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March 30, 2014

NGOs and learning the ways of the world

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Written by: KK

By Krysta

This story is a little old already, but I am reading about the Greek ngos. I have two experiences of how ngos and think tanks work in Greece… dyed “blue” or “green” or whatever color pays… not the unbiased work I thought they would be doing, but I guess it was part of my learning exactly on how things get done in this corner of the world.

The first is an experience with a very well known think tank back in 2007 (or 2006). I went there for a job position (I think it was a research assistant — I don’t even remember now). The woman who spoke to me (whom I will not name) told me that “you know we get money from the government when they need some kind of research to be conducted, we get paid only when we get the money from the government and not all programs get funded, moreover we get money from the EU that subsidizes the Greek government for such programs.

I pretty much understood that there was a strong influence by governmental officials to what the research programs should be about and how they were funded, I remember that living in my own utopia I thought that I did not like that the government had so much say as to what a supposedly unbiased research institute should do. It seemed to me rather “blue,” and I left there without even wanting to go back — not that they would hire me for the job. I did not have a master’s or a phd and I was older than the average candidate, and I did not have an acquaintance, either, to put in a good word for me (all the above credentials should work together). I am not saying that those who have entered all the think tanks or this particular one were not very well educated or they lacked skills, au contraire, but if you had an MP speaking about you it would surely help.

I have another experience from another foundation, let’s not talk too much bout it, but again it showed me the importance of receiving favors in this line of work. I am not in favor of favors (I did not want to get a job only because, for instance, I had someone who knew someone who knew someone else), and so at that point I said no, thank you, and decided to invest a small legacy to buy my own companies, which I still run today.

Let’s just sat it was a learning experience.

 






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