News

October 2014

Annual report 2013-14
INTRAC's 2013-14 annual report highlights our research, training, and consultancy work in civil society dynamics; planning, monitoring, evaluation, and learning; and trends in international NGO and donor practices. It also includes sections on our values, key aspects of our work in 2013-14, the Central Asia Programme, Development in Practice, our work with the Civil Society Support Programme (Ethiopia), and on our finances.

Building Sustainability of Civil Society workshop
On 25-26 November, 2014, INTRAC is putting on a two-day workshop for practitioners, CSOs, foundations, social enterprises, private sector representatives and development agencies to share experiences of and practical responses for the sustainability of civil society.

Sustainability in transition: Two blog posts
When development practitioners talk about the sustainability of civil society organisations, particularly in the South, they often talk about finding new sources of external funding to replace retreating European NGOs and state agencies. In fact, they should be talking about developing a local constituency and local funding base, argues Brian Pratt in two blog posts on Alliance.

September 2014

Development in Practice special double issue on endogenous development in Africa
Development in Practice, a peer-reviewed international journal edited by INTRAC and published by Taylor & Francis, now has out a special double issue on endogenous development in Africa.

August 2014

New resources in Russian
New INTRAC resources are available in Russian: a paper on monitoring and evaluating advocacy activities, ONTRAC newsletter 57 on civil society in the Middle East and North Africa, and INTRAC's brochure.

July 2014

Out now: INTRAC Review of Activities, 2011-13
INTRAC has released its Review of Activities covering the period from April 2011-March 2013. Read the report for a retrospective of all our activities in all arenas for that period. Contains plenty of links to our key projects and papers, as well as a summary of what we do and how we do it. Also a summary of our finances and some interesting facts and figures. Watch for the 2013-14 annual report, coming out soon.

June 2014

New paper: Knowledge sharing in action
Our latest practitioner-oriented short paper, 'Knowledge sharing in action: The case of Concern Worldwide’s Knowledge Matters', describes how a new internal publication by Concern Worldwide has provided the means and motivation for staff to share their experience-based knowledge.

New INTRAC advocacy course - Influencing and Supporting Change in Complex Contexts
We are excited to announce a new advocacy course - 'Influencing and Supporting Change in Complex Contexts' which will be delivered in Oxford, UK on 13 - 15 October 2014. The course builds on INTRAC’s extensive experience of strengthening advocacy capacity and civil society voice at the national level. It provides an opportunity for participants to build their knowledge and skills and reflect on the specific challenges of these approaches in complex political contexts, situations and environments.

Recent consultancy: Evaluation for the Association for the Prevention of Torture
The Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) has recently released the results of a comprehensive evaluation of its strategic plan, commissioned by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and conducted by INTRAC. The report looks at case studies from the Philippines, Senegal, Tunisia, Kyrgyzstan, and Latin America, and comes to a number of conclusions and recommendations.

New paper: Building capacity of a thriving civil society in West Africa
Civil society has played an important role in reducing poverty levels in West Africa. However, organisations in the region still face challenges, many of which could be tackled by a commitment to appropriate capacity building. This paper summarises lessons learnt by the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI).

New research on legal frameworks and political space for NGOs
What kind of legal and political environment do civil society organisations operate in today? New research by INTRAC, conducted in conjunction with the European Association of Development and Training Institutes (EADI) and the University of Portsmouth, shows a complex and nuanced picture. The research examines the context in 12 countries.

Recent consultancy: Civil society and EU Delegations
In 2012, the European Commission made a commitment to work more with civil society groups. DanChurchAid and Concord accordingly commissioned INTRAC to do a capacity needs assessment amongst their partners and make recommendations as to relevant future capacity building support. The survey and report are now available.

New issue of Development in Practice
Latest issue of Development in Practice is out! Topics include food security in the Yucatan, herb gardens in Bangalore, irrigation in Nepal, malaria in Tanzania, art to fight HIV/AIDS, LGBT concerns in pre-departure orientations, development-driven forced displacement, social compacts for economic growth, and more.

New blog post: Cultivating trust in partnerships
'Trust' may sound like a soft, woolly concept; nice in theory but not useful in the business or NGO world. Not so, argues principal consultant Rick James in the sixth post of his blog series on capacity building. 'Trust is the ultimate root and source of influence,' he writes. 'It is a hard core and highly cost effective asset that you can create and also destroy.'

May 2014

Latest ONTRAC! Beyond spring: Civil society's role in the Middle East and North Africa
Since the heady days of the Arab Spring, what has happened to civil society in the countries affected? On the surface, change has been less sweeping than many activists hoped. But there have been important shifts, as chronicled by the authors of our latest ONTRAC newsletter.

New paper: Establishing a national coordinating body for non-profit organisations
INTRAC's new paper by Richard Bennett draws on experiences of not-for-profit umbrella organisations from all over the world to guide the formulation of the questions potential participants in a coordinating body should ask themselves and each other as they explore founding a coordinating body.

New blog post: Cultivating character in capacity building
Focusing exclusively on capacities, knowledge and skills misses what matters most. It’s individual and organisational character that determines whether genuine change takes place, argues principal consultant Rick James in the latest post in his capacity building blog series.

New blog post: It's (almost) all about leadership
Sure, participatory strategic processes are good. But when the leadership isn't committed to change, nothing happens. So argues principal consultant Rick James in his latest blog post, the fourth in his popular capacity building series. A great leader 'intentionally and determinedly shares leadership,' he writes. 'They are an odd mixture of courage and humility.'

New blog post: 10 ways to help others do their best thinking
Who is doing the thinking in our organizations? Could we think better? What can help us? INTRAC training manager Paula Haddock, a mindfulness trainer, explores these questions and more in her new blog post.

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