Topics in Development Assistance
Cooperative support lessons
Gender-focused anti-poverty program
Credit in economic development
Major agribusiness project
Starting a project
A short story
and my resume
Having managed programs in over twenty-five countries from HQ and as COP, I am quite serious about development work. My experience ranges from strategic planning for regional economic development to firm-level assistance, from program concept & design to micro-enterprise support in the poorest village.
In project management, I have led an eight country program from HQ for five years, been COP for many years including a couple rather difficult postings, led teams large & small, started & closed projects, led two grantmaking programs, and done lots of project design & proposal writing.
My donor and compliance experience includes USAID, Danida, UNHCR, DFID, the US State Department, PRTs, and numerous private foundations.
Programmatically, my technical strengths lie in economic development, gender, human and institutional capacity building, and
civil society support.
In my most recent program the average income of a woman entering the program is fifty-one cents a day. Two years later she has more than tripled her income and her assets have risen by over 118%. Operating in eight countries and helping about 30,000 women each year, it must be the largest gender-focused anti-poverty program out there.
I did a lot of analysis & planning, hiring & training, and proposal writing to build a team to give women the tools they need to adapt, and the unique element of the program is a series of workshops which help a woman transform the way she thinks about herself, her resources, her future, and her role in society. The entrepreneur of necessity must trust her ability to cope with the uncertainty to come-- not a skill to be taught but rather a temperament to be adopted.
Promoting cooperatives is often included in enterprise development and agribusiness progams, and
working together is often a very good option for building a business. During 2011-2012 the program I led helped several thousand women in six countries form business groups. Some groups have done much better than others, and I researched why that happened.
Islamic Economics-- Economic development programs are about entrepreneurship, rational
decision makers, and self-interest-- liberal democracy and free market thinking.
We often work in countries with significant Muslim populations, however, and
the economic principles inherent in Islam have quite a different basis. This
well-received essay illuminates a number of the economic values and practices
of Muslim societies in theory and practice.
Credit in economic development --
I have sat on the board of
directors of a bank, and I have worked with one on one with poor
farmers. I started one lending operation, oversaw loan programs
in a couple of places, and organized more bank fairs and
borrower training than I can remember. As a strong supporter
of the habit of regular savings I think we need to take a hard look
at "access to credit".
Local economic development works best
through broad community involvement. I've done community-based initiatives in three countries, and
one was so well received that eight local governments changed their budgets and public hearing rules. A
similar effort for an island in the Bahamas, however, couldn't overcome a
general feeling that a seemingly idyllic island should "be developed".
Showing over 25 years' experience in the field and HQ, my resume outlines work in over twenty countries on a wide range of programs with a focus on economic development.
This reading list has helped build
my understanding and knowledge of the complicated field of development assistance.
I wrote a few columns for a Kiev newspaper, and here are a couple pieces
visitors to the site seem to like.
And for fun, a fictional short story I
wrote about what life as an expatriate development professional
could be if you wanted it so, or if you weren't careful.
Good fortune is not as blind as it is generally
thought to be. It is often nothing more than the result of
sound, consistent actions that go unnoticed by the crowd but
nonetheless make a particular event possible. Still more often,
it is the result of an individual's characteristics, nature,
--Catherine the Great
This site was updated on April 18, 2013.