A blog comes in handy at times, like when Nora Schenkel's piece in the New York Times yesterday was not open for comments. "I Came to Haiti to Do Good..." is one of those pieces that elicits mixed feelings for me as I just came from Haiti just last week.…Continue
Financial mismanagement. Lay-offs of local and international staff. Inappropriate conduct by leadership. Finally, a visit planned from headquarters to see what’s going on. What do you do?
A superior continues to make passes at you. You find out you’re paid less than someone doing your exact same job. Someone takes undue credit for work you did.Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on May 16, 2013 at 6:41am — No Comments
No matter how self-aware we are when we come into international aid, philanthropy, or social enterprise, most people, especially in the beginning, operate from a worldview in which change in poor people’s lives is possible with our help.
As I've written before, the jury is still out on this in my mind.
In my career, I have…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on May 5, 2013 at 4:24pm — No Comments
Imagine not being able to turn away from a problem that you see in this world. You are compelled by a sense of responsibility, passion, and the audacity to believe that you can do something about that problem. You have decided to take the leap and start an organization, an initiative, or a social enterprise.
To do so, you of course need resources. You don’t have them. You have to ask those with money to invest in you.
Imagine sitting across the table from a potential donor,…Continue
A guest post on how-matters.org by Rajasvini Bhansali
It had been six months since I started my new role as a management advisor for a network of youth polytechnics in rural Kenya. The Wakamba village elders in Maseki village where I lived had named me Mutanu meaning “one who smiles a lot.” My career, coursework, and …Continue
A guest post on how-matters.org by Mike Keller, a self-described aid agnostic.
When a friend recently pointed my attention to Time to Listen: Hearing People on the Receiving End of International Aid, a “book” by an organization that I’d never heard of, …Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on January 24, 2013 at 7:00am — No Comments
As I was sitting in a year-end retreat, I started jotting down this list of things that the development aid world could use more of in 2013. I offer it as some food for thought for the year ahead.
Are there alternatives to the cynicism and disillusionment that pervades in so many organizations that are working towards ‘development’? Where are the people who are interested in creating more grounded, creative, human and humble ways of doing this work?
You can find them here.
When I first picked up and started reading The Barefoot Guide to Working with Organisations and Social Change almost four years ago, it was one of…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on December 4, 2012 at 7:30am — No Comments
I use my How Matters YouTube channel to highlight portrayals of international assistance that inspire more nuanced conversations about the politics of global development and international aid. Frankly though, there’s not enough content to keep that page very active. Very few video-based products show people grappling with the realities of programming on the ground and the stories of grassroots change-makers too often remain…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 14, 2012 at 6:02am — No Comments
I’ve been called a “thought leader” lately. It’s a lot better than some other things I’ve been called in my life, but still, it’s a label I’ve been trying to understand—so much so that I facilitated a session on it at last month’s Opportunity Collaboration.
When I first heard the term, I did a bit of sleuthing to understand its origin. It seems it comes from the private sector. (Isn’t most of the “latest” aid and philanthropy jargon…Continue
Yes We Can: The campaign/proposal writing
You have to get lots of people involved. In fact, the more people who share your vision, the better. You tell the voters/donors what they want to hear. Persuasion and hyperbole can be more important than substance. The popular vote/buy-in of the people served may be irrelevant in the end. You’re happy (though thoroughly exhausted) when the campaign is over/proposal is submitted, but the hard work is yet to…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 8, 2012 at 7:33am — No Comments
“Excuse me. What’s that you’re reading?” the woman wedged next to me in the busy restaurant asked.
Sitting on the table in front me yesterday was Tori Hogan’s new book, Beyond Good Intentions: A Journey Into the Realities of International Aid. (Now available …Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on October 23, 2012 at 6:59am — No Comments
He has now stood up at the long table, perhaps hoping that the argument can be won by positioning himself above those with whom he is supposedly vehemently disagreeing.
About what? I’m unsure, as is the normally reserved and quiet junior staff person, who has uncharacteristically burst out laughing at the scene before her.
Her and I both know that what’s being discussed has less to do with the issue at hand, and more to do with these men’s need to be on top.
“For all of us who are in the ‘change the world’ business, we seldom reflect on our own attitudes and behaviours as donors, facilitators, managers, experts, technocrats. Yet we want to see change in the attitudes and behaviours of those we serve?! We do not want to change the power status quo within organisations and amongst ourselves, yet we are telling ‘communities’ to do so?!” ~from a …
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 24, 2012 at 6:41am — No Comments
...what good is a blog?
Three people I know and admire are getting the recognition they deserve this week and I want to take a moment to celebrate their achievements on how-matters.org.
1) Mulugeta Gebru, founder of Jerusalem Children and Community Development…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 14, 2012 at 8:00am — No Comments
A guest post on how-matters.org by Oscar AbelloContinue
We are celebrating Labor Day today in the United States, a day dedicated to the social and economic achievements of the everyday efforts of American workers. What better day to share my thoughts on a book I’ve been reading on the lives of us, the development laborers?Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 4, 2012 at 6:30am — No Comments
A guest post on how-matters.org by Mary Fifield
The power of learning is not just a slogan for many of us working in the non-profit sector. It's the value that undergirds the programs that we help deliver—programs designed to support people in discovering their own talents and skills to better their well-being, their environment, and their society. It's a value that supports our own…Continue
Added by Jennifer Lentfer on August 28, 2012 at 7:10am — No Comments
People have been playing more games these days in Washington D.C. And I don’t mean the strategies of the Obama and Romney spin teams.
Two recent events suggest games’ growing popularity in D.C. aid circles: this one I attended at the World Wildlife Fund earlier this month and this Tuesday’s upcoming …Continue