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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 ... Read More »

Does your program align with the national strategy?

Ever since the Paris Declaration in 2005 “aligning with the national strategy” has become an important focus of international development / aid. There are many benefits to supporting the national strategy – it means that everyone is working towards the same goal (endorsed by the government), using similar activities, and avoiding duplication ... Read More »

How to hire a consultant in development / aid

Two people at desk

Consultants are often used for short term projects in international development / aid. Typical projects include needs assessments, evaluations, and report writing. A good consultant can be extremely valuable to your program. However, if a consultant is not hired and managed well the results can be equally disappointing (and very expensive!). ... Read More »

5 questions to ask before starting an innovation project

Light bulb on paper

There has been a proliferation of innovation-specific development funds in recent years, a trend that seems to have spread from the business world to the development / aid sector. Innovation has an important place in development, and in my experience the most effective innovation projects are the ones that make ... Read More »

Free online courses round-up: Sept 2014

Computer with Windows 98

Want to improve your skills with learning and don’t have training budget? There are lots of free options for International Development professionals, including courses from platforms such as Coursera, EdX, Udacity and NovoEd. These courses are often called MOOCs (short for Massive Online Open Course) and are run over the ... Read More »

5 reasons your local NGO needs a website

Wireframe

Investing time and money into a website is a simple decision for a lot of organisations around the world, including NGOs based in high income economies (e.g. USA, UK, Australia, etc.). The benefits are less clear for organisations in low income countries, such as Malawi, where the costs of Internet ... Read More »

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) template

Glasses on papers

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is an agreement made between two or more partners. An MoU is normally signed when NGOs agree to work with each other, or when an NGO agrees to work with the government. In an MoU, all parties are considered equal, and agree to worth together ... Read More »

How to write the sustainability section of a proposal

Computer classroom

Sustainability is the nirvana of development. Everyone wants to get there but very few actually do. Most donors only want to fund projects that will be sustainable, so they include it as a section in their proposal template. Writing the sustainability section can either be very easy (if you just fill it ... Read More »

How to close a project

International development projects can be closed for a variety of reasons. In the best case, a project will be closed because the problem it is trying to solve has been fixed. In other cases, a project could close because there is a lack of funding, the organisation no longer has ... Read More »

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