Coming Clean: Why I Need the Aid Sector (and why you do, too)

I often get asked when I plan to move ‘home’. After 15 years abroad, it’s a bit difficult to pin down just where ‘home’ might be. The last time I lived in my home country I was a student and so ‘home’ is still my parent’s address (according to the government and my bank, which …

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Let’s Talk About Change and Impact

There was an interesting back and forth on Twitter a couple of weeks ago as one user vented frustration with the problem of evaluations making unjustifiable quantitative statements based on qualitative analysis. Then another user brought up bias (institutional and personal) which opened a whole other can of worms (or Pandora’s box, if you’re squeamish). …

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The Revolving Door of Local Leadership

At a conference last week which focussed on disaster relief and disaster risk reduction in Asia, I had asked a question about the need to focus on local government for DRR implementation, and the reality of that happening anytime soon given that the global framework for DRR was, in fact, global. The speaker pointed to …

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Jargon – the Undermining of Accountability to Stakeholders?

The other day, I realized I’ve been in the business of development and conflict management for 13 years. If you include my time doing human rights reasearch and advocacy, its 15 going on 16 years. Which I think is just enough time for me to credibly admit that most of us are winging it most …

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How to Spend Development Dollars

There are a lot of studies doing the rounds that highlight a major problem with development financing – it takes ages to actually spend the money that is donated. This is particularly true for financing that is channelled through government public financial management systems to support public serivce delivery such as health care, education, infrastructure …

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Monitoring, Risk Management and the Likelihood of Success

I confess – I’ve been following the saga of the American Red Cross in Haiti as avidly as I follow celebrity gossip on online (everyone needs a place to escape to). Six houses built for USD 24 million – yes, I’m cherry-picking the facts to create a snazzy headline – but the whole saga is nonetheless …

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