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MONDAY

DEVELOPMENTS
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The Latest Issues and Trends in International Development and Humanitarian Assistance

Moving NGO Security Tips to Strengthen


to the Next Level Your Non-Profit Job
Applications

The

Public
Perception
of Foreign
Getting Ready for Assistance
the 2009 G8 Summit

Agricultural R&D Kidnapped!


Spending in The First 48 Hours
Latin America

Saying No to
“The Cut” July
2009
Vol. 27, No. 7
InterAction
MONDAY
DEVELOPMENTS
6
Managing Editor/Art Director
Chad Brobst

Copy Editor
Kathy Ward

Advertising & Sales


Michael Haslett 27
Communications Department
Nasserie Carew, Public Relations
Tawana Jacobs, Public Relations
Tony Fleming, New Media 21

Contents
Leslie Rigby, Writer/Editor
Chad Brobst, Publications
Michael Haslett, Publications
Margaret Christoph, Admin Associate

Editorial Committee
12
InterAction Communications Team July 2009 • Vol. 27 • No. 7

InterAction
Features The Invisible Wounds
1400 16th Street, NW
Suite 210
Washington, DC 20036 Cover Story: Public
of War | 27
Program creates safe
19
Tel: 202.667.8227
publications@interaction.org
Perceptions of Foreign environment for children and
Assistance | 12 families to address trauma.
ISSN 1043-8157 New research suggests
significant public support for Remember the Peak? | 29
Monday Developments is published 11 U.S. foreign assistance. Insights from U.S. aid to
times a year by InterAction, the larg- agriculture.
est alliance of U.S.-based international
development and humanitarian non-
The First 48 Hours | 16
governmental organizations. With more The first article in a continuing Breeding Crops for
than 170 members operating in every series covering a fictional Better Nutrition | 31
developing country, InterAction works to kidnapping scenario and how Leveraging agriculture to
overcome poverty, exclusion and suffer- an NGO might respond. improve global heath.
ing by advancing social justice and basic
dignity for all.
The Definitive Moment | 19 Sustainable
InterAction welcomes submissions of Missing, detained, abducted, Agriculture Through
news articles, opinions and announce- kidnapped or just plain lost.
ments. Article submission does not guar- Microfinance | 32
antee inclusion in Monday Developments. New tripartite model increases
We reserve the right to reject submis- Moving NGO Security to credit access.
sions for any reason. It is at the discretion the Next Level | 20
of our editorial team as to which articles
are published in individual issues.
It is time to rethink our work No Farmer Departments
and whether our actions are Left Behind | 33
All statements in articles are the sole equal to the threats. Agricultural R&D spending in Inside This Issue | 3
opinion and responsibility of the authors. Latin America. Letters to the Editor | 4
Articles may be reprinted with prior per-
Saying No to
mission and attribution. Letters to the “The Cut” in Kenya | 23 Stand Out the Way Washington Update | 4
editor are encouraged. Community-based program You Want | 35
develops a successful
Southern Voices | 6
Tips to strengthen your non-
A limited number of subscriptions are alternative rite of passage.
profit job applications. Inside Our Community | 8
made available to InterAction member
agencies as part of their dues. Individual
The Civil G8 | 25 Inside InterAction | 9
subscriptions cost $80 a year (add $15
for airmail delivery outside the U.S.)
Samples are $5, including postage.
Additional discounts are available for
CSOs meet in Rome ahead of
the 2009 G8 Summit. 23 Step By Step Advocacy | 10
Events | 37
bulk orders. Please allow 4-6 weeks for
delivery. Advertising rates are available Employment
on request. Opportunities | 38
INSIDE This Issue

What the People Want


O
ne challenge the NGO community often faces,
whether we’re advocating for increased resources
for health and development programs, or for our
government to respond to a humanitarian emergen-
cy overseas, is the misperception that the American people
do not support government spending on international relief
and development programs. In fact, the reality is quite the
opposite. As I discuss in an article in this issue of Monday
Developments entitled, “Public Perceptions of Foreign As-
sistance,” (pg 12) recent expert polling demonstrates that a
large majority of American voters support U.S. foreign as-
sistance programs. Moreover, with 13.6 million individual
donors and millions of grassroots activists, I think it’s clear
that the American people are more than simply supportive
of international relief and development. Rather, lawmakers
and policymakers must realize that there is a large constitu-
ency in the United States that is committed to advancing an
agenda that has poverty reduction at its core.
Our challenge, then, is that we must bring the power of the
growing anti-poverty movement to bear on policy debates
here in Washington, DC. Many InterAction member organiza-
tions have successfully tapped the power of grassroots advo-
cacy to advance our community’s policy goals, but on the
whole the NGO community still has a gap to bridge between
the policymakers who set our government’s priorities and the
everyday Americans who demonstrate their commitment to
these issues by participating in church groups, joining clubs
on college campuses, and investing in a goat or a microloan
for a family overseas. InterAction is exploring ways to better
coordinate its members’ messages at key political moments
so that we can more fully take advantage of policy opportuni-
ties in a way that leverages the collective grassroots potential
of our entire community. In doing so, we will develop the abil-
ity of the American people to speak with one voice on behalf
of the world’s poor, and will begin to shift perceptions here in
Washington, DC about the broad support for international
relief and development programs among voters in the U.S. MD

Sam Worthington
President and CEO
InterAction

The Desmond Tutu Community Build in Mfuleni, South Africa,


Photo: Mark Wessells

brought volunteers from Great Britain and the United States to


build 12 houses in one week alongside community members and
homeowners. Above, a volunteer takes a break to bring joy, in the
form of bubbles, to one little girl whose life will soon be changed by
safe and secure housing.

MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009 3


Letters Send your letters to:
comments@interaction.org

who are raped and the children forcibly recruited into rebel
The Security Situation in Chad armies, to the NGO staff who put their own safety at risk to
It is frustrating that Monday Developments feels travel daily to the refugee camps, the insecurity affects us all.
the need to highlight NGO security—a topic that turns the The government of Chad must take responsibility for end-
spotlight away from those we are supporting and onto our- ing the lawlessness by reforming its security sector and the
selves—yet sadly such a focus is all too necessary at this rule of law. It must work with the international community
time. The security situation in eastern Chad, where many to find a lasting end to its protracted civil war—a peace pro-
NGOs like mine are helping the 250,000 plus refugees who cess that addresses grievances of all major parties and moves
have fled Darfur, is of continuing and grave concern. away from the traditional game of “divide and conquer” where
From January to March alone, there were 42 incidents it pits one ethnic group against another.
against humanitarian workers, including assaults, break- MINURCAT II—the UN peacekeeping force that replaced
ins and theft. Insecurity is drastically impeding the day-to- the EU force in March—also has a key role to play in protect-
day efforts of the more than 50 aid agencies trying to deliver ing the civilian and NGO populations. It must help the gov-
emergency relief in this desolate region. Banditry, armed at- ernment re-establish control across its territory, as well as
tacks, the proliferation of small arms and ill-trained and ill- train local law-enforcement officers in rule of law and basic
equipped security forces make the environment at best un- human rights. While doing this, however, it should refrain
comfortable and at worst outright dangerous. from carrying out quick impact projects that blur the lines
Indeed, it is only one year since one of my colleagues at between the military and humanitarian worlds and in so do-
Save the Children was shot and killed in a banditry incident ing place NGOs at further risk.
gone awry in Hadjer Hadid. More recently a sister NGO was Therefore, with the greatest urgency, I implore the govern-
attacked in Goz Beida and a female member of staff was sex- ment of Chad, MINURCAT and international powers to act swift-
ually harassed. And only a few days ago three humanitarian ly to enable secure conditions for NGO staff to carry out their
escorts were shot at by armed men. lifesaving operations. Humanitarian space must be respected to
I wouldn’t be the first to talk of eastern Chad’s overwhelm- enable humanitarians to assist vulnerable populations.
ing culture of impunity. Nor, unfortunately, am I the only Philippe Adapoe
one who sees its effects on a regular basis. From the women International Rescue Committee, Chad

WASHINGTON Update

Budget Details Released (Note: FY09 totals are not yet final and therefore labeled “ex-
The details of the Obama administration’s first budget pected” here because the spring supplemental appropriations
request were released on May 7, putting real numbers be- bill is still under negotiation between House and Senate.)
hind the administration’s pledges to ramp up investment in Health and Development. The request for Global Health
development and humanitarian programming and capacity. and Development Assistance programs overall is 12 percent
InterAction responded positively, applauding the adminis- higher than the expected FY09 total, a solid increase given
tration’s leadership, calling the request “a smart [proposed] the current fiscal environment.
investment in a more stable, secure and prosperous world,” Millennium Challenge Corporation. The MCC request,
and calling on Congress “to work with the administration to $1.4 billion, roughly equal to MCC’s FY08 funding level,
make these critical investments a reality.” Highlights include: would put this important long-term development program
Saving supplementals for emergencies. The administra- back on a normal footing, after a low FY09 appropriation
tion has followed through on its pledge to stop relying on off- that curtailed its work and slowed down the awarding of
budget supplementals for predictable humanitarian funding compacts.
needs; the requests for humanitarian accounts are on par Capacity. As promised, the request asks for a down payment
with totals from previous years including supplementals. This on rebuilding of the U.S. government’s civilian-side internation-
important step will allow more efficient use of tax dollars for al operational capacity, including a strong increase for USAID
humanitarian programs, avoiding costly delays and allowing operating expenses. This increase would fund the first stage of
more lives to be saved. The request for International Disas- an effort to rebuild capacity at the agency, which has suffered a
ter Assistance is 17 percent higher than the expected Fiscal significant loss of strength over the past two decades.
Year (FY) 2009 total, while the Refugee Assistance request, InterAction’s budget table with numbers and percentage in-
although 9 percent lower than the expected FY09 total, is still creases by account, along with our reactions, is available on our
significantly higher than the levels in FY08 and prior years. website at www.interaction.org/advocacy/budget.html.

