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
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on August 29, 2011 at 9:00pm —
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?” Continue
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…
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on August 23, 2011 at 5:00pm —
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… Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on August 5, 2011 at 10:00am —
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…
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on July 26, 2011 at 11:48am —
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… Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on June 6, 2011 at 4:52pm —
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 —
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,… Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on March 18, 2011 at 8:46am —
A former colleague recently shared with me a report from dlalanathi
(meaning “play with us” in isiZulu), an organization in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa that trains and mentors local community carers of children to use play to have meaningful conversations with children about death.
Founded in December 2000, dlalanathi
has experienced tremendous growth over the past decade. dlalanathi’s
annual budget went from US$3,784.00 in 2000… Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on March 17, 2011 at 9:44am —
Posting this report from Organization X
in Zimbabwe and asking my readers, “Would YOU fund this organization?” was about one thing for me:
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 —
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… Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on February 24, 2011 at 8:30pm —
A tweet caught my attention last weekend on a search that I follow:
“I am so tired w/ dealing w/ ‘Grassroots’ organizations here in #haiti Unfortunately grassroots=no brains +no money”
My unanswered response to this frustrated aid worker went something like this:
“Generalities of “no capacity” perpetuated about grassroots organizations does not do… Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on January 28, 2011 at 12:00pm —
Harare, 2002. The word came. Cash is in the banks. The three colleagues I was standing near at the time and I quickly jumped in the car to get downtown to Standard Chartered as soon as possible.
It was my first “real job” in the development sector after graduate school. I knew enough to know how little I knew, and little else.
The conversation in the car from the office to Nelson Mandela Avenue inevitably turned to the growing inequality between our corporate aid agency… Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on January 17, 2011 at 7:13pm —
Thanks to probing, concrete questions from Maryline Penedo, moderator of a virtual… Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on January 13, 2011 at 12:00pm —
One country, seven districts, seven international NGOs, five million dollars (excluding food commodity monetization), and…
How do you begin to collect, analyze and, more importantly, utilize data on 161 indicators in this scenario?
Got me. And I was the Technical Advisor on Monitoring & Evaluation for this project – ha!
What a beautiful, i.e. funded, proposal it was—concocted by the lead INGOs’ most well-respected,… Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 18, 2010 at 1:00am —
Professional or amateur? Skills and experience or passion and new ideas? These are riveting questions indeed, but I’m concerned that in the development discourse, we continue to miss a key piece.
Well-intentioned do-gooders of any sort must recognize is that in the developing world, local people with that same “combustible mix of indignation and vision” that Nicholas Kristof describes
, are often already… Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 9, 2010 at 10:55am —
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 pile, featuring excerpts from the 7th
page of each, first three sentences… Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on October 31, 2010 at 10:49pm —
of Travel Volunteer Search interviews Jennifer Lentfer of how-matters.org
on blogtalkradio’s Global Humanitarian Discussions. You can listen to the 14-minute interview via the links below:…
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on October 4, 2010 at 10:44pm —
The term “community-based” has been hijacked. Just like “rights-based programming,” or “participation,” or “capacity building,” it has become over-used and thus less understood in the development sector. Unfortunately, especially within the HIV circles in which I traverse, the term “community-based” has been reduced to simply referring to the locality in which services are delivered.
Yet for me, if an organization or a project is genuinely community-based, it has much more to do with… Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 13, 2010 at 10:00pm —
(3BLMedia/theCSRfeed) July 12, 2010
- In one of its largest volunteer efforts to date, Turner
in the Asia Pacific region is supporting an extraordinary home building project this fall in India. Turner is working in conjunction with the grassroots organization Longitude
, a U.S.-based non-profit that was started by a school teacher and his wife who set out to make a… Continue
Added by David Martel on July 13, 2010 at 2:00pm —
Erle Frayne D. Argonza
Good afternoon! Magandang hapon!
I’ve been writing… Continue
Added by Erle Frayne Argonza on May 20, 2010 at 10:39pm —