We Now Have the Tools and Infrastructure to Hold Donors and NGOs in International Development to their Own Legal and Professional Standards

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David H. Lempert


Background & Purpose: This article summarizes and adds to the tools and infrastructure that the author has developed to hold donors and NGOs in international development to their own international, legal and professional standards, following a call in 2008 for organizations to find objective ways to hold those organizations to compliance with international law and professional principles.


Setting: Global.


Intervention: Not applicable.


Research Design:  The article presents 12 indicator tools (in the form of legal elements tests) recently published elsewhere and a new litmus test tool presented here for the first time for quick evaluations of projects using an inductive approach (looking at project logic), explaining how these tools relate to each other and how they can be used together.


After introducing these indicators, the piece then compiles and summarizes the results for several types of organizations to reveal an overall picture of which donors and NGOs are failing, which are succeeding, and what this now objectively verifies is happening in the world of international development.


Data Collection and Analysis: Not applicable.


Findings: The piece offers some reflections on the world that we live in where international standards and universal principles are not applied, where legal codifications for international development are not enforced, and where current international development approaches are leading to unsustainability, conflict, and homogenization (suppression of human diversity and adaptation) that the standards were designed to help avoid. The author’s approaches, overall, offer the larger blueprint for an infrastructure of “development” work to promote universal legal principles, as well as a larger set of reforms for changes in social and political institutions and systems in the developed world for making these changes a reality.


Keywords: sustainability, dependency, democracy, development, aid, capacity building, international relations, international law, donors, UNDP, World Bank, European Commission, NGOs, foundations.


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How to Cite
LEMPERT, David H.. We Now Have the Tools and Infrastructure to Hold Donors and NGOs in International Development to their Own Legal and Professional Standards. Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation, [S.l.], v. 14, n. 31, p. 61-83, aug. 2018. ISSN 1556-8180. Available at: <https://journals.sfu.ca/jmde/index.php/jmde_1/article/view/506>. Date accessed: 22 sep. 2020.