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The Listening Program

Author: Brown, Dayna

The Listening Program (LP) is a comprehensive and systematic exploration of the experiences and insights of people who live in societies that have been on the recipient side of international assistance efforts (humanitarian, development, peacebuilding, etc.) This progam is motivated by our sense that if we could ask for and listen carefully to recipients' judgments of what has been useful (or not) and why, over the years of their experience, then donors and aid providers could learn a great deal about how to make their assistance more effective.

December, 2012

The Power of Positive Deviancy

Author: Sternin, Jerry and Robert Choo
January, 2000

The Relationship between International Study Tour Effects and the Personality Variables of Self-Monitoring and Core Self-Evaluations

Author: Harrison, J. Kline

Over the past fifteen years, at least a dozen articles have appeared in the management and marketing literature describing and supporting international study tours as valuable educational experiences. These articles, however, have focused primarily on the design and implementation of such tours, with minimal emphasis given to outcome assessments or analysis. This limited attention to empirical support for these programs is surprising given their increasing popularity, especially among business students.

November, 2006

The Serendipity of Capacity Building: A Story from Sri Lanka

Author: Fernando, Udan

"When we all started it in the midnineties, none of us, including the donors who initiated the process, used the term capacity building—in our case, we did not even know such a term was being used in the development circuit! But after a while, as we were doing it, the term somehow crept into our and the donors’ vocabulary. This story is about an initiative of three European donor agencies in the midnineties to build the capacity of their partners in Sri Lanka.

February, 2007

The Uphill Battle to Scale an Innovative Antipoverty Approach

Author: Miller, Maurice Lim

In this paper, founder and CEO of the Family Independence Initiative Maurice Lim Miller outlines a new model for breaking the cycle of poverty, which shows promising results in three separate demonstration projects.

February, 2011

Theory of Development

August, 2014

Think Large and Act Small: Toward a New Paradigm for NGO Scaling Up

Author: Uvin, Peter, Pankaj S. Jain, and L.David Brown

Scaling up is about "expanding impact'" and not about "becoming large,'' the latter being only one possible way to achieve the former. The experiences of five Indian nongovernment organizations (NGOs) suggest the emergence of a new paradigm of scaling up, in which NGOs become catalysts of policy innovations and social capital, creators of programmatic knowledge that can be spun o and integrated into government and market institutions, and builders of vibrant and diverse civil societies.

August, 2000

Time to Listen: Hearing People on the Receiving End of International Aid

Author: Anderson, Mary B., Dayna Brown and Isabella Jean

This book captures the experiences and voices of over 6,000 people who have received international assistance, observed the effects of aid efforts, or been involved in providing aid. Over time, across very different contexts and continents, people’s experiences with international aid efforts have been remarkably consistent. While there was a wide range of opinions on specifics, the authors were struck by the similarity in people’s descriptions of their interactions with the international aid system.

November, 2012

Time to Stop Fooling Ourselves about Foreign Aid: A Practitioner's View

Author: Dichter, Thomas W.

The foreign aid industry has for decades tried one approach after another in an effort to make aid work. A career of field experience in the aid industry, however, confirms the empirical record that aid is unimportant to growth or poverty reduction and suggests that aid is not likely to work in the future. The belief that foreign assistance has been generally ineffective, moreover, appears to be widespread among aid practitioners with long field experience.The current effort by the United Nations to double worldwide aid flows is part of a pattern to reinvent foreign aid.

September, 2005

Too Close for Comfort? The Impact of Official Aid on Non-governmental Organizations

Author: Edwards, Michael and David Hulme

"In promoting a 'New Policy Agenda,' bilateral and multilateral donor agencies are keen to finance nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and grassroots organizations (GROs) on the grounds of their economic efficiency and contribution to 'good governance.' This paper reviews the impact of this trend on NGO/GRO programming, performance, legitimacy and accountability. It finds that much of the case for emphasizing the role of NGOs/GROs rests on ideological grounds rather than empirical verification.

June, 1996