We’re not huge fans of new year’s resolutions. Gym, wake up earlier, starting hobbies can work for some people, but doesn’t work for others. You could set goals, make them SMART and even make a theory of change. We think this should be done quarterly (not the theory of change), but look at what you are trying to achieve as an individual across your entire life (not just work) on a quarterly basis. Continue reading
Two examples of leadership thought pioneers we don’t talk enough about in our sector are Barack Obama and Brené Brown. Both of them aren’t white men, which is also a bonus. Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston – famous for her Ted Talk – The Power of Vulnerability as well as numerous books on leadership. Barack Obama – really needs no more introduction. Our thoughts on how this links to our sector… Continue reading
You may spend a huge amount of time uplifting your teams and team members, showing empathy, listening, propelling them forward. But then a lot of what you do is outside of your control. The decisions may be made by your boss, or further up the chain. Continue reading
If you work like us, you may have many ideas about improvements to projects/processes on the edge of the box. You might bend, break or blend other ideas. Or you could come up with amazing outside the box thinking.
However, often we get knocked back by clients or other change makers, and sometimes get frustrated.
Why can’t they see what I see? Continue reading
In the world of covid-19 it’s even more important to focus on your teams’ creativity with more intentionality (maybe to jargon a word – but the number of syllables shows the importance of creativity).
As a leader, here are some tips of things that have successfully fostered creativity: Continue reading
We add solutions that the donors and agencies feel are necessary. We add elements of advocacy. It sometimes feels more like we’re a bad marketeer.
Whilst we’re designing new interventions and identifying needs, pressure from our managers to provide a report or other deadline lingers over us. Continue reading
The Racial Equity Index is building a new set of tools to dismantle global development’s house.
There is a reckoning afoot in the global development sector. Social media has been flooded with testimonies from employees and consultants in the sector who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) bearing witness to the racist treatment they and their colleagues have received. Their words have exposed a sector rife with harmful practices, perpetuated by leaders lacking integrity, and upheld by wilfully obtuse institutional and systemic structures. Continue reading
I currently lead several new projects in South Sudan and Somalia for a client. New teams, new projects, new dynamics, new client needs, new stories, new biases, new worldviews. Here’s some lessons from the last couple of weeks. Continue reading
Since the start of the Covid-19 global pandemic in March, organisations have been trying to adjust their ways of working. As Covid-19 continues to impact the security risks that NGOs may face and the way risk treatment measures are developed, the Global Interagency Security Forum (GISF) have released policy and planning guidance for NGO security risk managers. Continue reading
- Often communities are involved in very quick design processes (as procurement is running late) through rapid needs assessments and selective focus groups.
- Evaluations of previous funding cycles play a critical role – evaluation teams are often made up of seasoned professionals – who may bring their own biases. Fresh ideas and diverse teams are often missing from the design process.
- I’ve been privileged to coordinate procurement processes which involve the host government collaborating with the funders. Communities and users often have no say in which agency provides their services – they have little-no purchasing power. Perhaps I am wrong?
- The procurement is competitive in some cases. Detailed Request for Proposals. Some agencies are funded without any procurement process at all. Often agencies feel like they are all competing for the same pot of money – so they end up providing the same kinds of services. Health agencies start providing wider services like education; education agencies start providing health services – so differentiation becomes difficult and specialisations diminish.
- This private sector approach tendering is mismatched with the nature of the work. The market has become narrow and focused – stifling creativity and innovation.
- The power is with those agencies who write proposals well and can pass due diligence – so local/grass roots agencies often do not lead big projects.