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Who Oversees the Nonprofits?

dchin's picture

In discussing "Half the Sky", we have also talked about the role that non-profits pIay in addressing violence against women. Who, then regulates non-profits and ensures that they are doing what they should be doing? I also wonder about the structure of non-profits themselves, and whether they could and would benefit from organizing themselves more like the private sector. For example, Geoffrey Canada is the founder of the Harlem Children's Zone, a collection of programs and charter schools that aim to work with students from birth to high school graduation. Canada runs his program on what seems to be a business model, measuring his profit by his students' test scores. Applying a business model to his charter schools has ensured generous and continued funding for his work and allows his investors a way to justify their heavy spending. However, progress in antitrafficking programs, for example, cannot measure progress in the same way. Harlem Children's Zone can perhaps say that  X% of their students reached a certain score on standardized tests, but it seems reductive for the organizations that Kristoff mentions to say that they helped X% of women in a certain region. Once again, how do these nonprofits determine what and how much of it constitutes progress and who oversees what they do?