4 MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009


WASHINGTON Update (continued)
“The American Clean Energy and tion, but the House Committee on Ways and Means and the
Security Act” Introduced House Committee on Agriculture are poised for heated debates.
Representative Henry A. Waxman, the Chairman of the En- Once passed out of committee, the bill will be sent to the House
ergy and Commerce Committee, and Representative Edward J. floor for a vote. Timing is uncertain but the House Democratic
Markey, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy and the leadership would like to see it passed by the July recess.
Environment introduced H.R. 2454, “The American Clean En-
ergy and Security Act.” The Energy and Commerce Committee Supplemental Passes Senate, Conference
spent four full days marking up the bill and then approved it Committee to Meet in June
on May 21. It includes emission allowance allocations for inter- Before heading home for a week-long Memorial Day recess
national adaptation (financing that enables vulnerable popu- to work in their districts, the House and Senate both passed
lations adapt to the impacts of climate change), clean energy their respective versions of the May 2009 supplemental ap-
cooperation and reductions in tropical forest deforestation. A propriations bill. The bill was scheduled for consideration in
statement released by World Wildlife Fund President and CEO the week of June 1 by a conference committee, where the dif-
Carter Roberts characterized the bill as “good progress towards ferences between the two versions were to be worked out. As
the goal of reducing deforestation” but “short on internation- a result, it is anticipated that by the publication date of this
al clean technology cooperation and adaptation assistance.” issue of Monday Developments, the final, post-conference
Many believe that without substantial increases in those ar- text of the bill will likely have been passed by House and Sen-
eas, a global agreement on climate is in serious jeopardy. The ate and signed by the president. A comparison of the presi-
bill now must be considered by eight other House committees dent’s request for the supplemental and the House and Sen-
with jurisdiction over it. Most are expected to waive jurisdic- ate versions is provided in the table below. MD

May 2009 Supplemental Appropriations Bill


Presidential
($, millions) Requested House-passed Senate-passed
Amount
CORE ACCOUNTS      
Global Health and Child Survival – USAID 0 200 0
Migration and Refugee Assistance 293 343 345
Development Assistance 38 0 38
International Disaster Assistance 200 200 245
OTHER KEY ACCOUNTS      
Global Health and Child Survival – State*   100 50
Contributions for International Peacekeeping 836.9 836.9 721
Peacekeeping Operations 50 80 172.9
OTHER FUNCTION 150 ACCOUNTS      
P.L. 480 Title II Grants ** 300 500 700
Diplomatic and Consular Programs 594.3 1,016.2 645.44
Department of State Office of Inspector General/ 7.2 17.1 22.2
Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction
Embassy Security, Construction 898.7 989.6 820.5
International Narcotics Control 389.5 483.5 393.5
Economic Support Fund 2,874.5 2,907.5 2,828
Foreign Military Financing 98.4 1,349 98
International Military Education and Training 2 2 2
Nonproliferation, Anti-Terrorism, Demining 122 98.5 102
Assistance for Europe, Eurasia, Central Asia 242.5 242.5 230
USAID Operating Expenses 152.6 152.6 112.6
USAID Capital Investment 48.5 48.5 48.5
USAID Inspector General Operating Expenses   3.5 3.5
400 400 400
Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund (Requested under (Provided under State (Provided under
Department of Defense) *** Department) Department of Defense) ***

TOTAL 7,548.1 9,970.4 7,278.14

* Global Health and Child Survival – State is the new name for the account that funds PEPFAR, (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) formerly called the Global HIV/AIDS
Initiative Account.
** P.L. 480 Title II Grants provide U.S. food assistance in response to emergencies and disasters around the world via the World Food Program and private voluntary organizations.
*** There is disagreement on whether these counter-insurgency funds should be ultimately controlled by the State Department or the Defense Department. Most seem to agree
that generally it is State that has responsibility for such operations, but in this case it is argued that the State Department lacks the capacity needed on the ground in Pakistan to
properly take responsibility for the programming.

MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009 5


SOUTHERN Voices

Iraqi Teen Unites


book groups and a Battlefront webpage with videos, blogs
and photos. We use Skype to conduct team meetings and
Justgiving.com to fundraise.

Youth Via Skype,


Orchestra applicants use YouTube to upload their audition
videos. I sent applicants a tutorial in three languages (Arabic,
Kurdish and English) on how to upload videos because the
majority have never used such websites.

YouTube We are also starting a mentorship program to provide on-


line music tutors for the applicants. They will use YouTube
to share their performance with their tutors and the tutors
By Filmona Hailemichael can reply with feedback. If they have a good connection, they
Senior Advocacy Associate, InterAction will use Skype for live lessons at least twice a month. This
will prepare students to join the orchestra, which we hope to

A
fter the Baghdad School of Music and Ballet debut in August 2009.
was destroyed and most professional musicians fled
Iraq, 17-year-old pianist Zuhal Sultan turned to the In- MD: Do you think your campaign would be as effective if you didn’t
ternet for support. Zuhal is forming the first youth orchestra use social media?
in Iraq in order to share the healing power of music with ZS: I wouldn’t have a project if it weren’t for social media.
other young Iraqis. She explains how social media has been I started out with a blog and a low-resolution photo and
an essential tool in fostering unity through music. ended up with a conductor in Germany, a director of edu-
cation in the U.S. and support from Making Music UK and
MD: What is your organization’s mission? prominent musicians such as Peter Maxwell Davies and Ju-
ZS: Our mission is lian Lloyd Webber.
to establish the first I’ve given interviews to traditional media (magazines, news-
permanent National papers, radio stations), but the Internet has been vital. Social
Youth Orchestra of media made this national project an international one.
Iraq (NYOI), consist-
ing of young musi- MD: What’s been your biggest success?
cians from various ZS: Finding a conductor; getting almost 50 young Iraqi musi-
regions of the coun- cians to apply; receiving messages of support from all over
try. This orchestra the world; and getting seed support of £30,000 from the Brit-
will represent music ish Council.
and unity. However, the only real success will be the orchestra’s debut.

MD: What compelled MD: What’s your biggest challenge?


you to start your cam- ZS: Every aspect of this is a big challenge! Having unreliable
paign? Internet access is very frustrating and quite depressing. Up-
ZS: I was inspired loading videos can take two to three hours, and I can face up
when I joined the to three weeks without a connection, which is torture since
Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra at the age of 15. I was most of my work is done online.
surrounded by 70 people of different backgrounds, religions In addition, funding is always a problem. There’s so much
and ethnicities. Even though I hardly knew their names, our we want to do, but we’re limited financially. We are nearing
shared love for music made me feel at home. I want other our August 2009 debut and still need £120,000 to make our
young Iraqis to experience this very heartwarming feeling scheduled Summer Academy happen.
and see for themselves what we all can be if given the chance.
In July 2008, I was contacted by Battlefront, a UK televi- MD: Anything else?
sion program that helps 20 teenagers establish a campaign ZS: Doing advocacy in Iraq is rare. It is such a shame as the
on the issue they most believe in. I always wanted to start a youth here have so much energy, but waste it because they
youth orchestra, but I never thought I’d get the opportunity feel there isn’t much they can do. I want to prove otherwise
to make it happen. I developed the general plan in minutes, and make my project a blueprint that shows them it is pos-
Photo: Music for A Change

as though I’d been waiting all my life to do it. sible to achieve whatever they want with enough determina-
tion and passion.
MD: What social media tools do you use and how do you use them? Globally, we will represent our country by performing great
ZS: It’s very difficult to reach music students around Iraq in music and be living proof that you can achieve great things
person, but the Internet has made it possible. no matter who you are or where you come from, even if you
To spread the word and get global support, I use Face- are underage. MD

