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
I always walk away from a conversation with Saeed Wame, founder and director of Namwera AIDS Coordinating Committee (NACC) of Malawi, with a new understanding. Whether he be blowing my concept of “capacity” wide open, or offering a completely new definition of volunteer, Saeed is the sort of community leader whose wisdom and…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on October 25, 2011 at 7:58am — No Comments
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on October 20, 2011 at 8:49am — No Comments
Dalia Association, Palestine’s first and only community foundation, recently launched an advocacy campaign to address the issues facing grassroots civil society as recipients of international aid in Palestine. Nora Lester Murad, Dalia’s founder and former executive director, shares the organization’s progress and the questions they face going forward.
We at Dalia Association in Palestine have an…Continue
When Carol arrived to the village in rural Indonesia to begin her anthropological dissertation research, she was shocked at the frequency of “feasts” that took place in the village. This was not a phenomenon she had come to study, and frankly, she became a bit annoyed at how she perceived it “disrupted” village life, and presumably her work. They would involve everyone and much effort and time went into these all-day events.
Carol shared, in the qualitative research methods class…
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on October 19, 2011 at 12:03am — No Comments
The leader of a former grantee organization I used to work with in Rwanda asked me last month:
“Since you started [how-matters.org], can you see any impact around advocated issues? Any results to share?”
It’s only fair. I’m sure I asked this of local organizations like hers too many times to count.
So today, since I missed the milestone of my 100th post, I share and celebrate the…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on October 19, 2011 at 12:01am — No Comments
How-matters.org is featuring two posts today as part of the Girl Effect Blogging Campaign.
Part 1 discusses how grassroots organizations, as powerful actors that find and reach marginalized girls, are key to unlocking girls’ potential.
Because they are embedded in the communities they…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on October 4, 2011 at 10:58am — No Comments
Stronger, more sustainable community-based organizations can contribute to a more effective and participatory civil society response to the needs of vulnerable people in the developing world.
Donors can support organizations even at the beginning stages of organizational development with an intent to leave groups stronger than when they first entered into partnership. Different types of capacity building activities such as exchange visits and mentoring relationships between…Continue
The “beast” had eaten all of the chickens.
That is why the income-generating activity undertaken by this small group in Malawi had not yet seen any profit, they explained. This is also why the group wanted to abandon chicken-rearing in favor of installing a paraffin pump, something that would require much less upkeep, inputs, and security.
What would it take for you to fund this youthful, energetic, but inexperienced group again?
A little faith? Or a lot for that…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 28, 2011 at 9:01am — No Comments
Congratulations to all folks associated with the PBS film, Good Fortune, who last night won a News & Documentary Emmy Award! A well-deserved recognition, this is a must-see film for anyone concerned with aid effectiveness.
Good Fortune is (as of last night) an Emmy-winning PBS documentary that is a provocative exploration of how massive international efforts to alleviate…Continue
The approach of many international small grantmakers is distinguished by their willingness and ability to make application and reporting process practical and accessible to grassroots organizations. Ultimately, staff aim to decrease the reporting burden on applicants and grantee-partners. Yet grantmaking staff also recognize that often they do not receive the quality or quantity of written information from…Continue
Would you adopt a village in Ethiopia?
Below, see excerpts from an email conversation between myself and a new blogger about how language matters within aid relationships.
L: I just started blogging a few weeks ago because I am working on a project with ORG X on adopting a small village in Ethiopia. J: I would humbly urge you to reconsider the phrase that you are "adopting" a village in Ethiopia. This sets up the people you are trying to serve as child-like…Continue
In honor of this week's Clinton Global Initiative's Annual Meeting, I'm reposting this from early October last year. The issues remain the same; the fundraising resources for local organizations still needed.
“Is a trickle of that money ever going to reach us?”…Continue
My friend recently shared this status update on Facebook. Her description of the joy of aid work resonated with me as I thought it would with readers of how-matters.org.
Kirsten Weeks [in Zambia] “realizes that I am happiest on days like today that start with a 6am departure to the airport, visits to a cotton gin, talks with small holder farmers, focus groups at ART clinics with potential problem solving to address nutrition issues, long car rides through rural villages and…Continue
I do not normally jump on the SWEDOW bandwagon. It seems the most salient arguments are made again and again, and frankly, it’s often too easy of a criticism.
But whenever the latest blogosphere or Twitter uproar occurs (see Nick Kristof’s latest appeal for old prom or bridesmaid dresses or this…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 17, 2011 at 3:44pm — No Comments
If you’re like me, you have a pile of all the reports, articles, and publications that you’re aiming to get to. And from time to time, I take pleasure in dipping in to explore the new thinking or sound practices in international development and aid effectiveness.
So I’m sharing twelve papers from my virtual pile, featuring excerpts from the 7th page of text of each, first 3-4 sentences of the second paragraph. Hopefully the exercise will be a fun way to highlight these…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 14, 2011 at 4:05pm — No Comments
Then you should take this survey.
In other words, it’s for people who read aid blogs.
Why should you bother? For one reason, it's short. It's also anonymous. And most notably, your interests and habits are important to us, the bloggers.
See what the @SmartAid folks and other bloggers have to say about the survey via…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 7, 2011 at 4:45pm — No Comments
We’ve all seen many participation typologies over the years. But with the one below, which I created when examining local partners’ final reports in 2009, I was trying to describe some simple categories of approaches to working with communities that local non-governmental organizations utilize. It was also meant to capture that fine line that can exist between a community-based organization (CBO) and a community,…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 6, 2011 at 4:48pm — No Comments
On the treadmill this morning (a time I usually reserve for non-development thinking), a story from Malawi popped up via This American Life on my ipod. They continue covering stories on aid issues in ways that are, for the most part, respectful and engaging, this one specifically related to HIV prevention programs.
This American Life 444: Gossip, Originally aired 8/26/11 Summary from…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 1, 2011 at 10:54pm — No Comments