Blog Posts

What is Outcomes Harvesting and When to use it?

Outcomes Harvesting is one of many M&E methodologies. It is a powerful method as it really allows evaluators and researchers to embed meaning in their data, which can truly tell a story which includes not only repeated points of data (indicators) which show an outcome target was achieved but allows …

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Stakeholder Engagement in M&E

Just as in development practice, engaging stakeholder is an important part of the monitoring and evaluation of development projects. Projects which seek to create change in the actions and behaviours of individuals rely on effective engagement and getting this just right can add substantial value to the learning of your …

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Participatory Evaluation: Definition, Methods, Advantages

The idea of development as a practice which is embedded in a community is an interesting one. There is growing interest in the concept of learning communities, communities which are empowered to chart their own pathways of change. Rather than ‘development practitioners’ ‘treating’ groups of people, and then measuring the …

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5 Humanitarian Law Online Courses You Can Audit for Free

Humanitarian law (often called international humanitarian law) is the branch of law that regulates conduct in war. It focuses on the people who are not actually fighting, but are affected by war’s effects. Humanitarian law also restricts and regulates the methods of warfare that combatants use. Any laws that deal …

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What can international development learn from tech start-ups?

International development tends to be heavy on planning and documentation. There are concept notes and proposals to write, logframes and monitoring and evaluation systems to prepare, quarterly progress reports to submit, and baseline and endline surveys to measure the impact. All this planning works well when you know how to …

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What is a social enterprise?

Social enterprises have become increasingly popular as part of international development programs. A social enterprise is a business that aims to achieve a particular public or community mission (social, environmental, cultural or economic), and reinvests the majority of its profits into achieving that mission. Features of a social enterprise To …

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How to get informed consent

Special thanks to Raizel Albano for suggesting this post, and for providing a case study on conducting research with indigenous communities in the Philippines. If you’re planning to conduct any type of research (qualitative or quantitative), it is essential that you first get informed consent from the participants. If someone gives informed consent …

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Does your organisation need a child protection policy?

Happy Child

The answer to this question is almost certainly ‘yes’. Any organisation that comes into contact with children directly or indirectly should have a child protection policy, including most organisations working in international development / aid, not just organisations that focus on children’s activities. Direct contact with children includes activities where children are …

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Free online international development courses round-up

Man on computer

Got some time in the New Year and want to increase your knowledge and skills in a particular area? Here is a round-up of free online courses for international development / aid professionals that you can take anytime, anywhere. The courses, often called MOOCs (short for Massive Online Open Course), …

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10 tips for donors (from someone working on the ground)

I work at the bottom of the development food chain, on the ground where people benefit from the money that donors give. Some days I feel sorry for the donors because I see their money being wasted, stolen or misused. On other days I am frustrated by donor policies which make it very difficult to run …

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