The RINGO Project was launched in 2020 as a systems change project to ‘re-imagine the INGO’. It convened a social lab of 55 (growing to 95) individuals to challenge the purpose, structures and position of INGOs’ dominant place in civil society. These change agents represent the system of INGOs, including: local and national CSOs; social movements; large INGOs; bilateral and independent funders; researchers, academics and think tanks; independent consultants; and social enterprises. This was in recognition that stronger national and local civil societies are needed to tackle the major issues of the day, but the power and resources in the system remain largely controlled by donors and INGOs in the Global North, shaped by colonialism and its legacies. Collectively were identified the key barriers in the system to achieving change as well as opportunities for shifting power through decolonisation. RINGO launched a series of prototypes to transform INGOs and the systems in which they function. Prototypes included ideas around new solidarity models; risk and accountability; resourcing and governance.
Strategy for Phase 2: From Innovation to Performance
The 10-year RINGO vision remains the same: To transform INGOs to become more open and equitable vehicles for global civil society. During this next phase, RINGO will leverage the strengths to focus efforts on influencing those in genuine positions of power: funders, including governments; and INGO Boards. The Phase 2 aim to move from the innovation space to ensure that our ideas are embedded into policy and practice. In order to maximise the impact, the focus will be in two primary stakeholders: INGO Boards and funders.