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.
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 →
After working across the donor, private and NGO sectors for over 15 years and being heavily involved in how procurement is designed, here’s what I’ve noticed:
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.
Here you can read the initial results of a survey done by Thomson Reuters Foundation and Aid Works, showing key messages about racism in the aid sector. In the video below, our Programmes Director Mo highlights three key findings. Continue reading →
Someone once asked me this as I struggled to build a document in Excel – one of my many nemeses. My blood pressure goes up just when I read or hear the word ‘Excel’ I sweat more than usual, my chest gets tight, the whole deal. Continue reading →