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Open Government Partnership – will it help me and my organisation?

photo of dave HendersonDave Henderson
External Relations Manager
Hui E!

Recently I was sponsored to attend International Civil Society Week (ICSW) in Bogota, the capital of Colombia. It’s far from Colombia’s Caribbean beach resorts like Cartagena, being in the foothills of the northern Andes, but it’s a very liveable city.

Contrary to all the media focus on kidnappings and the long guerrilla war with FARC and other rebel groups, Colombia is making great headway towards internal peace. The involvement of civil society organisations in that process made it a very real place to hold the ICSW. The theme was “Active Citizens – Accountable Actions”. Read more »

It’s just what we do

Gabrielle OBrienGabrielle O’Brien, Chief Executive Officer
Birthright NZ

Like many others, I have struggled to follow the news coverage regarding the death of 3 year old, Moko Rangitoheriri. Not because it hasn’t been accessible but because the circumstances were so horrific that it is stomach churning. Only the conviction that we need to face up to this tragedy to understand what we can do to change our shocking record of child abuse in New Zealand keeps me reading and listening. Read more »

NGOs and trade unions – natural allies in making NGOs great places to work

Brenda photoBrenda Pilott, National Manager
Social Service Providers Aotearoa

I’ve just joined Social Service Providers Aotearoa as its national manager, after a decade working for the PSA, NZ’s largest union which includes thousands of community sector workers amongst its membership.  So I came to the job with some views about NGOs as employers and how they treat their staff.  I also brought with me a strong view that unions and NGOs are natural allies. Read more »

A generous hospitality?

P1050738 (2)Phil McCarthy
National Director
Prison Fellowship New Zealand

 Recently, in the Anglican Diocese of Wellington, of which I’m part, we’ve focused on what ‘A Generous Hospitality’ might look like.  It’s easy these days to despair as we observe what is happening in this country and in the world around us.   The world is not majoring on hospitality!  The sight on our TV screens of American Republican political candidates is deeply troubling as they spew hatred, actively foster racism and violence, glorify war and even war crimes, seek to exploit people’s fear of minorities into votes for political office, and firmly divide the world into ‘us’ and ‘them’ camps Read more »

Aroha Mai, Aroha Atu: Giving back is giving Forward

Anya_ComVoices (1)Anya Satyanand, Executive Officer
Ara Taiohi
Peak Body for Youth Development

E ngā iwi, e ngā reo, e ngā karangatanga maha o ngā hau e wha, tēnei te mihi atu ki a koutou katoa! Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou i runga i te kaupapa nei: Aroha Mai, Aroha Atu!

Talofa lava, ni hao, fakalofa lahi atu, namaste and warm greetings from Ara Taiohi, the peak body for youth development in Aotearoa. We’re a small organisation with a big job  – we’re working to connect our sector, raise standards among our members, champion youth development and promote sustainability. Read more »

Sustainability and social enterprise: questions, questions, questions

Ros 2015 short hairRos Rice, Executive Officer,
Community Networks Aotearoa

Is sustainability in the NFP community actually possible?  It’s something we hear about a great deal, and yet it is probably the most difficult thing to achieve.

It presumes that we should all be able to access regular funding or funds that will enable us to survive without going to Government or to Philanthropic organisations again, but where does this ‘magic’ supply of money come from. Read more »

Reflecting on resigning

Wren Green CID_croppedDr Wren Green, Director
Council for International Development

We lead busy lives. We juggle demands at work with obligations at home, and often community commitments as well. Time to reflect, to take stock on how well we are doing and how well we are coping seems hard to find. It’s like the mirage of water across the desert sands, desirable but forever out of reach. I’ve heard the clichés often enough: set aside time at the end of each day to review your accomplishments, have regular days for staff reflections, celebrate wins, etc.  Yeah right. Congratulations if you do all these things, but I confess they slip past me.  So call me disorganised and I’ll agree with you. Read more »

Complaints are constructive

Raewyn FoxRaewyn Fox, CEO
The New Zealand Federation of Family Budgeting Services

Yes you did read that correctly, I said constructive not destructive.

In New Zealand no matter how much we try to break historic stereotypes, we do tend to still have a “she’ll be right” attitude and hesitate to rock the boat.

When it comes to standing up for our rights, we often hesitate. In the not-for-profit ‘helping’  sector, we are very good at standing up for other people’s rights, but not always for our own. Read more »

Donald Trump and mana

Tess Casey, CEO
Inclusive New Zealandphoto of Tess Casey

In the same way that other people binge-watch TV programmes on Netflix, I’m binge-watching the US Elections.  Who would have thought we would see Donald Trump (a billionaire TV personality) and Bernie Sanders (a self-described socialist) looking like they could have a chance at the US Presidency?  In some ways Bernie Sanders’ success is even more surprising than Trump’s.  Socialists are generally deeply mistrusted in the US.
Read more »

Get outside the box, then think!

photo of Gabrielle O'BrienGabrielle O’Brien, Chief Executive
Birthright New Zealand

Two months into 2016 and a steady flow of information has come across my computer screen.  Social change statistics, analysis of the characteristics of children at most risk, a report on support networks or lack thereof for some New Zealanders have all featured.  Within reason, I can find information about any subject that interests me.   Reports come from Government, independent research bodies and other NGOs. Often they disagree and contradict each other but there’s always food for thought whatever the angle.  These reports are written by a range of experts who have put intelligent thought, the discipline of their profession or training and a genuine interest in finding solutions into their work.   Increasingly, however, I am struck by the piece of the puzzle that’s often missing.  Read more »

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