More From the Blog

  • Building impactful partnerships: What we M.U.S.T. do better

    This post was originally published on FHI Partners.

    According to Peter Drucker, the noted management theorist, “The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic.” When I reflect on my time working with private-sector organizations, government agencies and international nongovernmental organizations — all of which were focused on solving global human development challenges — I recall the common refrain that “we can’t do it alone.” Only by working together do we stand a chance to eradicate poverty and promote prosperity. But sentiment alone is not enough.

    The promise of partnerships has resulted in an active body of work focused on facilitating public-private partnerships and devising private-sector engagement strategies, with the Sustainable Development Goals at the center of this dialogue. Specifically, private-sector involvement is increasingly called upon to drive global socio-ecological change. The increasing overlap between development and commercial challenges provides fertile ground for robust collaboration. However, we need to move beyond the announcements, handshakes and high-level dialogue.

    Continue reading

  • The darker side of development: #AidToo, Harassment, Abuse and Assault

    The #AidToo movement, which stemmed from the #MeToo movement, has brought to light incidences of sexual harassment and abuse within development work.

    In this episode, I sit down with Carrie Hessler-Radelet, President and CEO of Project Concern International (PCI). Carrie describes her own personal experience with sexual assault and shares the important role that speaking out has had for her and can have for survivors. Carrie and I discuss best practices for preventing and responding to abuse and harassment in the global development workspace, both internally within organizations and within the communities where we work.

    Continue reading

  • Money, mentors, and markets: What youth entrepreneurs need to succeed

    This post was originally published on the Atlantic Council’s New Atlanticist blog. It is reprinted with permission.

    Youth unemployment — particularly in the developing world — is one of the most pressing and challenging issues facing the global community. Rates of youth unemployment are the highest across the Middle East and North Africa region, around 30 percent, and close to 17 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the micro and macro consequences loom: stunted economic growth, poverty, migration, crime and poor health, among many others.

    Continue reading

  • Exploring the next frontier in education in emergencies: Social-emotional learning research and practice

    A teacher at a blackboard in Maiduguri, Northeast Nigeria

    Maryam Mustapha teaches at a nonformal learning center in Maiduguri, Northeast Nigeria. Her classes include social emotional learning, a critical component of programming for education in emergencies. Photo credit: Anna Eisenberg/FHI 360

    In emergency contexts, when many support structures fracture, education can provide protection, heal trauma and inspire hope. Education programs that feature social-emotional learning (SEL) interventions — the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions and develop self-control and interpersonal skills — have the potential for large-scale impact in fragile and humanitarian contexts. SEL is an especially powerful healer for migrants, refugees and children who can be scarred from prolonged insecurity, trauma, loss, violence or separation from family or homeland.

    As new crises seemingly arise every day and existing ones become more protracted, we at FHI 360, the LEGO Foundation and UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report are exploring evidence-based ways to incorporate SEL research and programming for education in emergencies.

    A new policy paper from the GEM Report, Education as Healing: Addressing the Trauma of Displacement through Social and Emotional Learning, draws on the global analysis in the 2019 GEM Report assessment on migration, displacement and education and rigorous new research done in partnership with FHI 360 to compile evidence-based findings on effective SEL approaches. The paper also presents recommendations for policymakers and other stakeholders to invest in SEL evidence-generation and programming at global, national and regional levels.

    Continue reading

  • A young entrepreneur uses technology for social innovation

    Nestor Bonilla is an entrepreneur from Managua, Nicaragua, who works with local and international organizations to apply technology in new ways to solve social problems. He also founded two social start-ups: Honey Things and Digital Bonds. In 2017, Bonilla was a fellow with the Workforce Connections project, which was funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and implemented by FHI 360. Recently, Bonilla visited Washington, DC, and shared his perspectives on entrepreneurship and youth.

    Continue reading

  • The darker side of development: The struggle with accountability

    The way we design and carry out development programs and projects both contributes to and disrupts the social contract and political accountability.

    In this episode, I sit down with Alex Thier, former Director of the Overseas Development Institute, the U.K.’s leading think tank dealing with international and human development issues. We explore the fundamental dilemmas surrounding global development practice and the importance and difficulty of holding ourselves accountable.

    Continue reading

  • Good Governance Barometer guides community improvements in Nepal

    Development practitioners know that governance matters, but what is good governance and how can it be measured? FHI 360’s Good Governance Barometer (GGB) is a social accountability and development planning tool designed to bring together stakeholders, ranging from local government officials to community members, to jointly identify problems – such as improving the management of a health clinic – and determine the actions needed to resolve them. In addition, the GGB process produces action plans that strengthen and help measure the effectiveness and performance of local governance.

    FHI 360’s Civil Society: Mutual Accountability Project (CS:MAP), funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, partners with civil society and media organizations to foster an accountable, resilient Nepali civil society. The project team is using the GGB to achieve this goal.

    Recently, we traveled to six villages in three rural districts in Nepal – Sindhupalchowk, Rukum and Gulmi – to learn how these communities are using the GGB to improve their public services and achieve this goal. Though the communities we visited were different, we saw some commonalities. Local officials often encountered service delivery challenges for reasons such as limited capacity or resources. When citizens and public officials were empowered to work together using the GGB, however, solutions were more likely to be identified.

    Continue reading

  • Celebrating self-care month: Six ways FHI 360 is advancing the self-care agenda for sexual and reproductive health

    The full version of this post originally appeared on Medium.

    Close-up of self-administered contraceptiveSelf-management. Self-testing. Self-awareness. These are three pillars of self-care interventions that can help promote the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of women, men and youth according to new guidelines released by the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO defines self-care as “the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.” Self-care as part of reproductive health is not a new concept. Throughout history, people have sought to control their fertility. However, in the context of a global shortage of trained health care workers and with an estimated 214 million women in developing countries who still have an unmet need for contraception, both new and existing SRHR self-care interventions can play a critical role in helping close the gap while at the same time empowering individuals to take control of their health.

    This July is self-care month, and FHI 360 is excited to join partners around the world in advancing strategies to meet the SRHR needs of women, men and youth through evidence-based self-care interventions. There are six ways that FHI 360 is helping advance the SRHR self-care agenda.

    Read the complete post.

  • The darker side of development: Shifting the paradigm for refugee aid

    Today, most of the world’s refugees — and most internally displaced people — are uprooted from their homes for protracted periods. While estimates vary, the average length of displacement can be between 10 and 26 years. What does this mean for how we manage refugee assistance and what does promoting self-reliance look like under these conditions?

    In this episode, I sit down with Muzabel Welongo, Founder and Executive Director of Resilience Action International and a recent graduate of Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. A former refugee himself, Muzabel describes some of the systemic issues surrounding refugee aid, the negative consequences of well-intended aid efforts and the need to shift the paradigm from aid dependence to self-reliance.

    Continue reading

  • YouthPower Action research identifies employment opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa

    In a recent YouthPower Action study, FHI 360 found evidence of promising employment opportunities for youth in sub-Saharan Africa in the health and social services sectors. Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and implemented by FHI 360, the YouthPower Action project is expanding the evidence base for what works in positive youth development and applying improved approaches across programs to empower youth to realize their full potential. Obed Diener, the lead author, discusses the research and its implications.

    Continue reading