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The Latest Issues and Trends in International Development and Humanitarian Assistance

Our Out Page 45 Check section! JObs
Page 45

Leading Healthy Organizations in a Turbulent Environment

2008 Election Results and Implications

Best Corporations in Global Development

Leveraging Mission Drift to Promote Innovation

The Trouble With Aid in Africa




25 Years of Monday Developments

Wealth of


Case Studies in

Knowledge Management

MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS The Latest Issues and Trends in International Development and Humanitarian Assistance Our Out Page



Vol. 26, No. 11/12




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Communications Department

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Interaction Communications team

23 26


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


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Monday Developments is published 11 times a year by Interaction, the larg- est alliance of u.s.-based international development and humanitarian non- governmental organizations. With more

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A Wealth of Knowledge | 8

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

Leading Healthy Organizations in a Turbulent Environment | 11

Following these steps can

increase your likelihood of



and success.

Organizational Change in the Humanitarian Sector | 13

Key messages from ALNAP.

One Mother’s Mission | 15

american express’ Members Project helps save the lives of malnourished children.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back | 16

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

Gaining Momentum for Reform | 19

MFaN works with government to reform foreign assistance.

The Weakest Link | 21

the state of humanitarian fleet management in africa.

The Trouble With Aid in Africa | 23

Could increasing aid do more harm than good?

A Mixed Political Bag | 25

2008 election results and their implications for our community.

Framing Your Message in a Stressed Out World | 28

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

A New Vision | 29

Photography is critical to telling your organization’s story.

Post-Disaster Communities | 31

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

Leveraging Mission Drift to Promote Innovation | 32

Planning and vetting are key to project expansion.

sPeCIal seCtION:

What Separates the Best from the Rest? | 34

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

sPeCIal seCtION: What Separates the Best from the Rest? | 34 Interaction members nominate the top

Emergency Programming in Health | 37

Workshop addresses the challenges of integrating longer-term health priorities into emergency response.

25 Years of Monday Developments | 39

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




D Par N s

Inside This Issue | 3 Inside Our Community | 4 Inside InterAction | 6

Employment Opportunities | 45

Photo: Jon Warren, World Vision

Photo: Jon Warren, World Vision INsIDe This Issue Reflecting on InterAction’s First 25 Years E very

INsIDe This Issue

Reflecting on InterAction’s First 25 Years

E 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 pro- grams 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 internation- al 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 part- ners, 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 com- mitted 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 INsIDe This Issue Reflecting on InterAction’s First 25 Years E very

Sam Worthington President and CEO InterAction

INsIDe Our Community Congratulations to the 2008 InterAction Congressional service Award Winners Congressman senator Donald Payne

INsIDe Our Community

Congratulations to the 2008 InterAction Congressional service Award Winners Congressman senator Donald Payne richard lugar International
Congratulations to the
2008 InterAction Congressional
service Award Winners
Donald Payne
richard lugar
International Housing Coalition Looking for space

The International Housing Coalition (IHC) has an imme- diate need for 150 -200 square feet to house its three person staff, preferably in D.C. and near a Metro. One room or sever- al 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

Christian Children’s Fund Employee Killed in Afghanistan

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 con- dolences 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

currently assists approximately 533,000 children and family members through community development improvements in- cluding renovation and construction of schools, teacher and health worker training; and construction of health posts. .

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

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 un- certainties in the global food and agricultural system. With this in mind, the International Food Policy Re- search Institute (IFPRI), with support from The Bill & Me- linda Gates Foundation, is leading the new initiative, “Mil- lions 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 au- dience, including policymakers, development practitioners, donors, scholars, nongovernmental organizations, entrepre- neurs, students, and citizens concerned about the future of global agriculture. A range of communications tools will be developed, including a compendium of case studies, analyti- cal studies on success factors, an interactive website, audio- visual 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

Time Article Acknowledges Food-Aid Program

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 de- signed a program that would strengthen existing busi- nesses 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 pro- vided nutritious supplements for school children while simultaneously improving the local economy through strengthened businesses and increased employment op- portunities. Read the article online at time/magazine/article/0,9171,1840577,00 html

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.
Inspired. Motivated. Involved.

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The world sees one Africa. We see so much more. No two countries are the same.
INsIDe InterAction building on Progress: InterAction Expands Its Annual Poverty Week Campaign BY MARGARET CHRISTOPH, SENIOR

INsIDe InterAction

building on Progress:

InterAction Expands Its Annual Poverty Week Campaign


W hat began last year as a week-long an- ti-poverty Web ef-

fort launched to correspond with the United Nations’ an- nual observance of the In- ternational Day to Eradicate Poverty on October 17 has been transformed into In- terAction’s Progress Against Poverty Week, an annual campaign to examine prog-

PROGRESS AGAINST POVERT Y WEEK 2 0 0 8 Aligning with the Millennium Development Goals
2 0 0 8
Aligning with
the Millennium

ress 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 organiza- tions. The event featured four of the 73 commitments. Vid- eoconferenced in from the field were Logy Murray, World Vi- sion’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 Orga- nization’s (WEDO) U.S. Climate Change Campaign Coordina- tor, 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

INsIDe InterAction building on Progress: InterAction Expands Its Annual Poverty Week Campaign BY MARGARET CHRISTOPH, SENIOR
INsIDe InterAction building on Progress: InterAction Expands Its Annual Poverty Week Campaign BY MARGARET CHRISTOPH, SENIOR

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 to- wards ending human suffering and believed that getting people together was key to achieving that goal. The upgraded confer- ence room offers a far greater capacity to convene InterAction members and can now hold videoconferences, stream meet- ings 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 Loz- man, 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 moderat- ed 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 Syl- vain Browa, Director of Global Partnerships for InterAction.

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 bi- lateral. 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 result- ing 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 pi- lot initiative to provide visual data on InterAction members’ field programs focused on poverty alleviation and food secu- rity, which is centered on contributions to MDG 1 (eradicating extreme poverty and hunger). Featured presenters were Rekha Mehra, Director of Economic Development for the Interna- tional Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and Huntington Hobbs, Director of Agriculture for the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). Mehra explained that even though effec- tive 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 ag- riculture research. Hobbs noted the MCC’s approach of in- vesting 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

Worthington cited the U.S. government’s responsibility to engage in dialogues on policy frameworks, such as the

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 solic- ited 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 develop- ment community, and to raise awareness among the general public. The map is available at http://preparedness.interac- Progress Against Poverty Week concluded with the screen- ing 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 mil- lion people worldwide.

Tawana Jacobs, Senior Public Relations Manager for Inter- Action, 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

Gearing Up for 2009 G8 summit

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.


