All Blog Posts Tagged 'community' (83)

Capillary Philanthropy: Businesses, local NGOs, and the future of aid

I often find that aid blogs tend to criticize much, offer solutions too little. Orietta L’Abbate, CEO of AAE Australia Inc., shares her proposal for the future of aid.

What do you think? Could it work?

And if the answer is no, you’d better be ready to offer your own new idea. Let’s hear it.


Large scale aid intervention in large scale disaster has shown its slowness and its inability to cooperate and effectively intervene in the Haiti 2010…


Added by Jennifer Lentfer on January 30, 2012 at 7:09am — No Comments

Has aid lost its humanity?

When Mette Müller, founder of Best Self Experience, shared the following comment on my blog, I knew I wanted to invite her to share her story:

“The grassroots [organizations] that I have worked with have been excellent in seeing development as a process rather than a large checkbox... but many aid workers (sorry sorry sorry for the generalisation) seem to misunderstand this, and project their own ambitions and understanding of…

Added by Jennifer Lentfer on January 23, 2012 at 7:00am — No Comments

The elephant hasn’t left the room: Racism, power & international aid

After Sasha Rabsey, Founder and President of The HOW Fund (yes, obviously I love the synergy with!), came back from an international conference on poverty reduction at the end of last year, she called me and wanted to talk and learn more about racism, privilege and development. Unfortunately in terms of ready resources, I didn’t have much to share with her other than this 1981…


Added by Jennifer Lentfer on January 18, 2012 at 9:00am — No Comments

Poverty here, poverty there

150 million people in the United States are perennially poor, newly poor, or near poor. That’s right, the latest Census figures show that half of America is officially poor. In this so-called economic powerhouse of a…


Added by Jennifer Lentfer on January 16, 2012 at 12:12pm — No Comments

Are you’s first intern? needs someone to help strengthen its social media presence and to support me in charting the site’s evolution and growth.  At this time, the position is a part-time, unpaid internship, i.e. a secondvolunteer.

Responsibilities and duties will include:


  • Monitor news and opinion in the media and blogosphere on aid, philanthropy and social…

Added by Jennifer Lentfer on January 15, 2012 at 8:00am — No Comments

12 to watch in 2012

I know, I know. I’m supposedly on a self-declared shut-down, but I couldn’t resist sharing my top 12 people, trends, sites, and organizations to watch in 2012!!

In no particular order...

  1. @InnovateAfrica – About to unleash the philanthropic and intellectual capital of the African Diaspora for collective social investment on the continent!…

Added by Jennifer Lentfer on January 3, 2012 at 11:00am — 2 Comments

The Year Ends. The Pendulum Swings.

It’s been a great year at! I am invoking a “shut down” for the holidays as of today and will return on January 15th. Why the big break?

Because there are ideas to be flushed out, plans to be finalized, proposals to be finished, reflections and connections to be had.

2011 has been a “shake-up” year. With the Arab awakening in North Africa and the Middle East and the emergence of the Occupy…


Added by Jennifer Lentfer on December 15, 2011 at 6:30am — No Comments

A tale of two realities

I attended two entirely different Washington D.C. aid industry events yesterday.

The first was a Society for International Development panel entitled, “M&E in the For-Profit and Non-Profit Sectors: Differences and Shared Advantages” and the second was “…


Added by Jennifer Lentfer on December 14, 2011 at 8:30am — No Comments

Accountability in all the wrong places

“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…


Added by Jennifer Lentfer on December 8, 2011 at 5:30am — No Comments

Top 5 Energy Myths

Energy Myth No. 1: Nuclear Power Isn't a Safe Solution

In a recent national poll, 72 percent of respondents expressed concern about potential accidents at nuclear power plants. Some opinion-makers have encouraged this trepidation: Steven Cohen, executive director of Columbia University's Earth Institute, has called nuclear power "dangerous, complicated and politically controversial."

During the first six decades of the nuclear age, however, fewer than…


Added by Caroline Ganun on December 3, 2011 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Letting the snark flow

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…


Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 27, 2011 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Hallowed Halls or Ghost Towns?

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…


Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 26, 2011 at 8:30am — No Comments

Local Realities, Local Adaptation

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…


Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 3, 2011 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Real Impact with Saeed Wame

I always walk away from a conversation with Saeed Wame, founder and director of Namwera AIDS Coordinating Committee (NACC) of Malawi, with a new…


Added by Jennifer Lentfer on October 25, 2011 at 7:30am — No Comments

How would you measure the strength of a partnership?

Building on’s earlier posts, “How to build strong relationships with grassroots organizations” (part 1, part 2, part…


Added by Jennifer Lentfer on October 20, 2011 at 8:47am — No Comments

The Value of Feasting

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

Reaching Girls at the Grassroots--A Sound Investment 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…


Added by Jennifer Lentfer on October 4, 2011 at 10:30am — No Comments

PBS Documentary on Aid Shines a Light (and wins an Emmy!)

Congratulations to all folks associated with the PBS film, Good Fortune, who last night won a News & Documentary Emmy Award! A well-deserved recognition, this is a must-see film for anyone concerned with aid effectiveness.


Good Fortune is (as of last night) an Emmy-winning PBS documentary that is a provocative exploration of how massive international efforts to alleviate…


Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 27, 2011 at 9:33am — No Comments

A Second Dip into the Reading Pile

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…


Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 14, 2011 at 3:30pm — No Comments

CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Consulting - 10 Strategies to Get You Started

CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) consulting is one of the major areas consulting firms focus on these days. Here is a short summary of the Top 10 issues that CSR managers will have to confront in the next 10 years.Corporate social responsibility getting more and more complex.


On top of the list is the environment and climate change, which “will... require companies to look hard at the sourcing of raw materials, waste management, the management of toxic substances, health…


Added by Petra Koenvenski on September 13, 2011 at 2:00pm — 1 Comment

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