Imagine not being able to turn away from a problem that you see in this world. You are compelled by a sense of responsibility, passion, and the audacity to believe that you can do something about that problem. You have decided to take the leap and start an organization, an initiative, or a social enterprise.
To do so, you of course need resources. You don’t have them. You have to ask those with money to invest in you.
Imagine sitting across the table from a potential donor,…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on January 29, 2013 at 8:30pm — No Comments
Are there alternatives to the cynicism and disillusionment that pervades in so many organizations that are working towards ‘development’? Where are the people who are interested in creating more grounded, creative, human and humble ways of doing this work?
You can find them here.
When I first picked up and started reading The Barefoot Guide to Working with Organisations and Social Change almost four years ago, it was one of…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on December 3, 2012 at 8:30pm — No Comments
I use my How Matters YouTube channel to highlight portrayals of international assistance that inspire more nuanced conversations about the politics of global development and international aid. Frankly though, there’s not enough content to keep that page very active. Very few video-based products show people grappling with the realities of programming on the ground and the stories of grassroots change-makers too often remain…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 14, 2012 at 5:00am — No Comments
I’ve been called a “thought leader” lately. It’s a lot better than some other things I’ve been called in my life, but still, it’s a label I’ve been trying to understand—so much so that I facilitated a session on it at last month’s Opportunity Collaboration.
When I first heard the term, I did a bit of sleuthing to understand its origin. It comes from the private sector. The best definition I found to work from was “proprietary…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 11, 2012 at 7:42pm — No Comments
Yes We Can: The campaign/proposal writing
You have to get lots of people involved. In fact, the more people who share your vision, the better. You tell the voters/donors what they want to hear. Persuasion and hyperbole can be more important than substance. The popular vote/buy-in of the people served may be irrelevant in the end. You’re happy (though thoroughly exhausted) when the campaign is over/proposal is submitted, but the hard work is yet to…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 8, 2012 at 6:00am — No Comments
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on October 29, 2012 at 1:00pm — No Comments
“Excuse me. What’s that you’re reading?” the woman wedged next to me in the busy restaurant asked.
Sitting on the table in front me yesterday was Tori Hogan’s new book, Beyond Good Intentions: A Journey Into the Realities of International Aid. (Now available …Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on October 23, 2012 at 6:30am — No Comments
He has now stood up at the long table, perhaps hoping that the argument can be won by positioning himself above those with whom he is supposedly vehemently disagreeing.
About what? I’m unsure, as is the normally reserved and quiet junior staff person, who has uncharacteristically burst out laughing at the scene before her.
Her and I both know that what’s being discussed has less to do with the issue at hand, and more to do with these men’s need to be on top.
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on October 15, 2012 at 7:15am — No Comments
A guest post on how-matters.org by Mary Fifield
The power of learning is not just a slogan for many of us working in the non-profit sector. It's the value that undergirds the programs that we help deliver—programs designed to support people in discovering their own talents and skills to better their well-being, their environment, and their society. It's a value that supports our own…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on August 28, 2012 at 7:00am — No Comments
People have been playing more games these days in Washington D.C. And I don’t mean the strategies of the Obama and Romney spin teams.
Two recent events suggest games’ growing popularity in D.C. aid circles: this one I attended at the World Wildlife Fund earlier this month and this Tuesday’s upcoming …Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on August 26, 2012 at 12:30pm — No Comments
If you've ever had any doubts that international aid or global health is a business, then one visit to an International AIDS Conference will clear them away. Between the free frozen yogurt from big pharma and bookend speeches from the Clintons, it was hard to ignore what a "sexy" disease HIV was last week in Washington D.C.…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on August 1, 2012 at 9:47am — No Comments
This week I attended the XIX International AIDS Conference on behalf of REPSSI (The Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative.) Based in Johannesburg, REPSSI trains "front-line" service providers on children's emotional and social well-being and works with governments and NGOs to develop child-friendly policy frameworks in 13 countries in southern & eastern Africa. There are at least 1,994 project sites where REPSSI approaches are being applied and…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on July 28, 2012 at 9:00am — No Comments
The first and most challenging exercise of the day when I took a seminar from The OpEd Project required me to fill in the following blanks and share with the group:
Hello, my name…
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on July 19, 2012 at 7:08am — No Comments
At the upcoming XIX International AIDS Conference here in Washington D.C., I'll be joining REPSSI (the Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative) as they celebrate their decade-long work to lessen the devastating social and emotional (psychosocial) impact of poverty, conflict, HIV and AIDS among children and youth across East and…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on July 5, 2012 at 2:30pm — No Comments
We all know there are aid donors and international funding partners out there that want to change “business as usual” in development (or at least people inside those institutions that do). We also all know that for various reasons, they’re not moving quick enough for those working on the ground.
New donors could come in and fill the gaps. But more importantly, we need a new kind of donor, whether they are recent to the scene or not.
The organizations that I see doing…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on June 18, 2012 at 8:00am — No Comments
Somehow I had managed to escape the flesh-eating, frenzied swarm of red fire ants that had been circling in the bottom of the boat as I anticipated our arrival. Size certainly doesn’t matter when it comes to fire ants, an entomological force to be reckoned with.
I stepped out of the small wooden canoe-like craft as…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on June 7, 2012 at 6:30am — No Comments
I am a U.S. Citizen. I am relatively wealthy and educated; in the vast spectrum of this planet, I am the 1%. I am literate and fluent in English. I have connections to hundreds of middle and upper class individuals who I can gain support and funding from. I have a supportive family. I have the ability to write grants in persuasive English. I have unlimited access to the Internet and social media sites; I know how to manipulate these platforms to market my own initiatives and endeavors, if so…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on June 2, 2012 at 12:30pm — No Comments
It still shocks me a little when a colleague will look at me and ask, “Now, what do you mean by ‘downward accountability’?”, as if I’ve just uttered an oxymoron.
It shouldn’t surprise me. I’ve written about how accountability is often looked for in all the wrong places. But it’s not as if I’m saying something that should be so foreign or new, right?
Here’s a definition from Keystone’s 2006(!)…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on May 15, 2012 at 7:30am — No Comments
After working in global health for over 30 years, Ruth Stark wrote a book to guide her daughter, Taryn, also an aid professional. To celebrate Mother’s Day, I’m sharing a chapter from it, which Ruth graciously agreed to have appear on how-matters.org. (You can see my March review of How to Work in Someone Else's Country …Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on May 13, 2012 at 8:00am — No Comments
Rich countries delivered $3.2 trillion of aid to poor countries between 1960 and 2008 (World Bank, 2011). Yet only 36% of aid workers think projects achieve their intended impact (McKinsey & Devex, 2011).
Aid recipients agree, calling for a change in aid’s business model—from that of delivery of goods and…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on May 9, 2012 at 8:30pm — No Comments