More From the Blog

  • 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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  • Technology strengthens resilience

    Digital technology offers promising ways to solve some of the world’s development challenges. At FHI 360, we are applying new and existing technologies to build resilience among the communities where we work.

    What is technology for resilience?

    Let’s look at what we mean by resilience. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) defines it as “ the ability of people, households, communities, countries and systems to mitigate, adapt to and recover from shocks and stresses in a manner that reduces chronic vulnerability and facilitates inclusive growth.”

    Recently, we’ve been using The Rockefeller Foundation’s definition: “Resilience is the capacity of individuals, communities and systems to survive, adapt and grow in the face of stress and shocks, and even transform when conditions require it.”  

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  • The darker side of development: Consequences of development efforts on the environment

    Are our growth-based models of modernization at odds with sustainable development? Does addressing environmental concerns need to take a back seat to economic growth in order to alleviate poverty? And is it reasonable to expect people who don’t know where their next meal is coming from to care about the environment?

    In this episode, I sit down with Heather Tallis, Global Managing Director and Lead Scientist for Strategy Innovation for the Nature Conservancy, who dispels the myths and assumptions around the interplay of conservation and safeguarding the environment with meeting human needs and raising living standards. Marshaling the evidence, Heather makes the case that there doesn’t have to be a tradeoff between economic growth and poverty alleviation and conservation and that development goals and environmental goals can go hand in hand.

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  • Engaging the private sector in the fight to end TB

    In Cambodia, Chea Ru, a mother of five, suffered from classic tuberculosis (TB) symptoms of protracted cough, persistent fever, night sweats and profound weight loss. For more than a year, she was misdiagnosed and unsuccessfully treated by private for-profit providers, including traditional healers and doctors. Her health continued to decline and family finances suffered until, through FHI 360-supported community screening, she was finally correctly diagnosed.

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  • The darker side of development: Ambitious goals or unrealistic objectives?

    Do we set unrealistic expectations within the development community for what can be achieved in the time and with the resources available? What are the benefits and consequences of setting ambitious goals?

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  • The darker side of development: Good intentions, negative consequences

    This year, A Deeper Look is exploring the theme of the darker side of development, the paradoxes or unintended consequences that surround international development efforts.

    In this episode, I speak with Raj Kumar, founding President and Editor-in-Chief of Devex, the media platform for global development. We explore how good intentions can lead to negative consequences in development, the ways that development is shifting away from a top-down approach and how concepts drawn from commercial development, such as customer satisfaction and creative destruction, relate to human development.

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