The Latest Issues and Trends in International Development and Humanitarian Assistance

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Leading Healthy Organizations in a Turbulent Environment Best Corporations in Global Development The Trouble With Aid in Africa

2008 Election Results and Implications Leveraging Mission Drift to Promote Innovation Organizational Change 25 Years of Monday Developments

Case Studies in Knowledge Management

A Wealth of

Nov/Dec 2008 Vol. 26, No. 11/12 InterAction

Managing Editor/Art Director Chad Brobst Copy Editor Kathy Ward Advertising & Sales Michael Haslett Communications Department Nasserie Carew, Public relations tawana Jacobs, Public relations tony Fleming, New Media Chad Brobst, Publications Michael Haslett, Publications Margaret Christoph, admin associate Editorial Committee Interaction Communications team Interaction 1400 16th Street, NW Suite 210 Washington, DC 20036 Tel: 202.667.8227 ISSN 1043-8157


A Wealth of Knowledge | 8

November/December 2008 • Vol. 26 • No. 11/12


The Weakest Link | 21

the state of humanitarian fleet management in africa.

What Separates the Best from the Rest? | 34

sPeCIal seCtION:

Case studies in learning from a PVO’s most precious assets.

The Trouble With Aid in Africa | 23

Monday Developments is published 11 times a year by Interaction, the largest alliance of u.s.-based international development and humanitarian nongovernmental organizations. With more than 170 members operating in every developing country, Interaction works to overcome poverty, exclusion and suffering by advancing social justice and basic dignity for all. Interaction welcomes submissions of news articles, opinions and announcements. article submission does not guarantee inclusion in Monday Developments. We reserve the right to reject submissions for any reason. It is at the discretion of our editorial team as to which articles are published in individual issues. all statements in articles are the sole opinion and responsibility of the authors. articles may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution. letters to the editor are encouraged. a limited number of subscriptions are made available to Interaction member agencies as part of their dues. Individual subscriptions cost $80 a year (add $15 for airmail delivery outside the u.s.) samples are $5, including postage. additional discounts are available for bulk orders. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery. advertising rates are available on request.

Leading Healthy Organizations in a Turbulent Environment | 11

Could increasing aid do more harm than good?

Interaction members nominate the top ten Best Corporations in Global Development.

A Mixed Political Bag | 25

Following these steps can increase your likelihood of survival... and success.

2008 election results and their implications for our community.

Organizational Change in the Humanitarian Sector | 13
Key messages from ALNAP.

Framing Your Message in a Stressed Out World | 28

Emergency Programming in Health | 37
Workshop addresses the challenges of integrating longer-term health priorities into emergency response.

When promoting your organization’s work, it’s the uplifting stories that often have the most impact.

One Mother’s Mission | 15
american express’ Members Project helps save the lives of malnourished children.

A New Vision | 29

Photography is critical to telling your organization’s story.

25 Years of Monday Developments | 39

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back | 16

Post-Disaster Communities | 31

a retrospective of article highlights from the first quarter century of Monday Developments Magazine.

2008 Global Hunger Index and Indian state Hunger Index shed light on where the hungriest people live.

International conference focuses on rebuilding sustainable communities for children and their families after disasters.

D Par

N s

Gaining Momentum for Reform | 19

MFaN works with government to reform foreign assistance.

Leveraging Mission Drift to Promote Innovation | 32

Planning and vetting are key to project expansion.

Inside This Issue | 3 Inside Our Community | 4 Inside InterAction | 6 Employment Opportunities | 45

INsIDe This Issue


Reflecting on InterAction’s First 25 Years
very day thousands of people in the United States reach out to InterAction member agencies to create a bridge between the world’s rich and poor. They reach out because they want to help change the life of a child, woman or a community in need – or to build a relationship that can potentially foster increased understanding and unity among people of vastly different cultures and levels of affluence. These American values enable development programs to deliver lasting results and enable deprived children, their families and communities to meet their basic needs and increase their ability to participate in and benefit from their societies. As good stewards of American generosity, InterAction has worked tirelessly the past year to redefine the role of the NGO, at home and abroad. We have matured as a community and are an integral part of an exciting international movement to legitimize our role as key decision makers in the international development dialogue happening on the world’s stage. Next year, InterAction celebrates 25 years of advocacy on behalf of U.S. based international NGOs. We have gone through many transitions during the last quarter century but remain strong, vigilant and responsive to the needs of millions of people around the world (turn to page 39 of this issue for a compilation of highlights from the past 25 years of Monday Developments). We look forward to the next 25 years with anticipation. Thanks to the work of InterAction staff, members and partners, there is a deeper understanding of the impact of NGOs. By evolving and embracing change, our value as decision makers in international policies that affect where and how we work is increasingly being recognized. (InterAction is committed to building on these successes.) Our long history would not have been possible without the pillars of our community, the people we serve and assist around the world – and the millions of Americans who believe in us and the work we do. They help define who we are. Wishing you a New Year of health and happiness,

Photo: Jon Warren, World Vision

Sam Worthington President and CEO InterAction

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INsIDe Our Community
Congratulations to the
currently assists approximately 533,000 children and family members through community development improvements including renovation and construction of schools, teacher and health worker training; and construction of health posts. . Learning from successes in agricultural development is now more urgent than ever. Progress in feeding the world’s millions of poor has slowed, while the challenge of feeding its future millions remains enormous and is subject to new uncertainties in the global food and agricultural system. With this in mind, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), with support from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is leading the new initiative, “Millions Fed: Proven Successes in Agricultural Development,” to document evidence on “what works” in agriculture—what sorts of policies, programs, and investments in agricultural development have actually reduced hunger and poverty. Until December 31, 2008, IFPRI is accepting nominations for proven success stories in agricultural development to showcase in the Millions Fed project. The Millions Fed project offers the development community a unique opportunity to showcase agricultural development success stories in a way that will reach a broad global audience, including policymakers, development practitioners, donors, scholars, nongovernmental organizations, entrepreneurs, students, and citizens concerned about the future of global agriculture. A range of communications tools will be developed, including a compendium of case studies, analytical studies on success factors, an interactive website, audiovisual tools, and instructional materials, to convey the key elements of success in agricultural development. For more information about the Millions Fed project and to access the online nomination application, please visit the website: www

2008 InterAction Congressional service Award Winners

Call for Nominations, “Millions Fed: Proven successes in Agricultural Development”

Congressman Donald Payne

senator richard lugar

International Housing Coalition Looking for space

The International Housing Coalition (IHC) has an immediate need for 150 -200 square feet to house its three person staff, preferably in D.C. and near a Metro. One room or several offices or work spaces would meet the IHC’s need. The IHC is a 501 (c) (3) advocacy organization that supports giving higher priority and attention to improved housing and slum improvement in the developing world in support of the MDGs. Its founding sponsors are Habitat for Humanity, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). The IHC also needs access to conference space and would prefer to also contract for the use of office equipment and support. Space near its current location near Union Station is preferred. The IHC is prepared to occupy the space immediately. Please contact Bob Dubinsky by phone at 202-408-8506 or by email at

Mohamad Shar, a Christian Children’s Fund (CCF) staff member, was killed Nov. 30 in Kabul, Afghanistan, when a suicide bomber attacked a passing military vehicle. Shar was 52 years old and had worked for CCF for 18 months. “We are deeply saddened by this senseless death,” said Anne Goddard, President of CCF. “We send our heartfelt condolences to Mohammad’s family and colleagues and to the families of all the victims of the bombing in Kabul.” Shar was riding his bicycle in the area when the bomb exploded receiving lethal shrapnel wounds. He leaves behind a wife and six children. CCF has worked in northern Afghanistan since 2001 under the name of ChildFund Afghanistan. ChildFund Afghanistan

Christian Children’s Fund Employee Killed in Afghanistan

TIME Magazine recently published a story featuring International Relief and Development’s (IRD) Student Health Improvement Program in Indonesia (September 22 issue of TIME). They described it as “a pioneering food-aid program using a business model that has since become a template for projects in Cambodia, Niger and Sri Lanka.” The USDA supplied wheat to IRD, who designed a program that would strengthen existing businesses through noodle production. Some of the noodle products were fortified and given to schools as snacks for the children. The program began in 1999 and provided nutritious supplements for school children while simultaneously improving the local economy through strengthened businesses and increased employment opportunities. Read the article online at time/magazine/article/0,9171,1840577,00 html

Time Article Acknowledges Food-Aid Program

MONDaY DeVelOPMeNts November/December 2008

The world sees one Africa. We see so much more.
No two countries are the same. Every country in Africa has a different culture, a different economy, a different way of doing things. We understand this. With an established presence in 18 African countries, we not only know the dynamics of each local market, its specialist sectors and its communities; we’re also committed to every one of them. So when it comes to doing business in Africa, you’ll know you’re dealing with the Bank that truly celebrates unity in diversity.

Inspired. Motivated. Involved.

Mark E. Chiaviello Standard bank, 320 Park Ave., 19th Floor New York, NY 10022 (212) 407 5000

SBSA113592 9/08

INsIDe InterAction

building on Progress: InterAction Expands Its Annual Poverty Week Campaign

hat began last year as a week-long anti-poverty Web effort launched to correspond with the United Nations’ annual observance of the International Day to Eradicate 2 0 0 Poverty on October 17 has Aligning 8 been transformed into Inwith th terAction’s Progress Against Develope Millennium Poverty Week, an annual ment Go als campaign to examine progress in the fight against poverty. A comprehensive affair that now includes both live, in-person events and an interactive blog that streams film and live webcasts, this year’s event focused on better aligning the work of the international development and humanitarian relief community with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The events, detailed below, covered a broad range of initiatives by InterAction and its members. The week’s first event focused on the Women, Faith, and Development Alliance’s (WFDA) work towards achieving MDG 3 on gender equality. Last April, at the official launch of the WFDA, WFDA partners announced commitments to empower women and girls that totaled more than $1 billion. The WFDA received 73 commitments made from more than 90 organizations. The event featured four of the 73 commitments. Videoconferenced in from the field were Logy Murray, World Vision’s Africa Advisor for Faith Partnerships on HIV and AIDS in South Africa, and Hatem Shurrab, Islamic Relief’s Public Relations & Reporting Officer in Palestine. Live panelists were Rachel Harris, Women’s Environment and Development Organization’s (WEDO) U.S. Climate Change Campaign Coordinator, and Ib Peterson, Danish State Secretary for Development Cooperation, Middle East, Africa, Asia, Latin America and the United Nations. Murray discussed some of the projects World Vision is implementing in South Africa and how women and girls are most vulnerable to the epidemic. Shurrab presented Islamic Relief projects in the West Bank and Gaza to improve the living conditions of women with HIV and AIDS, and reduce the stigma and discrimination that accompany the disease. Harris discussed WEDO’s WFDA cluster commitment with





Oxfam and Mercy Corps on their work with adaptation policies and climate change as they relate to gender equality. Peterson presented the government of Denmark’s MDG 3 Global Call to Action campaign and its designation of the WFDA as a Global Torch Bearer. The week also included the dedication of InterAction’s main conference room to honor the late Julia V. Taft, a two-time InterAction CEO (1994-1997; 2006) who worked tirelessly towards ending human suffering and believed that getting people together was key to achieving that goal. The upgraded conference room offers a far greater capacity to convene InterAction members and can now hold videoconferences, stream meetings live over the Internet and record them for future use. The event on the 2008 DATA Report, jointly hosted by ONE and InterAction, noted that G8 countries have delivered 14 percent of the commitment made at Gleneagles. Joshua Lozman, ONE’s Vote ’08 Policy Manager, stated, “Imagine what we could do if the other 86 percent were delivered.” Lozman was joined on the event’s panel by Michael Klosson, Chief Policy Officer and Associate Vice President for Save the Children, and Todd Shelton, Senior Director of Public Policy for InterAction. The full report can be found at InterAction CEO and President Sam Worthington moderated a lunch discussion on leveraging international frameworks to fight poverty. Panelists included Paul O’Brien, Director of Aid Effectiveness for Oxfam America, Erin Kolodjeski, Senior International Policy Analyst for Bread for the World, and Sylvain Browa, Director of Global Partnerships for InterAction.