Illustration: ktsdesign -

Illustration: ktsdesign - 8 MONDaY DeVelOPMeNts November/December 2008


  • I 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 knowl- edge and experiences. A growing number of international develop- ment 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 knowl- edge of the entire workforce to achieving the agency’s mission.

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 con- duct research by themselves, rather than relying on e-mail and tele- phone 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 coun- tries, carrying out a wide range of international development func- tions 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 Re- porting System (Web-PRS™). By linking the systems, staff can both analyze data and generate reports about project activities for a vari- ety 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 im- pressive, donors can generate their own reports; information that used to take weeks to produce can now be created and shared in- stantly, according to Saraf.






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


Information Sharing and Problem Solving

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 pre- sentation with a group discussion.” According to Hanold, the tool also has helped the agency to connect staff across coun- tries, sharing information and problem-solving in real-time. At Mercy Corps, Ruth Allen, Global Advisor for Community Mobilization, Governance and Partnership, envisions a knowl- edge 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 col- laboration and knowledge management tool the agency uses is Clearspace , a software solution that integrates discussion forums, blogs, wikis, Instant Messaging and Voice Over Inter- net Protocol (VOIP). It provides a search engine for retrieving

KNOWLEDGE Information Sharing and Problem Solving Food for the Hungry (FH) uses a web-conferencing, learning and

content, Rich Site Summary (RSS) capability, e-mail, and per- sonal user profiles. Mercy Corps also has enhanced Clearspace by linking it to the organization’s digital library and website.

Innovative Processes

Although Clearspace provides many benefits as a knowl- edge management tool, good content and internal practices are the vital ingredients for learning within an organization. A good example is Mercy Corps’ “Learning Documents Initia- tive.” The collected documents are a mix of original research, policy briefs and concise case studies that encapsulate sa- lient issues from monitoring and evaluation data, donor re- ports 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 through- out the organization. CRS is promoting sharing and learn- ing among its staff worldwide through a variety of approach- es, 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. Ac- cording to David Leege, CRS deputy director of the program quality and support department, a key challenge is staff par- ticipation. “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 work- shops involving authors, editors and graphic designers. CRS also uses non-traditional media, such as podcasts and nar- rated PowerPoint presentations, to facilitate virtual learning. Finally, CRS established knowledge management posi- tions assigned to each program sector. Knowledge manage- ment 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.

Enhancing Results and Support

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 il- lustrate how international development and relief agencies today use knowledge management to improve project out- comes, advance mission success and ultimately increase fi- nancial support for future activities.


Contact to share your knowledge man- agement case studies, lessons-learned or best practices.

Photo: Erick Nguyen -

Photo: Erick Nguyen - Leading Healthy Organizations in a Turbulent Environment Following these steps can

Leading Healthy Organizations in a Turbulent Environment

Following these steps can increase your

likelihood of survival


and success.


O RGANIzATIONAL LEADERS FACE MORE PRES- sures than ever before – particularly leaders of not-for-profit and governmental organizations. Re- sources are declining, personnel are stressed, and

the economic context continues to change dramatically and sometimes daily. When an organization’s environment be- comes unstable if not chaotic, how do leaders navigate the turbulent waters? Every organization exists in multiple environments includ- ing 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/cul- tural 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 world- wide scope with multiple regional offices it increases its envi- ronmental 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


them is an illusion. When credit tightens, jobs are lost and a re- cession looms, development officers of non-profit organizations are likely to see a decline in giving regardless of the effective- ness of their development programs. Environment matters. However, there are three steps that organizational lead- ers can take in turbulent environments that dramatically in- crease 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 orga- nizational 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 envi- ronments in which their organization is nested and become astute at predicting trends that might impact their organiza- tions. 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 hy- brid 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 pri- mary environments in which your organization operates. Many NGOs prepare context bulletins that describe key de- velopments in areas where they operate. Study such reports,

Photo: Erick Nguyen - Leading Healthy Organizations in a Turbulent Environment Following these steps can
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but also pay attention to the multiple environments in which your headquarters operation is nested. The principle of natu- ral selection applies to organizations as well as to biological organisms. Organizations that fail to adapt to a changing en- vironment 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 sys- tem. As a social system, it consists of a unique culture and

organizational structure nested in a particular set of environ- ments. As an emotional system, it encompasses numerous individuals and subgroups that interact and develop func- tional or dysfunctional emotional patterns. Your primary re- sponsibility as a leader is to pay attention to the function- ing 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 or- ganizations. 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 “cop- ing 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 pre- served 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 environ- ments in which your organization is nested, build organiza- tional health, and (most of all) clarify and exemplify the high- est 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.


Questions and comments can be sent to David.Brubaker@ More information can be found at

LEADERsHIP but also pay attention to the multiple environments in which your headquarters operation is nested.


Organizational Change in the Humanitarian sector

Key messages from an ALNAP study.


O 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 Ac- tion 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 high- lights 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 of- ten 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 implemen- tation. 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 suc- cessful 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 struc- tures. 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 spe- cific 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. How- ever, different views of organizations better explain their oc- casional irrationality and lack of internal cohesion, and may be closer to the lived experience of many people. An organiza- tion 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 ele- ments 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.

CHANGE Organizational Change in the Humanitarian sector Key messages from an ALNAP study. BY PAuL CLARKE,
CHANGE Organizational Change in the Humanitarian sector Key messages from an ALNAP study. BY PAuL CLARKE,


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 implement- ing change in humanitarian organizations.

Successful change programs in the humanitarian sector often include: creating awareness of the need for change; marshal- ling resources and planning for change; and putting systems in place to support the change.

Successful change processes in humanitarian organiza- tions 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 plan- ning – creating plans supported by key actors, and which are clear, flexible and relevant to the organization’s mis- sion. Finally, they look at all the elements required to enable sustainable behavioral change (including personal support, training and reward systems) and they support and institu- tionalize the change in the longer term. In conducting these three activities, successful change programs in the humani- tarian sector feature high levels of participation, openness to conflict, and clear internal communications.

CHANGE While they are similar in some ways to emergency services, public-service welfare providers, military organizations

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, di- rectly or indirectly, to improve the lives of beneficiaries by pro- viding improved services or services to more people. Success- ful initiatives make explicit this link between internal change and external impact. As personnel in humanitarian organisa- tions 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 sec- tor 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 organiza- tion working alone. Coordinated action, involving groups of or- ganizations working for systemic change, is also likely to ben- efit from the principles applicable to individual organizations.

