Jennifer Lentfer's Blog (70)

Actually, it was my capacity that needed to be built

“Capacity building” has been in every job description or programmatic strategy of every international aid and philanthropic organization with which I’ve worked over the past 15 years. In some form or another, I’ve led, funded, or facilitated workshops, exchange visits, trainings intended to enhance the knowledge and skills of people who live in poor countries. 

Along the way, as an “expat” aid worker, as a grantmaker, as a manager and a communicator, I’ve…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 28, 2015 at 5:53pm — 2 Comments

21 "How-to" Resources on Fundraising for Community-Based Organizations

Fundraising Resources for Community-Based Organizations

  1. Basic Fund-Raising for Small NGOs/Civil Society in the Developing World, from Coyote Communications
  2. Core Costs Funding Strategies, from BOND’s Guidance Notes Series…
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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on December 8, 2014 at 5:36pm — 1 Comment

The stories still hard to find: The local responses to Ebola

This morning when I googled "local response" + "ebola", here's some of the headlines I found:

Nurse's visit spurs Ohio Ebola fears 

Florida: County and hospitals prepare for Ebola

As KU Hospital tests patient with Ebola-like symptoms, Lawrence agencies coordinate response

Denton City Council to be briefed on virus…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on October 20, 2014 at 5:44pm — 1 Comment

40 ways to help your organization survive tough financial times

By Isaac Roy Kyeyune, Director at FIND Partners International in Kampala. (This originally appeared as a guest post on how-matters.org.)

The year 2013 saw trends that are changing resource politics for civil society. These are a wakeup call to not only strengthen, but diversity your…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on January 28, 2014 at 7:57am — No Comments

Moving day: An aid analogy

What does it feel like to be a citizen on the receiving end of international aid? Here’s an analogy to try to help do-gooders understand:

Let’s say you’re moving across town. You have to be out of your old apartment by 5pm that day. You’ve got the boxes already packed and the moving van rented. All you need is some muscle to help you move the heavy stuff. You ask your friend to come over early. The plan is to…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on August 23, 2013 at 5:00pm — 2 Comments

Time to listen? Time to address our personal barriers

When Time to Listen: Hearing people on the receiving end of international aid came out earlier this year, I was excited to see how many organizations, including my own, were interacting with the multi-year study and its authors. (See previous how-matters.org…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on July 26, 2013 at 8:00pm — 1 Comment

Something "knowing thyself" requires

When emotional intelligence is missing in a leader, everyone knows it. Ian Thorpe on KM on a dollar a day yesterday discussed the elements of this and the challenges in developing one's self-awareness in aid work, a subject near and dear to this blog as well.

He describes it as, "recognizing and understanding who you are and…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on July 19, 2013 at 6:09pm — No Comments

7 things you need to speak truth to power

Financial mismanagement. Lay-offs of local and international staff. Inappropriate conduct by leadership. Finally, a visit planned from headquarters to see what’s going on. What do you do?

A superior continues to make passes at you. You find out you’re paid less than someone doing your exact same job. Someone takes undue credit for work you did.

The rules don’t…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on May 16, 2013 at 4:13pm — No Comments

How do you tell a compelling story about people in need that doesn’t simplify or stereotype?

I use my How Matters YouTube channel to highlight portrayals of international assistance that inspire more nuanced conversations about the politics of global development and international aid. Frankly though, there’s not enough content to keep that page very active. Very few video-based products show people grappling with the realities of programming on the ground and the stories of grassroots change-makers too often remain…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 14, 2012 at 3:33pm — No Comments

The storm’s a-comin’

I’m quickly writing this post before the 100-mile wide Hurricane Sandy, which has already killed 65 people in the Caribbean, takes the power out in Washington D.C. where I live.…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on October 29, 2012 at 10:42pm — No Comments

If you can't help your friends...

...what good is a blog?

Three people I know and admire are getting the recognition they deserve this week and I want to take a moment to celebrate their achievements on how-matters.org.

1) Mulugeta Gebru, founder of Jerusalem Children and Community Development…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 14, 2012 at 5:30pm — 1 Comment

Games in International Development: Fad or Innovation?

People have been playing more games these days in Washington D.C. And I don’t mean the strategies of the Obama and Romney spin teams.

Two recent events suggest games’ growing popularity in D.C. aid circles: this one I attended at the World Wildlife Fund earlier this month and this Tuesday’s upcoming …

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on August 26, 2012 at 10:27pm — No Comments

Interview questions you should be asking of aid organizations

Last week at happy hour, we found ourselves giving advice as to a budding aid worker who was about to have her first round of interviews for her first "real" aid job. She wanted to know what questions she should be asking of the organizations and people with which she's interviewing. These are the questions that one has to have ready, when inevitably interviewers say, "Now what questions do you have for us?"…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on August 24, 2012 at 8:01am — No Comments

Community Resilience: An Untapped Resource for Sustainable Development?

A guest post on how-matters.org by, Clement N. Dlamini, Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Development Management based in Matsapha, Swaziland

Communities have inherent in their systems, means of survival and a tenacity that has seen them through very difficult times. There is heart in communities that keeps pumping and keeping people alive even in the midst of…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on August 23, 2012 at 4:26pm — 1 Comment

Want me to listen? Tell me a story.

If you've ever had any doubts that international aid or global health is a business, then one visit to an International AIDS Conference will clear them away. Between the free frozen yogurt from big pharma and bookend speeches from the Clintons, it was hard to ignore what a "sexy" disease HIV was last week in Washington D.C.

At a pre-conference meeting, I made a…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on August 1, 2012 at 7:19pm — 7 Comments

“Emotional and social well-being is not an afterthought”

This week I attended the XIX International AIDS Conference on behalf of REPSSI (The Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative.) Based in Johannesburg, REPSSI trains "front-line" service providers on children's emotional and social well-being and works with governments and NGOs to develop child-friendly policy frameworks in 13 countries in southern & eastern Africa. There are at least 1,994 project sites where REPSSI approaches are being applied and…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on July 28, 2012 at 7:25pm — No Comments

The Real Experts

This post on behalf of REPSSI originally appeared on A View from the Cave.

The first and most challenging exercise of the day when I took a seminar from The OpEd Project required me to fill in the following blanks and share with the group:

Hello, my name…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on July 19, 2012 at 4:36pm — 3 Comments

A Rising Tide: The Invisible Grassroots “Movement” for Children in Africa

This is a guest post by Jennifer Lentfer of how-matters.org on the REPSSI (Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative) blog.

Growing up, my family life was not easy. My father drank and it weighed heavily on my mother, who did her best to maintain as much normalcy for me and my brothers as possible. Looking back, our home’s “culture of silence” was often the…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on July 10, 2012 at 7:00am — No Comments

Bottlenecks and Dripfeeds: How much has changed?

At the upcoming XIX International AIDS Conference here in Washington D.C., I'll be joining REPSSI (the Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative) as they celebrate their decade-long work to lessen the devastating social and emotional (psychosocial) impact of poverty, conflict, HIV and AIDS among children and youth across East and…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on July 6, 2012 at 12:34am — No Comments

A new kind of aid donor: Four things they do differently

We all know there are aid donors and international funding partners out there that want to change “business as usual” in development (or at least people inside those institutions that do). We also all know that for various reasons, they’re not moving quick enough for those working on the ground.

New donors could come in and fill the gaps. But more importantly, we need a new kind of donor, whether they are recent to the scene or not.

The organizations that I see doing…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on June 18, 2012 at 5:49pm — 2 Comments

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