Tuesday, September 26, 2006

PRAXIS AND INTRAC : Help For The NGO Developers

I found this on the web today:

"NGO leaders often face extraordinary challenges - both at a personal and organisational level. These challenges are demanding, and distinct from those faced by governments or the for-profit sector.

"NGO leaders are often isolated and unsupported. There is talk of a leadership deficit, because of the shortage of talented leaders and the growth of the non-profit sector generally. As a result there is some urgency in attempts to develop a new generation of leaders, and to provide relevant support to existing and future leaders. Leadership development programmes designed for NGO leaders must as a consequence incorporate best practice and current experience rather than rehashing tired, traditional approaches to leadership training.

"This Praxis Paper examines the role of leaders and leadership in NGOs. It draws on the analysis of recent research into the characteristics of NGO leaders, and explores the challenges of designing leadership development programmes appropriate to the needs of NGOs. This paper identifies the elements of successful leadership development, and assesses the skills or competencies that need be developed."

So, what, I wondered is Praxis? After a little searching I learned that

The Praxis Programme links with practitioners around the world to identify and share innovative approaches to organisational capacity building for NGOs. Praxis is a project of the International NGO Training and Research Centre (INTRAC) .

INTRAC is a non-profit organisation working in the international development and relief sector. We support non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society organisations (CSOs) around the world by helping to explore policy issues, and by strengthening management and organisational effectiveness.

But back to Praxis:

INTRAC states that the "Praxis Programme is about enabling civil society organisations to become more effective by linking theory and practice - researchers and practitioners - in the field of organisational capacity building."

In particular, Praxis, which receives funding from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is about giving development practitioners with hands-on experience in different cultures and contexts an opportunity to share the solutions they develop in the course of their work.

The Praxis and INTRAC web sites are loaded with useful information for NGOs and the people involved with them.

Praxis has information on key topics on which they focus. They also have a dynamic, interactive hub for sharing experiences and learning, and you can download free Praxis Publications or search the Praxis Directory of Support Providers for organisations that are involved in capacity building in a your region. Finally, you can add your own organization to the list.

The Praxis web site can be found at: http://www.intrac.org/pages/praxis.html

I can't wrap up this posting without mentioning that I found Praxis in the first place through the Development Gateway http://www.developmentgateway.org/

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