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Reimagining the International NGO (RINGO): Transforming INGO systems and global civil society 
Nicola Banks (University of Manchester)
Deborah Doane (Rights CoLab)
Politics and political economy
Wednesday 6 July, 15:00-16:00 (UTC+1)

Short Abstract:

This workshop introduces the Reimagining the International NGO (RINGO) project and delivers insight into some of the exciting prototypes through which it is seeking to leverage systems change for development NGOs and to shift power and resources to NGOs in the Global South.

Long Abstract

The RINGO project is a systems-change initiative seeking to overcome inequities in the international aid chain and to reimagine the role of the International NGO. Since early 2021, 50 diverse members of the RINGO Social Lab have been conducting an inquiry into why the INGO system is 'stuck' in the unequal systems and relationships that characterise relationships between NGOs in the Global North and South. Members have explored innovations for shifting this stuck-ness and identified a number of transformative prototypes through which to promote systems change in four key areas of practice: solidarity and partnership; leadership and governance; accountability; and resource flows.

This workshop will explore the roots of RINGO's systems-change initiative and how this global inquiry was carried out and coordinated. It will introduce some of these prototypes and how they have been designed to overcome key areas of 'stuckness' in the system, as well as highlight early successes or challenges that have emerged from this prototyping process. There is much to learn from RINGO in its process as well as its prototypes. In sharing details from the RINGO journey and introducing up-to-date innovations and ongoing attempts to transform the INGO system it provides important insight for scholars and practitioners interested in NGOs and development cooperation. In seeking equity and social justice and a transfer of power from North to South it will also be of interest to proponents of decolonising agendas.