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Worthington cited the U.S. government’s responsibility to engage in dialogues on policy frameworks, such as the Paris Declaration, and to become a multilateral player instead of bilateral. Points of discussion included: the disturbing fact that aid, trade, and finance often cancel one another out, hence the U.S.-based international NGO community’s increasing advocacy for coherent policies to fight poverty; the differing advocacy styles of U.S. and European NGOs and the resulting culture clash; U.S. foreign aid reform and how it relates to global aid effectiveness; and how NGOs can engage in effective advocacy with the U.S. government based on globally agreed frameworks. InterAction also unveiled its new Food Security Map, a pilot initiative to provide visual data on InterAction members’ field programs focused on poverty alleviation and food security, which is centered on contributions to MDG 1 (eradicating extreme poverty and hunger). Featured presenters were Rekha Mehra, Director of Economic Development for the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and Huntington Hobbs, Director of Agriculture for the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). Mehra explained that even though effective agriculture is a crucial factor in eradicating hunger and extreme poverty, international aid for agriculture has fallen dramatically over the last 20 years. She called for increased investment in women and small farmers and for support of countries’ initiatives to increase and improve spending on agriculture research. Hobbs noted the MCC’s approach of investing in countries with good governance, but highlighted the lesser known fact that the MCC is a significant contributor to agriculture and rural development around the world. He encouraged the NGO community to bid for MCC compacts. Suzanne Kindervatter, Vice President of Strategic Impact for InterAction, gave an overview of the prototype map, which is essentially a database showing who is working where within

The uN Millennium Development Goals:
• • • • • • • • Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. Achieve universal primary education. Promote gender equality and empower women. Reduce child mortality. Improve maternal health. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. Ensure environmental sustainability. Develop a global partnership for development.

12 African countries to advance food security. She also solicited feedback from the NGO community on how to improve the map. The site currently provides project descriptions, staffing and participant coverage. InterAction hopes to expand the map to include more in-depth information such as evaluations and best practices. The map is intended to help decision-makers in Washington better understand the projects, and to provide information to InterAction members and the broader development community, and to raise awareness among the general public. The map is available at Progress Against Poverty Week concluded with the screening of a documentary, The End of Poverty? Think Again. This film, written and directed by Philippe Diaz, was honored as an official selection at 13 international film festivals and builds a strong case for immediate action to eradicate poverty. The attendees were also counted as a part of the UN Foundation’s Stand Up Against Poverty event, which included over 116 million people worldwide. Tawana Jacobs, Senior Public Relations Manager for InterAction, contributed to this article. Please send questions and comments to or tjacobs@interaction. org. The blog for Progress Against Poverty Week can be found at

In the field of international advocacy, InterAction has organized a G8 Summit NGO Coordination Group in preparation for the 2009 Summit being held in Italy. The Coordination Group of 25 members and other allies has divided into working groups on four focus issues: health, education, food/hunger/agriculture, and climate change. They are drafting policy position papers on each issue which will be presented to the US Sherpa (lead administration staff for Summit) at the National Security Council. InterAction staff also participated in strategy planning workshop in Rome with the G8 Working Group of the Global Campaign for Action Against Poverty, led by World Vision International. The strategy workshop included productive meetings with the Italian G8 Sherpa and Sous Sherpa. MD

Gearing Up for 2009 G8 summit

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Illustration: ktsdesign -



MAGINE IF YOu AND YOuR COLLEAGuES had access to all of your agency’s documents and institutional knowledge. Furthermore, your work environment – at headquarters, in a region or the field – encouraged all of you to create, learn and share your collective knowledge and experiences. A growing number of international development and relief organizations have embraced this vision. They believe their most precious asset is the knowledge and capabilities of their people and therefore have made the discipline of “knowledge management” a top priority. They have dedicated staff and resources to finding the right tools and designing the best processes for applying the collective knowledge of the entire workforce to achieving the agency’s mission.

A Wealth of


The Challenge Acting Chief Technology Officer at CHF International, Neeran Saraf, summarizes her agency’s knowledge management goals this way: “Put yourself in the shoes of someone working on a project in a developing country with relatively slow Internet connectivity. What tools and processes do we put in place so the person has access to the information they need? How do we give them the ability to conduct research by themselves, rather than relying on e-mail and telephone calls with headquarters? And how do we put lessons learned from past projects in a searchable platform that will benefit project staff in the future?” CHF International serves more than 35 million people in 30 countries, carrying out a wide range of international development functions including: economic development, emergency response and transition, global health and more. It uses two different tools to achieve its knowledge management objectives. Microsoft Office SharePoint Server™ is the agency’s platform for collaboration and file-sharing and the results of projects are monitored by a software solution created by CHF International, the Web-based Project Reporting System (Web-PRS™). By linking the systems, staff can both analyze data and generate reports about project activities for a variety of purposes, including learning and information sharing. “We have improved the donors’ access to information and made our projects more transparent to outside scrutiny,” Saraf said. For example, CHF International can give major donors full access to the latest data coming from their projects via WebPRS. Even more impressive, donors can generate their own reports; information that used to take weeks to produce can now be created and shared instantly, according to Saraf.

Case studies in learning from a PVO’s most precious assets.

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Food for the Hungry (FH) uses a web-conferencing, learning and collaboration tool called Elluminate™ to train staff in the field and the file sharing program Microsoft Office Groove™ to help teams work together on documents more efficiently. “Elluminate is very helpful for carrying out training when the trainer can’t be onsite,” said Mitzi Hanold, FH Curricula and Training Specialist. “And it’s a great tool for linking a visual presentation with a group discussion.” According to Hanold, the tool also has helped the agency to connect staff across countries, sharing information and problem-solving in real-time. At Mercy Corps, Ruth Allen, Global Advisor for Community Mobilization, Governance and Partnership, envisions a knowledge management system that functions like a feedback loop, disseminating lessons learned and best practices, so that all of the agency’s programs benefit from past experience. “Imagine if policymaking was based on knowledge about the most effective ways to utilize aid funding and activities proven to have lasting and wide ranging impact,” Allen said. “Development strategies would take advantage of research on emerging trends and the resulting programs would prevent local or global crises.” Mercy Corps employs some 3,500 people in more than three-dozen countries working in communities recovering from disaster, conflict or economic collapse. The primary collaboration and knowledge management tool the agency uses is Clearspace™, a software solution that integrates discussion forums, blogs, wikis, Instant Messaging and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP). It provides a search engine for retrieving

Information Sharing and Problem Solving

content, Rich Site Summary (RSS) capability, e-mail, and personal user profiles. Mercy Corps also has enhanced Clearspace by linking it to the organization’s digital library and website. Although Clearspace provides many benefits as a knowledge management tool, good content and internal practices are the vital ingredients for learning within an organization. A good example is Mercy Corps’ “Learning Documents Initiative.” The collected documents are a mix of original research, policy briefs and concise case studies that encapsulate salient issues from monitoring and evaluation data, donor reports and other resources. This re-packaged information can effectively be disseminated to staff working on a variety of programs, and to other agencies, policymakers and donors. To further engage staff in the learning process and encourage collaboration, Mercy Corps maintains a list of new “Learning Documents” that staff want created. In the past two years, the agency has completed some 20 “Learning Documents” and 28 more are currently under development. At Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the primary knowledge management goal is to facilitate the sharing of information that comes out of country programs with all staff throughout the organization. CRS is promoting sharing and learning among its staff worldwide through a variety of approaches, including face-to-face trainings and workshops, virtual meetings, communities of practice and “CRS Global”—a new interactive intranet open to contributions from all staff. According to David Leege, CRS deputy director of the program quality and support department, a key challenge is staff participation. “Incentives include: offering small grants to test innovations through pilot projects; connecting people asking questions with those who might have the answers; helping staff to write an article for a journal or showcasing successes to peer organizations and donors at conferences.” Additionally, CRS is more systematically gathering, storing and sharing information about programming in order to make it more accessible to all. The agency has created new positions in publications to help staff document promising and best practices through techniques like collaborative writing workshops involving authors, editors and graphic designers. CRS also uses non-traditional media, such as podcasts and narrated PowerPoint presentations, to facilitate virtual learning. Finally, CRS established knowledge management positions assigned to each program sector. Knowledge management staff help technical advisors and employees in the field to document experiences and good practices emerging from projects so that these can be applied to other programming. The four case studies featured in this article outline the knowledge management and learning systems of a small cross-section of InterAction member organizations. They illustrate how international development and relief agencies today use knowledge management to improve project outcomes, advance mission success and ultimately increase financial support for future activities. MD Contact to share your knowledge management case studies, lessons-learned or best practices.

Innovative Processes

Enhancing Results and Support


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them is an illusion. When credit tightens, jobs are lost and a recession looms, development officers of non-profit organizations are likely to see a decline in giving regardless of the effectiveness of their development programs. Environment matters. However, there are three steps that organizational leaders can take in turbulent environments that dramatically increase the likelihood of organizational survival and success. One of these steps relates to the changing environment itself, while the other two address internal issues over which organizational leaders have considerable leverage. 1. Learn the environments in which your organization operates. Leaders of healthy organizations tend to be students of the environmental contexts in which they operate. They observe and study the political, social/cultural and economic environments in which their organization is nested and become astute at predicting trends that might impact their organizations. Ten years ago, observant car manufacturers noted a growing demand for energy efficient cars rather than SUVs. Attentive university leaders saw the desire for on-line and hybrid courses to supplement traditional delivery mechanisms. And astute NGO leaders anticipated rising fuel and food costs and civil unrest in certain regions of the world. As an organizational leader, become an expert in the primary environments in which your organization operates. Many NGOs prepare context bulletins that describe key developments in areas where they operate. Study such reports,

Leading Healthy Organizations in a Turbulent Environment

Following these steps can increase your likelihood of survival... and success.

SIT Graduate Institute
International Development Programs
master’s degrees/concentrations

Photo: Erick Nguyen -

RGANIzATIONAL LEADERS FACE MORE PRESsures than ever before – particularly leaders of not-for-profit and governmental organizations. Resources are declining, personnel are stressed, and the economic context continues to change dramatically and sometimes daily. When an organization’s environment becomes unstable if not chaotic, how do leaders navigate the turbulent waters? Every organization exists in multiple environments including geographic, political, social/cultural, and economic ones. The geographic environment refers to its physical location; the political environment to the local, regional and national political structures under which it operates; the social/cultural environment to the society and cultural milieu in which it is nested; and the economic environment to the economic context in which it must operate – these days including the global economic system. When an organization has a worldwide scope with multiple regional offices it increases its environmental contexts exponentially. Although organizational leaders must study and attempt to understand these complex environments, they tend to have little or no control over them. Organizational leaders might be able to influence their multiple environments, but managing

Sustainable Development Conflict Transformation / Conflict and Development Management/Development Management

NEW for 2009 in the
focus in Middle Eastern Studies, International Organizational Development, Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation

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but also pay attention to the multiple environments in which your headquarters operation is nested. The principle of natural selection applies to organizations as well as to biological organisms. Organizations that fail to adapt to a changing environment tend to be selected out by that environment. Know your environment so that you can make adaptive changes before it’s too late. 2. Build organizational health. Every organization is both a social and an emotional system. As a social system, it consists of a unique culture and organizational structure nested in a particular set of environments. As an emotional system, it encompasses numerous individuals and subgroups that interact and develop functional or dysfunctional emotional patterns. Your primary responsibility as a leader is to pay attention to the functioning of the whole. How clear is your organization’s structure and how effective are your decision-making processes? How strong is your organization’s culture and how open is it to newcomers to the system? How is the emotional dynamic among the members of the organization? When we strengthen an organism, we increase its ability to adapt to a changing environment. The same is true of organizations. Healthy organizational systems will survive the current turbulence while unhealthy ones will likely be pulled under. When you build organizational health you increase the odds of survival.

3. Clarify and exemplify organizational values. Since every organization has a culture, every organization also possesses a set of values. Increasingly these values are codified and displayed in organizational values statements. Seldom, however, are the behavioral implications of these values spelled out, and, more rarely, are they clearly lived out by organizational leaders. Yet clearly developed and congruent organizational values may be the most important variable separating organizations that thrive from those than wither. In 1965 organizational psychologists Emery and Trist defined social values as “coping mechanisms that make it possible to deal with persistent areas of relevant uncertainty.” In their 1994 classic Built to Last, Collins and Porras found that organizations that preserved their core values and core purpose outlasted those organizations that shifted with the wind. Are you struggling to know how to help your organization survive in a time of turbulent change? Study the environments in which your organization is nested, build organizational health, and (most of all) clarify and exemplify the highest values of your organization. You won’t ever be able to control the turbulence, but you are likely to survive it…and perhaps even thrive in it. MD Questions and comments can be sent to David.Brubaker@ More information can be found at


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Organizational Change in the Humanitarian sector
Key messages from an ALNAP study.