Sector-wide issues of coordination, funding and accountabil- ity 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 use- ful. In particular, such groups might reach out further to en- sure 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 cas- es 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 ques- tion their own assumptions about the “right” way of doing things, and to work in new ways. Skilled and dynamic leader- ship may be one of the most important elements here.


Photo: Mary Jane Photography (CA)

One Mother’s Mission

American Express’ Members Project helps save the lives of malnourished children.


  • M OTHER PAIGE STRACKMAN has a cause: to save mal- nourished 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 mil- lions of children who do not have the nutrients their little bodies need to sur- vive,” 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 nutrition- rich, ready-to-eat food, like peanut- based Plumpy’Nut, to some of world’s most food-stressed environments, in- cluding 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 re- ceive funding. Before the Members Project, Strack- man became connected to child hunger through a friend who runs a feeding program in Haiti. She alerted Strack- man of the harsh reality that malnutri- tion 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 intro- duced to Plumpy’Nut, she tried to buy packets to distribute, but the quanti- ties 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 Malnour- ished 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

Photo: Mary Jane Photography (CA) One Mother’s Mission American Express’ Members Project helps save the lives

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 Strack- man’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 Interna- tional Medical Corps the opportunity to raise awareness about this issue and our work in a nationwide, corporate campaign to catch the public’s atten- tion,” 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 much- sought after arena by non-profit or- ganizations, tuned in, with nearly 200 bloggers joining the effort and spread- ing 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 lev- el 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 mil- lions 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 supplemen- tary feeding centers since July. Many centers are running over capacity with more children still waiting for treat- ment. The American Express fund- ing 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 malnour- ished 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 con- clude that there are many more out there, ready to get behind a cause they believe in.



One step Forward, Two steps back

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


T 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 Re- search 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 in- dicators and combining them into one index: (1) child malnutrition; (2) rates of child mortality; and (3) the propor- tion of people who are calorie deficient. Of the 120 countries studied world- wide, the report found that 33 have alarming or extremely alarming levels

of hunger. (A higher GHI score indi- cates more significant hunger issues.) The good news is that many regions have made significant progress in low- ering their GHI scores since 1990. Lat- in America and the Caribbean, South and Southeast Asia, and the Near East and North Africa have all made notable gains, driven primarily by improve- ments 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 ac- tually seen their scores worsen. The Democratic Republic of Congo has the worst 2008 GHI score, which has in- creased 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 quick- ly, 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-

GLObAL HUNGER One step Forward, Two steps back 2008 Global Hunger Index and Indian state Hunger
Graphic: Global Hunger Index, The Challenge of Hunger 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 inse- curity, but the depth of poverty varies between regions. For instance, the impoverished population of South Asia is com- prised 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 eco- nomic 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 ris- ing food prices. While the most recent GHI indicator data avail- able (up to 2006) does not include the effects of the food price crisis, the report presents a picture of countries vulnerable to

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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 driv- ers have been widely identified (such as increasing food con- sumption 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 inse- cure 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 re- quired to overcome the food crisis, and still meet the first Mil- lennium Development Goal of halving poverty and hunger by 2015, is at least $14 billion per annum. For sub-Saharan Af- rica, 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 previ- ous 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 en- vironment,” said Joachim von Braun, IFPRI director general. “The strategic way forward must be facilitated by interna- tional cooperation and guided by a strong global governance architecture of agriculture, food and nutrition.”


The 2008 Global Hunger Index, including an interactive map of the report’s findings and the India State Hunger Index can be found at:

Gaining Momentum for Reform

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


  • I N A LETTER RECENTLY TRANSMITTED TO THE OBAMA- Biden Transition Team, representatives of the Moderniz- ing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) made three im- mediate 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. devel- opment 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 in- teragency 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 for- eign 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 re- form the funding, programming, implementation and moni- toring and evaluation of all foreign assistance programs insti- tuted 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 citi- zens 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 hu- man 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. Recog- nizing 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-organiza- tion 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 Congressional- approved individual who would bring focus to the overall U.S. foreign assistance portfolio. The result would be a more effec- tive and more efficient U.S. international engagement. Joined by several InterAction member organization repre- sentatives including the CEOs of Bread for World, the Inter- national Youth Foundation, Oxfam America, Save the Chil- dren 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 policy- makers and other decision-makers in and outside Washing- ton, 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-

Gaining Momentum for Reform MFAN works with U.s. Government to reform foreign assistance. BY SARAH FARNSWORTH,
Gaining Momentum for Reform MFAN works with U.s. Government to reform foreign assistance. BY SARAH FARNSWORTH,


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, edi- torials 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 Ber- man, Sam Worthington, alongside former USAID Administra- tor Peter McPherson, briefed 13 members of the House For- eign 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, lead- ers 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. for- eign assistance within the Obama-Biden Administration.


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.

AID REFORM MFAN has called upon the next Administration to seize the opportunity to reform all

Photo: Kris Tahiti -

Photo: Kris Tahiti - The Weakest Link The state of humanitarian fleet management in Africa.

The Weakest Link

The state of humanitarian fleet management in Africa.


P ROJECTS, PEOPLE AND VEHI- cles are uniquely intertwined in the humanitarian sector. As the resurgent crisis in the Democrat-

ic Republic of the Congo reminds us, reliable transportation is mission criti- cal to humanitarian work. For decades agencies have focused on so called “up- stream” supply chain activities when it concerns their fleets. Few have gone be- neath 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. Compre- hensive fleet assessments have been carried out in eight countries in Africa and the findings impact thousands of humanitarian vehicles. The central fi- nancial objective of a humanitarian or- ganization (and therefore humanitarian fleet management as well) is to maxi- mize the percentage of financial sup- port that reaches beneficiaries. With the world on the verge of a deep reces-


sion coupled with spiraling commodity prices, donor largess is likely to slow forcing humanitarian organizations to look internally for cost savings and ef- ficiencies. The facts show that the fleet is the perfect place to begin.

The Weakest Link

Rather than looking at each individ- ual 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 opera- tions. Broadly speaking, fleets operate in three generic phases throughout their lifecycle: arrival, field deployment, and end of lifecycle. Against this back- drop, the operations we surveyed have three general criteria that determine the length of time and conditions for decommissioning vehicles. This repre- sents 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 par- ticularly damaging to the safety, pre- dictability and effectiveness of opera- tions. The first is that newer vehicles are used too much, hastening fleet de- terioration. The second is that mainte- nance costs become unpredictable over time and grow exponentially when uti- lization patterns are not harmonized. Needless to say, the safety and environ- mental impact of these fleets degrade dramatically over time. For these rea- sons organizations that decommission vehicles in a timely manner are able to reduce fleet size by up to 40 percent without impacting program delivery.

