You have started your NGO and now want to move to another level, to improve your work. How do you do this – and what does Networklearning have to offer?

First, you need to look at the different aspects of the working of your NGO and ask yourselves how well you are doing in each. If you download folder NGO Self-assessment through a SWOT exercise the first section will take you through this process. You will be asked to look at

  1. How you are managing the vision
  2. How you are managing the staff and the beneficiaries
  3. How you are managing the office
  4. How you are managing the money

Get the NGO staff together and discuss this in a systematic way. When you have identified your weakest area, the rest of the manual helps you analyse the problem and find possible solutions by carrying out a SWOT Exercise.

Here are other Networklearning manuals that can help in these four areas:

1. Managing the vision

folder How to Build a Good Small NGO  (Module A: The Project Cycle + Module E: Building on Good Principles and Practice)

folder Incorporating Gender into your NGO

folder Information: Its collection and use throughout the Project Cycle

folder The Project Cycle – A Teaching Module

folder On Being In Charge  (managing Health Programmes)

2. Managing the Staff and the Beneficiaries

folder How to Build a Good Small NGO  (Module B: Good People Management)

folder How to Succeed in your Work

folder Better Ways to Manage Meetings

folder On Being In Charge  (managing Health Personnel)


folder Teaching for Better Learning (primarily, but not only, for Health Workers)

folder How to Run a Workshop

folder How to Succeed with Distance Education

3. Managing the Office

folder How to Build a Good Small NGO (Module C: The NGO Office)

folder Better Use of Your Computer for NGOs

Guidelines for Writing Reports (online guide)

4. Managing the Money

folder How to Build a Good Small NGO (Module D: Money)

folder A Guide to Fundraising

Mango's Guide to Financial Management for NGOs

Other things to consider…

Your Field of Interest

See the following field-related manuals and courses, all available from the networklearning Library :

Changing Behaviour: “Interviewing & Counselling at the Grassroots”
“Shedding Abuse: a course for Men who use Domestic Violence”
Health: “Principles and Practice of PHC”
“Health Education for Behaviour Change”
Refugees & IDPs: “Better Ways to Prepare for Emergencies”
“An Introduction to Refugees & Internally Displaced Persons”
“The Application of Sphere Standards in Camp Design”
Disability: “Simple Devices to Assist the Physically Disabled”

Also, check the Hesperian Foundation library where there are manuals on working with disabled women and disabled, blind and deaf children


It would also be useful to find NGOs in your own country with projects that follow best practice in your area of interest. You could visit them; visit as well the projects that you might consider poor practice.

Monitoring Systems

If you have built into your projects a good monitoring system, then you have a powerful tool for judging how well you are doing. If you do not have such a system, this may be the time to develop one. See NGO Manager's Management Tools as well as our  folder How to Build a Good Small NGO (Module A: The Project Cycle, section 6.1)