RGANIzATIONS INVOLVED IN THE HUMANITARIAN field increasingly need to be able to change their strategies, structures, procedures and activities to best serve the needs of beneficiaries and other stakeholders. The 8th ALNAP Review of Humanitarian Action included a study on the topic of change in humanitarian organizations, which questioned the efficacy of traditional approaches to change and performance improvement, and suggests alternative approaches and ideas. This article highlights some of the main findings. More detailed coverage is available at Many methods used to catalyze and implement change in the humanitarian sector have met with only qualified success. Evaluations, training and learning programmes, knowledge management initiatives, and strategy and policy design are often ineffective in creating sustainable change where it matters most – in the actions of humanitarian staff on the ground. Humanitarian organizations have tended to use a standard repertoire of methods to identify how they should change, and to ensure that the organization implements these changes. While these methods have achieved some successes, they have often failed to make the impact hoped for by their proponents. The problem does not lie with the approaches themselves, but rather with the assumptions that underlie their implementation. One particularly important and common assumption is that organizations are unified and rational structures that will respond in predetermined and essentially “logical” ways to information (from evaluations, or knowledge-management systems) and to instructions (in the form of new policies and training on these policies). The standard approaches to change within the humanitarian sector would be more successful if they critically re-evaluated this assumption. The approach to achieving change within an organization is determined by fundamental assumptions about the nature of organizations. Our daily experience in organizations tends to suggest that they are neither entirely unified nor entirely rational structures. Despite this, we often think of organizations as if they were – as machines, which can be designed or programmed by external forces to create predetermined outputs from a specific set of inputs. The language of organizations (inputs and outputs, reengineering) often expresses and reinforces the

machine metaphor. If organizations are machines, then they can be changed “mechanically”: instructions can be rewritten, structures and processes re-engineered, parts replaced. However, different views of organizations better explain their occasional irrationality and lack of internal cohesion, and may be closer to the lived experience of many people. An organization can be viewed as: a community, in which action is closely linked to an organisational culture; an organic system, with complex interrelationships between its constituent parts; and a mind, with both emotional responses and the capacity to learn. If these metaphors express even partial truths about organizations, then there are important implications for how organizations change, and how they can be changed. Humanitarian organizations are diverse, but often share elements of structure, process and culture differentiating them from organizations in other sectors. The fact that humanitarian organizations are distinct, however, does not invalidate the considered application of approaches to organizational change developed in the commercial and public sectors.

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While they are similar in some ways to emergency services, public-service welfare providers, military organizations and even private-sector construction companies, humanitarian organizations share a profile that makes most of them more like each other than like organizations in any other sector. This creates specific challenges to designing and implementing change in humanitarian organizations. Successful change programs in the humanitarian sector often include: creating awareness of the need for change; marshalling resources and planning for change; and putting systems in place to support the change. Successful change processes in humanitarian organizations vary in terms of the stated objective of the change, the context of the program, and the nature of the organization. However, all tend to do three things well. Initially, they find ways to create broad awareness across the organization of the need for change. They then put time and energy into planning – creating plans supported by key actors, and which are clear, flexible and relevant to the organization’s mission. Finally, they look at all the elements required to enable sustainable behavioral change (including personal support, training and reward systems) and they support and institutionalize the change in the longer term. In conducting these three activities, successful change programs in the humanitarian sector feature high levels of participation, openness to conflict, and clear internal communications.

Organizational change in the humanitarian sector seems to be most successful where it is most closely linked to the impact of the organization’s work and to what motivates people in the organization. Most changes within humanitarian organizations aim, directly or indirectly, to improve the lives of beneficiaries by providing improved services or services to more people. Successful initiatives make explicit this link between internal change and external impact. As personnel in humanitarian organisations are highly motivated to improve impact on the ground, demonstrating a clear relationship between the changes and impact in human terms can help to motivate staff members to support change. In general, change programs in the sector are more successful when they recognize what motivates people and build on these motivating factors. If incentives are used to support changed behaviour, they should be tied to what people really want to get from their work.

In general, change programs are more successful when they recognize what motivates people and build on these motivating factors.
Many organizational challenges in the humanitarian sector are systemic, and cannot be easily resolved by any one organization working alone. Coordinated action, involving groups of organizations working for systemic change, is also likely to benefit from the principles applicable to individual organizations. Sector-wide issues of coordination, funding and accountability should not be used as an excuse for inaction at the level of individual organisations. Nevertheless, there are problems that need to be resolved within the humanitarian system as a whole. Where groups of organizations come together to resolve these problems, they may find the principles outlined here to be useful. In particular, such groups might reach out further to ensure that the right stakeholders are involved in considering the present situation and in designing solutions. They might also lay more emphasis on solutions that aim to change people’s behaviour, rather than solutions that aim to create products. In most cases, the people driving change are also part of the organization or system to be changed. This means that they will themselves be affected, and will need to change their own behaviour and ways of working. It is easy to overlook this simple but important point. Where change is driven from within the organization, the people in charge of the process are also part of what they are trying to change. As the changes take effect, their own behavior and ways of working will be called into question, and in most cases they will need to adapt to fit the new organization. If the people leading the change fail to model new ways of working early in the process, then it is unlikely that other people in the organization will follow. Anyone leading a change process from inside the organization will need to be prepared to question their own assumptions about the “right” way of doing things, and to work in new ways. Skilled and dynamic leadership may be one of the most important elements here. MD


MONDaY DeVelOPMeNts November/December 2008


One Mother’s Mission
American Express’ Members Project helps save the lives of malnourished children.



OTHER PAIGE STRACKMAN has a cause: to save malnourished children through nutrient-rich, ready-to-eat food. “As a mother of children who go to bed with a full stomach every night, it is heartbreaking to consider the millions of children who do not have the nutrients their little bodies need to survive,” she says. “I know I can’t help all of them, but I can help some of them.” She was able to help thousands in partnership with International Medical Corps (IMC), which brings nutritionrich, ready-to-eat food, like peanutbased Plumpy’Nut, to some of world’s most food-stressed environments, including Afghanistan, Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Sudan. The two came together in the American Express Members Project, a competition where card members nominate causes to receive funding. Before the Members Project, Strackman became connected to child hunger through a friend who runs a feeding program in Haiti. She alerted Strackman of the harsh reality that malnutrition compromises the health millions of children around the world. Looking to make a difference, Strackman reached out to friends and family, and even set up a lemonade stand with her children so she could send packages of rice and beans to her friend’s feeding program in Haiti. When Strackman was introduced to Plumpy’Nut, she tried to buy packets to distribute, but the quantities were too large and the logistics too difficult for her to do on her own. That is when she submitted the project, “Saving the Lives of Malnourished Children” to American Express. An elite advisory panel that this year included CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Nobel Laureate Dr. Wangari Maathai narrowed down the 1,190 submissions to 25 projects to be voted on by card members for a part of $2.5 million in

funding. Strackman’s made the cut. American Express then selected International Medical Corps as the implementing partner because of the organization’s experience and success in treating malnourished children with ready-to-eat food. Together, Strackman

The American Express funding will help to reach more children whose health and well-being is being compromised.
and IMC promoted the project, trying to get as many votes as they could. When the voting closed on October 13, they had rallied more than 14,000 votes to finish in 4th place and receive $100,000 in funding, making Strackman’s project feasible. “This funding will save thousands of malnourished children around the world who otherwise may not have been reached,” Strackman says. “I am

so grateful to everyone who supported this project and made it a reality.” But the value of the campaign goes beyond the children whose lives will be saved. “The Members Project gave International Medical Corps the opportunity to raise awareness about this issue and our work in a nationwide, corporate campaign to catch the public’s attention,” says Stephanie Bowen, IMC’s communications manager. “It offered an avenue for us to reach new viewers with our message and get more people involved.” Even the blogosphere, a muchsought after arena by non-profit organizations, tuned in, with nearly 200 bloggers joining the effort and spreading the word. International Medical Corps’ feeding programs have a 90 percent recovery rate, a track record that, even in the most extreme cases, testifies to the level of life-saving support that the grant makes possible. The funding comes at a time when global demand for food, and IMC’s nutritional support, could not be greater, as rising food costs have left millions more vulnerable to malnutrition. The latest information coming from IMC in the Democratic Republic of Congo estimates that 35,000 children have been admitted to our supplementary feeding centers since July. Many centers are running over capacity with more children still waiting for treatment. The American Express funding will help IMC reach more of those children whose health and well-being is being compromised because they do not have enough to eat. Above all, this project shows how people, when they come together, can make a profound impact. Submitted by one woman in New York who wanted to do something about child hunger, the project mobilized thousands who, as a result, secured $100,000 for malnourished children across the world. As one IMC staff member in the Democratic Republic of Congo told Strackman recently, “It gives us more courage and more hope to know that people like you are out there.” And with this campaign, it is easy to conclude that there are many more out there, ready to get behind a cause they believe in. MD

Photo: Mary Jane Photography (CA)

MONDaY DeVelOPMeNts November/December 2008



One step Forward, Two steps back
2008 Global Hunger Index and Indian state Hunger Index shed light on where the hungriest people live.

HE FIGHT AGAINST GLOBAL hunger has made some gains over the past two decades, but the progress is slow coming. That is the central message emerging from the 2008 Global Hunger Index (GHI), released in October for World Food Day for the third year in a row by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in conjunction with Welthungerhilfe (formerly known


as German Agro-Action) and Concern Worldwide. The GHI measures global hunger by ranking countries on three leading indicators and combining them into one index: (1) child malnutrition; (2) rates of child mortality; and (3) the proportion of people who are calorie deficient. Of the 120 countries studied worldwide, the report found that 33 have alarming or extremely alarming levels

of hunger. (A higher GHI score indicates more significant hunger issues.) The good news is that many regions have made significant progress in lowering their GHI scores since 1990. Latin America and the Caribbean, South and Southeast Asia, and the Near East and North Africa have all made notable gains, driven primarily by improvements in children’s nutrition. However, sub-Saharan Africa has been slower in combating hunger. Not only has it made the least progress as a region, it is also home to 10 of the 11 countries on the GHI that have actually seen their scores worsen. The Democratic Republic of Congo has the worst 2008 GHI score, which has increased 67 percent from 1990, worse than any other country on the index. Even though South Asia has been able to reduce its hunger levels more quickly, its GHI score remains high, at levels comparable with sub-Saharan Africa. The report reveals that hunger levels across these regions are driven by differ-


MONDaY DeVelOPMeNts November/December 2008

Graphic: Global Hunger Index, The Challenge of Hunger 2008


ent factors. In sub-Saharan Africa, hunger scores stem from a high child mortality rate and a high proportion of people who cannot meet their calorie requirements, while in South Asia the low nutritional and educational status of women are to blame for a higher prevalence of underweight children. Poverty is a leading cause of malnutrition and food insecurity, but the depth of poverty varies between regions. For instance, the impoverished population of South Asia is comprised of more people living just below the $1 per day poverty threshold. Sub-Saharan Africa, on the other hand, has a far greater predominance of “ultra-poor,” or those people living on less than $0.50 per day. This may explain why poverty is more entrenched in sub-Saharan Africa, and why reducing hunger levels has been such a lethargic process. Perhaps equally alarming are the findings of the first-ever Indian State Hunger Index. Also released October, it uses the same GHI indicators to measure hunger levels in 17 major states in India. The report revealed that all of these states face an urgent hunger situation, ranging from “serious” to “extremely alarming” in severity. Despite years of robust economic growth, this year’s GHI found that India as a whole scored worse than nearly 25 sub-Saharan African countries and all of South Asia except Bangladesh. All of these findings grow even more serious in the face of rising food prices. While the most recent GHI indicator data available (up to 2006) does not include the effects of the food price crisis, the report presents a picture of countries vulnerable to

the heightened volatility of the international food market. Before the food price crisis hit, at least 800 million people in developing countries were food insecure. Some of these people spend as much as 70 percent of their incomes on food. People who were already food insecure have little or no scope for obtaining nutritious diets in the face of rising food prices. Since 2003, global wheat and maize prices have more than doubled, and rice prices have more than tripled. While the drivers have been widely identified (such as increasing food consumption and changing food preferences as incomes rise, slow agricultural output growth, and biofuel expansion), what is less clear is how severe the effects will be at the country level. A major factor will be whether a country is a net importer or exporter of food. Of the 112 countries for which there are data, 97 are net cereal importers and the remaining 15 are net cereal exporters. As prices rise, net import countries are more likely to struggle to meet domestic food demand. Unfortunately, the countries with the highest GHI scores and the most food insecure populations will be the ones hardest hit by rising prices.

Food aid flows from the World Food Programme are at their lowest level since 1961.
Most of the world’s poor people are net buyers of food. In urban areas, inflationary pressures are likely to continue to stoke political instability. In rural areas, the millions of people who do not own land or do not produce enough food to feed their families are likely to face increased nutritional deficiencies. Meanwhile, the ability of international donors to purchase food aid has been eroded by the rising prices; food aid flows from the World Food Programme are at their lowest level since 1961. Even those regions and countries that have performed relatively well in reducing hunger thus far now face the threat of slipping backwards. A coordinated global response is urgently needed. IFPRI estimates that the additional global public investment required to overcome the food crisis, and still meet the first Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty and hunger by 2015, is at least $14 billion per annum. For sub-Saharan Africa, the annual additional investment is estimated at about $5 billion, if African governments fulfill their commitment to invest 10 percent of their national budgets to agriculture. “Priorities for action at the national and global levels must address the immediate food needs of poor people priced out of food markets, and at the same time begin to correct previous failures in agricultural policy by investing in agriculture and food production, setting up reliable systems for assisting the most vulnerable people in a timely way, and establishing a fair global trading system and a conducive investment environment,” said Joachim von Braun, IFPRI director general. “The strategic way forward must be facilitated by international cooperation and guided by a strong global governance architecture of agriculture, food and nutrition.” MD The 2008 Global Hunger Index, including an interactive map of the report’s findings and the India State Hunger Index can be found at:

Hundreds of millions of people around the world look to PCI-Media Impact’s 300 TV and radio productions to strengthen their communities and improve the lives of their children. To learn more, visit


MONDaY DeVelOPMeNts November/December 2008


Gaining Momentum for Reform

MFAN works with U.s. Government to reform foreign assistance.


