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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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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 it comes to writing project designs or annual plans – it’s just too much myth making for me to feel like it’s time well spent. […]

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Lao community meeting

fa⋅ci⋅pu⋅la⋅tion


Facipulation is the act of obscuring the gaps between the rhetoric and reality of participation. We facilitate meetings and processes in such a way as to get our preconceived ideas articulated, our preferred agenda adopted, our desired activities moved forward…and this is at the expense of the communities’ ideas, preferred agendas, desired activities, and needs. Facipulation is not good practice.

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Evaluating with Purpose – Part 1: The Evaluation Charade


Development organizations spend millions of dollars every year – millions! – on evaluations that don’t answer the fundamental question of whether or not their projects are good. They utilize evaluation techniques that they know (or should know) can’t produce reliable measurements of impact. As a result, what they think they learn from project evaluations may be perniciously inaccurate. Good projects get killed, bad projects get scaled-up. As a result, what accountability they think they have is eroded to a charade – a vain gesture of professionalism and responsibility.

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