“Without healthy leadership transitions there is no organisational sustainability. The civil society sector is littered with distressing examples of founders staying on too long, so that when they eventually leave the organisation collapses. Poor leadership transition undermines institutional learning and blocks the emergence of new civil society leaders.”

This entry in our long-running Praxis Series focuses on the topic of leadership succession in civil society organisations (CSOs). Co-written by Hiwot Alemayehu and Rick James, this paper is a product of research commissioned by Oak Foundation. Taking a qualitative approach, it focuses on nine Ethiopian CSOs and targeted key informants.

The paper concludes with practical recommendations for funders to help them contribute to healthy leadership transition and “avoid the all too frequent transition crises”.


Praxis Series Paper 12_Leadership Ethiopia

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