N A LETTER RECENTLY TRANSMITTED TO THE OBAMABiden Transition Team, representatives of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) made three immediate major recommendations that would place the goal of reforming the foreign assistance apparatus of the United States Government on track: • Ensure that the Secretary of State nominee agrees that modernizing foreign assistance in an elevated U.S. development agency is a top foreign policy priority; • Empower an individual with responsibility for USAID, MCC and PEPFAR; and • Name a Deputy National Security and Economic Advisor for Development with joint NEC/NSC responsibility for interagency and White House coordination and coherence of development policy. InterAction welcomes President-elect Barack Obama’s nomination of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for Secretary of State. Senator Clinton has been a strong proponent of foreign assistance and understands the power of development and the role it plays in bringing peace, stability and economic prosperity to recipient countries and to the United States. It is hoped that with that understanding, Senator Clinton will support the elevation of a U.S. development agency to serve as an equal partner with the Department of State and Department of Defense in the implementation of the 2006 United States National Security Strategy. The Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network has called upon the next Administration to seize the opportunity to reform the funding, programming, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of all foreign assistance programs instituted by the United States Government. Under the leadership of the MFAN’s co-chairs, Gayle Smith (Center for American Progress) and Steve Radelet (Center for Global Development) – a coalition of international development and foreign policy practitioners, policy advocates and experts, concerned citizens and private sector organizations – has advocated for the strengthening of the United States’ ability to alleviate extreme poverty, to create opportunities for growth, and to secure human dignity in developing countries.

The MFAN signatories have joined together to support the legislative efforts of the Congress and the Administration to strengthen the United States’ foreign assistance tools. With the June 2008 issuance of its penultimate publication A New Day, A New Way: U.S. Foreign Assistance for the 21st Century, MFAN engaged political leaders and policy experts in a lively debate on the future of the U.S. assistance programs. Recognizing the fragmented and disjointed foreign assistance efforts implemented by over 26 offices, agencies and departments within the U.S. Goverment, MFAN calls for a total re-organization of the structure: bringing disparate yet related assistance funding and efforts together under one roof, all focused on similar common goals with common reporting and evaluation indicators and overseen by one nominated and Congressionalapproved individual who would bring focus to the overall U.S. foreign assistance portfolio. The result would be a more effective and more efficient U.S. international engagement. Joined by several InterAction member organization representatives including the CEOs of Bread for World, the International Youth Foundation, Oxfam America, Save the Children and Women Thrive World Wide, Sam Worthington and the InterAction public policy team have been actively engaged in the network’s efforts both on Capitol Hill and among policymakers and other decision-makers in and outside Washington, DC. MFAN’s leadership on the issue of foreign assistance reform has been bolstered by the presence and assistance of Lael Brainard at Brookings, Larry Diamond, Francis Fukuy-

MONDaY DeVelOPMeNts November/December 2008



MFAN has called upon the next Administration to seize the opportunity to reform all foreign assistance programs instituted by the U. s. Government.
ama at the Johns Hopkins’ School for Advanced International Studies, Carol Lancaster at Georgetown University, and Mike McFaul at Stanford who have written numerous articles, editorials and books as well as conducted interviews to call for a full reform effort of the U.S. foreign assistance structure. Since MFAN was launched this past summer, well over fifty meetings with Congressional staff and Members of Congress have been held. At the invitation of Chairman Howare Berman, Sam Worthington, alongside former USAID Administrator Peter McPherson, briefed 13 members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in a discussion of the reauthorization of the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act. At the behest of USAID Administrator Henrietta Fore, Sam Worthington joined 15 experts for an off-the-record briefing of over 60 senior-level USAID employees on foreign aid reform. Briefings have also

been held with former USAID Mission Directors as well as former U.S. Ambassadors, and discussions have been held with high-level military planners and strategists. In addition to our outreach to Congress, InterAction has been actively engaging policy-makers, think tank experts, leaders within the NGO community, leaders of the evangelical movement and others to broaden support for the reforming and restructuring of U.S. foreign assistance. MFAN partners have reached out to their respective communities to educate and invite others to join the network in bringing pressure to bear on the incoming Administration to change the way the United States implements development assistance and these ideas are gaining traction. Recommendations from ConnectUS, the ONE campaign and the Woodrow Wilson Center call for a reinvigorated and highly visible consultative role for U.S. foreign assistance within the Obama-Biden Administration. MD All MFAN materials can be accessed through InterAction’s Transition web page at, or directly at www. Please consider signing up for the network’s weekly monitor and e-mail alerts and joining the network’s advocacy working group to inform policy leaders and Congressional Members about the importance of reforming, re-invigorating and re-structuring U.S. foreign assistance.


MONDaY DeVelOPMeNts November/December 2008


sion coupled with spiraling commodity prices, donor largess is likely to slow forcing humanitarian organizations to look internally for cost savings and efficiencies. The facts show that the fleet is the perfect place to begin. Rather than looking at each individual vehicle in a fleet, our methodology looks at the aggregate of all vehicles vis-à-vis the policies, tools and culture of fleet management at national operations. Broadly speaking, fleets operate in three generic phases throughout their lifecycle: arrival, field deployment, and end of lifecycle. Against this backdrop, the operations we surveyed have three general criteria that determine the length of time and conditions for decommissioning vehicles. This represents the proverbial fleet lifecycle. The first criterion is age, typically five years. The second is mileage, ranging from 150,000 to 250,000 kilometers; and lastly condition, referring to a runoff of maintenance costs or a heavy accident record. Against any of these measures, the state of the fleet is showing signs of decay, making it the weakest link in the humanitarian supply chain. When looking at the national level, it is not uncommon to see fleets where 50 to 60 percent of vehicles in operation violate organizational disposal policies and recommended industry standards. Two aspects of this fleet profile are particularly damaging to the safety, predictability and effectiveness of operations. The first is that newer vehicles are used too much, hastening fleet deterioration. The second is that maintenance costs become unpredictable over time and grow exponentially when utilization patterns are not harmonized. Needless to say, the safety and environmental impact of these fleets degrade dramatically over time. For these reasons organizations that decommission vehicles in a timely manner are able to reduce fleet size by up to 40 percent without impacting program delivery. While we have not encountered an organization that is 100 percent in compliance with its own fleet disposal policies or recommended industry standards, we have identified several areas that make

The Weakest Link

The Weakest Link
The state of humanitarian fleet management in Africa.

Photo: Kris Tahiti -


ROJECTS, PEOPLE AND VEHIcles are uniquely intertwined in the humanitarian sector. As the resurgent crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo reminds us, reliable transportation is mission critical to humanitarian work. For decades agencies have focused on so called “upstream” supply chain activities when it concerns their fleets. Few have gone beneath the surface to understand what happens to vehicles after they clear customs and are put into service. Kjaer Group endeavored to shed

light on the state of humanitarian fleet management by partnering with 16 national offices for leading NGOs and international organizations. Comprehensive fleet assessments have been carried out in eight countries in Africa and the findings impact thousands of humanitarian vehicles. The central financial objective of a humanitarian organization (and therefore humanitarian fleet management as well) is to maximize the percentage of financial support that reaches beneficiaries. With the world on the verge of a deep reces-

Fragmentation and Disappearing

MONDaY DeVelOPMeNts November/December 2008



this practice complicated. The first is an internal bureaucratic process, in which entire management teams are engaged in a 9- to 14-step disposal procedure, wherein vehicles are sold “as is” to the public or donated to local partners. The second internal factor is inertia, where organizations are reluctant to part ways with a vehicle even though it is the responsible thing to do. Two structural factors make responsible fleet management complicated, but not impossible. The first is that vehicles are typically expensed when procured, thus they functionally “disappear” from the balance sheet. This makes the long-term financial consequences of operating a fleet nearly impossible to ascertain. The second structural factor stems from the fragmented nature of humanitarian work where there are “too many agencies, financing too many small projects, using too many different procedures. Fragmentation is the opposite of effectiveness.” (A Scramble in Africa, Sept. 4, 2008 The Economist.) This trend is noted at national operations and bor-

rows from our knowledge sharing with INSEAD’s Social Innovation Centre. Rather than allocating transport capacity to field projects from a centrally managed fleet, entire vehicles are allocated to field operations indefinitely. This stems from the project-specific funding pattern that is prevalent in the sector through which vehicles are procured to support a specific activity. This makes sharing resources complicated because it is difficult to “untie” the vehicle from the project, thus making centralized fleet management complex. The power base for fleet decisions is completely undermined by this structure, as field projects that “own” the vehicles are able to veto any centrally mandated policy – e.g., routine maintenance, record keeping, and, eventually, disposal. Replacing 50 to 60 percent of a fleet using conventional procurement methods would bankrupt a national office and would meet the disfavor of donors. For this the gradualism embodied by asset finance or leasing is appealing. Add to this the freed cash flow that can be applied to core activities and the

predictable nature of long-term finance and it is hard to imagine agencies being in compliance with responsible fleet standards without leveraging flexible financial tools. Many humanitarian agencies are boastful about the size of their fleets. It is taken as a sign of impact and reach. There is no doubt that a vast fleet of vehicles is required to tackle the vast development challenges the world faces. Yet fleet management receives a strikingly low priority: often five or six reporting lines from senior management. Going beneath the surface of a subject as complex as humanitarian fleet management is a difficult task and while there are unique pressures at play in the humanitarian sphere, agencies cannot afford to be passive. Action to address the major obstacles outlined above will free up scarce financial resources for core activities and create operations that are safer and more effective. In purely financial terms, if organizations can afford vast, aged fleets with high mileage, the alternative is possible as well. MD


MONDaY DeVelOPMeNts November/December 2008


The Trouble With Aid in Africa
Could increasing aid do more harm than good?

Photo: Anna -


UB-SAHARAN AFRICA IS POOR. If rich countries send it money it will be less poor, and people living in poverty will be better off. This seems both logical and fair. More aid should mean less poverty, more schools and hospitals, fewer children dying of preventable diseases, more roads and infrastructure to support developing economies. But the optimism that a big aid push will make a big difference to the lives of poor Africans is not shared by most analysts on the African continent. It is hard to find a single example of an African NGO that is actively campaigning for aid increases, while many explicitly reject the idea that huge aid increases are the way to

achieve growth and development. In a literature review, Moses Isooba of Uganda’s Community Development Resource Network found that, “A majority of civil society actors in Africa see aid as a fundamental cause of Africa’s deepening poverty.” He goes on to acknowledge that aid can make “a lasting difference in helping people to lift themselves out of poverty,” but calls for a radical rethink about the purpose and nature of aid giving. Charles Lwanga-Ntale of Development Research and Training (DRT), a Ugandan NGO, describes what he perceives as “almost unanimous pessimism among African civil society and academia about the unworkable nature of aid, given the

way in which it is structured and delivered.” According to Siapha Kamara of the Social Enterprise Development (SEND) Foundation of West Africa: “[M]ainstream African civil society, especially the emerging independent grassroots based development agencies, think tanks, research and policy advocacy organizations are justifiably asking what is different in the present day international aid architecture. Official Africa tends to be more enthusiastic about the anticipated increase in international aid than civil society . . . the more African governments are dependent on international aid the less ordinary citizens such as farmers, workers, teachers or nurses have a meaningful say in politics and economic policies.” Why? We can divide the impacts of aid into four categories. Direct impacts are the easiest to measure and are the ones we hear about most in the media: how many people have been vaccinated, how many schools have been built and so on. But also in this category, and perhaps not publicized quite so much, are the harmful side-effects of aid such as when people are displaced by large projects like dams and mines. Even more controversial are the policy conditions attached to aid, which have arguably had greater consequences in the lives of Africans than the direct consequences of the way the money has actually been spent. Within two decades the whole economic direction of a continent has changed, largely as a consequence of aid; and while some people have gained, many more have suffered as a result. It is generally agreed that shortcomings in the accountability and effectiveness of African governments in recent decades have been a major part of the problem of low or negative growth and insignificant poverty reduction. Thirdly, what is less discussed but is becoming increasingly clear, is that dependency on aid from foreign donors has undermined the development of the basic institutions needed to govern and the vital link of accountability between state and citizen. This has retarded African development in fundamental and long-lasting ways. It is what Kamara was referring to when he talked about ordinary people not having a meaningful say in decisions about how their

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countries are run. Finally, receiving large amounts of aid also has macroeconomic consequences because large inflows of foreign money affect prices and incentives. If they are not managed well these effects can be very damaging to poor people. Rather than accepting the simplistic notion that more aid equals less poverty, we need to look at the evidence. All the evidence. In contrast to aid optimists and aid pessimists, who selectively use evidence either to support or dismiss aid, we need to recognize that the impacts of aid are complex. Only when we assess these impacts dispassionately and systematically can we have any real expectation of making a positive and sustained impact on human rights, development and poverty reduction in Africa. This approach could be termed aid realism. Aid realism means not getting swept away by the ethical clamor to “do something” when a proper analysis shows that what is being done is ineffective or harmful. And it means not bowing to

