International development firms: any complaints?

When an international development consultant applies for an assignment with an international development firm, the latter is very meticulous in verifying the accuracy of his CV and it’s prone to blacklist him if he does not perform satisfactorily.

But what happens when are these firms to misbehave? Have international development consultants any protection against them?

Is it possible to blacklist an international development firm if it does not pay the consultant, or if the direction of the project is given to a team leader that is completely incompetent, unqualified and only holds positions based on “who he knows” or “which positions he covered in the past” (even though his experience was a disaster?). Unfortunately this is the reality of many firms. We had recently an experience with a firm who hired totally incompetent project management staff to supervise and manage an important project in Africa. They were not capable to appreciate the work of the consultants assigned to the project, their communication and relationship with the client were ineffective, and all the efforts made by consultants for completing successfully the project were useless. With the consequence that now that project is a total catastrophe. Donors should be more careful in selecting these companies when they open a tender. But the reality is that many of them are not professional and just money-sucking machines. Their only concern is to grab the tender for working on government projects, without caring about the results.

What a consultant can do in this case to protect his interests? He risks to be blacklisted or to receive a negative evaluation just because he had the bad luck to work with the worst management possible.

Tell us about your experience.

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