“If Peace is Missing we Can’t Do Anything but Hide.” Peace a Priority in Mindanao.

A few weeks ago a colleague and friend (in the southern Philippines) organized a petition to the Philippine government. His petition was to hasten the transition to the new Bangsamoro government. The Mindanao conflict has seen over 120,000 people die in the last 40 years. Bangsamoro is a new political entity. The hope is it will create peace and increased development for Mindanao. Individuals, people’s organizations, non-for profit organizations, and government employees from Basilan signed the petition. My friend organizedRead more

Thriving People and Organizations Create Flourishing Societies

The bullet point about “capacity development” in the job description and the catchphrase on the development organizations web-site are both deceptive. It looks simple. Developing people’s professional skills and increasing the ability of organizations is not simple. Power, culture, and diversity of vision all collide when people try to “develop capacity”. Here are six observations I’ve had about the fun (and complex) world of “capacity development”. 1) Developing People is not like building a houses: A+B does not always =Read more

Leading While in the Muddled Middle: Lessons from Development Leadership

International development leadership is a mix of creating movements, managing people and budgets, and casting a constant vision of what a new reality could be. It is a world of emergence. The development leader is in what Michael Patton (2011) in Developmental Evaluation call’s “the muddled middle”. Local culture and organizational culture meet. Customary systems meet log-frames. At the meeting point is the International Development manager, consultant, or director. There is nothing like it in the world! Here are aRead more