It’s been a great year at! I am invoking a “shut down” for the holidays as of today and will return on January 15th. Why the big break?

Because there are ideas to be flushed out, plans to be finalized, proposals to be finished, reflections and connections to be had.

2011 has been a “shake-up” year. With the Arab awakening in North Africa and the Middle East and the emergence of the Occupy Movement, there have been many, many moments infused with energy and inspiration for those involved in “flipping the aid system” to put more local and national actors in the driver’s seat of development.

Thus the need for a break. It’s time for me personally to re-group and re-focus on what more can be done to explore, unleash, and promote the potential of community leaders, grassroots groups and local, indigenous organizations as the fundamental focal point of effective development aid, in the process increasing the demand for human rights and development. The promise and potential of far-reaching and responsive small grant mechanisms to help enable grassroots movements to emerge and gain strength is extremely exciting for me. Recent articles in the Wall Street Journal, Devex, and The Chronicle on Philanthropy point to how and why this can work.

No matter what type of aid work you’re involved in, as the year closes, I invite you to also reflect upon how you support local leaders and activists (such as the ones from Kenya featured in the short documentary from Fahamu below) in their efforts to unleash social change.

People, under the direst of circumstances, can and do pull together. My hope is that in 2012, the aid and philanthropic sectors will move closer to recognizing this.

(If unable to view the video, see


This post originally appeared at:


Related Posts

What’s missing from the aid effectiveness debate? Overlooking the c...

Would YOU fund this organization?

Small is Beautiful…Grants, That Is (Part 1)

A New Discipline for Development Practitioners

Listening to People on the Receiving End of Aid

More on Why ‘How Matters’

Views: 157

Tags: Arab, Chronicle, Devex, F., Fahamu, Journal, Jr., Kennedy, Kenya, Movement, More…NGOs, Occupy, Philanthropy, Robert, Spring, Street, The, Wall, aid, assistance, community, community-based, development, donors, effectiveness, foreign, grantmaking, grants, grassroots, international, movements, on, organizations, ownership, participation, responsive, small, social


You need to be a member of Peace and Collaborative Development Network to add comments!

Join Peace and Collaborative Development Network

Comment by GOPI KANTA GHOSH on December 18, 2011 at 2:28am is the year of awakening

Comment by Antonia Zenkevitch on December 16, 2011 at 7:25am

LOL! I love it! What a great take on an old theme, so true too. 

Comment by Jennifer Lentfer on December 15, 2011 at 11:23pm

Thanks for your support @Antonia. Folks may also like this one: “If you give me a fish, you have fed me for a day. If you teach me to fish, you have fed me until the river is contaminated or the shoreline seized for development. But if you teach me to organize, then whatever the challenge, I can join together with my peers, and we will fashion our own solution.” ~Ricardo Levins Morales

Comment by Antonia Zenkevitch on December 15, 2011 at 8:26pm

Thank-you for your reflections. I feel its important to shift focus away from unstable humanitarian aid towards supportive human agency. Its the fish verses the fishing rod, isn't it? I agree that it takes thought to get the balance right to give in a way that empowers. No easy answers, are there? Just hope and open eyes, thanks for the reminder.

cheers, and bottoms up to the bottom up approach ;)

Sponsored Link

Please Pay What You Can to Support PCDN

Please consider Paying What You Can to help PCDN grow. We encourage you to consider any amount from $1 and up. Read the SUPPORT page prior to making a payment to see PCDN's impact and how your payment will help.

Sponsored Link

Translate This Page


PCDN Guidelines and Share Pages

By using this site you're agreeing to the terms of use as outlined in the community guidelines (in particular PCDN is an open network indexed by Google and users should review the privacy options). Please note individual requests for funding or jobs are NOT permitted on the network.

Click BELOW to share site resources Bookmark and Share
or Share on LINKEDIN




Latest Activity

Prof julien faustin NEPA NEPA is attending Dr. James Waller's event

2016 Summer Institute for Genocide Studies and Prevention at Keene State College (New Hampshire-US)

June 6, 2016 at 9am to June 10, 2016 at 12pm
2 hours ago
Craig Zelizer left a comment for Priya Verma
2 hours ago
Keith Johnson posted a blog post
2 hours ago
Daniel Conklin liked Viola Gienger's blog post Iraq Research: Sense of Injustice Is Key to Violent Extremism
3 hours ago
Priya Verma posted a status
"Congrats for our new website priya"
3 hours ago
Priya Verma posted a status
"Hi Craig . I will be attending the SXSW award function at Austin on 13 th and hope to see you there. . Thanks Priya."
3 hours ago
Profile IconProfessor Asif Ahmed, Marijn Sissingh, Lindsay Dworman and 3 more joined Peace and Collaborative Development Network
4 hours ago
Dr. James Waller's event was featured

2016 Summer Institute for Genocide Studies and Prevention at Keene State College (New Hampshire-US)

June 6, 2016 at 9am to June 10, 2016 at 12pm
4 hours ago

© 2016   Created by Craig Zelizer.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service