All Blog Posts Tagged 'assistance' (74)

BrandOutLoud: Own Branding Makes Local NGOs Less Dependent

Last week I had the pleasure of talking with Judith Madigan, Co-founder and Director of BrandOutLoud, who reached out following my recent post, “Do CBOs have an image problem?



BrandOutLoud works with aid organizations, local and international, to transform the pity-laden us/them paradigm used in many communications strategies to one that portrays the strengths and…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on August 23, 2011 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Participation: Reality or the Promised Land? A View from South Sudan

In response to an earlier post on how-matters.org, “Sorry but it’s not YOUR project,” a reader offered the following guest post. Andebo Pax Pascal shares his experience as an aid worker in Africa’s newest country.



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My friend Tom is working for “Aid Agency X”, which has prided itself in working ‘with’ and not ‘for’ the people, a sign that it is ready to involve the community in its development…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on August 12, 2011 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Behind the Barricades, There Is Happiness

Richard Moore describes himself as “just a guy who wanted to help.”

This is somehow funny coming from a man whom the Dalai Lama refers to as “my hero.”

Well known to the residents of Derry, Ireland, where we met last month, Richard Moore was shot at the age of 10 by a British solider on his way home from school. Taking a rubber bullet on the bridge of his nose, Richard lost…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on August 5, 2011 at 10:00am — No Comments

Do community-based organizations have an image problem?

I give lots of thought to what makes community-based organizations the lowest common denominator in development aid. Readers of how-matters.org may already be familiar with previous arguments I’ve offered for the increased inclusion of and investment in community-based organizations (CBOs). As an ardent proponent of CBOs’ comparative advantages, I believe they have a better chance of being driven by “the…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on July 31, 2011 at 11:45am — No Comments

Delights of the Green Isle

Hello readers! I returned from Ireland in the beginning of July and have been bursting with stories to tell. Here are a few highlights of the wonderful people I was able to connect with in Ireland, all due to this amazing tool we call the internet.



Alessandra Pigni, Founder of Mindfulness for NGOs…



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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on July 26, 2011 at 11:48am — No Comments

An aid worker's poetic journey

It’s going to be a surreal moment.

From what I understand, there’s a composer, a bridge, 600 singing schoolchildren, a Nobel Laureate, and one righteous celebration. The new Peace…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on June 8, 2011 at 10:09am — No Comments

The Marginalization of CBOs by Development Actors: A Perspective from Zimbabwe

Samuel Maruta of the Southern Institute of Peace-building and Development (SIPD) from Ruwa, Zimbabwe has conducted research about the role of community-based organizations (CBOs) in community development and the nature of their operating environment. He points to the need for a paradigm shift among development actors in favor of CBOs, and for CBOs to build their capacities in critical areas of…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on June 6, 2011 at 4:52pm — No Comments

RCTs: A band-aid on a deeper issue?

I finished the book weeks ago. When I closed Dean Karlan and Jacob Appel’s “More Than Good Intentions: How a New Economics Is Helping to Solve Global Poverty,” I had many notes and reactions jotted down but they hadn’t yet gelled. Something just didn’t sit quite right with me and I was having trouble articulating it.



Of course that’s related to… Continue

Added by Jennifer Lentfer on May 24, 2011 at 10:16pm — No Comments

Barefoot in Church

In the midst of media blitzes such as the current one, I long for something real and human more than ever. The following story from the “Readers Write” section of The Sun Magazine, fit the bill for me yesterday. And I was delighted to come across this poignant personal story from its pages on the experience of being at the receiving end of help. It offers… Continue

Added by Jennifer Lentfer on May 4, 2011 at 7:30am — No Comments

Sorry but it’s not YOUR project

(Whispering.) “Psst, excuse me, but actually it’s not ‘your’ program. And if you think that it is, we may have a problem on our hands.”

Many would argue that who owns what in development is a key aspect, if not the aspect, to a project’s or program’s success.



And so a person’s choice word choice when describing their work or do-gooder endeavor can actually reveal quite a lot.



