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  • Reply to: Rebuilding trust and relationships through local processes   7 years 9 months ago
    On this topic, Nigel Robert's was careful to restrict his comments to evidence from Indonesia - and in particular to the KDP (Kecamatan Development Project) which is considered one of the most effective and innovative projects ever implemented by the Bank. But before we extrapolate from the KDP experience to endorsing such approaches globally, it would be important to keep in mind that the evidence does not suggest that large-scale community based approaches to inducing improvements in trust have been effective in other parts of the world, and - indeed - there is evidence to suggest that it has not worked very well in other Indonesian projects such as the Urban Poverty Project (which is the urban equivalent of KDP). As Nigel says, it is important to keep the context in mind and be humble about the ability of large scale development interventions to make a difference in complex social interventions.
  • Reply to: Afghanistan: the importance of being there   7 years 10 months ago
    You are absolutely right: institutions (both formal and informal) are central--and the international community has an important role to play in nurturing their development. All coutries are subject to destabilizing stresses of one kind or another. What makes them more or less prone to violent conflict is the capability and legitimacy of their institutions to internediate and temper those stresses. The NSP program you mention is a great example of the kind of soft institutions that are key to preventing violent conflict.
  • Reply to: Afghanistan: the importance of being there   7 years 10 months ago
    Just returned from two long assignments in Afghanistan and have worked in and around Afghanistan since the "refugee" days. I agree that the role of expats has changed and should have changed. In earlier times I spent much time in the "field". In these recent assignments I have not. This was deliberate not because of fear about security conditions or lack of interest to "get out there" but because it is time for foreigners to be more in the background and in support roles to Afghans. In my last assignment I had a staff of 300 plus working in more than 20 provinces and 100 districts. I was the only expat on the staff and I limited the role of outside "experts" to short and targeted assignments. Afghans cannot be led out of their problems but must lead themselves, can be supported in this regard and appreciate that support. It is especially important that Afghans see their government as relating to their interests and needs. The National Solidarity Program, in my view the most effective of efforts to connect with and support communities, is not understood by many to be, as it is, a program of the Afghan government but rather of the "facilitating partners" that support the program in the field, almost all of which are expat run organizations. It is not just Afghan individuals/staff who need to be pushed forward but the Afghan institutions (governmental and nongovernmental). In many cases these Afghan entities are weak and even corrupt but strengthening the capacity of not just Afghans but Afghan institutions to address the country's and people's problems is essential.
  • Reply to: WDR launch - Continuing the Conversation   7 years 11 months ago
    Your brilliant report is a goldmine of condensed practical experience. It deserves to be studied for years to come by academics, grass roots reformers and international strategists. I emailed the address to get permission to use the framework image for our Wikipedia article, but no answer. Can you please email me , just to say ideally “permission to release WDRframework2011.png to public domain granted” or if not “permission to use WDRframework2011.png granted” Thanks for the report and God bless you!
  • Reply to: Aid agencies must listen to the people they're helping   8 years 4 days ago
    NGOs and others are working on serious efforts to improve how they listen to local people. Some of the best examples work as feedback systems: generating management data about local people's perceptions of how well programs are working for them. The approach seems to have the potential to transform accountability in development work. See for leading examples.