Management Development in Non-Profit Organizations: A Programme for Governing Boards


Vijay Padaki & Manjulika Vaz

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    Those who learned the hard way And chose to share their learning Making it easier For those following

    VP • MV


    Our earliest discussions on the need for management development for board members of Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) were with Murray Culshaw when he was the Director of Oxfam (India) Trust. The perspective of the funder-promoter and that of the consultant-facilitator converged in recognizing the enormous significance of management for Indian NPOs. Murray has continued to be a sounding board and collaborator in The P&P Group's explorations in this field.

    Michael Norton met us during his visit to India while he was preparing the publication The Voluntary Sector in India. He agreed wholeheartedly with Murray's and our observations. On his return he arranged for seed funding for The P&P Group to initiate a research project to study the needs more exactly. We are grateful to Michael for arranging the support of the Nuffield Foundation and the Centre for Innovation in Voluntary Action.

    When our desk research began, we had ready, enthusiastic cooperation from two individuals abroad. From the UK, Kevin Ford shared with us all the material he had put together for the training programme published under the title of The Effective Trustee. Sharlene Peters, currently an independent consultant in the US, with a long association with the National Center for Non-Profit Boards, arranged for a great deal of material published by the National Center to reach us.

    Closer to home, we were greatly encouraged by the very positive response from most board members in the sample to whom we had sent the original discussion note along with the proposal for initiating work in this area. Their continued cooperation in the various stages of research and in the prototype programme was a very satisfying experience. It is what made the project and the end publication really possible.

    Authors and publishers of material reproduced in this publication from a variety of sources gave their consent readily, which has been an important contribution. The back-up material was greatly appreciated by the participants of the prototype programme.

    The invited faculty comprising the panel in Stage 2 of the prototype programme were Murray, Mark Braganza and K. Seshadri. They accepted the invitation with enthusiasm, prepared well for the programme, and complemented each other's inputs with great agility. Seshadri was also the principal resource person in preparing the module on ‘Statutory and Legal Conditions’, authoring the first draft of the module. Within The P&P Group we have benefited from the insightful comments (and ready help, when needed) of our colleagues with research and consultancy experience in development programmes, notably Rupande Padaki and Vasanthi Srinivasan. Padma Raju continues to amaze us with her ability to transform our scribblings on scraps of paper into attractive text.

  • About the Authors

    Vijay Padaki is co-founder and Director of The P&P Group, a Bangalore-based management research and consultancy centre with a special focus on organization and institutional development. Early in his career he headed the Human Resources Division of ATIRA (Ahmedabad Textile Industry Research Association). He was a member of the founding faculty of the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, where he designed courses in research methodology, organizational behaviour, marketing research, organizational development and rural socio-technical systems. Besides setting up the Chimanlal Lalbhai Centre for Management, Ahmedabad, and helping to formulate the first comprehensive research-based textile policy for India in 1985, he has also been a Visiting Professor in Management Studies at the Indian Institute of Science and Honorary Visiting Professor at the Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore. He has published several books, including Industrial Sickness: The Challenge in Indian Textiles (with V. Shanbhag, ATIRA 1984), Development Intervention and Programme Evaluation: Concepts and Cases (Sage 2001, edited) and Institutional Development in Social Interventions: Towards Inter-Organizational Effectiveness (with Manjulika Vaz, Sage 2003). With a deep involvement in the theatre over many years, he has authored over 25 plays, including a national award-winning playscript. His plays have been produced internationally.

    Manjulika Vaz is an independent consultant for The P&P Group and for the Centre for Education and Documentation, as well as Principal Associate at CoCoon Consulting, an HR development firm. She earlier worked in the marketing research division of the Indian Market Research Bureau (1994–95) and with Development Alternatives (1995–97) on a programme for disseminating alternative building materials. Her work at The P&P Group (where she worked full-time from 1997 to 2002) included coordinating action research projects to promote inter-group and inter-organizational collaborative processes. Manjulika Vaz has also been the convenor of projects to study the management development needs of boards of NPOs and to enrich the methodology used in development interventions through a trainer's forum.

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