Social development is broader than philanthropy. It’s philanthropy in action.
My innovative work in the field of social development has set me apart as an expert in this field. Using the research and experience I’ve developed throughout my career, I have developed means of social development that enable communities to take charge of their own social development. These programmes become exponentially more effective than programmes “imposed” by outside providers, since the entire community buys into the process and takes ownership of the results.
While I am skilled in programme design, management and implementation – and so can help in all these areas – my particular interests at the moment are in two key topics which I believe are critical to “good development” practice:
- Evidence based programmes and research evaluation for stronger sustainability of development interventions, more rigorous evaluations and concerted learning; and
- Endogenous development – interventions that put the intended beneficiaries in the driver’s seat by starting with – and building from – what is local. This includes available resources, leadership, priorities and ways of working. It also ensures that external resources support rather than distort or overlook this important factor.
When it comes to evidence and evaluation, I am focused on working with organisations that are concerned with good methodology. I provide help in three specific ways:
- Develop and apply sound assessment criteria (evaluation measures);
- Develop rigorous research evaluation instruments and tools that are defensible (you can demonstrate that they are of good quality);
- Review and refine existing research and evaluation methodology to strengthen it.
With respect to endogenous development I offer support in three ways:
- Facilitate new donor – recipient conversations around power and dynamics in the aid relationship;
- Develop indicators and measure for “endogeneity” tracking and correcting organisational behaviour and focusing on “downward accountability” ;
- Promote community engagement and multi-stakeholder dialogues in development projects.