Fragmentation and Disappearing

While we have not encountered an or- ganization that is 100 percent in compli- ance with its own fleet disposal policies or recommended industry standards, we have identified several areas that make

Photo: Kris Tahiti - The Weakest Link The state of humanitarian fleet management in Africa.


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 re- sponsible thing to do. Two structural factors make respon- sible fleet management complicated, but not impossible. The first is that vehicles are typically expensed when procured, thus they functionally “dis- appear” from the balance sheet. This makes the long-term financial con- sequences of operating a fleet nearly impossible to ascertain. The second structural factor stems from the frag- mented 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 effec- tiveness.” (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 ca- pacity to field projects from a centrally managed fleet, entire vehicles are al- located to field operations indefinitely. This stems from the project-specific funding pattern that is prevalent in the sector through which vehicles are pro- cured to support a specific activity. This makes sharing resources complicated because it is difficult to “untie” the ve- hicle from the project, thus making cen- tralized fleet management complex. The power base for fleet decisions is com- pletely undermined by this structure, as field projects that “own” the vehicles are able to veto any centrally mandated policy – e.g., routine maintenance, re- cord keeping, and, eventually, disposal. Replacing 50 to 60 percent of a fleet using conventional procurement meth- ods 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 be- ing 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 fac- es. Yet fleet management receives a strikingly low priority: often five or six reporting lines from senior manage- ment. 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, agen- cies cannot afford to be passive. Action to address the major obstacles outlined above will free up scarce financial re- sources for core activities and create operations that are safer and more ef- fective. In purely financial terms, if or- ganizations can afford vast, aged fleets with high mileage, the alternative is possible as well.

FLEET MANAGEMENT this practice complicated. The first is an internal bureaucratic process, in which entire management

Photo: Anna -

Photo: Anna - The Trouble With Aid in Africa Could increasing aid do more harm

The Trouble With Aid in Africa

Could increasing aid do more harm than good?


S UB-SAHARAN AFRICA IS POOR. If rich countries send it money it will be less poor, and people liv- ing 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 de- veloping economies. But the optimism that a big aid push will make a big dif- ference 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 increas- es, 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 ma- jority of civil society actors in Africa see aid as a fundamental cause of Africa’s deepening poverty.” He goes on to ac- knowledge that aid can make “a last- ing 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 Lwan- ga-Ntale of Development Research and Training (DRT), a Ugandan NGO, de- scribes 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 de- livered.” 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 agen- cies, think tanks, research and policy advocacy organizations are justifiably asking what is different in the present day international aid architecture. Offi- cial Africa tends to be more enthusias- tic about the anticipated increase in in-

ternational aid than civil society

. . .


more African governments are depen- dent on international aid the less ordi- nary 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 vaccinat- ed, 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 gener- ally agreed that shortcomings in the accountability and effectiveness of Af- rican governments in recent decades have been a major part of the problem of low or negative growth and insignifi- cant 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 Af- rican development in fundamental and long-lasting ways. It is what Kamara was referring to when he talked about ordinary people not having a meaning- ful say in decisions about how their

Photo: Anna - The Trouble With Aid in Africa Could increasing aid do more harm


countries are run. Finally, receiving large amounts of aid also has macro- economic 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 pov- erty, we need to look at the evidence. All the evidence. In contrast to aid op- timists and aid pessimists, who selec- tively 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 dispas- sionately and systematically can we have any real expectation of making a positive and sustained impact on human rights, development and pov- erty reduction in Africa. This approach could be termed aid realism. Aid real- ism 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 im- proved and secondly, and more impor- tantly given that improving aid will be a very hard job, questioning aid’s impor- tance in relation to other policies and factors that influence development and poverty reduction in Africa. We should emphatically not con- clude that the West should somehow leave Africa alone. African civil society, while heavily criticizing aid, is not sit- ting 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 internation- al community taking a range of sup- porting 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 obscur- ing the far more important policies the West should be adopting to help Afri- cans out of poverty. The fact that aid

continued on page 44

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the world.
M.A. in Sustainable International Development
M.S. in International Health Policy and Management
Dual M.A. programs in Sustainable Development with Coexistence
& Conflict and with Women & Gender Studies
Generous financial assistance for Peace Corps and other
service organization volunteers.
A community of activists and scholars on the front lines of social policy.

A Mixed Political bag

2008 election results and their implications for our community.


T 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 as- cendance of a President who pledged during the cam-

paign to double U.S. foreign assistance spending to $50 bil- lion 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 Vol- unteer 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 Ap- propriations Subcommittee who defended funding for the Millennium Challenge Corporation, was also defeated. The departures of these allies will present a challenge to the In- terAction 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 Con- gress. 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 develop- ment. The outlook is thus hopeful in this regard. The departure of Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) from the Sen- ate and from his chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Rela- tions 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 (D- MA), will be equally favorable and enlightened in his exercise of that position, especially with the prospect of a once-in-a- generation overhaul of our foreign assistance architecture on the horizon. Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) will continue as ranking Republican on the committee – one strong Republi- can champion we are NOT losing, thankfully.

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


senate Appropriations Committee

thad Cochran (r-Mississippi), ranking Member

Was not up for re-election

robert Byrd (D-West Virginia), Chairman

Not up, but stepping down as Committee Chair

senate Appropriations subcommittee on state, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs



Mitch McConnell (Kentucky),


arlen specter (Pennsylvania)

Not up

Judd Gregg (New Hampshire) ranking member

Not up

richard shelby (alabama)

Not up

robert Bennett (utah)

Not up

Kit Bond (Missouri)

Not up

sam Brownback (Kansas)

Not up

lamar alexander ( tennessee)




Patrick leahy (Vermont), Chairman

Not up

Daniel Inouye (Hawaii)

Not up, incoming Full Committee Chair

tom Harkin (Iowa)


Barbara Mikulski (Maryland)

Not up

richard Durbin (Illinois)


tim Johnson (south Dakota)


Mary landrieu (louisiana)


Jack reed (rhode Island)


robert Byrd (West Virginia) ex-officio

Not up

senate Foreign Relations Committee



richard lugar (Indiana), ranking member

Not up

Chuck Hagel (Nebraska)


Bob Corker ( tennessee)

Not up

Johnny Isakson (Georgia)

Not up


still undecided as of

Norm Coleman (Minnesota)


George Voinovich (Ohio)

Not up

David Vitter (louisiana)

Not up

John a. Barrasso (Wyoming)

Not up

lisa Murkowski (alaska)

Not up

Mel Martinez (Florida)

Not up



Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (Delaware), Chairman


Christopher Dodd (Connecticut)

Not up

John Kerry (Massachusetts)


russ Feingold (Wisconsin)

