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
I remember first reading this poem as I was waiting for an appointment with my advisor in graduate school. It was taped to his door. The second time, it was read to a group of us at our fellowship orientation as we officially entered the corporate aid world.
I also remember both instances to be extremely disappointing.
As I discussed how-matters.org's "Poetry Pause" with someone recently, they reminded me of the…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on February 10, 2012 at 10:30am — 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
I wrote this in a moment of frustration, when it was clear to me that the capacity that needed to be built was not with local partners, but with upper management.
Are you building your capacity to prepare for what Dennis Whittle, co-founder of GlobalGiving.org, terms the pending “democratization of aid"? It's time for the ability and penchant to work with organizations of any size or type…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on January 27, 2012 at 9:36am — No Comments
How-matters.org readers may know that I’m a faithful reader of The Sun Magazine. A well-spun story in the December 2011 issue, “First Empty Your Cup” by Andrew Boyd, featured an account of a traveler in Japan. I thought the conversation from this selection would ring…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on January 25, 2012 at 7:46pm — 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
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…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 26, 2011 at 8:30am — No Comments
The annual expressions of gratitude from the U.S.’ Thanksgiving holiday now subsided, I share a poem I wrote yesterday about how hard it is at times to be genuinely grateful.
Over the past year, I have been fortunate enough to live rent-free, staying with friends and family. But that has also meant that I have been someone’s houseguest.
After I wrote this reflection, I wondered: Is there a parallel to be drawn with those at the…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 25, 2011 at 10:00am — No Comments
"Hillary Clinton unveils initiative on clean cooking stoves," was among last year’s highlights at the Millennium Development Goals Summit. On this World Pneumonia Day, what has become of The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves? Has yet another “silver bullet” failed to make a difference for those in the…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 12, 2011 at 8:00pm — No Comments
Stronger, more sustainable community-based organizations can contribute to a more effective and participatory civil society…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 8, 2011 at 8:42am — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 3, 2011 at 12:00pm — No Comments