Posts categorized under Development

22 December 2011 ~ 2 Comments

It’s a great day to be alive

I was just reminded about a friend, with whom I used to work, who wakes up every morning* and turns to whomever first crosses his path and says: “Good morning! It’s a great day to be alive!” *No really, EVERY morning. And, if you wake up near him at a campsite for a few days […]

Continue Reading

28 November 2011 ~ 4 Comments

Encouraging “Design Thinking” & “Participatory Development” ideas through the questions we ask

Both “participatory development” and “design thinking” theories advocate for project planning to start with the needs of the end-user. It’s interesting to me that both concepts illustrate pretty much the same intuitive process, yet the naming of both makes them seem less broadly applicable. I guess maybe that’s because “Successful impact-for-the-end-user-focused-planning” is a much less […]

Continue Reading

12 September 2011 ~ 1 Comment

(Pari Project Guest Post) Can you be both ‘unsustainable’ and great?

This is a guest post by Allie Hoffman of The Pari Project. She asked to share a reflection she had written about one of Pari’s clients, Epic Arts. —- I’m lucky that one of my favorite clients also happens to be one of my favorite people. Our friend Hannah started volunteering at a small disability […]

Continue Reading

13 July 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Double Trouble

A friend just sent me this photo… Like with hero-worshiping in the social sector, when the media and then general public praises and supports a model which sounds like a quick fix to big problems, we get copy cats. Now we’re not only “giving things away” once, we’re giving DOUBLE things….. oh goodness. It will […]

Continue Reading

12 May 2011 ~ 6 Comments

Don’t forget the boys…

Everyone wants to “support girls”. Being a girl myself, I think that is great and all…. but let’s not forget the boys! In Cambodia, there are many sectors which only provide jobs to women: many garment factories only employ women for their line jobs, there are many silk weaving programs and NGO interventions targeting women’s […]

Continue Reading

22 April 2011 ~ 2 Comments

The Mortenson Situation: Reminding us not to hero-worship in the social sector

When I first read Greg Mortenson’s book, Three Cups of Tea, I loved it. It was 2007 or 2008, I had just spent a few years beginning our work at PEPY, an organization which had started with our own school construction story in 2005. The story resonated with me. I loved that he was talking […]

Continue Reading

03 April 2011 ~ 4 Comments

To Hell with Good Intentions (my imaginary conversation with Ivan Illich)

Oh how I wish that I had heard Ivan Illich give this speech in 1968. I imagine myself as one of the students about to be sent off to Mexico to “volunteer”, eager to “help the poor people”, smiling proudly as I shine in my own self-worth. And then I imagine hearing him start out […]

Continue Reading