6 MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009


INSIDE Our Community

A seasoned leader, Wordsworth brings years of humani-


2009 Disability Inclusion Award tarian experience in the aid field to the American Refugee
Recognizes Trickle Up Committee, including 12 years with the Christian Children’s
Mobility International USA (MIUSA) and InterAction Fund, where he most recently served as Vice President of the
are pleased to announce Trickle Up as the recipient of Asia Region, based in Thailand. Prior to joining ARC, he led a
the 1st Annual Disability Inclusion Award. Established team engaged in for-profit business start-ups in China.
in honor of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons
with Disabilities (CRPD), this award recognizes InterAc- IFES Appoints William “Bill” Sweeney New President
tion members who demonstrate outstanding commit- The election-assistance non-governmental organization,
ment to inclusion and expanding leadership opportuni- the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES)
ties for people with disabilities throughout the world. announced the appointment of former Electronic Data Sys-
The 2009 Disability Inclusion Award recipient, Trickle tems (EDS) Vice President William “Bill” Sweeney as its new
Up, works to empower people living on less than $1 a President and CEO. Mr. Sweeney will succeed Jean-Pierre
day to take the first steps out of poverty through live- Kingsley, who oversaw major growth at IFES and advanced
lihood development. Trickle Up has practiced inclusive the organization’s cutting-edge practical thinking about elec-
development and promoted leadership opportunities for tion-assistance and democracy support.
people with disabilities since 2002. Through a three-year The appointment is a reunion: Sweeney served on the
partnership with MIUSA, Trickle Up began implement- Board of Directors at IFES from 1993 to 2001 and was Chair-
ing inclusive practices man of IFES from 1999 to 2000. He has a lifelong background
at all levels of their or- in democracy-promotion and public policy with considerable
ganization—from staff experience in both the public and private sectors. From 1981
disability awareness to 1985, Sweeney was deputy chairman of the Democratic
training at headquar- National Committee, and he was executive director of the
ters and field offices, to actively building partnerships Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee from 1977
with Disabled Peoples’ Organizations in all countries to 1981. At EDS, an HP company, he was Vice President of
where they work. As a result, they have achieved their Global Government Affairs and managed relations with gov-
original target that 10% of program participants world- ernments and policy organizations around the world.
wide be people with disabilities. “I am gratified that I was able to make a contribution to
Along with Trickle Up, we received outstanding nomi- this great organization,” said Kingsley, who will remain close-
nations from seven other organizations: American Jew- ly associated with IFES. In this respect, he emphasized the
ish World Service, Heifer International, International further professionalization of the organization, as well as the
Youth Foundation, Medical Assistance Programs In- efforts to be recognized as an international one.
ternational, Mercy Corps, Opportunity International
and Perkins International. Using Social Networks to Develop Innovative
The Disability Inclusion Award will be presented at In- Ideas for Sub-Saharan Africa
terAction’s annual Forum on July 6. InterAction is also The National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) has just
hosting a Disability Affinity Group meeting during the launched Africa Rural Connect (ARC), an innovative ap-
Forum on July 7 from 8:30 – 10:00 am. Contact Susan proach to rural agricultural development in Sub-Saharan Af-
Dunn at sdunn@miusa.org for details. rica. ARC uses
work-collabora-
tion technology
American Refugee Committee Welcomes New to engage more
President/CEO Daniel W. Wordsworth directly with Af-
The American Refugee Committee announced that it has rica’s poorest populations about the agricultural problems
appointed a new president to lead the organization. Daniel they face and the solutions they imagine.
W. Wordsworth assumed leadership of the American Refugee The ARC Community includes people who previously had
Committee in June. Wordsworth joins the American Refugee little voice in formulating strategy and developing programs
Committee at a time when the organization is responding to in Africa. By emphasizing the role of Africans and the African
the current humanitarian crisis in Pakistan, where 500,000 diaspora in the United States in Africa’s development, ARC
people have recently fled their homes. ensures that the real needs of Sub-Saharan Africa can be
“Daniel has extensive experience in the field of humani- heard, problems identified and actions taken on practical,
tarian relief—and with the proven leadership skills, energy, timely and cost effective local solutions.
and innovative thinking to lead us into the future,” said Holly Development workers, current and returned Peace Corps
Myers, chair of the American Refugee Committee Board of Volunteers, Africa Studies and agriculture academics, and
Directors. “We are excited about what the American Refugee those with an interest in agricultural development in the re-
Committee will achieve under Daniel’s leadership.” gion are all encouraged to engage in the Community.

8 MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009


To move beyond discussion to action, ARC is coordinating a In Russia, where breast cancer is the most common cause
contest this summer for the best business plans to improve ag- of death for 45–55 year old women, where 50,000 women a
ricultural practices in Sub-Saharan Africa. We hope that many year are newly diagnosed, and where the incidence rate con-
InterAction members will participate in this competition. tinues to increase 2.3 percent every year, these issues mean
NPCA believes that collaboration generates the best ideas the difference between life and death.
and solutions. Your suggestions, ideas and business plans will “WHEP in Russia provides lifesaving knowledge about the
help to insure that ARC fulfills its mission and becomes a pow- disease, prevention measures and counseling,” said Steven
erful collaborative workspace for the diaspora and other trusted Schwager, CEO of JDC.
communities to mobilize ideas and resources that can help im- Since 1995, WHEP has connected women from diverse reli-
prove the lives of the poor everywhere. We look forward to work- gious, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds throughout the
ing with other InterAction members in demonstrating this. former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Israel and the Palestinian
Join ARC to offer your ideas for Africa: http://arc. territories, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary and Montenegro.
peacecorpsconnect.org

World Neighbors Recognizes Contributions of


Long-Time Employee Peter Gubbels
INSIDE InterAction
Oklahoma City-based World Neighbors  is saying
goodbye to Peter Gubbels after almost a quarter-centu-
ry of service, working to eliminate hunger, poverty and InterAction at World Bank Spring Meetings
disease across the globe. Gubbels has served in vari- The World Bank hosted a Civil Society Policy Forum April
ous roles during his tenure, as 22–25 during its annual Spring Meeting. Approximately 150
a grassroots coordinator for pro- civil society organizations from around the world, including
grams in remote West Africa to InterAction members Save the Children, World Learning,
his current position as Vice Pres- Results, Population Action International, CARE, Transpar-
ident of international program, ency International, and Bread for the World, attended over
where he oversees planning and 30 events sponsored by the World Bank, the International
programming for 77 programs in Monetary Fund, civil society organizations and governments.
18 countries. The issues included confronting corruption (sponsored by In-
“I have been greatly privileged terAction member Transparency International), the Africa
to work with World Neighbors for food and financial crisis, climate change, human rights, IMF
over 22 years. The philosophy of transparency, hunger and malnutrition (sponsored by Inter-
World Neighbors, its principles and values, have largely Action member CARE), Africa trade and debt, education and
shaped my own and remain an indelible part of who I am.” meeting with the Bank’s Compliance Ombudsman.
“All of us at World Neighbors wish Peter great success Sam Worthington, InterAction’s President and CEO,
and joy as he spends extended time with his wife in West chaired a lively discussion of the “G20 Summit Outcomes
Africa and embarks on the next challenge in his long and Implications for Developing Countries.” This workshop
and distinguished career. We will miss him greatly,” said had over 75 participants including InterAction members Ox-
Melanie Macdonald, CEO of World Neighbors. fam, ActionAid, Results and Bread for the World.
Following the workshop Worthington emceed a civil society
reception with Robert Zoellick, President of the World Bank,
WHEP Draws Attention to Breast Cancer in Russia and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the In-
For 120 breast cancer survivors and activists, medical pro- ternational Monetary Fund. MD
fessionals, NGO representatives and research scientists, May
18 and 19 in Moscow were an opportunity to turn the tide on Sam Worthington joins Robert Zoellick and Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
breast cancer in Russia.
At the Women’s Health Empowerment Program
(WHEP)’s Second National Conference, critical issues on ear-
ly detection and treatment were brought to the fore. WHEP
is a joint partnership between the American Jewish Joint
Distribution Committee (JDC) and Susan G. Komen for
the Cure.
WHEP Conference participants adopted an action plan,
urging, among other things, that the Russian government
create conditions where detection technology is more eas-
ily available; use modern and innovative treatments; employ
clear standards for rehabilitation after mastectomies; and
provide comprehensive psychological support for diagnosed
women and their families.

MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009 9


Step By Step Advocacy

Advocacy
sion-makers. You can use informal or formal meetings. Your
first significant interaction with another party should be face
to face if possible. Building trust with others is critical for

Activities: Part 1 success. This means that, among other things, you need to
make sure that you and your coalition partners provide ac-
curate, reliable information, follow up in a timely manner on
By John Ruthrauff agreements you make along the way and give credit to others
Senior Manager of Member Advocacy, InterAction where appropriate. Individual One-on-one meetings are key
to building relationships.
Note: This is the fifth installment in a series of articles on de-
veloping an effective advocacy strategy. The previous pieces, Emails, Phone Calls and Letter Writing
which appeared in the March, April, May and June 2009 edi- While face-to-face interaction is critical, you may also want
tions of Monday Developments, examined selecting an issue, to consider using emails, phone calls and/or letter writing
defining your goal and “asks,” conducting a power analysis, to communicate a point or position to one or more key ac-
building strategic alliances and developing objectives. tors. More labor-intensive efforts (such as personalized let-
ters) usually have more impact than ones requiring little ef-

A
dvocacy consists of a
series of planned activities
that organizations under-
take to press for policy changes
related to a specific issue (based
on an assessment of which actors
have the power to bring about
those changes). An advocacy
campaign can focus on change
in an organization, a government
or a multinational institution
(e.g., the World Bank). Advocacy
increases the power available to
organizations and alliances and
helps them accomplish their goals by winning measurable fort (such as forwarding an email or signing a petition). In all
victories. Campaigning organizations find they get only as these forms of communication, make sure you keep in mind
much change as they have the power to compel. the following pointers:
Advocacy activities are the steps you use in your advocacy • Be brief and courteous. State your purpose and note points
campaign to influence key actor(s) who can bring about your on which you agree with the intended recipient early on in
desired change. They should be based on a power analysis your message, petition text or letter. Remember the concept
and designed to attain an objective. Advocacy activities can of “short and sweet.” The longer your letter or note is, the
strengthen allies, increase pubic awareness of your issue, re- less likely it is that it will be read and the more likely it is
duce the influence of opponents and/or convince undecided that even if it is read, the reader will miss your main points.
actors to join your effort. Depending on the situation, you Aim for a one-page letter and a two-page maximum length.
may also need to assess the risks that the campaign may Only attach additional documents and materials to your
pose to the safety of your staff and your institutional orga- main message if they are essential and you have thorough-
nization. An advocacy campaign does not mean you need to ly rechecked them for accuracy, timeliness and relevance.
take to the streets in protest or physically confront anyone; • If you decide to use a sign-on letter (a letter in which you
in fact, doing so is often counterproductive and can literally list multiple people as the signatories), you should get
be dangerous. the approval of each signer before including his or her
When choosing your advocacy activities for a particular name on the letter. Make sure you send each signer a
campaign, make sure they take into account the local cul- copy of the letter as well.
ture, religious practices, social norms and the political and • Timing is key! Letters, phone calls and emails are most
Photo: Kurhan - Fotolia.com

security situations. They should also draw on and reflect the effective just prior to a decision (e.g., a vote in Congress).
strengths and interests of your alliance members. Examples But make sure you know when the key decisions will
of possible advocacy activities include: actually be made. For example, in many high-level, major
multiparty international meetings, such as G8 or G20
Building Relationships Summits, most decisions are made two to four months
Successful advocacy campaigns require that you build in advance so work needs to begin six months prior. Be
relationships with supporters, potential allies and key deci- continued on page 28

