Why?Posted: January 24, 2011 | |
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a man in possession of a few good opinions, must be in want of a blog. And at the risk of setting a bad precedent by starting off with a royal pronoun…
We Hold These Truths To Be Self Evident (or at least working premises, at least until I get around to unpacking them in later posts):
1. Aid exists.
2. Donor government ministries, agencies of the UN system, and international NGOs, will continue to be involved in the above for the foreseeable future.
Therefore, and this is the important bit:
3. Let’s do it better.
I’m not setting out to weigh in on the grand macroscopic debates of the millennium, its Goals, or indeed even its Villages. I’ll cede that stratosphere to the hot air balloons. But I work in an international NGO, and there are a grind of everyday issues and actions, that consume hundreds, thousands or indeed tens of thousands of hours of effort of people working across the sector every year. Some of these things I’m involved in run the gamut of catchphrases like capacity building, knowledge management, grant management, institutional learning, information systems, collaboration, ways of working, project management, budgeting, monitoring, reporting, accountability, audits and evaluation. Thrilling stuff, you might say! But it’s all hours of effort that our donors – public and private – are paying for. Hours of effort that we have to be very thoughtful about: to not waste our donors’ resources; to not waste each other’s time; and to ensure in the end we’re really doing something useful.
So let’s talk about those. I hope you’re interested. If you’re not, that’s okay, there will probably also be gratuitous hacking on celebrities and a bloody truckload of snark. For example, I bet if we took Clooney’s satellites and put Bill Gates’ lasers on them, I reckon we could sort out the whole malaria thing by around Tuesday next week. Who’s with me?