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How to run an overseas non-profit project in a developing country with accountability and good governance.



A small non-profit overseas project in a developing country that costs less than $250,000 a year is not easy to ensure accountability and effectiveness. Basing an expatriate overseas would be prohibitively expensive and  if the location is remote and far away from the capital, it would be hard to recruit suitable staff who are accustomed to the comforts of a modern city.

An easy approach would be to work through a local NGO and assume they have the expertise and knowledge. However, local NGOs lacked the experience and knowledge to manage a project that meets our expectations.

A bigger problem lies in the fact that we are trained to based our audits on invoices and receipts. Due to prevalence of faked receipts, a more practical street smart approach is needed. An auditor would not be able to audit a set of accounts if he is told the receipts and invoices are not to be trusted.

Besides cost, are we buying the right materials that meets our needs? Small projects means we cannot afford to engage professionals  and have to depend on ourselves to decide. How then do we make the right decisions  and ensure we are not cheated  or given the wrong advice by the vendor or contractors?

Workshop Outline- website

Practical examples, learned personally by the instructor, will illustrate the principles involved. No accounting knowledge is needed but be prepared to have your mind expand to new horizons!

The principles explained in this course will help you manage overseas projects. It is suitable for:
  1. Organisations (Churches, NGOs, family offices) who are running or supporting long term projects overseas especially in a developing country.
  2. Foundations, grant-makers who wants to audit the operations that they are supporting


Robert Kee has spent 20 years starting and managing community projects in Cambodia and Nepal. As an engineer, businessman and philanthropist, he combines all his experience to ensure the projects brings maximum benefits to those OHF is helping.

Robert is Founder and Chairman of Operation Hope Foundation. He has a Degree in Electrical Engineering (First Class Honours) from the University of Auckland and a Master of Engineering degree from National University of Singapore.  He has started several companies and currently owns with his wife Applied Digital System Pte Ltd which has factories in Singapore and China.

Course Summary

Who should attend?

  1. CEOs and executives of NGOs/charities/Foundations who are concerned about operational cost and efficiencies especially in overseas projects.
  2. Auditors, Finance Controllers who need to audit overseas operations for charities/NGOs.
  3. Field Managers who are in charge of running overseas operations.
  4. Church leaders, mission chairpersons who are concerned about cost and fraud in their overseas projects.
  5. Philanthropists who intend to support or start overseas operations.
  6. Family Offices who have to provide guidance for overseas charity projects.
  7. Private bankers who are helping clients to identify projects to support


*Due to limited space, only a maximum of 2 staff from the same organisation are allowed to attend the upcoming course.

*Participant must preferably be involved in operations of a non-profit

*The course is ideal for projects in developing countries but Singapore-based projects can also benefit from the course