and rights and are, therefore, but moments in continuing processes of change. Strategic intervention demands an understanding of such change if it is to trigger wider transformations.
This article summarises the results of a joint action-research project undertaken by a number of international and local NGOs, which involved case studies in four countries in Africa, three in South Asia , one in Latin America, and one in the UK. The paper seeks to situate the discussion of impact assessment in the context of a growing critique of international NGOs. Overall, it is suggested that simple models of cause and effect which link project inputs to outputs and impact, although important, are usually inadequate for assessing the impact of what NGOs do.

Conference Report

40 participants from 24 countries took part in this workshop, organised by the International NGO Training and Research Centre (INTRAC) in Oxford, UK. Much of the workshop was spent trying to reach agreement on what civil society means, and the degree to which it can be conceptually separated from the State, and reinforced by NGOs.

Oxfam’s experience suggests that ‘bottom–up’ accountability can be an important mechanism whereby men and women living in poverty can hold others to account. The first section of this article illustrates this with two examples of Oxfam experience in Vietnam and Sri Lanka. The second section draws out some of the lessons from these, and attempts to situate them within the broader debate about approaches to accountability.