“But how will we hold them accountable?” the senior technical advisor said of the proposal from the high-profile NGO. “There’s not even a logframe in there.”
Silently in my cubicle, I thought, “Oh, if only that would only make people and organizations accountable…”
Obviously, the need and the desire to be accountable in our industry are not going away. With foreign aid budgets under fire in many donor countries, accountability perhaps becomes even more…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on December 8, 2011 at 5:30am — No Comments
Does snark among aid bloggers go too far? Do aid workers just need and deserve to let off steam? Or does the language we use matter, because it either closes down or opens up dialogue, especially with our partners?
I’m not sure, frankly. (See some others illustrate the points here and…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 27, 2011 at 6:00pm — No Comments
This week I re-entered an aid “institution” after five years of working with small foundations and local groups.
After just two short days, I can’t help but be reminded of why I left.
I am once again surrounded by smart, driven, committed people. But unfortunately they are largely a group of people who are also exhausted, overwhelmed, and discouraged by fighting while propagating the very organizations in which they serve. From my still outsider’s perspective, it’s as if the…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 26, 2011 at 8:30am — No Comments
The annual expressions of gratitude from the U.S.’ Thanksgiving holiday now subsided, I share a poem I wrote yesterday about how hard it is at times to be genuinely grateful.
Over the past year, I have been fortunate enough to live rent-free, staying with friends and family. But that has also meant that I have been someone’s houseguest.
After I wrote this reflection, I wondered: Is there a parallel to be drawn with those at the…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 25, 2011 at 10:00am — No Comments
"Hillary Clinton unveils initiative on clean cooking stoves," was among last year’s highlights at the Millennium Development Goals Summit. On this World Pneumonia Day, what has become of The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves? Has yet another “silver bullet” failed to make a difference for those in the…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 12, 2011 at 8:00pm — No Comments
Stronger, more sustainable community-based organizations can contribute to a more effective and participatory civil society…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 8, 2011 at 8:42am — No Comments
Tanya Cothran writes about how an idea, some information sharing, and a little bit of money can go a long way at the local level when people are behind an initiative. In addition to providing small community-focused grants to build economic security in Africa, Spirit in Action (SIA) also focuses on knowledge sharing. Tanya, who is the Executive Administrator of SIA, shares her reflections following…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 3, 2011 at 12:00pm — No Comments
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on October 25, 2011 at 7:30am — No Comments
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on October 20, 2011 at 8:47am — No Comments
When Carol arrived to the village in rural Indonesia to begin her anthropological dissertation research, she was shocked at the frequency of “feasts” that took place in the village. This was not a phenomenon she had come to study, and frankly, she became a bit annoyed at how she perceived it “disrupted” village life, and presumably her work. They would involve everyone and much effort and time went into these all-day events.
Carol shared, in the qualitative research methods class…
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on October 18, 2011 at 11:30pm — No Comments
How-matters.org is featuring two posts today as part of the Girl Effect Blogging Campaign.
Part 1 discusses how grassroots organizations, as powerful actors that find and reach marginalized girls, are key to unlocking girls’ potential.
Because they are embedded in the communities they…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on October 4, 2011 at 10:30am — No Comments
Stronger, more sustainable community-based organizations can contribute to a more effective and participatory civil society response to the needs of vulnerable people in the developing world.
Donors can support organizations even at the beginning stages of organizational development with an intent to leave groups stronger than when they first entered into partnership. Different types of capacity building activities such as exchange visits and mentoring relationships between…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on October 3, 2011 at 4:22pm — No Comments
The “beast” had eaten all of the chickens.
That is why the income-generating activity undertaken by this small group in Malawi had not yet seen any profit, they explained. This is also why the group wanted to abandon chicken-rearing in favor of installing a paraffin pump, something that would require much less upkeep, inputs, and security.
What would it take for you to fund this youthful, energetic, but inexperienced group again?
A little faith? Or a lot for that…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 28, 2011 at 8:52am — No Comments
Kirsten Weeks [in Zambia] “realizes that I am happiest on days like today that start with a 6am departure to the airport, visits to a cotton gin, talks with small holder farmers, focus groups at ART clinics with potential problem solving to address…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 20, 2011 at 4:00pm — No Comments
I do not normally jump on the SWEDOW bandwagon. It seems the most salient arguments are made again and again, and frankly, it’s often too easy of a criticism.
But whenever the latest blogosphere or Twitter uproar occurs (see Nick Kristof’s latest appeal for old prom or bridesmaid dresses or this…Continue
If you’re like me, you have a pile of all the reports, articles, and publications that you’re aiming to get to. And from time to time, I take pleasure in dipping in to explore the new thinking or sound practices in international development and aid effectiveness.
So I’m sharing twelve papers from my virtual pile, featuring excerpts from the 7th page of text of each, first 3-4 sentences of the second paragraph. Hopefully the exercise will be a fun way to highlight these…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 14, 2011 at 3:30pm — No Comments
Then you should take this survey.
In other words, it’s for people who read aid blogs.
Why should you bother? For one reason, it's short. It's also anonymous. And most notably, your interests and habits are important to us, the bloggers.
See what the @SmartAid folks and other bloggers have to say about the survey via…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 7, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments
We’ve all seen many participation typologies over the years. But with the one below, which I created when examining local partners’ final reports in 2009, I was trying to describe some simple categories of approaches to working with communities that local non-governmental organizations utilize. It was also meant to capture that fine line that can exist between a community-based organization (CBO) and a community,…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 6, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments
This American Life 444: Gossip, Originally aired 8/26/11 Summary from the…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 1, 2011 at 10:30pm — No Comments
Marc Maxson is not your usual aid worker.
Yes, he is a returned Peace Corps volunteer, lives in Kenya, works for a Washington D.C.-based non-governmental organization, and is married to someone also employed in aid.
But Marc Maxson also has a PhD in neuroscience.
So what does that enable Marc to do as an aid worker? Marc develops new conceptual approaches to solving "impossible" problems, of which there are many in international development.…Continue