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
I've often said that it was easier for me to move to rural Zimbabwe than to Detroit. When people ask me why this farm-girl-turned-aid-worker devoted myself to placing community-driven development initiatives at the forefront of aid, here’s why:…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on May 7, 2012 at 8:00pm — No Comments
“Let go and let God.” It’s a mantra of Alcoholics Anonymous. And after the last week or so, I’m wondering if it’s time for international aid to adopt the same approach to recovery (with more politically correct secular references of course).
Last week I attended the “Summit for Aid Effectiveness in Global…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on May 5, 2012 at 7:00am — No Comments
Andebo Pax Pascal shares his experience as an aid worker in Africa’s newest country in his second guest post. By examining beneficiaries’ place (or lack thereof) in two projects, he explores whether the development discourse has drifted into the abstract, beyond those he serves.
The idea of different categories of people--donors, government representatives,…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on April 1, 2012 at 9:00am — No Comments
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on March 12, 2012 at 8:00pm — No Comments
Do you have a colleague that just won’t shut up about the fight he’s having with his sibling over their family's vacation home? Or one who dressed way too provocatively when you were on that field visit last week? What about the person who constantly blames everything that doesn’t go their way on the incapacity or corruption of “the locals”?
We have all worked with these people. Perhaps we have even been these people at times. We didn’t know any better…until we did.…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on March 5, 2012 at 8:00am — No Comments
1. ergh: used when in a state of disgust, confusion, frustration, or convulsion. "ergh, I just threw up all over the keyboard." "ergh, that's wrong." (from Urban Dictionary)
It’s proposal purgatory time at the aid agency where I’m currently working. And one of the joys, the inescapable joys of this time, is completing the accompanying …Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on February 26, 2012 at 9:00pm — No Comments
Re-posting this series from the early days of how-matters.org…
Adapted from: The Barefoot Collective. (2009). The Barefoot Guide to Working with Organizations and Social Change. Cape Town: Community Development Resource Association. www.barefootguide.org
In order to build authentic relationships with grassroots organizations, these qualities,…
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on February 23, 2012 at 10:27pm — No Comments
We don’t talk about our hearts nearly enough in international aid and philanthropy. But this Valentine’s Day seems like a good time to do so. Our hearts draw us to this work, and if we keep them open enough, they are what tie us to this work when the frustrations and obstacles seem insurmountable.
A community leader and member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska,…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on February 14, 2012 at 9:30am — No Comments
Weh Yeoh of whydev.org argues that everything that we do in international development is about selling a message. But how do we convince people when a message goes against the grain of what they already believe?Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on February 7, 2012 at 6:00pm — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on January 30, 2012 at 7:09am — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on January 23, 2012 at 7:00am — No Comments
After Sasha Rabsey, Founder and President of The HOW Fund (yes, obviously I love the synergy with how-matters.org!), 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…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on January 18, 2012 at 9:00am — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on January 16, 2012 at 12:12pm — No Comments
How-matters.org 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:
TAKING THE PULSE
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on January 15, 2012 at 8:00am — No Comments
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...
It’s been a great year at how-matters.org! 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…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on December 15, 2011 at 6:30am — No Comments
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 “…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on December 14, 2011 at 8:30am — No Comments
“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…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on December 8, 2011 at 5:30am — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 27, 2011 at 6:00pm — No Comments