How are international aid projects like U.S. presidential elections?

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 come.

Yes We Are: Governing/project implementation

What you face now is inevitably more complicated than what you portrayed in the campaign/proposal. With everyone wanting something from you, there are many competing priorities and it’s not always clear which is the best decision. Are there ever enough resources? Despite the election promises/logframe, the arcane and dysfunctional aspects of the system(s) in which we operate often get in our way.

Yes We Did: Seeking reelection/report writing

Despite what you did or did not accomplish, ultimately people’s perceptions will determine if you are considered successful or not. You highlight what you accomplished and ensure there’s a good explanation for what you didn’t. After four years, you may have a better idea of what you’re doing, but a rapidly changing reality means no election/project can ever be the same.

Most importantly, if you don’t inspire people to believe that a brighter future is possible for everyone, you might as well go home.

Forward!

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This post originally appeared at: http://www.how-matters.org/2012/11/08/aid-projects-like-presidentia...

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Tags: Obama, aid”, campaigns”, development”, donors, effectiveness”, enterprise”, ownership”, participation”, philanthropy, More…reelection, workers”, writing”, “aid, “community, “international, “presidential, “proposal, “social

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