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Skills

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 »

Does my study need ethics committee approval?

International development / aid workers are often faced with a dilemma when evaluating the results of their program. They need to do a survey, or some interviews, or even a randomised trial, but they’re not sure if they need approval from an ethics committee before doing it. I’ve encountered some ... Read More »

Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plan template

A monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plan describes how the whole M&E system for the program works. This includes the indicators, who is responsible for collecting them, what forms and tools will be used, and how the data will flow through the organisation. You can think of an M&E plan as ... Read More »

Using Tableau Public to visualise data

Africa Map - Internet Users

Download Tableau Public Do you ever wish you could send your donor a cool interactive map showing the results of your project, rather than just a boring report or PowerPoint presentation? Well, now you can. Tableau Public is a free tool that allows anyone to create interactive charts and maps ... Read More »

Proposal template

Large Folder with Papers

The most common way to get funding for an international development / aid project is by writing a proposal and submitting it to a donor (or many donors!). Donors read hundreds, if not thousands, of proposals each year. Well-written proposals are more likely to get their attention and ultimately to ... Read More »

Risk assessment template

Before implementing any type of international development / aid program it’s a good idea to identify all the risks you might face, and work out what you are going to do about them. Risks to the program might include internal issues, such as the necessary resources not being available or ... Read More »

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