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Showing posts from April, 2016

Why We Fail to Learn in Development

We monitor what works, and explain away what didn’t, but never think about truly monitoring and evaluating our failures to properly learn from them. Imagine the money saved on projects that do nothing if we focused equally on learning about what doesn’t work as we do on what does.


Why don’t we want to learn about our failures? Our preference is to sweep them under the rug. We feel failure gives development a bad name and jeopardizes future money from the donors who funded the projects that didn’t go well or failed outright. Ironically, rather than worry about one failed project giving development a bad name, we should be wary of the fact that not learning from the mistakes that were made is what will give development a bad name because we risk repeating those mistakes again and again.

The Refugee Crisis: What Happened to 'Never Again'?

If ever there was a topic that denoted the very clear line between theory and practice, it would be the refugee ‘crisis’ currently ‘plaguing’ Europe.


First of all, let us all be clear on what a crisis really is. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as “a time of intense difficulty or danger.” This usually necessitates “a difficult or important decision” to be made. Now, yes, the refugees arriving on Europe’s shores are in crisis: they are in grave, if not imminent danger, in their home countries (such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan) and have very difficult lives - more than most of us can even fathom. Perhaps among Europeans, our grandparents can. Amongst many populations the world over, conflict and hardship are very much part of daily life.