Some may think I’m just being…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on April 27, 2011 at 8:29pm — No Comments

Remembering George Harrison on the road to Busan

After sharing some development practitioners’ honest remarks on aid, Africa, corruption and colonialism last week, I thought I would also share key points made in a session hosted by Oxfam that I attended at the World Bank/IMF annual meetings’ Civil Society Policy Forum on April 15th. Entitled “The Road to Busan: Ensuring Citizens Drive Their Own…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on April 25, 2011 at 5:30pm — No Comments

Aid, Africa, Corruption, and Colonialism: An Honest Conversation

I’m sharing an interesting discussion that’s been going on via the LinkedIn Africa NGO Network group, "Why is development aid having corruption problems in Africa generally?". Some of the key contributions on root issues follow below.…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on April 22, 2011 at 10:17am — No Comments

Got ‘Em: An Evaluation Story

A wannabe hot-shot technical advisor, I had just enough knowledge to be useful and just enough naïveté to be dangerous.



I was new to the country office and eager to demonstrate my monitoring and evaluation (M&E) prowess.



The task at hand was completing a mid-term review of a “problematic” implementing partner whose work focused on HIV and food security programming. There was no baseline, but go for it.



Oh, and this particular country office needed to put…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on April 17, 2011 at 9:30pm — No Comments

World Bank and IMF, Don’t Just Develop Capacity – Unleash It

The World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings start this week. My colleague, Tom Grubisich and I have put together a panel during the Civil Society Policy Forum entitled, "Winds of Change: Will it bring a new development paradigm?" It will take place on Friday, April 15th at 2pm EST (6pm GMT). The session overview, webcast links, and bios of participants (an exciting group if I do say so!) are featured below.



A livestream… Continue

Added by Jennifer Lentfer on April 10, 2011 at 11:53pm — No Comments

Trying to Quit

An analogy occurred to me recently:



Imagine that your best friend is quitting smoking. This is something you’ve really wanted her to do for a long time, as you’ve seen the teeth darken and heard the hacking cough for too long now.



So after much soul searching and commitment on your best friend’s part, she takes the first step on their journey. She reduces the number of cigarettes she smokes per day by three! She has been smoking a pack a day.



It has required…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on March 27, 2011 at 10:00pm — No Comments

Nothing to Offer

The storm that has devastated Japan is hardly past. But as charities appeal and the public offers up their support, I cannot help but think of the three friends in southern Africa,…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on March 18, 2011 at 8:46am — No Comments

Did I fund Organization X?

Posting this report from Organization X in Zimbabwe and asking my readers, “Would YOU fund this organization?” was about one thing for me:



Assumptions.



We all have them. Yet I find as aid workers and do-gooders, we don’t get nearly enough opportunities to surface them.



The fact that I would have to examine my own assumptions and explain how they’ve transformed over the… Continue

Added by Jennifer Lentfer on March 11, 2011 at 12:28pm — No Comments

Would YOU fund this organization?

A few years ago, when I was working with a foundation that gives grants to organizations working with children and families affected by AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, I received a report from a Zimbabwean grantee, which you can read for yourself on how-matters.org. In determining whether to give them a second small grant, aside from the original proposal and financial report, this was all I had to go on. They…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on February 24, 2011 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Titillating TED Talks for Sustainable Development Folks

Three separate TED Talks caught my eye over the last week. All encouraged me to reflect on development as a practice and how I personally and professionally stay connected to “what is living” at a local level that is authentic and that has potential to unleash social change. No concrete answers yet of course, but how I love the questions! All videos can be viewed at: … Continue

Added by Jennifer Lentfer on February 21, 2011 at 5:30pm — No Comments

Egypt’s Thundering Wave & Questions for Development Aid

I’ve been high on Egypt. Watching the Al Jazeera live coverage, I’ve experienced waves of chills up my spine, tears, and jubilation all weekend. Despite the obvious challenges ahead in that country and the region and despite my friend’s constant reminder that it’s my own country’s foreign aid that had propped up Mubarak over the decades, I’m soaring as this tremendous moment in Egyptian history… Continue

Added by Jennifer Lentfer on February 13, 2011 at 5:00pm — No Comments

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