Dana McNairn

Dana McNairn

For the last ten years Dana McNairn has worked for NGOs on the frontline of human rights and gender-based violence, as well as INGOs such as the Canadian Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity. She is the CEO of KOTO, an award-winning nonprofit social enterprise and vocational training programme for at-risk and disadvantaged youth in Vietnam.
Website URL: http://danamcnairn.com

I love this month because it’s my sister’s birthday. I hate this month because it also means International Women’s Day on the 8th.

Somaly Mam ran an NGO in Cambodia set up to combat the global sex trade before it was discovered that her own personal story about being trafficked was fake

Heavens, looks like those who should know better are up to it again. By that I mean the continuing fallout from charities that aren’t quite walking their talk.

Over meetings with child-rights partners who work on anti-trafficking initiatives, I was asked — and not for the first time — why I do what I do (the questioners naturally were in happy favour of my ‘altruism’). But my answer perplexed them greatly.


A community development group I belong to has been lately discussing power dynamics. It got me thinking about a country director I once knew. She did not arrive at her new posting full of ‘can do’ ideas and attitudes about how to (quickly) ‘fix’ things within that ailing organisation.

NGOs are in the news with jet-setting executives being grounded and dire warnings that reputations are in jeopardy because charities can’t control their boardroom and C-suite extravagances.

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