More From the Blog

  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • A dispatch from Women Deliver: How the private sector is ensuring women are included in more inclusive growth

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

    Over the course of four days in June, more than 8,000 world leaders, influencers, practitioners, advocates, academics, activists and journalists gathered in Vancouver, Canada, to discuss how to accelerate progress for girls and women around the globe. The Women Deliver conference included important conversations about the future of work and women’s economic participation. Importantly, the debate demonstrated how the dialogue on the role of the private sector is shifting: from corporate responsibility to corporate interest and from social impact to bottom line impact — and increasingly both.

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  • The darker side of development: Addressing power dynamics within development

    Does the development community effectively discuss and address power dynamics? In this episode, I sit down with Paul O’Brien, Vice President for Policy and Advocacy of Oxfam America, to discuss the uses of power within international development, policy and institutions.

    We explore the four types of power, discuss the currency of power within the world of development and talk about how even those programs and organizations that practice do no harm inevitably take risks that can be harmful.

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    How to make sure your nonprofit isn’t wasting its time with impact investing

    A full version of this post originally appeared on the blog Stanford Social Innovation Review. This excerpt has been reprinted with permission.

    The explosive growth of the impact investing market has attracted more and more mission-driven nonprofits in recent years, but many of them are jumping in without first assessing if the undertaking is the right fit for their mission, culture or stakeholders. While some nonprofits are achieving their impact goals while making financial returns, many others have wasted years of staff time or thousands of dollars on expensive consultants with little to show for it.

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  • The darker side of development: The trouble with innovation

    The development community is in love with the idea of innovation as a way to accelerate positive change. But are innovation and disruption always positive? What are the unintended consequences from our drive to innovate?

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  • Three ways to develop education curricula for youth in emergency settings

    Education is important for all young people, but it can be lifesaving to youth in emergency settings. Adolescence is a period of significant cognitive, emotional and social change for every young person. For youth in emergency contexts, education can help to protect them from recruitment into armed services, sexual exploitation, abuse and early marriage. It can also build inner resilience by offering stability, normalcy and hope.

    Given the increase in emergencies worldwide and the number of youth who are out of school, it is critical to ensure that educational curricula are holistic, relevant and meet learners’ social-emotional and developmental needs. We believe there are three elements that must be considered to successfully develop curricula for youth in emergency settings.

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