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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 ... Read More »

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 ... Read More »

Stakeholder Analysis Matrix Template

Collaboration poster

Stakeholder analysis (also called stakeholder mapping) is an important step in designing a new program. Stakeholders include individuals, community leaders, groups and other organisations who will be impacted by the program, or who could influence the outcome. They can be internal or external. This template can be used to identify the stakeholders for ... Read More »

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 ... Read More »

Free online international development courses round-up

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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 are starting in January 2015. The courses, often called MOOCs (short for Massive Online Open Course), ... Read More »

Policy Implementation Matrix Template

A policy implementation matrix (also called an action plan matrix) shows how each item in a policy will be implemented in practice. This type of matrix can be used for the implementation of national or organisational policies. Download the Policy Implementation Matrix template This template is appropriate when: You want to show ... Read More »

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 »

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