The human organisation: challenges in NGOs and development programmes

It is frequently contended that NGOs and the wider context of development are intrinsically different from other organisational settings within which Human Resource Development (HRD) is believed to play an important role. In this paper, the author outlines the basic concepts underpinning human development within organisations, and organisational development, and sets out the arguments for greater investment in people. While this can raise ethical and practical issues in organisations that depend on external funds rather than generating their own income, the failure to develop the staff on whom a development organisation ultimately depends carries far greater risks. Management and specifically HRD are not desk-bound activities that can be pursued through the application of protocols and sanctions, but require vision, leadership, and hands-on engagement.