In order to reduce their financial dependence on external donors, many NGOs have embarked on running their own income-generating programmes (IGPs), the profits of which help to run their care programmes. This article describes how and why many such IGPs fail to make a profit. It also tries to identify what NGO managers can do strategically, and in the application of appropriate technology, to be more successful in income generation, drawing on examples from Sri Lanka.
As the level of international remittances sent home to developing countries overtakes official development assistance and continues to rise, it is becoming dubbed by some as the new development finance. International agencies are recognizing the importance of remittances, and this article reflects on a conference organized by the World Bank and DFID on this subject which explored, among other issues, what governments and donors can do to enhance the positive impact of the remittance industry on the poor. Areas discussed include: lowering transfer costs by promoting competition, appropriate levels of regulation, researching underserved markets, widening access to rural communities and seeing the potential for boosting banking services among the previously unserved.