10 MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009


PUblic Opinion

A
powerful new approach
to U.S. global engage-
ment is gaining traction
at senior levels in Wash-

Publ
ington, with support from a broad
range of leaders, including Sec-
retary of State Hillary Clinton and
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.
As eloquently explained by Senator
John Kerry in recent remarks at the

Percept
Brookings Institution, “If we are to
rise to meet these new challenges,
this much is clear: development and
diplomacy must retake their rightful
place alongside defense at the heart
of America’s foreign policy.”
In some corners the belief per-
sists that the American public does
not share this vision. However, new
research by the Modernizing For-
eign Assistance Network (MFAN)
suggests that that understand-

Assista
ing no longer holds true and that
American voters’ attitudes on for-
eign assistance have evolved great-
ly and in ways that create a window
of opportunity for those working to
realize this vision of a stronger role
for development and diplomacy in
New research suggests
U.S. foreign relations. As a member significant public support
of that community and a member
of MFAN, I want to take this oppor-
for U.S. foreign assistance.
tunity to present some of the find-
ings that are particularly relevant
for the work of our community.
Before getting into the polling By Sam Worthington
results, it is useful to have some President and CEO
historical context. This is not the InterAction
first time a major effort has been
made to increase U.S. foreign as-
sistance. The Marshall Plan, which
played a critical role in rebuilding
and revitalizing Europe after World

12 MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009


PUblic Opinion

War II, is now seen as arguably the


greatest U.S. success in foreign aid
and it created a lasting legacy of
vigorous diplomacy and effective

lic
development assistance, including
the creation of the U.S. Agency for
International Development. But to
fully understand this success, it is
worth remembering how difficult
it was for President Truman and his

ptionS
advisors to sell the Marshall Plan to
Congress and the American people.
Isolationists in Congress adamantly
opposed the plan, with Nebraska
Congressman Howard Buffett call-

of
ing it “Operation Rathole.” Other
critics were more nuanced, but in
general, those who opposed the

Foreign
plan did not believe American se-
curity or prosperity had anything to
do with Europe. The Marshall Plan
eventually passed Congress, but

ance
those partisan divides colored pub-
lic attitudes of U.S. global engage-
ment and foreign assistance for
nearly a half-century until an evolu-
tion began about 10 years ago.

Signs of Change
t To better understand American
voters’ perceptions of foreign assis-
. tance, particularly in the post-9/11,
economically tumultuous world in
which we now live, MFAN commis-
sioned the Glover Park Group, a stra-
tegic communications firm based
in Washington, DC, that works with
many international development
Photo: maigi - Fotolia.com

and global health groups, to con-


duct both qualitative and quanti-
tative research on the subject. The
research findings gave reason for
both optimism and caution.

MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009 13


PUblic Opinion

1. Foreign Policy ers believe that foreign assistance allows world. Voters want foreign assistance to
Voter attention to foreign policy is- “us to fight global disease such as malar- be more efficient so that more of our aid
sues is dramatically higher today than ia, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS.” A simi- gets into the hands of those who need
in previous years or decades. The lar percentage (71 percent) agrees that it. This aligns with public support for
change in administrations has had a U.S. foreign assistance “is a reflection of President Obama’s promise to identify
positive impact not only on how voters American morality and compassion.” and bolster federal programs that work
view the direction of the country, but Focus groups tease out this support while eliminating those that do not.
how they view our current foreign pol- in more detail, revealing peoples’ pref- In short, MFAN’s research suggests
icy. For the first time in several years, erence for a collaborative, engaging for- that there is broad support for foreign
a majority of Americans (53 percent) eign policy. They see foreign assistance assistance across demographic groups,
now believe the country is headed in as a tool to restore America’s image in but that support is what we would call
the right direction, and a similar ma- the world and build good will. Ameri- “soft support.” Foreign assistance has
jority (53 percent) has a positive feeling cans, not surprisingly, want to be never been a top, urgent priority among
about current American foreign policy. liked, and there is recognition that in the American people, but this research
an increasingly interconnected world, shows that there is a window of oppor-
2. General Understanding foreign assistance both reaffirms our tunity for advocates of a greater, more
While Americans support foreign as- ideals and advances our self-interest. strategic role of foreign assistance and
sistance in principle, their understand- global development in our foreign policy.
ing of what it is and how it works un- 4. The Economy and Foreign Assistance Chairman Kerry summed up that
dermines concrete action. Americans MFAN’s research indicates that the opportunity in his speech at the Brook-
have historically overestimated (and current economy is not an obstacle— ings Institution:
continue to do so) the percentage of the and may even be a catalyst—in the “History teaches us that America is
federal budget allocated to non-mili- pursuit of public support for foreign safest and strongest when we under-
tary foreign assistance (23 percent is assistance. More than two in three vot- stand that our security will not be pro-
the mean they believe is allocated), but ers (68 percent) believe that in “this tected by military means alone. It must
they think that the allocation should economic crisis, we should increase be protected as well by our generosity,
be 13 percent, which is considerably funding for foreign assistance pro- by our example, by powerful outreach,
higher than the approximately 1 per- grams that are proven effective and and by instilling a palpable sense in the
cent that is currently allocated. cut programs that do not work,” rather people of the world that we understand
The common belief is that the lack than “eliminate funding for foreign as- and share their destiny. That has al-
of a personal connection to foreign as- sistance programs,” which is support- ways inspired people, and it always will.
sistance—the absence of a human face, ed by just 26 percent of voters. It undercuts our enemies, it empowers
perhaps, or lack of a tangible impact our friends and it keeps us safer.” MD
in their everyday lives—is probably re- 5. Reforming Foreign Assistance
sponsible for much of the uncertainty The MFAN research found nearly uni- The findings in this article are drawn
Americans display toward foreign assis- versal support today for reforming for- from a nationwide telephone survey of
tance as a policy. But, despite this lack eign assistance. Americans adamantly 1,000 registered voters between April
of exposure to the foreign assistance want to know that their dwindling pub- 26 and May 3, 2009. Based on a sam-
program a resoundingly high percent- lic resources are being spent more effec- ple of this size, the survey data will
age—64 percent—support U.S. foreign tively, and all the better if their dollars have a margin of error of +/-3.1% for
assistance (69 percent support non-mil- are being spent on programs they sup- the full sample, higher for sub-groups.
itary U.S. foreign assistance). Similarly, port. So it is unsurprising that an over- Put another way, this means that the
when voters are told that much of Amer- whelming majority of voters agree (85 results of our data are accurate with-
ican humanitarian and development percent, 59 percent “strongly”) that “we in 3.1 points 95 times out of 100. The
assistance is administered by nonprofit need to modernize how foreign assis- Glover Park Group also conducted five
organizations (and not through gov- tance is currently organized and imple- focus groups with the following audi-
ernment-to-government transactions), mented.” And people want to modernize ences: faith activists and potential ac-
their support measurably increases. foreign assistance immediately; nearly tivists, and with global health activists
The most important takeaway here is seven in ten (69 percent) want the gov- in Atlanta on April 20, 2009; faith and
that supporters of development and for- ernment to move to modernize foreign secular activists and potential activists,
eign assistance can have demonstrably assistance by the end of the year. and with conservative Republicans in
greater advocacy results if they take the Voters strongly favor the creation of a Las Vegas on April 21, 2009; and with
time to explain foreign assistance in a comprehensive and strategic global de- global health activists in Bethesda,
simple, concrete and compelling way. velopment plan that includes modern- Maryland. For more information on this
izing how foreign assistance is admin- research, please contact Jason Boxt at
3. The Particulars of Foreign Assistance istered. Large majorities support the the Glover Park Group (jboxt@gpgdc.
Support for foreign assistance is tied idea of a foreign assistance plan that com or 202-337-0808). For more infor-
to the ideal of what it can accomplish. will enable the U.S. to reduce poverty, mation on MFAN please visit http://
More than seven in 10 (73 percent) vot- fight diseases and save lives around the modernizingforeignassistance.net.

14 MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009


Kidnapped!

Continuing Series: Kidnapped! men stepped out of the darkness and


pointed their rifles at the passengers.