African civil society, while heavily criticizing aid, is not sitting on its haunches in despair, and nor should anyone else.
an ideological anti-aid position in the face of the rights and urgent needs of millions of people. It means carefully analyzing the overall impact of aid on Africa, firstly to see how it can be improved and secondly, and more importantly given that improving aid will be a very hard job, questioning aid’s importance in relation to other policies and factors that influence development and poverty reduction in Africa. We should emphatically not conclude that the West should somehow leave Africa alone. African civil society, while heavily criticizing aid, is not sitting on its haunches in despair, and nor should anyone else. There are many positive measures that rich countries

should take right now in order to help Africans reduce poverty and improve human rights. For example, far more money flows out of Africa each year than arrives there in aid, but where are the campaigns to stem illegal capital flows going through tax havens? Rich countries need to overhaul the rules on international property rights and foreign investment. They should act on climate change and invest more in transferable technology. They should regulate better an arms trade causing turmoil in Africa. In fact, it will be almost impossible for African governments to reduce their reliance on aid without the international community taking a range of supporting measures. If the first reason to stop campaigning for aid increases is that aid may be doing more harm than good in some countries, the second is that all the emphasis on aid is obscuring the far more important policies the West should be adopting to help Africans out of poverty. The fact that aid
continued on page 44

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MONDaY DeVelOPMeNts November/December 2008


A Mixed Political bag
2008 election results and their implications for our community.

senate Appropriations Committee
thad Cochran (r-Mississippi), ranking Member robert Byrd (D-West Virginia), Chairman Was not up for re-election
Not up, but stepping down as Committee Chair

senate Appropriations subcommittee on state, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
Mitch McConnell (Kentucky), arlen specter (Pennsylvania) Judd Gregg (New Hampshire) ranking member richard shelby (alabama) robert Bennett (utah) Kit Bond (Missouri) sam Brownback (Kansas) lamar alexander (tennessee) Won Not up Not up Not up Not up Not up Not up Won Not up
Not up, incoming Full Committee Chair

HIS YEAR’S ELECTION RESULTS PROVIDED A mixed bag of hope and disappointment. On the hope side of the equation, the biggest news may be the ascendance of a President who pledged during the campaign to double U.S. foreign assistance spending to $50 billion by 2012. While President-elect Obama and his campaign began to talk about a slower ramp-up timeline as the economic crisis intensified, they have made it clear they are not backing away from the doubling goal itself, and campaign statements about the need for strengthening our civilian foreign affairs capacities seem to suggest they mean what they say. On the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, this election brings the departure of a number of Republican champions of the foreign assistance community. Senators Gordon Smith (R-OR), John Sununu (R-NH), and former Peace Corps Volunteer Rep. Chris Shays (R-CT), each defeated, as well as Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), who is retiring, have all been leaders in various ways in pushing for more resources and a higher priority for foreign assistance programs. Rep. Joe Knollenberg, member of the State/Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee who defended funding for the Millennium Challenge Corporation, was also defeated. The departures of these allies will present a challenge to the InterAction advocacy community in its efforts to keep support for our work overseas bipartisan. New champions will have to be found in a shrinking pool of Republican Members of Congress. Some likely candidates have already been identified, however, and the current (Republican) Secretary of Defense Robert Gates continues to state repeatedly and clearly his support for increased spending on diplomacy and development. The outlook is thus hopeful in this regard. The departure of Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) from the Senate and from his chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is also of note, of course, as he moves up to the Vice President’s office in the White House. Senator Biden has been a strong ally. There are hopes that his successor at the helm of Senate Foreign Relations, Senator John Kerry (DMA), will be equally favorable and enlightened in his exercise of that position, especially with the prospect of a once-in-ageneration overhaul of our foreign assistance architecture on the horizon. Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) will continue as ranking Republican on the committee – one strong Republican champion we are NOT losing, thankfully.


Patrick leahy (Vermont), Chairman Daniel Inouye (Hawaii) tom Harkin (Iowa) Barbara Mikulski (Maryland) richard Durbin (Illinois) tim Johnson (south Dakota) Mary landrieu (louisiana) Jack reed (rhode Island) robert Byrd (West Virginia) ex-officio

Won Not up Won Won Won Won Not up

senate Foreign Relations Committee
richard lugar (Indiana), ranking member Chuck Hagel (Nebraska) Bob Corker (tennessee) Johnny Isakson (Georgia) Norm Coleman (Minnesota) George Voinovich (Ohio) David Vitter (louisiana) John a. Barrasso (Wyoming) lisa Murkowski (alaska) Mel Martinez (Florida) Not up Retired Not up Not up still undecided as of 12/3/08 Not up Not up Not up Not up Not up Resigning Not up Won Not up Not up Not up Resigned

Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (Delaware), Chairman Christopher Dodd (Connecticut) John Kerry (Massachusetts) russ Feingold (Wisconsin) Barbara Boxer (California) Bill Nelson (Florida) Barack Obama (Illinois)

MONDaY DeVelOPMeNts November/December 2008



House Appropriations Committee
Jerry Lewis, California 41st (r – ranking member) David R. Obey, Wisconsin 7th (D – Chairman) Won Won

House Appropriations subcommittee on Foreign Programs
Frank R. Wolf, Virginia 10th District (ranking member) Joe Knollenberg, Michigan 9th Mark Steven Kirk, Illinois 10th ander Crenshaw, Florida 4th Dave Weldon, Florida 15th Won Lost to Gary Peters Won Won Retired Won Won Won Won Won

Nita M. Lowey, New York 18th (Chairman) Jesse l. Jackson, Jr., Illinois 2

Another important congressional development is less about the election and more about the passage of time: Senator Robert Byrd’s (D-WV) relinquishment of the chairman’s gavel of the Senate Appropriations Committee. While not necessarily an opponent, Senator Byrd was not quite a champion of foreign assistance either – his priorities generally lay elsewhere. The chairmanship of the committee passes to Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI). Senator Inouye, while not particularly known as a champion for our community, has been serving on the State, Foreign Operations Subcommittee and has signed a number of letters over the years expressing support for the international affairs budget, so there is some reason to be optimistic about his attitudes toward foreign assistance as appropriations chair. That’s a brief first cut on the changes in the federal advocacy landscape we face heading into 2009. The tables provide details on who is in and who is out on the committees and subcommittees most directly relevant to our work. Stay tuned in the new year for further analysis, as the nuances of the landscape begin to fill in. MD

adam schiff, California 29th steven r. rothman, New Jersey 9th steve Israel, New York 2nd Ben Chandler, Kentucky 6 Barbara lee, California 9

Howard l. Berman, California 28th, Chairman Gary ackerman, New York 5th eni Faleomavaega, american samoa, Not Voting Donald Payne, New Jersey 10th Brad Sherman, California 27 Robert Wexler, Florida19
th th

Won Won Won

Won (uncontested) Won Won (uncontested) Won (uncontested) Won Won Won

Betty McCollum, Minnesota 4th

House International Relations Committee
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida 18 (ranking member)

Won Won Won Won Won Won Won Lost to Steve Driehaus

Christopher smith, New Jersey 4th Dan Burton, Indiana 5th elton Gallegly, California 24th Dana Rohrabacher, California 46th Don Manzullo, Illinois 16th edward royce, California 40th Steve Chabot Ohio 1st Thomas Tancredo, Colorado 6 Ron Paul, Texas 14th Jeff Flake, Arizona 6th Mike Pence, Indiana 6th Joe Wilson, south Carolina 2nd John Boozman, arkansas 3rd J. Gresham Barrett, south Carolina 3rd Connie Mack Florida, 14
th th

Eliot Engel, New York 17th William Delahunt, Massachusetts 10 Gregory Meeks, New York 6th Joseph Crowley, New York 7th Diane Watson, California 33rd adam smith, Washington 9

Won Won (uncontested) Won Won Won Won Won (uncontested) Won Won Won Won Won (uncontested) Won Won Won Won Won Won Won Won

Won Won (uncontested) Won Won Won Won Won Won Won Won Won (uncontested) Won Won (uncontested) Won

russ Carnahan, Missouri 3rd John s. tanner, tennessee 8

Gene Green, texas 29th Lynn C. Woolsey, California 6th Sheila Jackson-Lee, Texas 18th Ruben Hinojosa, Texas 15th David Wu, Oregon 1st district Brad Miller, North Carolina 13th linda t. sanchez, California 39th David scott, Georgia Jim Costa, California 20th Albio Sires, New Jersey 13th Gabrielle Giffords, arizona 8th ron Klein, Florida 22nd Barbara lee, California 9th

Jeff Fortenberry, Nebraska 1st Mike McCaul, Texas 10th ted Poe, texas 2nd Bob Inglis, south Carolina luis G. Fortuno, Puerto rico Gus Michael Bilirakis, Florida 9th


MONDaY DeVelOPMeNts November/December 2008


“No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.”
Helen Keller
programs that have lifted many out of poverty, the growth of a fair trade industry, and a global effort to ensure primary education for all. At an individual level, there are many accounts of sacrifice and compassion. Telling these stories − and being able to touch the heart with them − are among techniques that can empower audiences to get involved with the global concerns that will affect everyone’s future. These are among ways that communications professionals at NGOs can tailor their messages for maximum impact. In addition to this “big picture” framework, engaging readers via some tried-andtrue writing strategies is critical. In framing discussions about international topics, my own work has been informed by research done a few years ago by U.S. in the World: Talking Global Issues with Americans ( This research, which I still find relevant, shows that how organizations introduce topics, the tone used, and the big ideas in their communications all play a critical role in how readers respond − either by giving them an opportunity to see an issue in a new light, or by triggering mindsets that cause them to tune out the information. While the research is oriented toward American audiences, I’ve found that many of the guidelines remain applicable to any organization working on global topics. Here are some: 1. Put your arguments and facts, especially in your introductions, into the context of big, cross-cutting ideas and values familiar to your audiences, e.g. talking about environmental problems in the context of safeguarding the planet for future generations. 2. Don’t overwhelm listeners with the enormity and complexity of problems, and don’t use fear or guilt as entry points.

Framing Your Message in a stressed Out World
When promoting your organization’s work, it’s the uplifting stories that often have the most impact.


’VE NEVER BEEN THE MOST OPTImistic person in the world. In fact, I have often been the “glass half empty” kind of gal. And, who can blame me? Just check out some of the latest headlines: “Wall Street Slides after More Losses in Global Shares,” “High Food Costs a Global Burden,” and “UN Sees Risks Mount for Global Warming Fight.” Of course, if everyone dwelt on this depressing news, we might as well just crawl into a cave, throw in the towel and call it a day. But, there is anoth-

er side to the story, and I suppose it’s why I have spent the better part of my career working for international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). These organizations are by no means perfect, but their work often touches what is most human in us and invites us to see the possibilities in a world that often seems to be teetering on the edge. NGOs can use these strengths to their advantage, and how they frame their messages matters. Part of that framing is being positive. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that NGOs should ignore the scale of the many global problems we face. When these problems are the dominant frame of the organization’s message, however, that message may be less effective. Conveying a positive vision and problem-solving attitude often has more influence. And NGOs have an important role to play in telling uplifting stories: about student movements for sustainability, microloan

MONDaY DeVelOPMeNts November/December 2008

Photo: UN Photo/Martine Perr


3. Offer success stories, examples of what works, and systemic solutions. 4. Show the benefits of approaches you propose and the cost of alternatives. 5. Avoid partisan attacks and an “usversus-them” way of thinking. Question others’ assumptions if appropriate, but not their integrity. In line with these guidelines, I think it is important for NGO professionals to avoid the “blame game” in their communications and to take a proactive position when they can. And, if the organization has made mistakes or learned some valuable lessons, be upfront about them. This approach can help to establish credibility. Some other good writing techniques to consider include: • Establish context. If a reader isn’t told why the topic is important, they may lose interest quickly. Set out the problem that needs to be solved and the solution offered. • Use numbers sparingly. If the article calls for statistics to make important policy points, then put them into a visual form, e.g. bar or pie charts. • Make it human. There is nothing like a compelling personal story to bring abstract concepts and policies to life. • Watch transitions. Readers should be taken smoothly from one idea to the next and not have to connect the dots themselves. • Keep it simple. Long, academic words and phrases may impress some, but probably not most of your audiences! As obvious as the above advice would seem to be, I’ve seen plenty of written work that is depressing at best and/or offers little context, too many statistics, and is so complex or abstract that it makes readers’ eyes glaze over. But, let’s not be negative. Rather, remember that there are many ways that NGOs can improve their communications, demonstrate integrity, and keep an open heart about their work and the many inspiring stories they have to tell. How’s that for optimism? There may be hope for me yet! MD

A New Vision
Why your visual image is critical to telling (and selling) your organization’s story.



