A follow-up question was asked: Why are so few CSOs willing to share their "bad practices" so that others can learn from them. The question had 5 closed-ended responses and 1 open-ended response. The result were:
- Organizations are reluctant to think about negative experiences - 36.6%
- They are uncomfortable sharing weaknesses with a donor - 64.1%
- They are uncomfortable sharing weaknesses with other organizations - 57.3%
- Organizations have little information and knowledge available to explain failures - 36.6%
- Organizations are interested in what does work and not in spending time on what does not - 35.9%
- Other: 36.6% were by and large nuances of the five multiple choice options above.
- Incentives for Knowing, But Not for Learning
- High Incentives for Repetition, Low Incentives for Innovation
- High Incentives for Guarding Information
- Disconnection between Performance and Awards
As repetition, Daniel states, "Donors only want to fund proven successes and NGOs write their proposals to satisfy what the donor wants to hear. This is especially critical when entering a competitive bid. The NGOs seek to divine what the donor wants to hear, rather than to come up with the best approach. The Gates Foundation has made significant waves because they are willing to fund projects that take risky approaches."
When it comes to guarding information, occasionally, project staff and NGOs are not willing to share project evaluations due to potentially unfavorable findings. Also, there are not many forums to share project evaluations even with the same organization so "bad practices" can be avoided.
Finally, the fear is that to expose "bad practices" and the lessons learned from that will not be rewarded. Certainly, good planning should reduce bad practices, but no project can be completely flawless.