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Celebrating failure

When oh when will we get the development version of Failcamp?

As I wrote previously, it seems to me that the development sector needs fewer "lessons learned" documents - fully polished and sanitised so that they read more like PR pieces - and more honest, "raw" conversations about what worked, and, most importantly, what didn't.


Submitted by Reth Kim on
Totally agree, Giulio. Unfortunately, raw lessons learned are so much harder to come by...

Totally agree. This applies to all government policies, not only development. That is why we should apply openness as much as possible.

Submitted by Jeff Barnes on
Totally agree, but need to create a forum in which practitioners can share the raw lessons learned anonymously. There are too many institutional carrots and sticks against sharing the brutal facts in a public forum. And when everyone else puts a positive spin on their failures or "mixed successes", it makes honest assessments look that much worse. One suggestion is Easterly's AID Watch blog as a potential "Spin-free" zone.

Submitted by JDW on
Here here! Kudos, Giulio, for practicing what you preach. This blog is a great start to said dialogue. Keep it up!

Submitted by Daniel de la Morena on
Excellent idea, but it requires incredible high-level sponsorship and support to put staff at ease to share failures. A first step may be not to just share a failure but the success one has achieved based on a previous failed experience. That way, the emphasis isn't on the failure but on the successful learning from failure.

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