Jennifer Lentfer's Blog – September 2011 Archive (11)

Effective aid: A matter of faith?

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…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 28, 2011 at 9:01am — No Comments

PBS Documentary on Aid Shines a Light (and wins an Emmy!)

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…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 27, 2011 at 9:30am — 2 Comments

Oral Reporting with Grassroots Organizations—Here’s How!

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…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 26, 2011 at 1:55pm — 2 Comments

Language Matters

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…
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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 22, 2011 at 6:00am — 5 Comments

Waiting for Pennies from Heaven

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?”…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 20, 2011 at 5:00pm — 2 Comments

The Joy of Aid Work

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…
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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 20, 2011 at 4:10pm — 3 Comments

Stuff: What is it good for?

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…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 17, 2011 at 3:44pm — No Comments

A Second Dip into the Reading Pile

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…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 14, 2011 at 4:05pm — No Comments

Are you reading this?

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…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 7, 2011 at 4:45pm — No Comments

Already “of” the community

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,…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 6, 2011 at 4:48pm — No Comments

Another Must Listen

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…
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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 1, 2011 at 10:54pm — No Comments

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