+ How can 'BINGOS' scale up big new ideas?
The systematic scale-up of social entrepreneurs’ solutions by Big International NGOs (BINGOs) is simply not a thing. Why not?
Kevin Starr & Sarah Miers from Stanford Social Innovation Review set out to find out why.
"We asked CEOs of Big International NGOs (BINGOs), BINGO board members, and a few select people with a long, broad view of the social sector if they could name one solution from the social entrepreneur world that had been effectively scaled via the BINGOs.
With no hesitation, but more than a little agonizing, the across-the-board answer was no"
Part of the problem, they found was money and incentives.
BINGOs have big payrolls, so they rely on Big Aid (from donors, multilateral etc) for much of their funding.
"But Big Aid funding is restricted, and Big Aid likes projects: time-bound, site-specific one-offs driven by the funder’s ideas and priorities. So the BINGOs do projects, and rather than a determined scale-up of elegant, proven solutions, we get a sprawl of unconnected projects that are often a kitchen-sink mash-up of barely related ideas.
"We recently read a study of one project that crammed nutrition, WASH, and savings interventions into an unscalable stew (that also failed to have any impact on health or malnutrition, but that’s another story…). That’s more typical than exceptional."
"The paradox at the center of it all is that there are no enthusiasts for this status quo."