All Blog Posts Tagged 'workers' (75)

Coming out of the closet

Poetry is a medium that helps me make meaning of my experiences, my thoughts and feelings, which is something we are called to do continuously as development practitioners. It’s a tool I often privately call upon when faced with the inevitable doubts, and triumphs, and heartaches of this work.

Inspired by Dennis Whittle’s recent post on Poetry and Development, emboldened by Saundra Schimmelpfennig…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on January 25, 2011 at 12:42am — No Comments

Confessions of a Recovering Neocolonialist on Martin Luther King Day

Harare, 2002. The word came. Cash is in the banks. The three colleagues I was standing near at the time and I quickly jumped in the car to get downtown to Standard Chartered as soon as possible.



It was my first “real job” in the development sector after graduate school. I knew enough to know how little I knew, and little else.



The conversation in the car from the office to Nelson Mandela Avenue inevitably turned to the growing inequality between our corporate aid agency… Continue

Added by Jennifer Lentfer on January 17, 2011 at 8:27pm — 3 Comments

Plugging back in: Catching up with the aid blogosphere

How-matters.org has been rather quiet the last few weeks as I am currently in the process of moving back to my hometown of Bruning, Nebraska, U.S.A. population 248. It’s a major transition, which I recently wrote about on… Continue

Added by Jennifer Lentfer on December 14, 2010 at 6:16pm — No Comments

161 Indicators, and then what?

One country, seven districts, seven international NGOs, five million dollars (excluding food commodity monetization), and…



161 indicators.



How do you begin to collect, analyze and, more importantly, utilize data on 161 indicators in this scenario?



Got me. And I was the Technical Advisor on Monitoring & Evaluation for this project – ha!



What a beautiful, i.e. funded, proposal it was—concocted by the lead INGOs’ most well-respected,… Continue

Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 18, 2010 at 2:00am — 4 Comments

What’s missing from the DIY aid debate? Overlooking the capacity of local NGOs

Professional or amateur? Skills and experience or passion and new ideas? These are riveting questions indeed, but I’m concerned that in the development discourse, we continue to miss a key piece.



Well-intentioned do-gooders of any sort must recognize that in the developing world, local people with that same “combustible mix of indignation and vision” that… Continue

Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 9, 2010 at 12:28pm — 2 Comments

Dipping into the pile: good reading on aid effectiveness



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…
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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on October 31, 2010 at 11:32pm — 1 Comment

Pity, Pictures and Poverty

What do you do when your personal experience of living and working with people in Africa is so different than what is portrayed in the western media or by many charitable organizations? Confronted with this, Duncan McNicholl, an Engineers Without Borders Canada worker living in Malawi, decided in early 2010 to begin exploring these perceptions of poverty. He took pictures of friends and neighbors in his community as both poor and rich, and then… Continue

Added by Jennifer Lentfer on October 24, 2010 at 10:00pm — 19 Comments

Changing the system…from the ground up

"‘The system’ whereby foreign donors give handouts, and not sustainable initiatives that are drawn from the needs of the communities, is a problem.” ~R.F.M., Zimbabwe
This post is a continuation of the small series I started in August entitled “Changing the System,” which pulls together quotations from about 150 of my former colleagues, friends, and acquaintances around the world who… Continue

Added by Jennifer Lentfer on October 11, 2010 at 12:19am — 5 Comments

Hillary, Stoves Won’t Save the World

"Hillary Clinton set to unveil initiative on clean cooking stoves," is among this week's highlights at the Millennium Development Goals Summit. Indeed, climate change, deforestation, global health, and women’s empowerment are extremely important issues to address.



Yet, I am extremely wary of any products manufactured in the developed world that are touted,… Continue

Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 22, 2010 at 11:37pm — No Comments

A New Discipline for Development Practitioners

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



You never change anything by fighting existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes… Continue

Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 17, 2010 at 10:50am — 1 Comment

Spotting Community Ownership

The term “community-based” has been eroded. Just like “rights-based programming,” or “participation,” or “capacity building,” it has become over-used and thus less understood in the development sector. Unfortunately, especially within the HIV circles in which I traverse, the term “community-based” has been reduced to simply referring to the locality in which services are delivered.



Yet for me, if an organization or a project is genuinely community-based, it has much more to do with… Continue

Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 13, 2010 at 11:00am — No Comments

Online Communities for International Do-Gooders

Today I discussed the importance of developing a critical consciousness (along side a compassionate consciousness) with someone in the San Francisco Bay area who is supporting a local organization in Malawi.



But how does a person actually go about this, especially someone who may be new to international assistance? As we all know, openness to learning and seeking out advice from others with more experience is vital.



As it just so happens, this week I’ve also been compiling… Continue

Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 9, 2010 at 6:30pm — 11 Comments

Listening to People on the Receiving End of Aid

I am thrilled to cross-post a briefing from an important series on the work and findings of the Listening Project, which began today at the Harvard Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations’ Humanitarian & Development NGOs Domain blog.



Below is a briefing of the initial… Continue

Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 1, 2010 at 9:44pm — 3 Comments

For whom do you write?

Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the qualities of deeds. ~Elie Wiesel



In starting up how-matters.org, I’ve entered into a new relationship. As in all new…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on August 31, 2010 at 7:36pm — No Comments

Aid Worker: First, Know Thyself

The following article was adapted from Faye Dresner’s article, “Leader: First Know Thyself.” As I read it, it occurred to me that the term leader could easily be replaced with [aid worker] and the message remain directly relevant. In many ways, all aid workers, whether the volunteer or director, act as leaders as we strive for the self-awareness to be……

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on August 30, 2010 at 6:00pm — No Comments

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