Not up

Barbara Boxer (California)

Not up

Bill Nelson (Florida)

Not up

Barack Obama (Illinois)



House Appropriations Committee

Jerry Lewis, California 41 st (r – ranking member)


David R. Obey, Wisconsin 7 th (D – Chairman)


House Appropriations subcommittee on Foreign Programs


Frank R. Wolf, Virginia 10 th District (ranking member)


Joe Knollenberg, Michigan 9 th

Lost to Gary Peters

Mark Steven Kirk, Illinois 10 th


ander Crenshaw, Florida 4 th


Dave Weldon, Florida 15 th



Nita M. Lowey, New York 18 th (Chairman)


Jesse l. Jackson, Jr., Illinois 2 nd


adam schiff, California 29 th


steven r. rothman, New Jersey 9 th


steve Israel, New York 2 nd


Ben Chandler, Kentucky 6 th


Barbara lee, California 9 th


Betty McCollum, Minnesota 4 th


House International Relations Committee


Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida 18 th (ranking member)


Christopher smith, New Jersey 4 th


Dan Burton, Indiana 5 th


elton Gallegly, California 24 th


Dana Rohrabacher, California 46 th


Don Manzullo, Illinois 16 th


edward royce, California 40 th


Steve Chabot Ohio 1 st

Lost to Steve Driehaus

Thomas Tancredo, Colorado 6 th


Ron Paul, Texas 14 th

Won (uncontested)

Jeff Flake, Arizona 6 th


Mike Pence, Indiana 6 th


Joe Wilson, south Carolina 2 nd


John Boozman, arkansas 3 rd


J. Gresham Barrett, south Carolina 3 rd


Connie Mack Florida, 14 th


Jeff Fortenberry, Nebraska 1 st


Mike McCaul, Texas 10 th


ted Poe, texas 2 nd

Won (uncontested)

Bob Inglis, south Carolina


luis G. Fortuno, Puerto rico

Won (uncontested)

Gus Michael Bilirakis, Florida 9 th


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 neces- sarily an opponent, Senator Byrd was not quite a champion of foreign assistance either – his priorities generally lay else- where. 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 serv- ing 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 advo- cacy 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.



Howard l. Berman, California 28 th , Chairman

Won (uncontested)

Gary ackerman, New York 5 th


eni Faleomavaega, american samoa, Not Voting

Won (uncontested)

Donald Payne, New Jersey 10 th

Won (uncontested)

Brad Sherman, California 27 th


Robert Wexler, Florida19 th


Eliot Engel, New York 17 th


William Delahunt, Massachusetts 10 th


Gregory Meeks, New York 6 th

Won (uncontested)

Joseph Crowley, New York 7 th


Diane Watson, California 33 rd


adam smith, Washington 9 th


russ Carnahan, Missouri 3 rd


John s. tanner, tennessee 8 th

Won (uncontested)

Gene Green, texas 29 th


Lynn C. Woolsey, California 6 th


Sheila Jackson-Lee, Texas 18 th


Ruben Hinojosa, Texas 15 th


David Wu, Oregon 1 st district

Won (uncontested)

Brad Miller, North Carolina 13 th


linda t. sanchez, California 39 th


David scott, Georgia


Jim Costa, California 20 th


Albio Sires, New Jersey 13 th


Gabrielle Giffords, arizona 8 th


ron Klein, Florida 22 nd


Barbara lee, California 9 th


Photo: UN Photo/Martine Perr


Photo: UN Photo/Martine Perr OUTREACH Framing Your Message in a stressed Out World When promoting your

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.


  • I ’VE NEVER BEEN THE MOST OPTI- mistic person in the world. In fact, I have often been the “glass half emp- ty” kind of gal. And, who can blame

me? Just check out some of the lat- est 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 tow- el 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 non- governmental 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 move- ments for sustainability, microloan

“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 in- dustry, and a global effort to ensure primary education for all. At an indi- vidual level, there are many accounts of sacrifice and compassion. Telling

these stories − and being able to touch

the heart with them − are among tech- niques that can empower audiences to get involved with the global concerns that will affect everyone’s future. These are among ways that communi- cations professionals at NGOs can tailor their messages for maximum impact. In addition to this “big picture” framework, engaging readers via some tried-and- true writing strategies is critical. In framing discussions about in- ternational 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 or- ganizations introduce topics, the tone used, and the big ideas in their com- munications 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 infor- mation. While the research is oriented toward American audiences, I’ve found that many of the guidelines remain ap- plicable to any organization working on global topics. Here are some:

  • 1. Put your arguments and facts, espe- cially in your introductions, into the context of big, cross-cutting ideas and values familiar to your audienc- es, e.g. talking about environmental problems in the context of safeguard- ing the planet for future generations.

  • 2. Don’t overwhelm listeners with the enormity and complexity of prob- lems, and don’t use fear or guilt as entry points.

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 “us- versus-them” way of thinking. Ques- tion others’ assumptions if appropri- ate, but not their integrity.

In line with these guidelines, I think it is important for NGO profession- als to avoid the “blame game” in their communications and to take a proac- tive position when they can. And, if the organization has made mistakes or learned some valuable lessons, be up- front about them. This approach can help to establish credibility. Some oth- er 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!


Renew your subscription today!

Contact Michael Haslett at 202-552-6548


A New Vision

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


  • L 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 dol- lars? 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 – un- derappreciated, underutilized, or writ- ten off as extravagant or unnecessary. In a media age when a teenager with a laptop can design slick, profession- al quality publications with ease, too many NGOs depend upon photos gen- erated 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 com- prised largely of people with program- ming 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 audienc- es often don’t factor into the baseline thinking of project staff. Back in head- quarters, 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 think- ing is that the work we do as an agency speaks for itself. It’s impolite, our moth- ers taught us, to brag, and self promo- tion 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 do- nor 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, do-

3. Offer success stories, examples of what works, and systemic solutions. 4. Show the benefits of

By 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.

Photos: David Snyder

Photos: David Snyder

that you can use for years to come on calendars, web sites, donor presenta- tions and

that you can use for years to come on calendars, web sites, donor presenta- tions 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 half- day training, right in your office, might run several hundred dollars – and pay immediate and long-lasting dividends. The work your NGO does is impor- tant in the lives of others. Short of tak- ing 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 think- ing differently about what they want their donors to see first the next time they look at a page you have sent them.