The First 48 Hours


“Tony and the girl will die in 72 hours
unless $1 million is paid.” The call came
in a few minutes before 9 p.m. that same
night. Laila, the administrator for NGO
By Josh Kearns, Associate Security Coordinator, InterAction Bravo in Mogadishu, listened to the
caller’s demand, spoken in careful but
stilted English. Tony, Bravo’s logistician,
and Wali, his interpreter, had failed to
return to camp at the scheduled hour of
6 p.m., and the staff at Bravo had be-
gun to worry. Now their fears were con-
firmed. Tony, Wali and the other mem-
bers of their party had been kidnapped,
and their abductors were threatening to
kill them. The decisions made by Laila
and the rest of her organization over the
next few hours would likely determine
whether their co-workers lived or died.
By 2005, NGO Alpha had been op-
erating in Somalia for nearly 20 years.
Alpha had maintained program conti-
nuity through many of modern Soma-
lia’s worst crises, from the 1993 “Black-
hawk Down” episode and the country’s
subsequent descent into chaos, to the

O
n the outskirts of Mog- takeover of Mogadishu by Islamists, to
This is the first installment in a four- adishu, the dusty main road the invasion of the country by neigh-
part series detailing a fictional kidnap connecting the city to points boring Ethiopia. Based in New York and
scenario. The purpose of the series is to south and west narrows to a with operations in 50 countries around
highlight appropriate and inappropri- single lane amid a settlement of tin- the world, Alpha had well-developed se-
ate responses and resources available roof shacks and makeshift tarpaulin curity policies and procedures. The or-
when an organization is faced with shelters. Feral dogs nose through the ganization prided itself on maintaining
the kidnapping of staff members. The rubbish that lines the road, hoping to a steady course in Somalia while other
scenario is based on a recent train- find a shallow puddle to quench their NGOs had withdrawn. However, at the
ing in hostage incident management thirst against the searing heat. After time of the kidnapping, Jack, Alpha’s
conducted by the InterAction Security dark, dogs make up the majority of the Country Director, had been on the job
Unit, in conjunction with InterAction’s traffic along the road. for only three months, and on August 5
Security Advisory Group. All events and In the early evening on August 5, he was in Europe on leave. Though an
characters are entirely fictitious, as are 2006, they were illuminated by the old hand in relief work, it was his first
all organizations with the exception headlights of a white Toyota Land- stint in Somalia. During his interview
of the UN Department of Safety and cruiser in which four aid workers were process with Alpha, Jack had made it a
Security, the FBI and OSAC (the U.S. returning from a field visit to their requirement that his family be allowed
Department of State Overseas Security compounds in Mogadishu. Traveling in to accompany him in Mogadishu. Be-
Advisory Council). the front seat of the vehicle were two cause the position had been so difficult
Somalis: NGO Alpha’s driver, Hamid, to fill, Alpha acquiesced, despite its
and Wali, an interpreter for NGO Bra- misgivings. This decision was to have
vo, one of Alpha’s partners in a camp unforeseen consequences for Jack’s
project near the town of Afgoye. In the staff in Somalia.
back seat were Sally, a 24-year-old NGO Bravo was cut from a different
California woman on her first field de- cloth. The pet project of international
Photo: spaxiax - Fotolia.com

ployment with NGO Alpha, and Tony, a jazz star Grover T. Booker, L.A.-based
37-year-old music business veteran at Bravo’s mission was to promote the arts
the start of a new career in humanitar- to children in conflict-affected coun-
ian relief with NGO Bravo. As they ap- tries. In 2005 Bravo was operational
proached the chokepoint in the road, in five African nations. In Somalia, the
a car pulled out in front of them, forc- program’s goal was to get music add-
ing them to stop. As they did so, two ed to the curriculum of schools in the

16 MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009


Kidnapped!

country. Bravo’s Somalia staff included Tony’s mobile phone, a man had yelled Alpha’s policy was to not pay ransom.
a mix of seasoned aid professionals, in broken English, “Call Thuraya. Call Privately, Patricia decided to give Alpha
local nationals and personal acquain- Thuraya.” The pieces of the puzzle were no more than 12 hours to bring Sally in
tances of Booker, including Tony who beginning to come together. Headquar- safely. After that, she was determined
knew him from his touring days. Bra- ters told Billy that before mobilizing a to take matters in to her own hands.
vo’s country director at the time, Billy, response they needed to establish proof Back in Mogadishu, Bravo had
had years of experience in Somalia with that Tony was alive. They also instruct- reached out to Alpha and confirmed
the UN and NGOs. Billy had initially ed him to confirm with Alpha that their that the Land Cruiser was indeed miss-
been opposed to allowing Tony to travel vehicle had not returned to camp. ing, along with the vehicle’s four occu-
with Alpha to Afgoye, believing that the At about the same time Bravo was pants. Calls were then placed to rele-
roads outside Mogadishu were too dan- beginning to mobilize its response to vant players in the region, including the
gerous, but Tony argued that the pres- Tony’s disappearance, Sally’s mother, Somalia NGO Security Group (SNOG),
ence of Wali, who was well respected in Patricia, received a call similar to the UN Department of Safety and Security
the area, would help avert disaster. In one received by Bravo. The caller ex- and the U.S. Department of State’s
the end, Billy acquiesced. plained that Patricia needed to pay $1 Overseas Security Advisory Council
Shortly after receiving the call from million, or her daughter and “the rest (OSAC), which is available to help U.S.
the kidnappers, NGO Bravo’s staff was of them” would be killed. Patricia, a businesses and NGOs with security is-
able to determine that the call had come wealthy widow residing in Los Angeles, sues. From this starting point, the two
from a Thuraya satellite phone, not from called NGO Alpha headquarters in New affected NGOs would need to mobilize
Tony’s cell phone. Bravo had no proof York. Although Alpha’s director of se- every resource available to them to en-
yet that the caller actually had custody curity assured her that they would do sure the best outcome for the situation.
of Tony, no proof that he was alive. A everything they could to ensure Sally’s With so many variables and uncertain-
call placed to headquarters to inform it safe return, Patricia was not satisfied. ties and so many moving parts, the first
of the menacing phone call revealed that Not only had Alpha been unaware of 48 hours of a kidnapping incident are
Tony’s father, Bruce, had contacted the Sally’s disappearance before her call, crucial, and this case was to be no ex-
organization, worried that something but their country director was on leave ception. MD
had happened to his son. August 5 was in Amsterdam, leaving his deputy in Next month: Worst fears confirmed;
Tony’s birthday. When Bruce had called charge. She was also told that NGO creating a crisis management team.

18 MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009


Definitive Moment

The Definitive Moment


Missing, detained, abducted, kidnapped or just plain lost.
By John Schafer, Senior Security Coordinator, InterAction

A
re you prepared to han- the one who had disappeared in the
dle a missing staff person? Re- scenario outlined above and that you
ally? If so, just sit back and had been taken against your will. If
answer the following question: your organization did not have a de-
At what moment does your organization finitive moment policy, you might not
define when a staff member has gone know when or how your organization
missing? This may vary by organization would respond and what it would do to
and location, but you should be able secure your release. Think about how
to answer it. If you do not have an an- that uncertainty could cause pain for
swer, then you are not prepared and your loved ones and how that worry
you must answer “No.” could affect your mental state, increase
Imagine for a moment that heavy your stress and undermine your cop-
rains blocked a bridge preventing the ing abilities that are so vital for survival
return of a field mission and they were under these conditions.
forced to go another direction. In an at- But if your organization has a de-
tempt to take another route the team finitive moment policy, you will know
becomes lost. Back at the base, dinner that steps are being taken: people are
had already been served, it is dark and looking out for you, taking care of your
the team still has not returned. family and doing everything else the
Imagine that for the organization in policy addresses. The definitive mo-
question the missing person threshold ment may provide you with a sense of
had been reached and the organization hope that may never be taken from you
had begun to implement its policy. The disappearance, and will understand while you are being held against your
Chief of Party, using the set protocol, the process the organization will use will. In turn, your psyche may be more
informed headquarters. Headquarters to locate him or her. Doing this sort of resilient, thus increasing your likeli-
convened a crisis management team briefing helps the organization develop hood of surviving and coming out of
(CMT) and the field office was instruct- a policy that assists not only the orga- the crisis with a lesser degree of lasting
ed to start an incident management nization, but also the missing person trauma.
team (IMT) to begin the process of find- as well. It can give the missing person Defining the definitive moment is
ing the missing staff members. a greater sense of self-assurance that critical to an effective, programmed,
the organization had implemented the organizational response that promotes
Three Benefits of the policy once the definitive moment has a victim’s resiliency. It assists security
Definitive Moment been reached. plans, staff cooperation and mitigation
The definitive moment does three Having a definitive moment with a efforts. It also helps organizations in re-
things for an organization. programmed response also encour- sponding when a staff member is lost,
Once the organization’s definitive ages and helps field staff better adhere missing, abducted or kidnapped staff.
moment has passed, it means that to security policies and programs. The However, a definitive moment policy
there will be programmed responses effect can be even greater if headquar- will not assist the organization that
at both headquarters and in the field, ters is also involved in the ongoing does not have such a policy, or help
and the process of locating the miss- security protocols. For example, if an when staff violate established security
ing staff member begins. If the person organization has a policy of recording protocols, such as participating in ra-
is lost, other NGOs, the UN and local breeches of security protocols (such as dio checks, staying out of restricted lo-
authorities can get the word out to as- regularly calling in) in individuals’ per- cations and informing others of travel
Photo: Steven Pepple - Fotolia.com

sist in locating the missing person, or sonnel files, it can help the organiza- plans. Local laws and customs, organi-
identify his or her last known location. tion spot trends and adapt, while also zational security plans, training, policy
If the organization has kept its staff acting as an incentive for staff to follow and assessments are for those who
properly briefed on its security pro- existing protocols. abide by them and who respect other
tocols, the missing person will know But thinking about a staff member stakeholders in the community. But
about the organization’s definition of getting lost may not make much of an for those who “go off of the reserva-
the definitive moment, will know that impact, so it is important to consider tion,” there is no mitigation. We cannot
it has passed in the case of his or her kidnappings as well. Imagine you were mitigate stupid. MD

MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009 19


NGO Security

This UN convoy was meant to deliver aid


and attend a soccer tournament to mark
reconciliation between rebels and govern-
ment forces in the Republic of the Congo’s
troubled Pool region. It was stopped at a
roadblock, where dope-smoking, grenade-
wielding fighters looted whatever aid and
valuables they could find.

In addition, many of our organiza-


tions continue to view staff safety and
security as a “bolt-on” option. A quick
survey of InterAction members reveals
that few have a dedicated security offi-
cer. As their websites appeal for donors
to support their presence in Afghani-
stan, Darfur, the Democratic Republic
of the Congo, Pakistan and Sri Lanka,
they barely recognize a safety and secu-
rity element as part of their presence.