ET’S TAKE A SIMPLE TEST. Open a newspaper or a magazine and pay careful attention to where your eye first falls on the page. Is it to the blocks of text, or the ads for which agencies pay thousands of dollars? No. Studies show – and your eyes will confirm – that photographs, above all else, attract the greatest notice in any print or electronic publication. But in the NGO world, professional photographs are too often the orphan children of the creative process – underappreciated, underutilized, or written off as extravagant or unnecessary. In a media age when a teenager with a laptop can design slick, professional quality publications with ease, too many NGOs depend upon photos generated by untrained staff or volunteers to provide them with the most visible part of their agency’s public face. The answer to why lies often within. Aid agencies, by their nature, are comprised largely of people with programming backgrounds: the water experts, logisticians, nutritionists and engineers

whose work comprises the bulk of what most NGOs do. The pictures and stories that relay that work to wider audiences often don’t factor into the baseline thinking of project staff. Back in headquarters, communications and media budgets are frequently the last to make the list for the new fiscal year, and the first to suffer cuts. Perhaps more critically, many NGOs suffer from a culture in which the thinking is that the work we do as an agency speaks for itself. It’s impolite, our mothers taught us, to brag, and self promotion in the form of photography is seen by many as too close to that line. But those days are passing. Quickly. Today’s NGOs need to be prepared to compete harder, and smarter, for donor dollars. While programming should always remain as the bedrock of NGO values, that work can only exist as long as donors fund it. To be interested, doBy getting close to your subject, you eliminate dead space on either side. Your viewer will know exactly what the subject is as soon as they look at the photograph.

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Contact Michael Haslett at 202-552-6548

MONDaY DeVelOPMeNts November/December 2008

Photos: David Snyder



nors must be familiar on a personal level with the beneficiaries. This is where photography has no equal. Websites and fundraising appeals are common ways to reach out to private donors. But agencies often overlook other ways to connect. NGOs today need to think about calendars and coffee table books that present their work powerfully and professionally. Slide shows of powerful images delivered to high school and college audiences help attract a new generation of youth to your agency’s network. Similar presentations delivered to groups of high-end donors provide what no other medium can: the chance for them to see, first hand, the impact their dollars are having. Having edited newsletters for a major U.S.-based NGO for more than two years, I saw the same mistakes repeated time and again in the photographs I reviewed. Invariably, staff would return from weeks in the field with photos that were wholly or largely unusable. Most commonly, subjects were too far away in the photograph. Far too often, staff would submit photographs of large groups of beneficiaries, posed awkwardly around some distant and indistinguishable sign or meeting house. As a rule, every photograph was a horizontal composition, of a sub-

By framing your subject in the right or left third of the photo, rather than directly in the middle, you allow yourself two thirds of the image space to put that subject in context - like this religious pilgrim praying at Christ’s tomb in Jerusalem. ject too far from the camera, placed squarely in the center of the frame – a virtual recipe of what not to do when shooting dynamic and professional photographs. Yet these are the images that often populate NGO web sites and publications. Staff themselves are not to blame. Most, if not all, who are sent to the field with a camera have never had training in even its basic use. A few simple techniques can go a long way towards increasing the usability of photographs – such as turning the camera vertically to capture vertical subjects, like people. Framing subjects in the left or right third of the photo is also an essential tool that allows the photographer to place the subject in context, be it in a refugee camp or a clinic for clients receiving AIDS medicines. Simply taking two steps towards your subject, rather than two back, will dramatically improve the quality of most photographs. As famed World War II photograph Robert Capa said, “If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” Never was that more true than in relief and development photography. For both smaller agencies who may not have a photography budget and larger ones who do occasionally use professionals, there are concrete steps you can take to vastly increase the professionalism of your photo base. First, include a line for professional photography in your budget for 2009 – however small. While photographer fees vary tremendously, you don’t need to break the bank: $2,000, for example, would probably be enough for several days to perhaps a week of shooting – photos

that you can use for years to come on calendars, web sites, donor presentations and promotional materials. To cut costs, seek the services of professional photographers in the NGO world who travel often. The next time they are in a country where you have a project, tack on a day or two of shooting – and save yourself the cost of their airfare.

Far too often, staff submit photographs of large groups of beneficiaries, posed awkwardly around some distant and indistinguishable sign or meeting house.
Second, seek training for your staff on how to take better photos. While you can use professionals for major events like large-scale emergency response, important anniversaries, or high-level delegation trips to project sites, your staff are a vital photographic resource. You’ve given them cameras. Now give them the basic training they need to use those cameras effectively. A halfday training, right in your office, might run several hundred dollars – and pay immediate and long-lasting dividends. The work your NGO does is important in the lives of others. Short of taking your donors to the field personally, nothing is more powerful in conveying a sense of what you do than the visual image. It’s time for NGOs to start thinking differently about what they want their donors to see first the next time they look at a page you have sent them.

By far the most common problem with most photographs taken by amateurs is that the photographer is too far away from the subject. The eye of the viewer does not know where to go when they first look at the photograph. Without a subject, you have no photograph.


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Post-Disaster Communities

International conference focuses on rebuilding sustainable communities for children and their families after disasters.



GNES IS ONE OF THE SUCcess stories. A child soldier in Sierra Leone, Agnes was reintegrated into the community and completed a Masters degree in law. Despite heavy stigma suffered by returning child soldiers, her father took the lead in accepting her back with the words: “Agnes you are my daughter and will be forever.” Her mother, and then her community, soon welcomed her. But most former child soldiers are not so lucky, finding themselves shunned by both family and society. At the International Conference on Rebuilding Sustainable Communities for Children and their Families after Disasters, hosted by the University of Massachusetts Boston from November 16-19, presenters discussed strategies for working with these children. Based on studies done in Colombia, Nepal and Sierra Leone, strategies ranged from preventing recruitment by leveraging international law, prioritizing the specific needs of girl soldiers, preparing communities for their return, and organizing programs to educate, care for and reintegrate them. The conference brought together scholars across many disciplines and field practitioners from governmental agencies and NGOs. Together they identified broad challenges to rebuilding sustainable communities after disasters, and shared a wide range of analyses and practical solutions based on research and best practices that prioritized human rights. The need to honor and respect the dignity of disaster victims was a recurring conference theme, an acknowledgement that insensitive treatment of disaster victims can compound initial injuries. In contrast to an attitude that

Professor Adenrele Awotona, Conference Chair and Center Founder and Director.

“recipients of help should be happy with what they get,” social scientist Dr. Evelin G. Lindner called for, “The spirit of human rights, with an emphasis on human dignity,” to be “mainstreamed into disaster management.” Many speakers acknowledged that gender inequality remains a serious obstacle to sustainability. Researcher Elaine Enarson charged that lack of knowledge is not the issue: “We know about gender, but we don’t use it… Women are on the ground at the grassroots level caring for families, but not in the lead, sitting at policy tables, managing funding, setting up research projects. But we can’t get to sustainable recovery without women.” Others looked at specific gender dimensions of disasters. Consultant Alisa Klein said that a public health framework was needed to prevent and respond to sexual violence, the incidence of which rises during and after disas-

Photo: Harry Brett

ters. Iraqi-Canadian lawyer Ghina Al Sewaidi outlined international law relevant to women and children refugees and spoke of the feelings of loss and isolation they suffered. Compounding the damage done by disasters is the fact that the most susceptible communities are those already suffering from chronic problems such as poverty and underdevelopment. Within communities, “those most affected by disasters are disproportionately the most vulnerable: the poor, the disabled, women, and children,” observed Angela Devlen, president of Mahila Partnership. Strengthening children’s participation in decisions that affect them was another recommendation echoed by many: “Children need to be recognized as valued partners in community healing, future leaders, and potential peace builders,” said Grace Oyebola Adetula, an international expert in crime prevention and youth and child matters Professor Diane Levin of Wheelock College spoke of risk factors that affect how severely children are impacted by disasters including witnessing violence, devastation or death; being orphaned; losing one’s home; and separation from parents. She noted that in Iraq today, many adults caring for traumatized children are themselves traumatized, suffering from chronic anxiety or depression, which makes them less available to the children. “Education has the potential to keep children alive and increases the possibilities for children to recover from mass trauma,” observed Hofstra University Professor Denny Taylor. Among the many ways schools can help children heal after disasters, said consultant Beryl Cheal, was to provide them with “many opportunities to tell their stories.” The conference also highlighted ways of creating sustainable and resilient communities. Xavier Castellanos of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said, “Our challenge is to transform vulnerability into capacity. Get human beings to recognize they can do something.” Experts from the fields of psychology and sociology spoke about post traumatic stress disorder and other psycontinued on page 44

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Leveraging Mission Drift to Promote Innovation
Planning and vetting are key to project expansion.



ROM 2003 TO 2006, I WORKED with an NGO in West Africa helping microentrepreneur bicycle dealers develop their businesses by introducing them to better products and improved business skills. The core mission of my NGO, the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), was to promote sustainable, equitable and affordable transportation. The idea was an innovative one: to meet market demand for bicycles by working at the wholesale level to increase the number of retail options easily accessible to the general population. The project plan also stressed the importance of social, economic and environmental issues in private sector development (PSD). The primary problem was that we, the seven-person project staff, didn’t fully appreciate the implications of our strategy. We knew the intricacies of the transport world in our own non-profit way, which is to say we had institutional expertise on policy formulation and analysis as well as the ins and outs of grassroots activism, but none of us had any experience delivering the type of private sector technical assistance required to improve the business skills of the microentrepreneurs, especially at the level they would need and want. And what was worse – it took us too long to realize this situation. By the time we did, it was almost too late in the project cycle to affect an adequate positive impact. Despite the difficulty we experienced in achieving our objectives stemming from unexpected mission drift, our clients and partners benefited substantially from their involvement with the project in many measureable ways. Still, we

Course instructor Mammadou Diop teaches Adama Sene how to make brake adjustments on newer style brakes. ITDP started these courses in Senegal, Ghana to ease a transition from older English-style roadsters to more modern mountain bikes in the market place. could have achieved more if we had recognized the degree to which our mission had drifted into unfamiliar territory. Where we went wrong can be traced back to the planning process. Our mission drifted away from sustainable transportation into PSD when our project proposal was designed to incorporate microentrepreneurs as project clients. The core mission could have been bridged beautifully with a PSD side mission if we had planned to implement PSD specific technical assistance, but we didn’t recognize at the time just how little expertise we had in this field. Coping with the demands of unanticipated complexity pulled our focus off course and efforts became bogged down in timeconsuming and expensive mid-term adjustments that could have been ad-

dressed in the planning process. As a result, the project did not have the level of impact that we worked so hard to attain. In due course we realized our misdirection and modified our strategy to bring appropriate PSD assistance to our clients, but before this was done time was lost and precious resources expended ineffectually. The difficulties we encountered are not isolated examples of the difficulties that beset such projects. While working in the field I met several development practitioners facing similar situations. Although none would join this dialogue publicly, privately they all shared the same concerns about their own organizations experiencing mission drift. In fact, many small, private, voluntary and non-governmental organizations whose core mission is non-financial in nature are expanding their core missions with finance-related activities such as microenterprise and private sector development. This poorly planned, if not unplanned, expansion is called “mission drift.” It can sometimes foster innovative solutions to alleviating poverty, but it also risks project outcomes that fall


MONDaY DeVelOPMeNts November/December 2008

Photo: John Burg, courtesy of ITDP


short of what could be done to help intended beneficiaries. Donors are now providing more funding for private voluntary organizations (PVOs) interested in PSD projects. These PVOs often submit project proposals to funding sources that are committed to the same core mission (such as the environment, health care, post conflict resolution, and gender equity), and to make their applications more attractive they integrate microenterprise development into their projects. This type of activity best exemplifies mission drift and is beset with difficulties. The central problem with these applications is the fact that smaller PVOs without PSD experience do not have the resources to bring PSD experts into their planning process. Compounding the potential for future complications is the fact that these PVOs typically submit their innovative and creative project proposals to donors that do not have PSD expertise either. Because of the cachet associated with anything involving mi-

What can NGOs/PVOs Do?
A good source for free microfinance material that is easy to adopt and adapt is the Practitioner Learning Program (PLP) of the Small Enterprise Education Promotion (SEEP) Network, developed in partnership with uSAID. It includes projects and techniques field tested and found to be effective by practitioners and organizations engaged in international development. SEEP is an international network that works to develop and promote best practices in enterprise development and financial services, and is committed to reducing poverty through the power of enterprise. Their materials are available at no cost from their website ( croenterprise or PSD, these plans are frequently approved and receive funding without adequate reviews. So the plans become projects and the projects eventually encounter a wide variety of unanticipated problems that deflect them from their goals. The inadequately planned projects with their associated mission drift invariably result in ineffective resource utilization. More corrosive, however, is the loss of trust in the organizations by the very microentrepreneurs they hope to assist. That is a far costlier outcome in human terms. The best approach to avoiding mission drift is for donors to assume responsibility for identifying and dealing with potentially ineffective practices as they screen proposals. Each proposal must be examined for the tell-tale signs of mission drift, especially in private sector development. The donor organization’s proposal reviewer (in the case of USAID a Cognizant Technical Officer
continued on page 44

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What separates the best from the Rest?
InterAction members nominate the Top Ten best Corporations in Global Development.
In 2007, American Express gave $5.4 million to international organizations in the areas of leadership, cultural heritage and community service, in addition to matching $6.1 million in personal donations from their employees to non-profit organizations. It also has a history of funding humanitarian relief to natural disasters, such as floods in Argentina, Bangladesh, Canada, China, Hungary, Romania and South Korea, famines in Africa, and earthquakes in India, Taiwan and Turkey. It has delivered aid through non-profits for over 50 disasters in 35 countries. Over the last decade, American Express has also started giving “pre-disaster” contributions to the Red Cross, which lessens the fundraising crunch during disasters. One project in particular is the Members Project. In 2008, American Express is donating $2.5 million to be divided between five separate projects

OMPaNIes are increasingly working alongside governments and development organizations to fight global poverty. they have become important partners in improving the lives of people around the world by creating jobs, livable communities, educational opportunities and access to medical care. Many major corporations are changing the way they operate by expanding beyond traditional business practices, to bringing in nonprofits as key partners in growth. the Interaction Best Corporations listing recognizes companies that prioritize investing in people and demonstrate a commitment to the fight against global poverty. Congratulations to those on the 2008 top ten list for using their technology and innovative expertise to enhance the lives of millions of poor people and communities around the world.


