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This is an international charitable organization which operates in more than 40 countries. The organization campaigns against poverty and injustices for the disadvantaged. The organization has been in operation for almost 40 years. It was started in the year 1972 by Cecil Jackson-Cole who was a business man. Initially it had only 88 members and sponsored 88 disadvantaged children from Kenya and India. Over time, the geographical operation area has been extended and the work area also expanded to include health, education, sanitation and agriculture for the betterment of the livelihood of the disadvantaged children. By the 80s, the organization was supporting over 40,000 children. The organization then shifted its strategy to not only tackling the immediate needs but as well to tackle the root cause of the problems for sustainable development. New areas of work have emerged in the course like AIDS Support Organization in Uganda. ActionAid organization currently supports more than 25 million people to improve their livelihood and its presence is in more than 40 countries spread in Africa, Asia, Americas and Europe. The organization’s head quarter is in Johannesburg South Africa (ActionAid UK).
The organization draws its funding through donation from European countries mostly: Italy, Greece, Denmark, France, Sweden, Netherland, UK and Ireland. However, because the organization operates in vast world geographical regions, it is likely to be affected by the changes in the economic situations in the world. (ActionAid UK).
Micro and Macro Environment
A micro environment can be defined as key stakeholders with whom an organization is in close contact. These include suppliers, customers, competitors and distributors. The environment can be viewed as the factors that are not within the control of the management but have the potential to affect the operation of the organization. They are classified into two categories, macro and micro environment. The micro environment is comprised of the immediate factors that have the potential to affect the operations such as competitors, consumers and suppliers. In this case they includes the competing organizations, donors and the beneficially. The organization’s micro-environment is characterized by stiff competition from other organizations operating in the same operations and seeks their funding from exactly the same region. The organization has aligned itself well to win the reputation and thus ensure continuity of funding. The organization has as well developed some strategies to cope with this competition which includes diversification and funding campaigns (Norton & Hughes 2009: 71). ActionAid depends on private donations for its activities. These are the main source of its income.
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On the other hand macro environment consist of those factors beyond the immediate environment scope. These include political influences, world economic trends, and inflation among others. The operations are widespread in various countries and therefore the organization is faced with the risks of uncertainty in the environment. Political threats, economic recession among others all poses a threat to the operations of the organization.
PEST (political, economic, social and technological development) model can be used to give an over view of the macro-environment of the organization. The political situation of most of the operation countries has fair regulation of international operations and the fact that it is a charity organization makes its acceptability easier. Most of these countries are stable and charitable organizations are not taxed. The organization is a subject to the changes in the world economic changes as it affects the spending patterns and therefore the funding. However, the diversified operations in terms of services delivered and funding sources enables off shoring of the risks involved. The social and cultural factors have little impact in the operations of this organization as it is for a good course and therefore it is embraced across all cultures and social settings. One of the core operation practices of the organization is to help people to come up with sustainable development strategies. The level of technology affects the implementation and the sustainability of those developments (Norton & Hughes, 2009 pg. 71).
In order for any organization to accomplish its goals and objectives, a comprehensive plan for approaching the opportunities and threats is required. The plans should optimize the compatibility of the organization and the environment while focusing on achieving specific goals. In order to do that strength, weakness, opportunities and the strengths of the organization are put in to focus. The method involves making good use of the organizations opportunities and the strengths while the threats are neutralized and the weakness are corrected.
Strengths and Weaknesses
ActionAid has been in operation for almost 4 decades and its operation has been expanded into many countries. Therefore, the organization has been able to attract and retain a pool of qualified personnel who work hard lay and implement the strategies. The organization is able to draw workers from each of the country of operation thus allowing diversification maximum talent search. The organization draws its funds from various European countries thus the capital base its development programs are strong. This as well enables the organization to meet the remuneration standards as required by various governments across the area of operations. The fact that it is a charity organization allows most of the workers to work on voluntary basis and thus cutting down on the labor costs. The organization has been in operation for almost 4 decades and thus its reputation has grown vastly and its support is welcomed in most countries. Finally the organization has its headquarters in Africa bringing the management closer to the operation areas. This gives the organization an upper hand in terms of funding as Africa is the major region the organization operates for many of its charitable organizations (Griffin 2011: 69).
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The organization is not without its weakness. The concentration of the funding sources from the European countries makes the beneficially countries feel inferior. However, this is a minor concern as it can be corrected by launching campaigns to encourage the well of from the beneficially countries to donate as well (Griffin 2011: 69).