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 pri- vate donors. But agencies often over- look other ways to connect. NGOs to- day need to think about calendars and coffee table books that present their work powerfully and professionally. Slide shows of powerful images deliv- ered to high school and college audi- ences help attract a new generation of youth to your agency’s network. Simi- lar 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 ma- jor U.S.-based NGO for more than two years, I saw the same mistakes repeat- ed time and again in the photographs I reviewed. Invariably, staff would re- turn from weeks in the field with pho- tos that were wholly or largely unus- able. Most commonly, subjects were too far away in the photograph. Far too often, staff would submit photo- graphs 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 cam- era, placed squarely in the center of the frame – a virtual recipe of what not to do when shooting dynam- ic and professional photographs. Yet these are the images that often popu-

late 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 train- ing 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 re- ceiving AIDS medicines. Simply taking two steps towards your subject, rather than two back, will dramatically im-

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 occa- sionally use profes- sionals, there are concrete

steps you can take to vastly increase the professionalism of your photo base.

First, include a line for professional pho-

tography in your budget for 2009 – how-

ever 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 presenta- tions and

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.

Photo: Harry Brett



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


A GNES IS ONE OF THE SUC- cess stories. A child soldier in Sierra Leone, Agnes was reintegrated into the commu-

nity 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 lever- aging international law, prioritizing the specific needs of girl soldiers, prepar- ing 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 governmen- tal agencies and NGOs. Together they identified broad challenges to rebuild- ing sustainable communities after di- sasters, and shared a wide range of analyses and practical solutions based on research and best practices that pri- oritized human rights. The need to honor and respect the dignity of disaster victims was a recur- ring conference theme, an acknowl- edgement that insensitive treatment of disaster victims can compound initial injuries. In contrast to an attitude that

Photo: Harry Brett Post-Disaster Communities International conference focuses on rebuilding sustainable communities for children and their

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 grass- roots 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 sustain- able recovery without women.” Others looked at specific gender di- mensions of disasters. Consultant Alisa Klein said that a public health frame- work was needed to prevent and re- spond to sexual violence, the incidence of which rises during and after disas-


ters. Iraqi-Canadian lawyer Ghina Al Sewaidi outlined international law rel- evant 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 sus- ceptible communities are those already suffering from chronic problems such as poverty and underdevelopment. Within communities, “those most af- fected by disasters are disproportion- ately the most vulnerable: the poor, the disabled, women, and children,” observed Angela Devlen, president of Mahila Partnership. Strengthening children’s participa- tion in decisions that affect them was another recommendation echoed by many: “Children need to be recognized as valued partners in community heal- ing, future leaders, and potential peace builders,” said Grace Oyebola Adetula, an international expert in crime pre- vention 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 de- pression, which makes them less avail- able to the children. “Education has the potential to keep children alive and increases the pos- sibilities for children to recover from mass trauma,” observed Hofstra Uni- versity Professor Denny Taylor. Among the many ways schools can help chil- dren heal after disasters, said consul- tant 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 Cres- cent 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 trau- matic stress disorder and other psy-

continued on page 44

Photo: John Burg, courtesy of ITDP


Leveraging Mission Drift to Promote Innovation

Planning and vetting are key to project expansion.


F ROM 2003 TO 2006, I WORKED with an NGO in West Africa help- ing 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 Poli- cy (ITDP), was to promote sustainable, equitable and affordable transporta- tion. 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 popu- lation. 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 institu- tional 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 assis- tance required to improve the business skills of the microentrepreneurs, espe- cially 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 cli- ents and partners benefited substantial- ly from their involvement with the proj- ect in many measureable ways. Still, we

Photo: John Burg, courtesy of ITDP MIssION DRIFT Leveraging Mission Drift to Promote Innovation Planning and

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 rec- ognized 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 sustain- able 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 complex- ity pulled our focus off course and efforts became bogged down in time- consuming 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 orga- nizations 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 mi- croenterprise and private sector devel- opment. This poorly planned, if not un- planned, expansion is called “mission drift.” It can sometimes foster innova- tive solutions to alleviating poverty, but it also risks project outcomes that fall

short of what could be done to help in- tended beneficiaries. Donors are now providing more funding for private voluntary orga- nizations (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 in- tegrate microenterprise development into their projects. This type of activ- ity 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 plan- ning process. Compounding the poten- tial for future complications is the fact that these PVOs typically submit their innovative and creative project propos- als 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 web- site (

croenterprise or PSD, these plans are frequently approved and receive fund- ing without adequate reviews. So the plans become projects and the proj- ects eventually encounter a wide va- riety of unanticipated problems that deflect them from their goals. The in- adequately planned projects with their associated mission drift invariably re- sult in ineffective resource utilization. More corrosive, however, is the loss of trust in the organizations by the very microentrepreneurs they hope to as-

sist. That is a far costlier outcome in human terms. The best approach to avoiding mis- sion drift is for donors to assume re- sponsibility 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 organi- zation’s proposal reviewer (in the case of USAID a Cognizant Technical Officer

continued on page 44

short of what could be done to help in- tended beneficiaries. Donors are now providing more

Ilustration: Akhilesh Sharma -


Ilustration: Akhilesh Sharma - CORPORATE PARTNERs What separates the best from the Rest? InterAction members

What separates the best from the Rest?

InterAction members nominate the Top Ten best Corporations in Global Development.

  • C OMPaNIes are increasingly working alongside govern- ments and development

organizations to fight global pov- erty. they have become important partners in improving the lives of people around the world by creating jobs, livable communi- ties, 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 part- ners 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 exper- tise to enhance the lives of millions of poor people and communities around the world.


American Express

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 dona- tions 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, Ameri- can 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 Mem- bers Project. In 2008, American Ex- press is donating $2.5 million to be divided between five separate projects

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 peo- ple to become “social investors” in en- trepreneurs 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. Howev- er, last year many cardmembers were passionate about all of the finalist proj- ects. This year in response, American Express increased the amount of mon- ey 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 impor- tance 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 fund- ing 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 Fi- nancial Literacy Initiative, which began in 2005, Citigroup trains potential ho- meowner families in the roles and re- sponsibilities they will face when enter- ing into the credit agreement. The work

supported includes training workshops in the fundamentals of “good” family fi- nancial management with a specific fo- cus 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 Coca- Cola Foundation has partnered with USAID and many non-governmental or- ganizations to improve the communities in which it works all over the world. One of its biggest impacts is in the area of wa- ter stewardship. Coca-Cola works hard to find innovative ways to reduce its im- pact on the environment, such as ways to clean its bottles in the factories with- out using water. It also partners with communities in developing countries to make sure that they have clean water and a basic knowledge of water sanita- tion and hygiene. In addition, it has pro- grams on watershed protection, expand- ing community drinking water access, rainwater harvesting, reforestation, and agricultural water use efficiency. Coca-Cola also supports impact- reducing recycling programs that also create local jobs. For example, a pro- gram in Colombia turns old bottles into clothing, and other projects turn old la- bels 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 earth- quake victims around the world. Cur- rently, it is helping rebuild long-term infrastructure and communities in In- donesia that were particularly hard-hit from the tsunami.