American Express

selected by vote by its cardmembers. Of these five projects, two will work to feed children in the developing world (one for Indian school children, and one for malnourished children), and one will create a platform allowing ordinary people to become “social investors” in entrepreneurs around the world. In July of 2008 American Express called on its members to submit ideas that would make a positive impact on the world. They then created a panel to review the submissions, chose 25, and asked their members to vote which mattered most to them. This is expands the program from previous years, when only one project was selected each year. However, last year many cardmembers were passionate about all of the finalist projects. This year in response, American Express increased the amount of money to be donated and decided to fund all five finalists in varying amounts based on their members’ votes.

Citigroup’s Citi Foundation has made a significant and lasting impact on shelter issues worldwide, having provided over $22 million in funding to date. Beyond providing funds, the Foundation has reinforced the importance of homeownership by engaging more than 22,000 Citi employees who have contributed to the completion of more than 230 homes in 40 locations. As well as providing significant funding to address shelter needs in rural and urban settings, Citi Foundation also recognizes the need for the long-term sustainability of these programs. To this end, Citigroup sponsors an initiative to increase homeowners’ abilities to better manage their finances. Through the Financial Literacy Initiative, which began in 2005, Citigroup trains potential homeowner families in the roles and responsibilities they will face when entering into the credit agreement. The work



MONDaY DeVelOPMeNts November/December 2008

Ilustration: Akhilesh Sharma -


supported includes training workshops in the fundamentals of “good” family financial management with a specific focus on credit management. Places and dates of Citi’s impact on poverty housing are too numerous to list in this space, having spanned 10 years. Highlights include sponsorship of the Jimmy Carter Work Projects in Mexico and India, financial literacy programs in various countries in Latin America, and support of Habitat for Humanity’s rebuilding efforts in Lebanon. Over the last several years, the CocaCola Foundation has partnered with USAID and many non-governmental organizations to improve the communities in which it works all over the world. One of its biggest impacts is in the area of water stewardship. Coca-Cola works hard to find innovative ways to reduce its impact on the environment, such as ways to clean its bottles in the factories without using water. It also partners with communities in developing countries to make sure that they have clean water and a basic knowledge of water sanitation and hygiene. In addition, it has programs on watershed protection, expanding community drinking water access, rainwater harvesting, reforestation, and agricultural water use efficiency. Coca-Cola also supports impactreducing recycling programs that also create local jobs. For example, a program in Colombia turns old bottles into clothing, and other projects turn old labels and colored plastic into roof tiles and brooms. The Coca-Cola Foundation also helped with the short-term relief in 2005-2006 for the tsunami, hurricane and earthquake victims around the world. Currently, it is helping rebuild long-term infrastructure and communities in Indonesia that were particularly hard-hit from the tsunami. Despite its small size (only 100 employees), Elluminate has made a substantial impact on global development in a short period of time. In August 2006, Elluminate launched an awardwinning, non-profit initiative called “Fire and Ice.” In just 15 months, hundreds


Elluminate, Inc.

of students form schools across three continents have participated in a collaborative project to research, brainstorm, present and implement ideas to help combat the effects of climate change in their local areas. Students were inspired to “think globally, act locally,” and they responded with local projects that have had a tremendous impact on both their school and community. Projects have included the development of organic gardens in remote parts of Brazil, litter prevention programs in one of Africa’s poorest capital cities (Maputo, Mozambique) and student campaigns in Ontario, Canada to educate drivers on the negative impacts of idling car engines. On November 1, 2007, students from three continents showcased their projects online from their remote communities in front of a global audience, using Elluminate Live!. On November 7, 2007, Elluminate’s Fire and Ice was recognized by the prestigious Tech Awards (Education Laureate) in San Jose, California for “technologies and projects that benefit humanity.” As part of the Fire and Ice program, Elluminate management and employees personally donated over $10,000 towards the purchase of the “Fire and Ice Leadership Award” materials for the schools in Brazil and Mozambique. The award consisted of an electronic “Classroom-in-a-Box” hardware station for live collaboration, which includes: a laptop, LCD projector, speakers, webcam, electronic whiteboard and writing tablet – all packed in a protective carrying case and powered by Elluminate Live! Software. The Classroom is ideally suited for the developing world: portable, easy to use and a fraction of the cost of traditional video conferencing systems. Elluminate plans to bring its Fire and Ice events and Classroom-in-a-Box solutions to hundreds of schools, health centers, cybercafés, and telecenters in the developing world over the coming months. In addition to Fire and Ice, Elluminate also runs community partners programs that make Elluminate available to organizations doing important work in the social service sector. Through its foundation, GE is making long-term commitments to improv-

ing basic education in Africa, Asia and Latin America. About three years ago GE reorganized its corporate giving to focus on quality partnerships with NGOs, and made longer-term, larger commitments to improving educational systems and increasing access. GE also regularly supports humanitarian relief wherever it is needed most. The Girls Education in Africa program supports organizations working to improve access to and the quality of primary education for girls. In addition to educating students on life skills, hygiene and HIV/AIDS prevention, the program also specifically targets math and language skills. GE also provides training beyond primary education. The Medical Best Practice Exchange program funds U.S. minority medical students to do rotations in various hospitals all over Ghana, allowing Ghanaian doctors to learn new modern practices and exposing the American students to the medical environment of the developing world. In Uganda, GE sponsors a health worker capacity building program, teaching proper infection prevention and standards-based management practices to improve productivity and raise the confidence in local health care services. As of May 2008, Google’s philanthropic foundation,, has committed over $85 million in grants and investments to further their five initiatives. One of these initiatives is disease prediction and prevention. Over the last several years, diseases have started spreading at record speeds because of faster and easier travel and trade, because of climate change, and because of the trend of urbanization increasing peoples’ proximity to each other. Google has started to study infectious diseases worldwide, but especially in Southeast Asia, which has the most hotspots for new diseases. Most of the countries in the region lack the resources to detect threats early enough to keep local events from erupting. Google’s aim is to improve the conditions and infrastructure for this in Southeast Asia and then apply the lessons learned on a global scale. Some of the ways it is doing this are: studying



MONDaY DeVelOPMeNts November/December 2008



the way diseases spread from animals to humans, especially in rural poor areas that depend on farming; equipping local laboratories with basic diagnostics and record data electronically to improve reporting and analysis, improving local capacity to detect and identify the causes of threats; developing simple platforms for reporting, analysis, and information sharing; and looking into the use of technology such as mobile phones to report threats as soon as they’re discovered. The ultimate goal of the program is to make responses proactive rather than reactive. Another Google’s initiative fuels the growth of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). SMEs, which bridge the gap between large- and micro-enterprises, are the backbone of many developed nations’ economies. Currently, most developing countries support both large enterprises and microenterprises, but are startlingly bereft of SMEs. Google is working to make it easier for investors to sponsor SMEs and to educate investors on their potential profitability. They also help connect investors with local entrepreneurs who know the kinds of things their countries need to grow and lift people out of poverty, and have solutions on how to provide them. Johnson & Johnson is involved in many programs around the globe to improve community health and education. One such program is Children Without Worms, which not only donates deworming medicine to needy children in several developing countries, but also works to establish partnerships to implement hygiene education programs and improved sanitation facilities. Johnson & Johnson has also provided the technology, copyrights and training to a local company in Kenya to produce one of its drugs to treat secondary infections resulting from HIV/ AIDS. It also sponsors a program that offers home-based care, counseling, testing, food and medicine to families with parents who suffer from HIV/ AIDS-related infections. Johnson & Johnson is also involved in a program called Safe Motherhood Partnership, which provides training

programs and technical support to midwives and medical staff in two Indian states with very high maternal and newborn mortality rates. The program has doubled the percentage of women who are able to give birth with skilled caregivers in attendance. The Kjaer Group is involved in the Fleet Forum’s Fleet Safety Project, which is dedicated to reducing the number of traffic-related fatalities and injuries in the developing world – where 80 percent of all traffic fatalities occur, and 96 percent of those involve children, despite the fact that the developing world accounts for only 40 percent of the world’s vehicles. Annually, developing societies bear the burden of $65 billion in damages from road crashes and resultant deaths and injuries – which is more than the annual development assistance these countries receive. The Fleet Forum has developed a road safety training toolkit, among other materials, specifically targeted at aid and development organizations in order to increase road safety awareness and training. It has also put together a list “10 Road Safety Principles” and has the list available in several languages spoken in Africa to facilitate use by local staff in developments organizations. Kjaer also founded a group called MyC4 to raise capital for African entrepreneurs. This organization uses the Internet to give ordinary people access to African entrepreneurs seeking microloans who would otherwise be unable to get these loans because they are too poor for banks to be willing to take a risk on them. MyC4 fosters an environment of transparency, openness and trust, and is therefore only involved in ethical investments; it neither endorses nor finances the sale of toxic products, weapons, healthhazardous or illegal products, tobacco, alcohol and drugs. It is also a member of the UN Global Compact, a framework businesses can use to align their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. Through this compact, MyC4 has centered itself


around the credo, “People, Profit and Planet.” Kjaer and its insurance partner, Clements International, unveiled new war risk insurance last August. While both have worked with organizations operating in high-risk areas of the world, this new policy would “provide protection for vehicles should a loss be incurred form a declared war, act of terrorism, riot, strike or civil unrest.” This type of risk is excluded in most auto insurance policies. In addition to its many financial gifts through the McKesson Foundation and product donations through McKesson Medical Surgical, the McKesson Corporation has been an integral partner in a very unique program to provide necessary care for individuals with HIV/AIDS. The Caregiver Kit Program was launched in October 2006. Family members and local volunteers around the world are providing compassionate support and care to people living with AIDS. Yet too many of these courageous caregivers lack the basic supplies they need to safely and effectively care for the sick. The McKesson Corporation entered into a partnership to help provide these desperately needed supplies. The partnership allows the total cost of the kits to be substantially lower than retail. Approximately 90,000 Caregiver Kits have been assembled by over 300 groups (churches, corporations, communities, and community groups). The kits are currently sent to countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The goal for the 2008 fiscal year was to produce 180,000 kits. Working Assets donates one percent of its profits to organizations geared towards positive social change, including Action Africa, Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders, the Global Greengrants Fund, the Global Fund for Women, Human Rights Watch, Mercy Corps, Oxfam, the Rainforest Action Network, and Women for Women International. It donated over $1.4 million last year to organizations working with
continued on page 44


Johnson & Johnson

Working Assets


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Emergency Programming in Health
Workshop addresses the challenges of integrating longer-term health priorities into emergency response.