Opportunities and Threats
These are external factors that have the potential to affect the operations of an organization. They are classified in two categories based on whether the impact is positive or negative. That is, opportunities and threats respectively. ActionAid has some opportunities that are yet to be exploited. The group’s source of funding is concentrated only in the European countries while the areas of operations spread all over the world. The organization should divert its attentions to incorporate funding from other sources as its reputation is wide. This should as well incorporate seeking funding from the countries they are operating in. This is a great opportunity for the organization as they are already approved by the residents and their credibility having been verified makes it easier to raise funds. The operations of ActionAid can be likened to that of the Red Cross. They took up roles that were initially meant for governments but owing to the limitations of resources, the governments are unable to deliver them. Therefore, the organization can examine the possibilities of donations from the federal governments of the countries they operate in the years when they have surpluses.
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The operations of the organization are not without some threats. Since its inception back in the year 1972, other charity organizations have come up. Some of the organizations address the same issues as actionAid and seek the funding from the same regions. This has led to the intensification of competition in terms of resources. Examples of these competing organizations include: plan UK, Compassion UK, Every Child UK, and World Vision UK among others. These organizations pose a threat to the organizations future funding. Another threat that faces the organization’s operation capabilities is the insecurity. ActionAid operates in areas that often experience humanitarian crises and at time inhibits and discourage the qualified personnel from carrying out their duties. This has an adverse impact on the organization’s capacity to meet its objectives. Other factors such as the economic recession recently experienced affects the spending habits of the donating community and therefore the organization funding (Brennan 2009: 217-218)
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Gap Analysis is the analysis that entails a comprehensive review of the organization’s current performance in comparison with the desired performance. The information obtained can be used to make adjustments to the operations in order to meet the desired performance level. ActionAid aims to fully eradicate poverty and injustices in the world. This is quite a broad mission as the factors that contribute to them are far much complex. The complexity of the matters can be ascertained by the fact that despite the presence of Action aid in the countries it operates in, the regions still continue to suffer poverty and injustices. A good example of the complexity of the situation is Africa. Despite the presence of the organization in Africa in the last 40 years, poverty and injustices still remain serious issues. The initial strategy prior to the launching of the newer one in 2011 whereby the organization was only focusing on assisting people with only their immediate needs was misinformed. It only provided a temporary solution only for the problem to reoccur. A recently launched strategy to shift focus to sustainable development can edge in on the gap. Another factor that has hindered the achievement of the organization’s goal is the reluctance of the stakeholders in addressing the situation. ActionAid alone cannot manage to meet its broad objective, collaboration between the organization and other stakeholders such as the government are mandatory. There is also a gap in the geographical areas of operation the organization should focus on increasing its presence and seeking more funding (Franklin 2006: 16).
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One of the unique features of this organization is their high level of decentralization. The organization’s head quarter is in Johannesburg and then each country has its own field office with a director. The field offices are therefore able to evaluate the needs of their individual countries. A good example of the benefit has accrued due to the recent formulation of the organization’s policy in dealing with the conflicts. This was made possible through the consolidation of the information that has been gathered by the field offices.
ActionAid faces great challenges in their operations. One such challenge is the frequent occurrence of the emergencies, and the organization’s capability to strengthen it’s involvements in the hit areas is hampered by the fact that the occurrences are not anticipated. This means that reforming the communities in each of the cases requires unique approach. Therefore to address this issue the organization should as well incorporate the peace initiatives in its mission in order to minimize the emergency occurrences. Another area that needs a closer examination is the collaboration with other organizations and the governments of the operating nations. ActionAid alone cannot be able to tackle the broad complex issue of poverty and injustices. ActionAid should therefore focus on diversification in order to meet its objectives of a world free from poverty and injustices. In order to achieve this, more funding as well will be required. The organization should therefore seek alternative funding either by diversifying the regions of funding sources or applying the funds from the various funding institutions. The gap can be breached by the use of software applications such as website or ipad applications which will allow reaching to a greater number of people worldwide (Field Exchange).
Competitor Reactions and Market Assumptions
The competing organizations might react by unleashing a similar approach or a different one. However, this will not affect the operations as pioneering the strategy will give the organization an upper hand. This analysis was carried out with the assumptions that the market situation will remain the same and future eventualities will not have many effects on organizations operations.
ActionAid is playing a very important role in ensuring that it campaigns against poverty and injustices for the disadvantaged. Improving the livelihood of more than 25 million people is a very good initiative. At least it ensures that some people lives are improved and their injustices are looked into. It also gives them a chance to look forward to another day. More importantly, it gives the children and women a chance tackle their root problems and improve their sustainable developments. However, the fact that there are still millions more that are not reached by the ActionAid programs should give it a challenge; a challenge of ensuring that each and every person in the world accesses justice and is not deprived on hunger.
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