Elluminate, Inc.

Despite its small size (only 100 em- ployees), Elluminate has made a sub- stantial impact on global development in a short period of time. In August 2006, Elluminate launched an award- winning, non-profit initiative called “Fire and Ice.” In just 15 months, hundreds

of students form schools across three continents have participated in a collab- orative project to research, brainstorm, present and implement ideas to help combat the effects of climate change in their local areas. Students were in- spired to “think globally, act locally,” and they responded with local projects that have had a tremendous impact on both their school and community. Proj- ects have included the development of organic gardens in remote parts of Bra- zil, 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 en- gines. On November 1, 2007, students from three continents showcased their projects online from their remote com- munities in front of a global audience, using Elluminate Live!. On November 7, 2007, Elluminate’s Fire and Ice was rec- ognized by the prestigious Tech Awards (Education Laureate) in San Jose, Cali- fornia for “technologies and projects that benefit humanity.” As part of the Fire and Ice program, Elluminate management and employ- ees 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 “Class- room-in-a-Box” hardware station for live collaboration, which includes: a laptop, LCD projector, speakers, webcam, elec- tronic 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 hun- dreds of schools, health centers, cyber- cafés, and telecenters in the developing world over the coming months. In addition to Fire and Ice, Ellumi- nate also runs community partners programs that make Elluminate avail- able to organizations doing important work in the social service sector.


Through its foundation, GE is mak- ing 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 education- al systems and increasing access. GE also regularly supports humanitarian relief wherever it is needed most. The Girls Education in Africa pro- gram supports organizations working to improve access to and the quality of primary education for girls. In addi- tion 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 rota- tions in various hospitals all over Gha- na, 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 stan- dards-based management practices to improve productivity and raise the con- fidence in local health care services.


As of May 2008, Google’s philan- thropic 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 be- cause 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 in- fectious diseases worldwide, but espe- cially in Southeast Asia, which has the most hotspots for new diseases. Most of the countries in the region lack the re- sources to detect threats early enough to keep local events from erupting. Google’s aim is to improve the condi- tions and infrastructure for this in Southeast Asia and then apply the les- sons learned on a global scale. Some of the ways it is doing this are: studying

supported includes training workshops in the fundamentals of “good” family fi- nancial management with a specific


the way diseases spread from animals to humans, especially in rural poor ar- eas that depend
the way diseases spread from animals
to humans, especially in rural poor ar-
eas that depend on farming; equipping
local laboratories with basic diagnostics
and record data electronically to im-
prove reporting and analysis, improv-
ing local capacity to detect and identify
the causes of threats; developing sim-
ple platforms for reporting, analysis,
and information sharing; and looking
into the use of technology such as mo-
bile phones to report threats as soon as
they’re discovered. The ultimate goal of
the program is to make responses pro-
active rather than reactive.
Another Google’s initiative fuels the
growth of small- and medium-sized en-
terprises (SMEs). SMEs, which bridge
the gap between large- and micro-en-
terprises, are the backbone of many
developed nations’ economies. Cur-
rently, most developing countries sup-
port both large enterprises and micro-
enterprises, but are startlingly bereft
of SMEs. Google is working to make it
easier for investors to sponsor SMEs
and to educate investors on their po-
tential profitability. They also help con-
nect 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.
programs and technical support to
midwives and medical staff in two Indi-
an 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.
Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson is involved in
many programs around the globe to
improve community health and edu-
cation. 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 pro-
vided the technology, copyrights and
training to a local company in Kenya
to produce one of its drugs to treat sec-
ondary 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
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 de-
veloping world accounts for only 40
percent of the world’s vehicles. An-
nually, developing societies bear the
burden of $65 billion in damages from
road crashes and resultant deaths and
injuries – which is more than the an-
nual development assistance these
countries receive. The Fleet Forum
has developed a road safety training
toolkit, among other materials, specifi-
cally 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 develop-
ments organizations.
Kjaer also founded a group called
MyC4 to raise capital for African en-
trepreneurs. This organization uses
the Internet to give ordinary people
access to African entrepreneurs seek-
ing microloans who would otherwise
be unable to get these loans because
they are too poor for banks to be will-
ing to take a risk on them. MyC4 fos-
ters 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, health-
hazardous or illegal products, tobacco,
alcohol and drugs. It is also a member
of the UN Global Compact, a frame-
work businesses can use to align their
operations and strategies with ten
universally accepted principles in the
areas of human rights, labor, environ-
ment and anti-corruption. Through
this compact, MyC4 has centered itself
around the credo, “People, Profit and
Kjaer and its insurance partner, Cle-
ments International, unveiled new war
risk insurance last August. While both
have worked with organizations operat-
ing 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 insur-
ance policies.
In addition to its many financial gifts
through the McKesson Foundation and
product donations through McKesson
Medical Surgical, the McKesson Cor-
poration has been an integral partner
in a very unique program to provide
necessary care for individuals with
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 pro-
vide 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, com-
munities, 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 pro-
duce 180,000 kits.
Working Assets
Working Assets donates one percent
of its profits to organizations geared to-
wards 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 Inter-
national. It donated over $1.4 million
last year to organizations working with
continued on page 44


Emergency Programming in Health

Workshop addresses the challenges of integrating longer-term health priorities into emergency response.


O N OCTOBER 29TH AND 30TH almost 100 representatives from NGOs, the U.S. govern- ment, the UN, academic insti-

tutions 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 contin- gent, not certain. Dr. Rick Brennan, Se- nior 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 simi- larities 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 re- lief and development approaches is of- ten overdrawn at the operational level. She explained that while humanitar- ian 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 opportu- nities to strengthen the system as early as possible. Dr. Nevio zagaria, Coor- dinator for Recovery and Transition Programmes at the U.N. World Health Organization, challenged workshop participants to ask whether humani- tarians have a recovery imperative. She noted that strengthening health systems is the only way the humanitar- ian community can address the long- term health needs of the population. Dr. Hervé Le Guillouzic, Senior Public

