1st Edition

The Virtuous Spiral
A Guide to Sustainability for NGOs in International Development

Edited By

Alan Fowler

ISBN 9781853836107
Published July 1, 2000 by Routledge
240 Pages

USD $59.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

'The Virtuous Spiral is without doubt a most welcome addition to the body of knowledge that will continue to be highly valued in the NGO sector.' Ezra Limiri Mbogori, Director, Mwelekeo wa NGO (MWENGO), Harare 'Fowler demonstrates how development NGOs can engage in a virtuous spiral of performance-based learning that regenerates public trust. This is a timely book, dealing squarely with the confidence crisis faced by many NGOs in the South and North.' Louk De La Rive Box, Director, European Centre for Development Policy Management, Maastricht Sustainability is crucial for all institutions involved in international development. This work offers practical guidance on how to achieve it. There are three main kinds of sustainability and a section of the book is devoted to each: making the impact of the organization's work sustainable, ensuring continuity of funding, and making the organization itself sustainable to remain viable. Achieving all three creates a virtuous spiral. The book takes an organizational rather than a technical or impact-based approach to sustainability. It is based on extensive international research and offers many practical examples of sustainability and the difficult trade-offs involved.

Table of Contents

Introduction * Part I: Change that Endures - Sustaining Development Impact - What does Sustainable Development Mean for NGDOs? * Interventions for Sustainable Local Impact * Framework and Indicators for Sustainable Local Development * Part II: Maintaining Activities - Strategies for Sustaining Resources * Options, Strategies and Trade-offs in Resource Mobilisation * Mobilising Non-financial Resources * Commercialisation - a Profit-making Non-profit * Mobilising Finance from Other Sources * Strategic Choices for Sustaining Financial Resources * Part III: Institutional Stability - Regeneration and the Viable Organisation - Regeneration Through Learning * Regeneration Through Organisational Change * Regeneration Through Leadership * The Leader's Legacy - Creating a Virtuous Spiral * Appendix: Levels in Sustainability Systems * Notes * References * Further Reading * Index

View More



Alan Fowler is a consultant, analyst and writer, currently resident in Ethiopia. For over 20 years he has worked with international development NGOs in Africa, Asia and the United States as manager, consultant, researcher, Ford Foundation Programme Officer and Visiting Fellow at The World Bank and the Society for Participatory Research in Asia, New Delhi. He is co-founder of the International NGO Training and Research and Centre (INTRAC) and a Director of the International Society for Third Sector Research. His popular book on enhancing NGO effectiveness, Striking a Balance, has been translated into Spanish, Russian and French.