Thanks for that important point and question, Tim.
On Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 2:36 PM, Forsyth,TJ <t.j.fors...@lse.ac.uk> wrote:
> Dear Aseem and colleagues
> Congratulations on your excellent article in the WP. But please can I
> suggest that we all pause before fixing this narrative of the Oxfam crisis?
> I am not for one second condoning the behaviour of the staff in Haiti, nor
> Oxfam’s economy of the truth in reporting it. But I do want to stress how
> the story about Oxfam, and the recent flurry of added allegations about the
> aid sector, have come at a time in the UK when there is a very clear
> campaign to discredit overseas aid. The UK passed a law in 2015 to make it
> a legal requirement to spend 0.7 percent of GNP on overseas aid, which has
> been vigorously opposed by the same politicians and newspapers who have
> fought to leave the EU. Many analysts believe that reducing trust in one of
> the oldest brands associated with international aid is an effective route
> to influencing public debate about aid along those same libertarian lines.
> Your article asks: "Why do nonprofit organizations behave in unprincipled
> ways?” That’s a very good question. But I think we also have to ask “What
> are the influences on the information we receive about nonprofits?” and “Do
> other sectors get the same scrutiny?” I suggest we need to be more
> cautious about how to interpret this widespread criticism of the aid sector
> before assuming the stories are facts, and that the lessons are clear.
> Best regards
> Tim F
> Professor, Department of International Development,
> London School of Economics and Political Science
> On 19 Feb 2018, at 18:32, as...@u.washington.edu wrote:
> Several scholars on this list study nonprofits/NGOs and have written on
> governance failures. The article
> we published on the Oxfam scandal in the Washington Post/Monkey Cage Today
> might interest them:
> The Oxfam scandal shows that, yes, nonprofits can behave badly. So why
> aren’t they overseen like for-profits?
> The civic sector plays an important role in the contemporary society.Yet,
> the Oxfam scandal (and other scandals that are now getting revealed as well
> as the cover-up at Oxfam since 2011 of the Haiti episode) raises serious
> questions about our theoretical understanding of the NGO/nonprofit sector.
> Yes, this is not the first scandal. Nevertheless, if a moral leader such
> as Oxfam has serious governance failures, we should seriously examine our
> conception of the NGO/NPO sector -- with the intent to reform it. To do so,
> we need to study both the successes and failures of NPO/NGO governance.
> Aseem Prakash
> Professor, Department of Political Science
> Walker Family Professor for the College of Arts and Sciences
> Founding Director, UW Center for Environmental Politics
> 39 Gowen Hall, Box 353530
> University of Washington
> Seattle, WA 98195-3530
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Professor, International Relations
San Francisco State University
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