Learning center

Organisational development

At the Swedish Mission Council, we believe that working in partnership with organisations is the key to a rights-based approach and it is therefore of critical importance in our role as a development actor. In order to provide sustainable support we rely on healthy local organisations as partners at the locations where the programmes take place – whether the focus is on improving gender equality or promoting peace, health and education in development cooperation or humanitarian programmes.

At the Swedish Mission Council, we have many years of organisational development experience. This involves uniting our professional development and humanitarian work with our faith-based identity. We believe that helping organisations to develop is an end in itself because it leads to a more active civil society. This in turn strengthens the capacity of communities to solve their own specific challenges. Organisational development can have many facets. It involves, for example, allowing an organisation to reflect on its identity and purpose and to establish systems for cooperation, transparency and accountability. It can also involve creating work processes where people listen to and learn from their surroundings so that their organisation maintains its legitimacy and relevance. Civil society actors around the world are facing a growing threat in the form of “shrinking space”. This is a global trend involving more regulations, restrictions and sometimes even oppression of civil society actors. In supporting organisational development, we have taken a stand to promote a better environment in which civil society organisations can work.
Organisation and learning
Inspired and challenged by others

In a process where an organisation reflects on its identity, its purpose and its methods, it can sometimes be useful to be inspired and assisted by others who have gone through similar processes.

Another way is to use methods and tools that facilitate reflection along the way. We would like to let you know about some tools that are specially designed for non-profit organisations, and that have been tested and used by us and several of our member and partner organisations.

Our own material

The Network - An organisation evaluation tool that focuses on participation and self-analysis. The tool is specially designed for NGOs and has been tested and used by several of our members and their partners around the world.

Recommended reading

What is quality in humanitarian work?

In crisis situations such as humanitarian disasters or conflicts, it is extremely important to ensure that humanitarian work is carried out with high quality and respect for the people affected by the situation. It is also extremely important that organisations that are involved in the same area work well together.

To improve both quality and the ability of organisations to work together, the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS) has been produced. It sets out nine commitments that organisations and individuals involved in humanitarian work can use to improve the quality and effectiveness of their efforts.

CHS challenges us to put the people affected in the centre to help us understand the quality of humanitarian interventions. What are the needs of the various groups affected by a disaster? How can we involve and listen to their opinions and complaints? How can we learn together to improve the support we provide? How do we work in cooperation with other actors? How will our actions help people recover from the crisis and increase resilience in the future?

Recommended reading

Core Humanitarian Standard  - What is quality? The Core Humanitarian Standard provides a valuable lens for identifying organisational development needs for work within the humanitarian sector.

We have been a Sida humanitarian partner since 2008. We pass on around SEK 60 million in funding to people affected by crises and disasters around the world.

Space for Grace
An integrated faith

For many years we have supported and been a driving force in a project called Space for Grace. This is an international learning community in which we work with other churches and faith-based organisations to increase our knowledge and support and encourage each other to integrate and combine faith and professional organisational development.

In this video organisational development consultant Rick James, one of the initiators behind Space for Grace, talks about how he came to realise the opportunities and power of faith in organisational change.

Space for Grace Introduction

What is Space for Grace? Rick tells his story about how he realised the need for God's power in organisational change.

Publicerat av Space for grace den 2 mars 2017

Creating Space for Grace - Rick James’ seminal work argues that organisational change must be both professionally excellent and spiritually passionate, and highlights ten practical ways for how this can be implemented in the complicated realities of organisational life.
Inspiring Change - Building on ‘Creating Space for Grace’ this book brings together the stories and learning from the Space for Grace community