All Blog Posts Tagged 'effectiveness' (45)

Leadership Issues

This is a topic I could probably write about every week for the rest of the year and still have plenty of material left to share. Whether it’s management in your company or a coach of your athletic team, misconceptions and misguided attempts to lead are everywhere. Poor leadership can kill an individual’s drive and turns otherwise thriving productive people into malcontents.

There are many mistaken notions about what makes a good leader. One of the more common ones is that the higher…


Added by Sam Obitz on May 15, 2015 at 11:30am — No Comments

AID Effectiveness

Without sounding ungrateful one wonders if aid agencies or development partners are as effective in helping Third World countries in their course towards sustainable development. In Swaziland it began as an emergency response where food aid is concerned, but it later became an annual event. Some communities have become perpetual beneficiaries of food aid despite having received good rains, farm inputs, etc. They simply will not apply any effort towards producing their own food. This has…


Added by Clement N Dlamini on November 14, 2012 at 7:56am — No Comments

Why I support isolated aid workers across the globe and so should you!

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…


Added by Jennifer Lentfer on May 9, 2012 at 8:30pm — No Comments

The Case of the Missing Tomato Cages

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:…


Added by Jennifer Lentfer on May 7, 2012 at 8:00pm — No Comments

Does international aid need a 12-step program?

“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…


Added by Jennifer Lentfer on May 5, 2012 at 7:00am — No Comments

What's Needed to Put Local Champions at the Forefront?

My video contribution to A Day Without Dignity 2012 on's YouTube Channel. Click here to watch it!

Below are some other posts featuring local champions on…


Added by Jennifer Lentfer on April 16, 2012 at 6:00am — No Comments

Whom do I actually serve?

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,…


Added by Jennifer Lentfer on April 1, 2012 at 9:00am — No Comments

Searching for Closure: A Kony2012 Postscript

Solome Lemma (@InnovateAfrica) and I hosted a live discussion today to reflect together on the issues that came up from our posts on #StopKony. Sharing an excerpt below. Photo below by Joop…


Added by Jennifer Lentfer on March 12, 2012 at 8:00pm — No Comments

How to Work in Someone Else’s Country (A Book Review)

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.…


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 …


Added by Jennifer Lentfer on February 26, 2012 at 9:00pm — No Comments

How to build strong relationships with grassroots organizations

Re-posting this series from the early days of

Adapted from: The Barefoot Collective. (2009). The Barefoot Guide to Working with Organizations and Social Change. Cape Town: Community Development Resource Association.


In order to build authentic relationships with grassroots organizations, these qualities,…


Added by Jennifer Lentfer on February 23, 2012 at 10:27pm — No Comments

On Love & Justice: A Valentine's Day Reflection

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,…


Added by Jennifer Lentfer on February 14, 2012 at 9:30am — No Comments

Don’t change the message. Change the messenger.

Weh Yeoh of 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?

Read on at:…


Added by Jennifer Lentfer on February 7, 2012 at 6:00pm — No Comments

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

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