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Deflating the SOCCKET ball.

It’s a soccer ball. It’s an electrical generator. It’s innovation and social entrepreneurship out to save the world. It’s everything that’s wrong with international development today.         ...

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The Myth of the Plan

My wife doesn’t like science fiction or fantasy movies – she finds the effort of suspending her disbelief too much to enjoy herself. I’m a little bit like this when ...

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Profits & Perverse Incentives: The New Face of Microfinance

Microfinance has lost its first love and lost its way. A focus on investor incentives over borrower incentives led to 6 shifts in in the practice of microfinance that changed ...

Spotlight

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The Trouble With Impact Investors’ Brains

Creating a clear value proposition for impact investors may be less about ...
"Oh, hell no!" I'm neither that culturally sensitive nor that drunk.

The Culturally-Sensitive Butt:

on language, food, humility, and humor. A Swiss man, looking for directions, ...
Poverty Tourism Taxonomy 2.0 - by Aaron Ausland

Poverty Tourism Taxonomy 2.0

The ongoing debate on poverty tourism got a paroxysm of blogger attention ...
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The First Principle of Community-Based International Development

By request I’m republishing the original Staying for Tea article as a ...
CSR Benefits Matrix

Corporate Social Responsibility in Four Easy Steps

This coming week I’ll be heading to the Dominican Republic for a ...
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Evaluating with Purpose – Part 1: The Evaluation Charade

Development organizations spend millions of dollars every year - millions! - on ...

More Recent Posts

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Water Everlasting? A Film Screening & Panel Discussion Invitation


For decades, aid groups have traveled to Haiti to donate wells, tanks, and water purification machines. But these efforts often fail because of poor management and maintenance. Today, nearly 70 percent of Haitians still lack access to clean water. This story is different. It’s about Haitians and foreigners working together to design a lasting solution, […]

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A Brief Address on Global Citizenship


Global Citizenship involves the ability to navigate across cultures, to communicate and work well with people of other faiths and political beliefs, to build coalitions and work in teams, to listen and engage broadly, to be empathetic, to use peace-building language, to lead from behind through adaptive challenges, to exercise both humility and initiative by crossing […]

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Getting the Best, Brightest, AND Poorest to School


A world of untapped potential In Half the Sky, Kristof and WuDunn make a compelling case that the emancipation of oppressed women around the globe is the central moral issue of our time, much as slavery was that of its time. But they go beyond saying that women and girls are victims in need of […]

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Follow the Frog


Yeah, I know; this video came out last year. But, I just saw it for first time last week. It’s very funny in a way that requires someone like me to be able to laugh at himself. My life as a professional international development practitioner has actually been lived somewhere between “this is what you’re […]

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SIB Model 2

Social Impact Bonds Webinar this week


Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) are an exciting innovation in results-based development financing. It’s particularly exciting in terms of how it might reshape how governments fund new approaches to stubborn social issues. The Development Impact Bonds Working Group over at the Center for Global Development recently released a report on SIBs in the context of international […]

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Wag the dog – the perils of fundraising


Originally posted on KM on a dollar a day:
I’ve been reflecting a couple of interesting discussions lately on aid communication and fundraising.  In the first, Kurante organized a Google Hangout on “Poverty Porn” i.e. the use of negative, shocking images in aid campaigns (the recording and the twitter storify of the discussion can be…

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A widow in a local microfinance group I facilitated in Bolivia. We shared the pain of bereavement and the joy of living forward.

Fear is the Opposite of Generosity


What now? May 20, 1998. Fifteen years ago today my world rebooted. It shut down catastrophically when a bus lurched off the roadway and crashed into a 1,000-foot-deep ravine in rural Bolivia. I was a 25-year old missionary on that bus. My young wife was with me.  Out of the blackness, the world began to […]

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The Trouble With Impact Investors’ Brains


Creating a clear value proposition for impact investors may be less about finding the right mix of financial and social returns than it is about choosing which of the two you’re really going to be about.                                       […]

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The Most Effective Aid Blog Post Ever? (You’d Never Guess)


Okay, this is my last post on aid blogging. On the heels of my Who’s Who post and the Aid Blogging Charts, I’m about to go from being known as an aid blogger to that guy who blogs about aid bloggers. Ick. But I found this post today and at first it left me stupefied, […]

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Foul Play?

The SOCCKET ball bounces back?


The SOCCKET is a soccer ball with an internal mechanism that turns movement into stored energy that can be accessed through a built in jack. It’s marketed as a “FUNctional solution to real-world problems” – specifically the lack of access to reliable electricity and the negative side effects of using kerosene lanterns, diesel generators, and […]

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