defining organizational effectiveness

Download Defining Organizational Effectiveness

Post on 30-Dec-2015




0 download

Embed Size (px)


Defining Organizational Effectiveness. George Mitchell Transnational NGO Initiative, Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, Syracuse University April 6, 2010. Organizational Effectiveness: Overview. Lack of simple , accessible , relevant and credible information about NGO effectiveness - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Defining Organizational EffectivenessGeorge MitchellTransnational NGO Initiative, Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, Syracuse UniversityApril 6, 2010

  • Organizational Effectiveness: OverviewLack of simple, accessible, relevant and credible information about NGO effectivenessStakeholders, such as donors, forced to rely on incomplete, poor quality informationHow can NGOs help provide more meaningful information?OutlinePart I: definition Part II: disclosure*

  • Why Definition MattersNGOs want to be effective and to communicate their effectiveness to stakeholders, such as donors.Donors want their contributions to support effective NGOs.But if stakeholders define organizational effectiveness differently they will employ different criteria and reach different conclusionsThe question of organizational evaluation (and therefore reputation, etc.) depends upon the question of definition*

  • DEFINING NGO EFFECTIVENESSEvidence from the Transnational NGO Interview Project*

  • The Transnational NGO InitiativeFace-to-face, in-depth interviews with 152 leaders (mostly presidents and CEOs) of international NGOs rated by Charity NavigatorTopics included governance, goals, strategies, obstacles, transnationalism, effectiveness, accountability, communications, partnerships and collaborations, leadership, etc.About 209 hours of digital recording transcribed and coded (quotations and statistics)


  • TNGO Data on Organizational EffectivenessInterviewer: Let me ask you about the concept of effectiveness, which is something we all have trouble defining. How does your organization define effectiveness?The (non-mutually exclusive) categories for leaders open-ended responses:ResourcesFlexibilityInnovationExpertiseContactsStaff/peer competencyStakeholder satisfaction Goal achievementEvaluationOther (omitted)*

  • Organizational Effectiveness: Overall Results*

  • Organizational Effectiveness*

  • Two Main Definitions of Effectiveness*

  • Two Definitions of EffectivenessOutcome accountabilityWell I mean ah, for us to be effective is to achieve the programmatic or strategic goals that weve identified. We define it as whether or not we are sort of getting the tasks achieved that we set for ourselves. We set important goals and, and we achieve them. if weve done the work that weve said we would do, thats...that should be one level of effectiveness.Its the commitment you make to doing what you said you were going to do. its when you are doing what youre saying youre doing, that youre serving your mission...and that youre able to show that youre serving your mission

    Overhead Minimizationto be effective in [DELETED] is to deliver services and assistance to the people of [DELETED] at low costThe uh, amount of money thats actually getting to the, to the field dedicated to the programsand secondarily the actual impact of projects that you can quantify.we cant determine the outcomes, so we measure products. We, we measure outputs. What is sent over you know, what its purpose is, where it goes. We dont necessarily know how many people it will effectyou can measure success primarily by your outputs.our best ace card is our efficiency in terms of how we, we have a low overheadGoal attainment, promise-keeping, program evaluationFunctional expense ratios, accounting for outputs*

  • Effectiveness as Overhead MinimizationWhy?Reaction to external pressures (internalization, marketing)? Underlying cultural belief that low overhead corresponds with organizational worthiness? Evidence? (Urban/Indiana study)Who?These leaders are three times more likely to be from larger NGOs (professionals, economies of scale).These leaders are ten times more likely to be from amelioration NGOs (accounting for outputs).*

  • ASSESSING ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVENESSTwo understandings, two possible systems*

  • Communication Breakdown?Your organization is ineffective! Your overhead is too high!But we accomplished everything we promised*

  • The Disclosure ProblemStakeholders make judgments based on the credible information available to them In lieu of meaningful effectiveness data, ratings based on financial data and checklists have become increasingly popular. Many users implicitly assume such ratings have something to do with effectiveness.Many donors are forced to rely upon very little information (anecdote)*

  • Two Definitions, Two Possible Disclosure SystemsOutcome accountabilityDefinition: demonstrable goal attainment or promise fulfillmentDisclosure: states ex ante, goals or promises, states ex postOverhead minimizationDefinition: maintenance of normal functional expense ratios, etc.Disclosure: financial information, much of it relying on discretionary classification*How can NGOs disclose more helpful information about organizational effectiveness to stakeholders?

  • The Wrong Format: Statement of Program Service Accomplishments*

  • A Disclosure Format for Outcome Accountability *

    IndicatorState Ex AnteGoal or promiseState Ex PostPercent AchievedPercent of BudgetLearningWater access (avg. time)60 min.30 min.45 min.50%100%Local water contaminated


  • Evaluation Challenges Although most NGO leaders associate organizational effectiveness with goal achievement and evaluation, according to Charity Navigator less than 10 percent of NGOs implement meaningful evaluation systemsAt the end of the day, are NGOs held accountable for outcome achievement?The basic principles of outcome accountabilityArticulate specific goals and identify appropriate indicators Evaluate progress as rigorously as feasible Credibly and systematically disclose results


  • ConclusionsThe TNGO Initiative website: Subscribe to the blog.Email:


    **Fluff. What was promised?*


View more >