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This paper is part of a series collating literature, resources, and actions that have focused on efforts to create change in the aid sector, developed in support of systems change initiative, theRINGO Project(Reimagining the INGO). This paper considers the topic of ‘ways of working’ with the intent to help keep practitioners up to date with the evolving discussions in this area and promote awareness of initiatives among aid and development actors. It seeks to contribute to fostering a collaborative and reflective space, as a useful resource to invite discussion and contemplation, a ‘conversation starter’ as to what is defined as ‘disruptive’ transformational change and how the sector can work to meaningfully achieve this paradigm shift. 

Scholastic literature reminds us that “how we execute work is a choice rather than simply a given”, sometimes referred to as a “default position”. In the aid and development sector, the UN’s New Ways of Working is a vehicle to “call on humanitarian and development actors to work collaboratively together, based on their comparative advantages, towards ‘collective outcomes’ that reduce need, risk and vulnerability over multiple years”. Similarly, the Agenda for Humanity calls on actors to “transcend humanitarian-development divides”.

This section collates literature and resources on adaptive approaches and different ways of working that can better support donor and implementing organisations in their planning, resourcing, and delivery, as well as encouraging the exploration of different approaches to determine if they are appropriate for what is trying to be achieved.

‘Transformation in the aid and development sector?’ is proudly presented by Centre for Humanitarian Leadership and Rights CoLab as part of the RINGO project, with the generous support of the IKEA Foundation.
Learn more about the series and read the other papers here.