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Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) – does it really work?

Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) is quickly taking the international development / global aid world by storm. According to the Institute of Development Studies it is now being used “in more than 50 countries, of which at least 15 have made CLTS official national policy”. Traditional sanitation programs usually distribute free or subsidised concrete ... Read More »

Free EdX course The Challenges of Global Poverty starts 5 Feb 2014

Challenges of Global Poverty on EdX

Just an announcement that the free EdX course The Challenges of Global Poverty is being run again from 5 February 2014 and is highly recommended for International Development / Global Aid professionals. Delivered by two of the top thinkers in international development economics, Esther Duflo and Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee, this ... Read More »

Monitoring visit report template

The purpose of a monitoring visit (sometimes called a supervision visit or a field visit) is to make sure that project activities are implemented the way they are described in the plan. It normally involves meeting with the people running the project, meeting with the participants, and observing the activities. At ... Read More »

How to use root cause analysis to fix problems

All aid projects face problems at one stage or another. It could be that an employee stole money from the project, or that an activity kept running for years even though it was ineffective. It can be tempting to put these problems down to individual people. The employee was unethical, ... Read More »

Three questions to ask before organising a capacity building workshop

In my opinion, capacity building workshops are one of the most overused activities in international development / aid programs today. Normally involving the words “strengthening”, “sustainable” or “empowerment”, these events have the potential to waste large amounts of money and achieve relatively little. That’s not to say workshops are completely useless, ... Read More »

Sending Email Newsletters with MailChimp

Computer showing email

Say you want to send out a regular email newsletter or some ad hoc email updates to a bunch of people. It could be emails to people that have made individual donations to your project. It could be an email campaign promoting family planning services in a target country. It ... Read More »

How to make a simple GPS map of your project

Making a map of your project has many benefits. It can help people in other countries (like donors) understand exactly where your project is located. It can help you make better decisions on logistics, and you can use it display the project results for different target areas. These days, making ... Read More »

How to (try to) stop fraud on your project

Fraud and corruption in international development projects are often cited as a reason to stop giving aid. The UNDP broadly defines fraud as any act (or omission) to obtain a financial or other benefit or to avoid an obligation. This differs slightly from corrupt practices, which the UNDP understands to ... Read More »

Should I use interviews or focus groups?

Deciding whether to use interviews or focus groups for collecting qualitative data is an age old question that plagues every international development / aid worker at some point in their career. Some experts think interviews are better, some think focus groups are better, while others say it depends on the situation. ... Read More »

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