Moving NGO Security When asked about this, it turns


out that funding for security is the
pre-eminent concern. This is pecu-

to the Next Level


liar. As the death rate continues to
increase from violence specifically tar-
geting NGOs through measures such
as planned attacks and kidnapping,
It is time to rethink our work and whether our actions are there is still discussion concerning the
merit of funding professional and dedi-
equal to the threats. cated security oversight. An impressive
By Robert MacPherson, former Director CARE International Safety and
number of InterAction members have
Security, and Norman Sheehan, Global Security Director, Academy for
operating budgets of hundreds of mil-
Educational Development
lions dollars. They have thousands of
people operating in the most danger-

I
n the recent past, a number active rather than proactive. There are ous and stressful places on the planet.
of NGO colleagues have asked, exceptions. Some organizations have However, they do not have a dedicated
“What will it take to get my organi- created impressive security architec- security infrastructure. It would be an
zation MOSS [Minimum Operating tures, in which the security staff is well interesting comparison to consider the
Security Standards] compliant with supported, funded and integrated into amount of money our members spend
the standards established by InterAc- all aspects of programming. Neverthe- on their websites versus the amounts
tion?” This interest intensified—sig- less, too many NGOs with staff oper- they spend on staff safety and security.
nificantly—after the terrorist attacks ating in extremely volatile areas of the The attack in Mumbai was another
in Mumbai, India. The assault focused world remain noncompliant with MOSS in a series of reminders that we face
attention on the actions of criminal standards, and, at worse, are even un- increasingly dangerous circumstances
and terrorist groups that increasingly aware that a requirement exists. and that “business as usual” is not go-
Photo: REUTERS/David Lewis, courtesy www.alertnet.org
target specific nationalities and orga- Some of this is a result of context. ing to work. Most aid organizations rely
nizations. However, the attention dis- Our community made a critical mis- on an acceptance model for their secu-
sipated in just a few weeks. take in adopting UN terminology when rity. It involves reducing or removing
Nonprofit attention to security has we established our own security crite- the threat by gaining widespread local
been an evolving process. Since 1996, ria. Nothing as significant as staff safe- understanding and acceptance for their
our community has made steady prog- ty and security should begin with the presence and work. The philosophy be-
ress in addressing the safety and se- word “minimum.” It creates an image hind this approach is that if the commu-
curity of staff. Yet, in recent years, we that if we achieve bare requirements we nity or government clearly understands
have reached a comfortable plateau. are “covered.” In comparison, there are and supports the NGO’s work, the NGO
We continue to fall short of the require- no minimum standards for NGO fis- can become part of the local security
ments needed to address the increased cal or budgeting responsibility and re- network, and rely on it for warnings of
stresses and dangers that confront the quirements, nor is the word “minimum” possible changes in the security envi-
people who support our organizations. associated with program development ronment and to mitigate risks.
On the whole, our actions remain re- and execution. However, the traditional systems we

20 MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009


NGO Security

have relied on, such as the acceptance not the primary focus of their NGO? InterAction member CEOs and senior
model, are breaking down and will con- Is it possible that NGO staff safety leadership in September 2000.
tinue to do so. In response, we need to and security requires a greater para- Now we need to hold a follow-up event
create mechanisms that are simultane- digm shift than any other facet within to address what we see as the current
ously systemic (not piecemeal and di- our community? threats. We also need to consider how
vided into silos), participatory (involving Security is an art. It is fluid, amor- willing we are to work in the environ-
many people’s ideas, energy, talent and phous and constantly changing. By its ments we now face and carefully and
expertise) and agile (able to act and adapt nature, it is difficult to quantify. It does honestly examine NGO capabilities to
nimbly in a minefield of uncertainty). not lend itself to models, matrices and mitigate certain high-threat conditions.
The funding structure of humanitar- quantitative constructs. An organization We need to ask ourselves whether the
ian community makes the community may have a perfect security record in the models we currently use still work. For
absolutely accountable to donors. To eastern Congo only to find a kidnapping example, currently we have a security
meet this requirement, we place a great has occurred in a low-risk area where model that consists of “Protection, De-
deal of emphasis on design, monitor- the agency has spent more than 50 terrence and Acceptance.” Is it time to
ing and evaluation. Every project has years doing development work. As such, establish criteria for “Avoidance.”
to be quantified and its effectiveness NGO security is attempting to “main- We also need to review the current
measured. An organization’s funding stream” itself into organizations that are Minimum Operating Security Stan-
and reputation depends on its effec- diagnostic, systematic and methodical. dards and establish a new document:
tiveness. The use of terms such as cost Certainly, there are a series of require- InterAction Member Standards for Staff
benefit, cost analysis and “log matri- ments associated with staff safety and Safety and Security. This must include
ces” is common. NGOs are extraordi- security, which lend themselves to a sys- a mechanism to monitor compliance
narily creative, but they are also bound tematic and methodical approach. Re- with specific consequences for non-
by as many bureaucratic requirements gardless of the size, mission or scope of compliance. Additionally, our senior
as any commercial enterprise. an NGO, if an organization is engaged in leadership needs to establish defini-
humanitarian, developmental or human tive InterAction requirements associ-
An organization may rights activities outside the borders of ated with membership, which require
the United States, there are several criti- members to adopt and adhere to a set
have a perfect security cal policies and procedures that must be of security principles and a crisis man-
record in the eastern in place. Without them, an organization
is negligent and as such opens itself to
agement plan; kidnap and hostage pro-
tocols; and safety and security guide-
Congo, only to find an extraordinary degree of litigation. An lines for field staff (including protocols
a kidnapping has organization’s liability can be defined by
a combination of factors. Does the NGO
related to the risk of pandemic or in-
fectious disease that spreads through
occurred in a low-risk have staff in troubled, dangerous and
complex areas of the world? Based on
populations across a large region). And
they must maintain kidnap, ransom
area where the agency the availability of funding from the donor and extortion insurance. In addition, bi-
has spent more than 50 community, has the organization insti-
tuted a viable, structured and dedicated
lateral donors such as USAID should be
invited to participate in discussions on
years. security mechanism? funding for security so that the NGOs
But our attention to staff safety and and donors can work toward a common
Whether we admit it or not, staff se- security cannot be driven by the possi- plan on how to better cover these secu-
curity is too often relegated to a balance bility of litigation. Many of our organiza- rity needs in grants and contracts.
sheet. For a number of years, this was tions have existed for more than half a The key to success for all security
an unpleasant but realistic consid- century and maintained their presence programming is the realization that it
eration. The cost of a formal security in areas of amazing complexity. They is a dynamic process. The landscape
infrastructure was covered by “non- remain because of an honest belief in in which we operate has changed, and
restricted” funds and as such was in the humanitarian mandate. However, ongoing discussions, planning and co-
competition with every other priority the world has changed. The premise of ordination will be critical to our future
within the NGO. But this is no longer “acceptance” and “good people doing success. Although there are relatively
a reasonable explanation. Funding for good things will protect us” is gone. We few fundamentals in a well-developed
staff safety and security is possibly one operate in a world where terrorism is a security architecture, the safety of the
of the easiest line items in a proposal to constant and viable threat. entire group will always depend on the
major donors such as the development Thus, for the same reasons that we attention to the process, well-estab-
arms of the U.S., Canada, Australia and pursue the ideals of equality, dignity lished standards, adequate training and
the European Community. So why do and individual rights across the globe, resources and a culture of accountabil-
we still wrestle with questions regard- we need to refocus our attention on ity, which includes both the organiza-
ing minimum-security standards and staff well-being. A first step was al- tion and the individual. It is time to re-
why do field staff still feel compelled to ready taken when InterAction held a examine our work and ask if our actions
express concern that their well-being is two-day working security seminar for are equal to the threats our staff face. MD

22 MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009


The cut

Each December in
Kenya, girls of marrying
age are taken to a
secluded location
to mark the shift
from childhood to
adulthood—sometimes
by force.
ditional lore and important skills, in-
cluding how to be a good wife and care
for children. During the seclusion, the
girls are also circumcised, often under
unsanitary conditions. The practice
takes different forms based on the cul-
tural practices of a given ethnic group,
with some communities cutting off just
the clitoris and others cutting more.

Saying No to
The procedure often leads to years of
pain, which can be exacerbated by in-
fections and childbirth.
As governments ban the practice

“The Cut” in Kenya


and people become more educated
about the risks involved—including
possible HIV infection and even death
from excessive bleeding—communities
are starting to question the rite’s con-
Community-based program develops a successful tinued value in today’s changing world.
“In the past, it was geared for pre-
alternative rite of passage. paring girls to enter marriage,” says
By Debbie DeVoe, Regional Information Officer for East Africa Margaret Kanyaru, a Kenyan mother
Catholic Relief Services of a 14-year-old daughter. “During that
time, girls were not expected to go to

T
hey call it “the cut.” Some sues involved and are taking measures school. Now HIV is also a danger.”
girls are told their little pinkies to end the practice. At the same time, In 2002, the Catholic Diocese of
will be cut off but are assured they want to retain the important rite Meru in central Kenya asked CRS to
the fingers will grow back by the of passage and cultural education that help develop an alternative rite of pas-
end of the three-week seclusion. Oth- are also part of the ritual.” sage. “When we started the project, we
ers are told they will grow a long tail For most Americans, the concept would call community members into a
between their legs if they don’t get cut. of female circumcision is almost un- meeting. As soon as we started talk-
Still more girls simply understand that imaginable. How could parents—and ing about female circumcision, people
whatever the cut is, it is a necessary particularly mothers—have their little would get up and walk out,” notes Mar-
part of becoming a woman and being girls undergo such a procedure? What tin Koome, the diocese’s project coordi-
ready for marriage. Not one fully un- could possibly be the benefit? nator for the alternative rite of passage.
derstands that she will undergo an ex- In many other countries, however, Changing hundreds of years of cul-
tremely painful circumcision. female circumcision is as common and tural practice is extremely difficult and
“Female circumcision is a traditional accepted as male circumcision. Each doesn’t happen overnight. Previous ini-
Photo: poco_bw - Fotolia.com

practice that dates back hundreds of December in Kenya, girls of marrying tiatives implemented by other organi-
years in many African countries,” ex- age (which averages between nine and zations had already failed.
plains Elizabeth Mwangi, justice and 12 years old) are taken by an older fe- To achieve lasting success, CRS and
peacebuilding officer for Catholic Relief male community member to a secluded the diocese spent four years engaging
Services (CRS) in Kenya. “Some Ke- location to mark the shift from child- every community circle—from adoles-
nyan communities are now recogniz- hood to adulthood—sometimes by force. cent girls and boys, to parents and gov-
ing the human rights and health is- The older women teach the girls tra- ernment officials, to even circumcisers

MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009 23


The cut

community support will grow to the


point that residents are willing to pay
a small fee for their daughters to par-
ticipate in the alternative rite, just as
they now pay traditional circumcisers,
which could make the project self- sus-
taining. For now though, additional
private funding is required to serve all
interested girls and families.
Men in the surrounding area are
also changing their attitudes. When
the project started, it was difficult to
find any man willing to marry an uncir-
cumcised girl. Due to increased aware-
ness of the risks involved in circumci-
sion and its impact on sexual intimacy,
many will now only consider marrying
a girl who has not been cut.
This shift, while extremely positive,
makes it critical for communities to en-
sure that already circumcised girls are
not stigmatized or shunned in return.
More than 150 adolescent girls celebrate the end of their seclusion in central Kenya, The desire to respect past practices
marking their healthy shift to adulthood at a graduation ceremony. and women who have been circum-
cised is also why the project uses the
themselves—to determine if an alter- sues, including cultural lessons, health term “female circumcision” instead of
native to circumcision was a worth- issues, relationship skills and the dan- “female genital mutilation.”
while endeavor and, if so, what an gers of circumcision. Often these dis- The risk of circumcision doesn’t
ideal alternative rite of passage should cussions provide the girls with their disappear after girls complete the al-
offer. They then worked with commu- first understanding of what they would ternative rite of passage. Family pres-
nity members for two additional years have undergone during the traditional sure, peer pressure and even pressure
to develop a week-long curriculum for rite of passage. The workshops also fo- from a suitor can lead a graduate to
an alternative rite of passage. cus on building the girls’ self-esteem, change her mind. Uncircumcised ado-
teaching them to discuss sensitive is- lescent girls are also at risk of being
“Our grandmothers sues comfortably and say a firm “no” to kidnapped and cut by relatives who
disagree with the decision. In addi-
actions with which they disagree.
say we must feel the “We had some friends who were cir- tion, uncircumcised women of any age
pain they felt to honor cumcised. They would tell us myths:
you’ll never get married, you’ll smell,
are sometimes cut during childbirth,
with mother-in-laws or other relatives
our culture. We need to things like that,” shares 16-year-old convincing medical personnel to do
Caroline Kanana. “Then we came here the procedure without the patient’s
have the courage to say and got that knowledge [of circumci- consent. These human rights abuses
there is no need to be sion]. If it weren’t for this project, we
might go join them and accept what-
underscore the importance of the life
skills, personal growth and increased
circumcised.” ever they did to us.” self-esteem the girls gain during the
“Our grandmothers say we must feel alternative seclusions.
Interested girls can now sign up in the pain they felt to honor our culture,” Winfred Muthoni, 12 years old, is at-
participating parishes to attend an al- Caroline adds. “We need to have the tending the second-to-last day of her
ternative seclusion at a school, com- courage to say there is no need to be alternative seclusion. She sits quietly
munity center or church building, circumcised.” on a wooden chair with her hands in
typically held over the long Christmas The project has become so success- her lap, her small, slightly hunched
or Easter school holidays. Girls of all ful that parishes often have to turn frame swallowed by a tan fleece jacket
faiths are encouraged to attend, and away interested participants. At one decorated with galloping horses. I ask
the alternative seclusions are now seclusion in Kangeta parish, more her what she will do if she is later pres-
strongly supported by religious lead- than 500 girls applied for the 150 sured to be circumcised. Her light-
Photo: CRS staff

ers, government officials and Meru’s spaces available. Two seclusions held brown eyes turn steely, and she juts
Council of Elders. over the last Easter school break saw her chin forward. Then she answers
During the alternative seclusion, par- similar interest. simply but with palpable determina-
ticipants learn about a wide range of is- Eventually, the diocese hopes that tion: “I’d just refuse.” MD

24 MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009


Civil G8

The Civil G8
commitment to collaboration and joint
efforts displayed at the recent G20
Summit in London. In this time of cri-
sis, he said, the L’Aquila Summit will
promote more cooperation and collec-
tive responses, strengthen the role of
CSOs meet in Rome ahead of the 2009 G8 Summit. developing nations in decision-making
on global issues, be more inclusive in
By Sylvain A. Browa, Director of Global Partnerships, InterAction, dealing with issues of shared interest
and John Ruthrauff, Senior Manager, Member Advocacy, InterAction such as security and climate change,
and sustain the G8 group by promot-
ing more accountability on G8 Summit
decisions.
The exchange that followed the Ital-
ian Sherpa’s introduction around the
five CSO policy positions also highlight-
ed a number of cross-cutting issues of
interest to the collective advocacy work
of InterAction and its sister associa-
tions of NGOs in other G8 countries.

Accountability in G8 Decisions
The credibility of G8 decisions and
commitments was a major cross-cut-
ting topic. Since the G8 Summit in

W
ith the 2009 G8 Summit Gleneagles, several independent as-
to be held in L’Aquila, Italy, sessments of G8 commitments have
in July fast approaching, revealed mixed performances in terms
civil society organizations of implementing G8 commitments.
(CSOs) from around the world held CSOs renewed their call for the estab-
their own meeting—the Civil G8—in lishment of a self-monitoring mecha-
Rome on May 4-5 to draw attention to nism that would track the performance
their priorities. Over 120 international of each G8 country vis-à-vis its com-
NGOs and other CSOs including labor mitments and pledges.
worked together to create consolidated This call was met with mixed reac-
advocacy positions, prior to a face-to- tions, with European Sherpas stating
face meeting with the eight Sherpas ation of Italian NGOs, was cordial and that they are satisfied with the exist-
who represent the member countries constructive. It also revealed, at least ing system that tracks their aid in-
of the G8 and handle the preparations on the surface, an unprecedented con- vestments through the framework of
and advance decision-making for the vergence of both interest and intent on the Millennium Development Goals.
annual Summit. the topics discussed between the Sher- However, the Civil G8 is asking that at
The Civil G8 meeting developed com- pas and civil society representatives. L’Aquila the G8 agree to extend the ac-
mon policy positions on five issues: (1) The Italian Sherpa and host of the countability and performance mecha-
the world economy, financing for de- meeting, Ambassador Gianpiero Mas- nism established at the Toyako Sum-
velopment and labor (an effort led by solo, recognized that times had signifi- mit for health-related pledges to cover
InterAction staffer John Ruthrauff); (2) cantly changed since Hokkaido Toyako all G8 decisions and pledges across
common goods: health, education and and that this year’s G8 Summit is a the board.
water and sanitation; (3) food sover- crisis summit. He noted that in addi-
eignty and agriculture; (4) global gov- tion to the development challenges fac- The “Whole-of-Country” Approach
ernance; and (5) climate change and ing the developing world, the world as In the current economic situation,
the environment. These policy posi- a whole is now faced with a financial G8 governments want the monitoring
tions formed the basis of a two-hour and economic crisis that needs to be of their contributions to development
exchange between the Sherpas and 16 prevented from significantly expand- and humanitarian assistance to go be-
civil society representatives, including ing to the social and political sectors. yond official development assistance
eight from G8 countries (to ensure fol- However, he suggested that the Sum- (ODA). The so-called whole-of-country
Photos: InterAction

low up engagement with each Sherpa at mit enjoys significant momentum, due approach is expected therefore to help
the country level) and eight from non- to the new administration in the U.S., capture all aid-related investments
G8 countries. The meeting, chaired by the level of progress in global negotia- made by all stakeholders in a given
Sergio Marelli, president of the Associ- tions around climate issues, and the country, including government, civil

MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009 25


Civil G8

society organizations, private founda- this approach and highlighted the of the G8 are not on board. The civil
tions, individual citizens and the pri- benefits of more clarity and coordina- society representatives also called on
vate sector. This approach is supported tion around development resources the Sherpas to leverage the G8 to help
by the U.S. government and is also in and policies. Yet with Italy, a forceful bring a meaningful dose of coordina-
line with InterAction’s advocacy efforts proponent of the approach, cutting its tion and coherence between the vari-
promoting the recognition of CSOs, es- ODA by 50 percent, only the future will ous global institutions (e.g., the World
pecially NGOs as full partners in the tell what the truth is on this issue. Bank, IMF, OECD, UN) and decision-
U.S. development and humanitarian making bodies (e.g., the G8, the G8+5
assistance system. Unlike U.S. NGOs, G8 Leadership and the G20) attempting to solve world
civil society organizations in Europe are G8 leadership is necessary to ad- problems.
concerned that under this approach vance the global governance agenda. It was evident at the Civil G8 that
governments would count all kinds of This is particularly important given the choice of L’Aquila as the site of this
expenses as development financing. the global economic and climate cri- year’s G8 Summit could pose a com-
Collectively, CSOs fear that the whole- ses. The civil society representatives munication challenge to the CSOs or-
of-country approach would provide an openly called for the G8 to help ad- ganizing activities around the Summit.
excuse for developed countries looking vance ongoing efforts under UN aus- The traditional demonstrations that
for a way to escape from their previous pices to reach a global consensus on last resulted in one death in Genoa
and current ODA commitments. the current economic and climate cri- might not sit well with the population
With its long-standing experience ses. They also called on the G8 to help of a region that is just emerging from
working with multiple stakeholders in advance the agenda on the reform of the trauma of a powerful earthquake.
its development and humanitarian as- international financial institutions Coupled with the social and economic
sistance, the U.S. could provide leader- such as the World Bank and the In- hardship of the ongoing global eco-
ship within the G8 to help frame and ternational Monetary Fund (IMF) as a nomic crisis, the context in L’Aquila
implement this new approach in ways preamble to an effective response to could prove difficult in getting the local
that put these fears to rest. The eight the global economic crisis. It was made public to align with and support a CSO
Sherpas unanimously denied any in- clear that although the G20 is the call to action that primarily seeks to
tention by their governments to default proper venue for this issue, the agenda address the plight of the developing
on their ODA as a result of adopting will not move forward if key members world. MD

