Browse by Theme: Aid Effectiveness

If you work in international development, you have probably experienced that pressing need for support. You need to conduct an assessment, your proposal design should have started yesterday, and the capacity building for your partners is right around the corner – the list could go on and on. You need short-term support, but you also need the best and brightest, the one who knows the context and subject matter, writes and analyzes thoroughly, and can meet the deadline. You aren’t just looking for someone who is available to do the work – you are looking for the ‘expert’.

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Last March, the devastation caused by Cyclone Idai claimed more than 1,000 lives and displaced tens of thousands of people in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe. A year on, Idai serves as a warning that the climate emergency is not going away – and that affected communities need long-term investment, not just piecemeal steps that will continue to be wiped away by the next storm, or dried up by the next drought.

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Adaptive management in its various incarnations has long been a focus of a development community that is more and more frequently bumping up against the barriers of complexity, and looking for ways to overcome its challenges. In a field where we consistently have to deal with multifaceted problems, which have many causes and symptoms, we have clung to agendas that seem to offer solutions. Adaptive management appears to be offered as a potential way of dealing with the vast and unpredictable consequences of context.

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When this new government was elected, CARE International UK and our supporters called for four actions in their first 100 days that would demonstrate their commitment to gender equality, tackling climate change and spearheading international development.

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By Jay Goulden and Sofia Sprechmann

Virtually all international NGOs count how many people their programmes help: CARE does, and in 2018, our programmes reached nearly 56 million people. But while these numbers help give some sense of the scale of our work, they don’t help either ourselves or others understand the real difference this work is making in the lives of poor and marginalised people. For that, we need to measure the change in the lives of the people for whom we work.

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Many of us start working in humanitarian, development or human rights work because we want to change the world or make our country a fairer, better place to live. But in a world where that work is mostly carved up into discrete “projects”, we often end up being satisfied with so much less. If the project we’re working on meets the targets we have agreed with the donor, if an evaluation shows positive change for those we have worked with directly, we have done good work. But is that enough?

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When Tropical Cyclone Gita struck Tonga on Monday 12 February 2018 it affected 80,000 men, women, boys and girls – roughly 70% of the entire population. CARE formed a partnership with Live and Learn and MORDI to respond to the immediate needs of those affected on both ‘Eua and Tongatapu. So for others wishing to take this approach, what can be learned from the partnership’s application of localisation principles?

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