Civil Sector & (I)NGOs: Management & Leadership

Performance Management

The NGO works for the welfare of others. It has to prove to the beneficiaries and to the donors that its performance is the best it can do in the given circumstances. The management of its financial resources, deployment of personnel and processing of activities has to show a deep understanding and practice of efficiency and effectiveness. Anyone engaged with the NGO should realize and be enabled to continuously, positively and concretely “perform better”.

Internally, the NGO’s performance depends on the effective harnessing of people’s knowledge and experience, skills, attitudes, behaviours, dedication to serve others, continuous learning and readiness to engage with current priorities – individually and collectively. Externally, the NGO will face an environment with more or less insecurity, complexity, stagnation, even depression – often filled with problems and contradictions. In order to be effective in difficult external circumstances, it is essential for the NGO to have a strong performance management on the inside.

Performance management looks closely at four dimensions: goals & targets, people, quality, measurement & monitoring. Since improvement implies doing things better, then change management is implicitly at the heart of the process. Change is continuously sought to optimize processes of input, throughput and output. Key to its successful implementation is the exact and transparent measurability of the achievements. This measurability links all aspects of the organization, concerns all services and touches all managerial competences. It is also central to the evaluation appraisals between managers and staff, even with volunteers.


  • Performance goals, targets and benchmarks
  • Measurements: KPIs for the NGO, variables and criteria, scales, statistics
  • The process of making performance happen
  • The process of improving performance
  • The Quality approach
  • Raising standards of performance through internal training
  • Communicating for performance NGO/Agency-wide
  • Performance at individual, team, project and program levels
  • Performance tools and techniques
  • Evaluation of performance and its role in appraisals.