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


Health Advisor at the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UN- HCR), 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 sys- tem, but also the guarantee of freedom of movement, access to the labor mar- ket, 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, empha- sized that planning ahead for develop- ment is worth the investment and work- ing within existing health structures is advantageous. He said NGOs and do- nors should provide services in facili- ties run by the local ministry of health to ease transition. In complex emergen- cies, NGOs and donors should lay the foundation for systems strengthening, and not merely provide services. A panel of donor organizations dis- cussed financing and the difficulties when the funding stream shifts from emergency to development. Dr. Heath- er Papowitz, Public Health Specialist at OFDA, identified the key building blocks of crisis response and challenges that OFDA has faced in transition set- tings, including: the lack of a USAID mission in some countries; the short- term 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 Popu- lation, 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 inclu- sion of a transition strategy in all pro- posals. Elizabeth Kibour, Africa Region- al Specialist for USAID/Global Health, described USAID/Guinea’s experience in a fragile state setting as a classic ex- ample of transition needs, noting that the government’s inability to adequately provide basic services has led to ques- tions about its legitimacy. Challenges

include: translating theory into prac- tice; tracking indicators; the fact that progress is gradual while results are expected immediately; governance is a sensitive topic; this approach is com- plex 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 facili- tate transition include: advance plan- ning and early investments in analyzing the health sector; addressing deep-root- ed distortions first; introducing ratio- nal drug procurement and distribution systems; coordinating cost sharing, es- sential 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, Se- nior Program Officer for Emergency Re- sponse Special Initiatives at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, noted that while the Gates Foundation has had limited involvement in emergency re- sponse, global health programs account for 50 percent of the foundation’s bud- get, largely focused on research activi- ties. 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 recommen- dations. A Steering Committee of work- shop participants and InterAction’s Working Group on Health in Crises will take the recommendations forward.



Humanitarian interventions predominately focus on activities to minimize mortality and mor- bidity, 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 Develop- ment Goals (MDGs). However, there are significant areas where the two approaches overlap and complement each other. The recommendations of this workshop focus on key interven- tions 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 incom- ing 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 activi- ties 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 Guid- ance 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.


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.

RETROsPECTIVE 25 Years of Monday Developments At times humorous and ironic, and often eerily prescient and
RETROsPECTIVE 25 Years of Monday Developments At times humorous and ironic, and often eerily prescient and
RETROsPECTIVE 25 Years of Monday Developments At times humorous and ironic, and often eerily prescient and
RETROsPECTIVE 40 MONDaY DeVelOPMeNts November/December 2008
November/December 2008
RETROsPECTIVE 40 MONDaY DeVelOPMeNts November/December 2008
RETROsPECTIVE 40 MONDaY DeVelOPMeNts November/December 2008
RETROsPECTIVE November/December 2008 41
November/December 2008
RETROsPECTIVE 42 MONDaY DeVelOPMeNts November/December 2008
RETROsPECTIVE 42 MONDaY DeVelOPMeNts November/December 2008
RETROsPECTIVE MONDaY DeVelOPMeNts November/December 2008 43
RETROsPECTIVE MONDaY DeVelOPMeNts November/December 2008 43
RETROsPECTIVE MONDaY DeVelOPMeNts November/December 2008 43

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 re- vised, resubmitted applications. Ways to revise projects that have unintentionally drifted into PSD can be found in microfinance technical lit- erature 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 finance- project 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 re- cord, and has benefited from frequent improvement and updating. An additional benefit of using microfi- nance 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 lo- cal 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 mi- cro-finance concepts, procedures, spe- cialized language and reporting require- ments 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 ef- fectively and guiding resubmissions is not a particularly difficult process, and its effectiveness can be greatly en- hanced by incorporating microfinance technical information into the process. Well-designed, non-finance programs can enable PVOs to give microentrepre- neurs a more thorough and structured education about appropriate account- ing 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 de- prived areas.


Mr. Burg worked on microenterprise projects for the Institute for Transporta- tion Development Policy in both the Ca- ribbean and West Africa, and recently supported projects in Haiti, Mexico and the Middle East. He can be reached for comment at

trouble with aid

continued from page 24

dominates our thinking is one of the reasons that these other, more impor- tant actions are not being taken – rich country leaders are not feeling enough political pressure to make the impor- tant changes. Aid is easier and it ben- efits donors, never mind all the prob- lems 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 in- creases may be appropriate and help- ful. But most countries in Africa, rather than seeking more aid, should be set- ting out strategies aimed at reducing the amount they accept.


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 represen- tative in Colombia. The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of Christian Aid or any other orga- nization for which he has worked.


continued from page 31

chological responses to disaster such as depression and anxiety. Yale Uni- versity 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 iden- tified 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

the International Resilience Program at Tufts University, social psychiatrist Mindy Fullilove noted that local com-

munity 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 Disas- ters, affiliated to UMass Boston’s John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies. Pushing beyond stan- dard thinking about restoration and rehabilitation, the multidisciplinary

Center will be unique in positioning sustainability and human rights at the center of disaster preparation, mitiga- tion, response, and recovery. The Cen- ter defines disasters broadly to include conflicts, poverty, bad governance, and HIV and AIDS. The Center invites alliances with lo- cal, national, and international agen- cies, government and academic institu- tions, NGOs, other not-for-profit organizations (NPOs), and private sector institutions interested in post-disaster reconstruction. The Center’s next con- ference in July 2010 will focus on re- building sustainable communities for the elderly and persons with disabili- ties. More information is available at:

www For specific queries, contact Center Di-

rector, Professor Adenrele Awotona at:


Muna Killingback is a Boston-based freelancer and a former Communica- tions Director for the World YWCA in Geneva. She specializes in writing and editing for and about non-profit organi- zations.

Corporate Partners

continued from page 36

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.


Please send questions or comments to Margaret Christoph at mchristoph@





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 in- country 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 multi- cultural 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

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Enriching Lives and Opportunities Around the World The American Institutes for Research’s (AIR) International Development Program
Enriching Lives and Opportunities Around the World The American Institutes for Research’s (AIR) International Development Program
Enriching Lives and Opportunities Around the World The American Institutes for Research’s (AIR) International Development Program

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 col- laborated 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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November/December 2008


“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch
“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
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Did You


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 num- ber 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 con- sumption among poor people in sub-saharan Africa stood at a meager 70 cents a day in 2005. Given that pov- erty 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




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Executive Director, Cambridge, MA, USA An Executive Director is sought who will continue the CDA tradition
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.
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.
MONDaY DeVelOPMeNts November/December 2008 47
November/December 2008
1400 16th Street, NW, Suite 210 Washington, DC 20036 Phone: (202) 667-8227 Fax: (202) 667-8236

1400 16th Street, NW, Suite 210 Washington, DC 20036 Phone: (202) 667-8227 Fax: (202) 667-8236

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.

1400 16th Street, NW, Suite 210 Washington, DC 20036 Phone: (202) 667-8227 Fax: (202) 667-8236