N OCTOBER 29TH AND 30TH almost 100 representatives from NGOs, the U.S. government, the UN, academic institutions and think tanks met to discuss how emergency programming in health can be better implemented to facilitate a smoother transition to recovery and development. InterAction and the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) co-sponsored the event, which was hosted by the American Red Cross. The first panel covered the current state of play in emergency and transition health programming. Steve Commins,

Strategy Manager for Fragile States at International Medical Corps discussed four overarching challenges: (1) the funding timeframe is often wrong; (2) there are different perspectives on what constitutes health; (3) conflict does not go away in post-conflict settings; and (4) political and social relations are contingent, not certain. Dr. Rick Brennan, Senior Health Director at the International Rescue Committee (IRC), discussed the shift in IRC health programming to more work in post-conflict or protracted emergency settings. Panelists noted that finding the right balance between health service delivery and strengthening health systems is a primary challenge in transition/post-emergency settings. The second panel addressed similarities and differences between health

needs and interventions in the relief and transition phases. Panelist Fiona Campbell, Head of Policy at MERLIN noted that the distinction between relief and development approaches is often overdrawn at the operational level. She explained that while humanitarian agencies use a number of models of engagement, in order to ensure that their work also strengthens the local health system, agencies must adopt a long-term view and be open to opportunities to strengthen the system as early as possible. Dr. Nevio zagaria, Coordinator for Recovery and Transition Programmes at the U.N. World Health Organization, challenged workshop participants to ask whether humanitarians have a recovery imperative. She noted that strengthening health systems is the only way the humanitarian community can address the longterm health needs of the population. Dr. Hervé Le Guillouzic, Senior Public

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Health Advisor at the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), discussed camp-based issues and local integration. In the typical refugee camp setting, service deliveries have become routine and standardized. Local integration, one of three durable solutions identified by UNHCR, means not only integration into the health system, but also the guarantee of freedom of movement, access to the labor market, property rights, freedom of religious belief, and, in some cases, citizenship. Health services cannot simply target refugees, but must also target local populations to avoid creating tension. Responding to the panelists was Dr. Tanu Duworko, Health Management Specialist for USAID/Liberia, emphasized that planning ahead for development is worth the investment and working within existing health structures is advantageous. He said NGOs and donors should provide services in facilities run by the local ministry of health to ease transition. In complex emergencies, NGOs and donors should lay the foundation for systems strengthening, and not merely provide services. A panel of donor organizations discussed financing and the difficulties when the funding stream shifts from emergency to development. Dr. Heather Papowitz, Public Health Specialist at OFDA, identified the key building blocks of crisis response and challenges that OFDA has faced in transition settings, including: the lack of a USAID mission in some countries; the shortterm nature of projects and funding; poor political capacity during protracted complex emergencies; and difficulties in coordinating with all the partners. Bryan Schaaf, Health Officer in the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), urged participants to include refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) in existing health programs. He noted that PRM currently requires the inclusion of a transition strategy in all proposals. Elizabeth Kibour, Africa Regional Specialist for USAID/Global Health, described USAID/Guinea’s experience in a fragile state setting as a classic example of transition needs, noting that the government’s inability to adequately provide basic services has led to questions about its legitimacy. Challenges

include: translating theory into practice; tracking indicators; the fact that progress is gradual while results are expected immediately; governance is a sensitive topic; this approach is complex and requires a shift in stakeholder thinking; and coordinating the large consortium of partners involved. Homira Nassery, Health, Nutrition, and Population Focal Point for Fragile States at the World Bank, focused on fragile and post-conflict states. She said the essential building blocks to facilitate transition include: advance planning and early investments in analyzing the health sector; addressing deep-rooted distortions first; introducing rational drug procurement and distribution systems; coordinating cost sharing, essential drug lists, contracts with private providers, procurement, civil works, job description and training, data collection tools, service packages, and monitor-

ing systems; and not ignoring positive local initiatives. Dr. Valerie Bemo, Senior Program Officer for Emergency Response Special Initiatives at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, noted that while the Gates Foundation has had limited involvement in emergency response, global health programs account for 50 percent of the foundation’s budget, largely focused on research activities. The foundation has started a global development program to complement health activities with agriculture and financial services. It is also beginning to examine how to launch development activities after emergencies. Drawing on the panel presentations, roundtable and plenary discussions, participants drew up three recommendations. A Steering Committee of workshop participants and InterAction’s Working Group on Health in Crises will take the recommendations forward. MD


Humanitarian interventions predominately focus on activities to minimize mortality and morbidity, many times in absence of a coordinated national response. In contrast, many times development interventions must work within national policies, focusing on health systems strengthening and capacity building in order to reach targets such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). However, there are significant areas where the two approaches overlap and complement each other. The recommendations of this workshop focus on key interventions implemented in the health sector during the emergency phase, and approaching these interventions in a manner that could better set the stage for a smoothened transition towards recovery and development. 1. Enhance donor coordination and commitment for health activities in the relief phase through improved funding mechanisms and strategies by: • Mobilizing members of the Good Humanitarian Donorship Initiative and other donors to adopt a “recovery imperative” to prioritize and provide funding for health; • Developing recommendations on u.S. government funding mechanisms for the incoming administration; and • Exploring options to regulatory mechanisms that would allow for greater flexibility in funding timeframes to better fill the gap related to recovery activities. 2. Prioritize health systems strengthening, including human resource development, during the relief phase by: • Drawing from lessons learned* develop an advocacy strategy around health system strengthening in relief settings to impact health policy and practice; and • Exploring the creation of guidelines on health human resources in relief settings. 3. Integrate disaster risk reduction into health sector activities in the relief phase by: • Establishing linkages with International Strategy for Disaster Reduction on risk reduction activities related to the health sector; • Developing a position paper promoting the integration of disaster risk reduction activities by NGOs, the uN and government ministries in the relief phase; and • Developing of clearing house for existing disaster risk reduction training curriculum for the health sector in the relief phase.
* Sources include: the Global Consultation on Health Recovery in Transition Situations, Montreux 2007; Health Cluster Guidance Note on Health Recovery 2008; and recommendations from the Health in Fragile States Network and the Workforce Alliance, Human Resources: An Essential Element for Health Recovery in Transition Settings, Joyce Smith 2007.


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25 Years of Monday Developments
At times humorous and ironic, and often eerily prescient and sadly similar to today’s world , the following is a sampling of items covered in the first twenty-five years of Monday Developments Magazine.

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Mission Drift
continued from page 33

(CTO)) can be assigned this duty. And, although it is neither wise nor feasible to suggest boiler-plate solutions, CTOs can provide corrective suggestions for proposal drafters to incorporate in revised, resubmitted applications. Ways to revise projects that have unintentionally drifted into PSD can be found in microfinance technical literature and tools. An example is the Framework for Reporting, Analysis, Monitoring, and Evaluation (FRAME) 2.0, a computer program designed to run on Microsoft’s Excel software and which can be used by both financeproject implementing organizations and microfinance institutions. The tool is intended to address sophisticated microfinance accounting needs, but it can also be a powerful tool for project management. The FRAME program is widely available, has a proven track record, and has benefited from frequent improvement and updating. An additional benefit of using microfinance tools for planning and managing non-finance projects is that PVO staff and clients can be familiarized with the tools of the microfinance industry and thereby learn the valuable role that local microfinance institutions can play to PSD with small business growth loans. Training staff and clients to use tools like the FRAME 2.0 program may not be quick or simple, but it can contribute greatly to ensuring the development of business acumen. Familiarity with micro-finance concepts, procedures, specialized language and reporting requirements will also bolster the chances of potential entrepreneurs for getting the loan amounts and terms they desire to engage in business expansion. In sum, vetting proposals more effectively and guiding resubmissions is not a particularly difficult process, and its effectiveness can be greatly enhanced by incorporating microfinance technical information into the process. Well-designed, non-finance programs can enable PVOs to give microentrepreneurs a more thorough and structured education about appropriate accounting methods and business procedures without being deflected from their core mission. Their success will eventually lead to the expansion of the sort of

small-scale economic activity that will, over time, positively impact GDPs in most of the world’s economically deprived areas. MD Mr. Burg worked on microenterprise projects for the Institute for Transportation Development Policy in both the Caribbean and West Africa, and recently supported projects in Haiti, Mexico and the Middle East. He can be reached for comment at

trouble with aid
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dominates our thinking is one of the reasons that these other, more important actions are not being taken – rich country leaders are not feeling enough political pressure to make the important changes. Aid is easier and it benefits donors, never mind all the problems it brings with it. Government-to-government aid will always have an important supporting role to play, a role it has played with occasional success over the years. In some countries, depending on their economic and political contexts, aid increases may be appropriate and helpful. But most countries in Africa, rather than seeking more aid, should be setting out strategies aimed at reducing the amount they accept. MD Jonathan Glennie is the author of The Trouble With Aid: Why Less Could Mean More for Africa. He is presently Christian Aid (UK and Ireland)’s country representative in Colombia. The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of Christian Aid or any other organization for which he has worked.

the International Resilience Program at Tufts University, social psychiatrist Mindy Fullilove noted that local community bodies can play critical roles in helping their constituents recover. The conference was the inaugural event of a new Center for Rebuilding Sustainable Communities After Disasters, affiliated to UMass Boston’s John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies. Pushing beyond standard thinking about restoration and rehabilitation, the multidisciplinary Center will be unique in positioning sustainability and human rights at the center of disaster preparation, mitigation, response, and recovery. The Center defines disasters broadly to include conflicts, poverty, bad governance, and HIV and AIDS. The Center invites alliances with local, national, and international agencies, government and academic institutions, NGOs, other not-for-profit organizations (NPOs), and private sector institutions interested in post-disaster reconstruction. The Center’s next conference in July 2010 will focus on rebuilding sustainable communities for the elderly and persons with disabilities. More information is available at: www For specific queries, contact Center Director, Professor Adenrele Awotona at: MD Muna Killingback is a Boston-based freelancer and a former Communications Director for the World YWCA in Geneva. She specializes in writing and editing for and about non-profit organizations.

Corporate Partners
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chological responses to disaster such as depression and anxiety. Yale University Professor Emeritus Kai Erikson noted that, “People who believe that a disaster was manmade have much more difficulty recovering than victims of natural disasters.” Two factors identified with psychological resiliency were strong social support and the extent to which community cohesion could be maintained, particularly following displacement. In a panel organized by

international development – nearly half of its donations in 2007. Since its founding in 1985, the organization has made $60 million in donations. Last May, Working Assets implemented a program for all of its customers to be able to call Burma for free after Cyclone Nargis, enabling people both to find their loved ones and to contribute to the relief efforts. MD Please send questions or comments to Margaret Christoph at mchristoph@


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World Concern is seeking a Country Director to lead an alliance of 6 Christian relief and development organizations in responding to humanitarian needs in eastern Chad. the program is an integrated approach in wat/san, livelihoods and health. the Country Director will be responsible to provide overall incountry leadership, policy, strategy, program design, support, implementation and reporting, and budget management as well as supervise Chadian and international staff. the Country Director will represent World Concern and the alliance to the Chadian government and donors. requirements: 5 years of proven success in int’l program management, managing a multicultural team, experience in complex emergencies, program design and report writing. experience on food- or cash-for-work programming a plus. Intermediate French or arabic, fluency preferred. apply at index.htm.


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Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay. article 24: universal Declaration of Human rights


Enriching Lives and Opportunities Around the World
The American Institutes for Research’s (AIR) International Development Program seeks to enhance the
quality of life in developing countries through education and social development. Over the past three decades, we have collaborated with local partners around the world to ensure children’s equitable access to quality education and to empower individuals, communities and institutions as agents of social and behavioral change.

Our International Development Program provides services and expertise to clients including USAID, World Bank, UNICEF and the US Department of Labor. Our core competencies include:
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“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius— and a lot of courage—to move in the opposite direction.”
—Albert Einstein, at whose suggestion the IRC was founded

LÉONCE BARHERENDUBA Security and Logistics DR Congo

It takes the best to prevail against the worst of crises.
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Current Openings
Governance and Rights Program Coordinator Afghanistan Reintegration Coordinator Afghanistan Operations Coordinator Central African Republic Violence Against Women Coordinator Kurdistan, Northern Iraq Senior Gender Based Violence Program Coordinator Kinshasa, DR Congo Primary Health Care Advisor Kinshasa, DR Congo Monitoring & Evaluation Manager Liberia To learn more about working with us, please visit

Did You Know?
In sub-saharan Africa, the $1.25 a day rate was 50 percent in 2005—the same as it was in 1981, after rising, then falling during the period. The number of poor has almost doubled, from 200 million in 1981 to about 380 million in 2005. If the trend persists, a third of the world’s poor will live in Africa by 2015. Average consumption among poor people in sub-saharan Africa stood at a meager 70 cents a day in 2005. Given that poverty is so deep in Africa, even higher growth will be needed than for other regions to have the same impact on poverty.
source: World Bank

Executive Director, Cambridge, MA, USA
An Executive Director is sought who will continue the CDA tradition of organizing collaborative learning research pro jects around important international issues to enable interna tional actors to become more effective. The Executive Director: Oversees all CDA projects, CDA ad ministration, facilitates, reviews program planning, activities, budgets and special events. Is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with institutional donors through visits, regular communica tion, presentations and reporting. Requirements: Field experience and principles of operation are of primary importance to CDA. Experience and familiarity in a range of field settings in poor or troubled situations, and abiding ap preciation for the wisdom and capacities of people trying to improve conditions in their own societies, are the basic quali fications. Must be willing and able to travel up to 1/3 time. Please send a full Curriculum Vitae and letter explaining fa miliarity with CDA and interest in the position, by December 31, 2008, to CDA, Deborah Zawalich, 17 Dunster Street, Suite 202, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA.

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Interaction is the largest alliance of u.s.-based international development and humanitarian nongovernmental organizations. With more than 170 members operating in every developing country, we work to overcome poverty, exclusion and suffering by advancing social justice and basic dignity for all.