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
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…
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on August 23, 2011 at 5:00pm — No Comments
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.
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…
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on August 12, 2011 at 5:00pm — No Comments
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 — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on July 31, 2011 at 11:45am — No Comments
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 — No Comments
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 — No Comments
(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…
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on April 27, 2011 at 8:29pm — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on April 25, 2011 at 5:30pm — No Comments
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.…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on April 22, 2011 at 10:17am — No Comments
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…
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on April 17, 2011 at 9:30pm — No Comments
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on March 18, 2011 at 8:46am — No Comments
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on March 17, 2011 at 9:44am — No Comments
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on March 11, 2011 at 12:28pm — No Comments
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 — No Comments
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on February 21, 2011 at 5:30pm — No Comments
“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 — No Comments
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on January 13, 2011 at 12:00pm — No Comments
Larger-scale support of local initiatives, grassroots leadership and small, often “informal”movements is a key reform needed in the international development aid sector. I shared this view in a post entitled, “…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on January 10, 2011 at 3:30pm — No Comments
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 18, 2010 at 1:00am — No Comments