Friday 24 June 2011

New fund for "women's leadership"

The Dutch government has launched a new fund, which is to replace the MDG3 fund. It is called FLOW and it holds EUR 70 million for initiatives "to strengthen the opportunities for women and girls". Full guidelines are available HERE. The deadline for applications is 29 July - just a month from now!

Tuesday 21 June 2011

Efficiency vs. Sustainability?

The recent months have been so busy with exhilarating complex work; I hardly find any time to share any of the many inspiring thoughts I keep coming across! Here is a beautiful one: is efficiency good for sustainable development? As Robert Lukesch, a regional development specialist, pointed out at a recent DeGEval conference (German Evaluation Association), redundancy, i.e. having more than one set of resources to perform a certain activity, is a vital feature in living organisms and ecosystems. For example, we have two kidneys so that we can continue to live if one of them fails.

Tuesday 7 June 2011

Evaluating Advocacy by Evaluating Advocates

A charming idea! An article by Steven Teles and Mark Schmitt in the Stanford Social Innovation Review acknowledges that evaluating advocacy is notoriously difficult. Advocacy has many dimensions and it intervenes in complex political processes - hence it may take decades until the desired policy change takes place. Teles and Schmitt say, rather than getting impatient about initiatives that don't produce any tangible results within the typical one- to three-year grant period, donors should evaluate the advocates: "Evaluating advocacy organizations means paying close attention to the value they generate for others, rather than only focusing on their direct impacts." Great idea! A longer version of the article is available on the Hewlett Foundation website.