The Inner Workings of an International NGO


Transparency is one of our core values, and we think it’s really important to communicate not just about the work we do, but how we do it. We want everyone who is part of our community to feel like they’re in the loop about exactly where our money comes from, how it’s spent, and why we choose to support the particular projects we do.

You might be reading this because of an interest in women’s rights, a close connection to a country we work in, or an interest in tackling an issue that has personally affected you.

Advancing the rights of women is our primary focus. We do this across Australia, the region, and the world, with a particular focus on the Asia Pacific region. But this doesn’t just include the work we do in-country with our partner organisations. It encompasses advocating to governments and institutions for change, conducting research into issues affecting women, and communicating the stories of the phenomenal women we work with every day.

In the spirit of transparency, we wanted to tell you exactly how we obtain and allocate funds to advance women’s rights. Last Financial Year was a big one for IWDA. With the help of our incredible supporters, both individual, government and grants, we’ve managed to increase activity across all areas of our work, including direct support to our program partners.

The bulk of the money we make is going straight into improving the lives of women. In the past Financial Year, we continued to allocate resources to accelerate change and our direct distribution to International Program Partners rose by 9%. Our total Program expenditure increased by 25% in line with the increased grant income.

In 2016, we developed a new strategic plan to set the organisation’s direction for the next 5 years, which has a huge focus on long term, systemic change to the structures that perpetuate gender equality. We’re taking on new partners, and continuing to invest in partners we’ve had for over 30 years.

Looking forward, the environment in which we’ll be working is characterised by substantial change in the political, economic, social, technological and environmental spheres. Gender equality isn’t going to happen overnight – but thanks to ongoing investment from both private and public donors, we can continue the vital work of dismantling the systems and cultural norms that are standing in the way of true gender equality.