INTRAC’s NGO Research Programme ran for over 20 years from the mid-1990s to 2015. It started with a grant from the Aga Khan Foundation (UK) in 1993 in support of INTRAC’s research, publications and convening work. The Programme was then taken forward with pooled funds from international NGOs.

The Programme brought NGOs together to:

  • Learn from and collaborate with each other and wider networks
  • Benefit from space for open discussion through face-to-face meetings, workshops and webinars
  • Receive mentoring support to turn experience and learning into accessible publications
  • Enhance NGO research capacity through support on research approaches and methods

The Programme enabled INTRAC to research emerging issues in development and civil society policy, and to produce regular publications such as ONTRAC and the Praxis series.

Themes tackled included: critical debates in monitoring and evaluation; NGO structures, including ‘NGO families’; civil society policy and funding; international development goals (IDTs, MDGs and SDGs); fragile and complex political contexts; development and aid effectiveness; partnership; private funders and philanthropy; accountability, transparency and legitimacy; academic-practitioner research collaboration; advocacy; new forms of organising and working with social movements; and diaspora-led development.

A central component of the NGO Research Programme was the Forum, generally held in Oxford twice a year but sometimes held in other places. The Forum provided a space for blue-skies thinking and critical reflection, bringing together practitioners, academics, consultants and policy-makers. The Forum was frequently attached to larger INTRAC conferences and workshops.

Participants in the NGO Programme over the years included: ActionAid Denmark, APSO, Bilance, Broederlijk Delen, CAFOD, CBM, CDRA, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Cordaid, DanChurchAid, ICCO, Norwegian Church Aid, Oxfam GB, Oxfam Novib, Save the Children Denmark, Save the Children Norway, Save the Children International, Save the Children Sweden, Save the Children UK, South Research,Trocaire, World Vision UK.

The Programme was closed in 2015 in response to the changing needs and funding environments of NGOs.

The legacy of the Programme lies in the vast array of materials available on the INTRAC Resource page, and our large network of friends and partners who we continue to collaborate with in many different ways.