Tag Archives: international development

Why the Search for the Middle Class is a Waste of Time and Money

By | July 10, 2015

Once we stop focusing only on the search for the mythical middle class, we see the very real changes that have taken place, globally, over the past 25 years. The Pew Report in the previous post focused primarily on the middle income/middle class, overlooking in their haste that even this segment of the world’s population… Read More »

The ILO’s ‘historic’ informal to formal guidelines and framework: What does it actually mean?

By | June 14, 2015

The big news this weekend is the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) first ever Recommendations and Guidelines on the informal economy. My first take away from all the documentation is that the informal sector is no more the enemy of good and, now, can finally be addressed with the consideration it needs and deserves. Here’s a… Read More »

People, Pesa & Place: A Multidisciplinary lens for innovation in social & economic development

By | May 27, 2015

This original Venn diagram visualizing the sweet spot of innovation success is a familiar one, with as many variations as there are practitioners. One of the most common is the one below, where business, people (or, as often, design) and technology replace the human centered qualities of viable, desirable and feasible. I’ve used them both… Read More »

International development in the year 2015: Q&A with a 3rd world brown woman

By | October 10, 2013

Naomi, posing for my camera in her role as poor African farmer’s wife Naomi was my first exposure to poverty as expediency in rural Africa. She and her husband are the responsible family unit for a multi kitchen homestead in Makueni, Kenya. They themselves own a Maruti van which he runs as a matatu plying… Read More »

Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are…

By | October 9, 2013

“The worst mistake of first contact, made throughout history by individuals on both sides of every new encounter, has been the unfortunate habit of making assumptions. It often proved fatal.” ~ David Brin 2. How can technology best be used to change humanitarian practices that may appear to you to be evolved forms of imperialism?… Read More »

The black box of international development

By | October 8, 2013

This post continues the conversation begun in the previous post by attempting to address the spirit of the first question posed by Regarding Humanity: 1. Is the ball already rolling to change the “Development Industrial Complex”? What sorts of shifts needed for process to happen? When I was first encouraged to speak up on the… Read More »

Preamble to a Q&A on international development: Charitable donations, silver bullets and the hapless beneficiary.

By | October 6, 2013

If you don’t ask me what I need then is it my fault I don’t use what you gave me the way you wanted me to? Impact assessment metrics for this donor funded project will show how many thousands of households in the region received their chemically treated malaria prevention kits consisting primarily of brand… Read More »

Projected Impact of recognizing and integrating end-user’s agency on innovation adoption rates

By | August 18, 2013

Rajasthan, India January 2009 Our problem statement for the recently completed, two phase project on sustainable agricultural value chains, was framed as follows: What are the barriers to adoption of sustainable agricultural practices that limit their spread and scaling? What are reasons and/or causes of the existence of these barriers?  The complexity and wicked nature… Read More »

A tale of two Africas

By | July 14, 2013

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. By the middle of the year 2013, the continent of Africa finally put her foot down and said to the world that enough is enough, “We’re taking over the reins of our future and giving voice to our own story.” Ghana and Kenya… Read More »

The Truth About Disruptive Development in the Digital Village

By | January 30, 2013

After a quick Twitter interaction, I find myself having agreed to write this caveat to Ken Banks’ recently published article The Truth About Disruptive Development published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. So I’ll start by taking a step back to ask myself what aspects of his proposed points make me hesitate with a second… Read More »