Organisational self-assessment : a catalyst for development outcomes? : a research project submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Development Studies at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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Massey University
Organisational self-assessment (OA) is an emerging development practice, often situated within capacity-building interventions. This study places OA at the confluence of the literature on participation, organisation development, and capacity-building for sustainable development. Reports on the nature and merits of several techniques are documented, and a framework developed to describe and classify them. The study then turns to investigate the extent to which organisational self-assessment is able to influence development outcomes. Using field-level research with community based organisations (CBO's), local NGO's, and health facilities in Bangladesh, the Appreciative Inquiry technique is evaluated for its ability to meet the stated objectives of the implementing organisations, the participants' experience of the process, and its potential to catalyse development. OA is found to have significant potential to generate development outcomes through its ability to combine the motivation for collective action with a plan of specific actions. This study recommends the extension of its use to new areas of application, such as community disaster preparedness and community water supply management, though with several caveats about how this is implemented.
Nonprofit organizations, Community organization, Economic development projects, Bangladesh