The donor’s perspective: How to work with grantees to report transparently on failures

We as Civil Society Organisations acknowledge that we need to critically reflect on the potential negative effects of our work and identify where we have failed to deliver what has been promised. Failures can come in many different forms and ways. They can for example be related to minor incidences that cause for activities not being delivered in time or related to more severe consequences when we for example fail to uphold our safeguarding policies. All of these have one thing in common: Being transparent with our failures and talking about what learnings should be drawn from them publicly or with your donor can lead to a tricky conversation.

Rightfully so, donors and the public expect CSOs to continuously deliver successes with the money they provide. So how can organisations find a solution in this environment of dissonance? Following up on the conversations in our previous webinars where we talked about how organisations can implement processes to better learn from their failures internally, we now want to hear what donors think about this approach and how grantees can have this conversations with their donors more openly.


  • Michael Jarvis, Executive Director, Transparency & Accountability Initiative (TAI)
  • Jed Miller, Digital Strategy Consultant, 3 Bridges

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