Five ways you can foster creativity with your team

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

Do we design with a solution in mind or with a vision for our users?

We ask questions about what people’s needs are. But even by this point, we’ve narrowed down what answers we’re looking for.

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 needs your help to create the very first community-created Global Index that defines and measures racial equity in the aid and development sector

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

Lessons from facilitating remote team implementation

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

Keeping up with COVID-19: Essential Guidance for NGO Security Risk Managers from GISF

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

We need to change how we design and choose service providers

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.

Continue reading

Unwinding bias – 10 questions for you

  1. Who is in the in group and who is in the out group?
  2. Who do you naturally talk to?
  3. Do you react differently to different types of people?
  4. What stories do you tell yourself about different types of people? 
  5. Do you have an understanding of different people’s backgrounds?
  6. Did your bias lead you to an (accidental) microaggression?
  7. Are people truly being treated with equal voices?
  8. Are people truly being treated with equal opportunities?
  9. Who makes the decisions in your team or project?
  10. Are you taking into account different ways people communicate, from different cultures?

Continue reading

Check out these books on racism, anti-racism and raising children

We’ve been reading books exploring racism, anti-racism and raising children. We’d like to share a list of these books with you. It isn’t a comprehensive catalogue – please get in touch with us if you would like to recommend any books on these topics and we will add them to the list! Continue reading