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  • on 16.05.2015
  • at 09:30 AM
  • by Kevin Hind

Annual NGO ranking shows that the “white savior” status quo remains intact 0

Teju Cole wrote that a white saviour is someone who, “supports brutal policies in the morning, founds charities in the afternoon, and receives awards in the evening”. Global_Geneva recently released the third annual Top NGO ranking, and unfortunately, it’s more of the same. In 2013, I reviewed the Board profiles of the previous ranking, focusing on their gender balance and diversity, and links to the tobacco, weapons and finance industries. The findings were troubling. Many of the listed NGOs were not adequately diverse or representative, and over half had links to the above industries.

This year’s ranking reveals similarly disturbing trends. Though 78% of the activities of the NGOs listed take place in the majority world, the ranking remains skewed towards NGOs headquartered in the West (64%). This once again sends signals about who has value and expertise, and reinforces the fallacy that citizens of Western countries are best equipped to change the world.

Diversity continues to lag. Women and men of European origin are still over-represented in leadership positions (over 60% overall and by gender). The representation of women is still relatively low (40%, of whom 63% are of European origin). More disturbing, however, is the lack of ethnic diversity.

The statistics on Africa and Africans (including the diaspora) are once again particularly disconcerting.

Only 5% (26) of the 500 NGOs listed have their headquarters in Africa, yet 33% of activity takes place in that region. Of those 26, only 7 are in the top 100 and most (9) are found in the last tier (401-500).

Only 4% of CEOs are of African descent.

Continue reading on Africa Is a Country

by Fairouz El Tom

Photo Credit:  Michelle Hooton Flickr

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