26 MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009


Mental health

A Palestinian woman which hangs in the upper left corner, is frowning. This young
shouts in front of girl will be referred to Gaza’s mental health clinic where a
her house that was specialist can determine her treatment needs and the appro-
destroyed during priate next steps for advanced, individualized care, in hopes
Israel’s offensive of nurturing her back into being a child again.
in Jabalya in the There are three tents like this in Gaza that will stay up for
northern Gaza Strip the rest of the year. As the suffering continues, these tents
in January. will provide an escape and a resource for struggling parents
as well as their children. More than 6,500 children ages eight
through 14 will be helped, along with more than 1,000 par-
ents who need advice, guidance and support as they cope
with the effects of war, poverty and malnutrition.
Even before the bombings last January, health officials
had warned that nearly all of Gaza’s children—who account
for more than half of Gaza’s population of 1.5 million—were
exhibiting symptoms of emotional stress like anxiety, depres-
sion and phobias. There were also issues of anger manage-
ment, bed-wetting and physical ailments as the quality of
their lives deteriorated in what many describe as an “open-
air prison” where families have lost their jobs, homes or both.
As soon as the horrors of the January war began to fade,
psychologists, parents and teachers witnessed more symp-
toms of post-trauma stress among Gaza’s youth. Maher
Ghazi, a trainer with ANERA’s new psychosocial program, ex-
plains the aim of the program: “Through our daily presence,
we reach them while they are living in tents and help them
cope with the suffering after the destruction of their homes
through group therapy and exercises like art and music that

The Invisible help them express their emotions.”


He was surprised by the huge response from mothers, fa-
thers and their children. “Parents also need to learn how to

Wounds of War
help their children readjust their behavior after developing
some problems in speech, sleep and eating.”
Through consultations and group exercises, the team helps
rebuild trust and confidence. For instance, counselors will
Program creates safe environment for gather women in group sessions to discuss the challenges
children and families to address trauma. they face coping with homelessness while raising their chil-
dren. Group leaders encourage discussion to let the moth-
By Michael Austin, Director of Online Giving and Direct ers share their experiences and exchange ideas for resolving
Mail, American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA) them. Eventually, mothers who were once reluctant to speak
about their specific problems become comfortable sharing

I
n the middle of a now-flattened landscape in and asking questions. Not only do questions get answered,
Gaza where houses and apartment buildings once stood, but mothers are given guidance on overcoming personal ob-
there is a large yellow tent. Inside the tent there is a circle stacles to expressing their problems. Psychologist, and head
of 12 children singing songs and dancing. With a small of ANERA’s psychosocial program, Dr. Fadel Abu Hein says it
Photo: REUTERS/Suhaib Salem, courtesy www.alertnet.org

portable stereo plugged into a generator and the guidance of helps them to know they are not alone.
a social worker, the children receive a brief escape from life The same is true for troubled children. In one case, 13-year-
among the reminders of a brutal assault on their neighbor- old Sondos refused to talk with other children or even say her
hood. The scene is more than a diversion from life without name. She couldn’t concentrate and appeared depressed and
a home, abject poverty and loss of family. It is an opportu- anxious. During the shelling of Gaza, she had watched help-
nity for trained social workers to evaluate the children and lessly as a bomb killed her mother. Through individual atten-
identify those who are exhibiting signs of antisocial behavior tion from counselors who coaxed her to join group activities,
brought on by deep grief and trauma. she began to come out of her shell. Today, Sondos is singing
The children are given paper and crayons and encouraged and talking with others and has become more active and open.
to express themselves. Crude drawings of airplanes dropping The basic program consists of 15 sessions, each one last-
bombs, tanks shooting and dead stick figures lying on the ing about 1.5 hours, to focus on emotional and behavioral
ground are not uncommon. In one picture, a girl draws a line issues. Dr. Abu Hein explains that children exposed to war
down the middle of her mother and explains that she saw suffer from nightmares, fears and anxieties. Counselors talk
her mother cut in half by a missile. In her drawing, the sun, with the children and provide group activities like sports or

MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009 27


Mental health

dance to help release tension. Step By Step Advocacy


Dr. Abu Hein also welcomes the presence of men in the tent continued from page 10
as a positive sign. He says men usually don’t attend such ses- careful with letters and how you deliver them. For exam-
sions. Some consider psychosocial advice as a disgrace and ple, since the 9/11 attacks, security screening of postal
would not seek such support in public. “Men are here to give mail to Congress and the administration means that de-
support to their wives and children and to learn how to deal livery of a letter sent through the mail can be delayed for
with their families in the aftermath of a horrible time of stress several weeks. Similarly, email spam and security proto-
and fear,” he added. “We are trying to overcome the social stig- cols may keep some emails from reaching an addressee.
ma and stereotypes.” Men who have lost work or a means to
support their family often interpret it as a personal failure. Tak- Meeting with Key Individuals
ing that first difficult step toward acknowledging vulnerability Advocacy campaigns usually include face-to-face meetings
leads fathers and mothers to work more closely together to solve with key decision-makers or their staff. Make sure you plan
family problems. carefully for each one. Remember these are busy people and
Another key element is the emphasis on mentoring young you need to respect their time. The following steps can help
Palestinian psychologists who will be needed to service Ga- you make the most of each minute you have with them:
za’s growing emotional needs. Border closures make it diffi- • Always hold a pre-meeting with the people from your
cult to get outside help so it is imperative for Gaza to expand advocacy coalition who will attend the meeting. Use the
its own pool of counselors and to train teachers and parents pre-meeting to determine who will take the lead in the
how to deal with emotional trauma. meeting with the decision-maker and who will present
ANERA launched the program in March in partnership which points. Remember that the purpose of meeting
with a local organization, Community Training Centre and a decision-maker is to engage in a discussion with the
Crisis Management (CTCCM).  “There are serious and huge decision-maker; and since most meetings are brief, it is
emotional problems we need to deal with,” said Dr. Abu Hein. important not to fill it with presentations or cover facts
“Now there is a better awareness among residents of the need already understood by all the parties.
for our program. It is an important first step toward positive • Try to figure out the decision-maker’s position in ad-
change in this community.” Plans are underway to expand vance and provide information early. A proposal deliv-
the program to train teachers on how to deal with preschool- ered several days or a week prior to a meeting will allow
ers who do not yet have the means to verbalize their needs. MD for deeper, more informed discussions.
• When deciding who from your advocacy coalition will par-
ticipate in a particular meeting, choose carefully. Include
representatives of influential coalition members as well
as those who reflect the makeup of the alliance, including
women and minorities. Also keep in mind that depending
on the atmosphere you want to create in the meeting, bring-
ing too many people can sometimes be counterproductive.
• Plan a method of accountability and follow-up. Is an in-
vestigation or report to be completed by a specific date
or is a follow-up meeting to be held to review progress?
• Confirm any agreements in writing.
• It is very important to understand that access is not
influence. Meetings with key actors are important, but
meeting with them does not necessarily mean that they
will do what you want. Even if you have access to a given
decision-maker, you still need sufficient influence to suc-
cessfully press your position.
• Meetings initiated by a targeted institution are often not
useful for advocacy. Many institutions have perfected the
“art of consultation” without necessarily agreeing to any
changes. For example, the World Bank and the Interna-
tional Monetary Fund (IMF) host a Civil Society Forum
prior to their spring and annual meetings. During the
Forum CSOs are encouraged to organize workshops on a
wide range of issues. However, it is not clear that these
have any impact on Bank and IMF policies. Relatedly, it
is important to be clear about the purpose of a meeting,
the agenda and the expected outcome or impact. MD

Part six of this series will continue to describe activities and


will appear in the August edition of Monday Developments.

28 MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009


The Peak

Remember the Peak?


Insights from U.S. aid to agriculture. national agricultural research agencies
and in building good schools of higher
By Raquel Gomes, Research Manager, Aid Effectiveness Team, Oxfam America agricultural education. According to a
study by Gary Alex from USAID, pub-

T
he figure below is famil- The U.S. reduced its funding to the lished in 2006, up to 1,700 agricultural
iar to many of you. Agriculture CGIAR by at least 30 percent between scientists and administrators from
funding peaked in the mid- the mid 1980s and mid 2000s. (This is national systems across Asia, Latin
1980s, fell through the 1990s an estimate at best, since country mis- America and North Africa were trained
and has recently resurged. Reasons for sions also fund the CGIAR. It is based at Cornell, Purdue, Michigan, Ohio,
the decline are well known: a shift to on data on from USAID funding for Arizona and other U.S. universities and
health and education, a prolonged pe- global research, which is mostly but not often with USAID funding. USAID also
riod of low and stable food prices, along all CGIAR, which averaged $78 million helped construct research stations and
with donor fatigue, fads and so on. But in 1983-1985 [peak] and $54 million in laboratories, and purchase farm and
what happened during the peak? What 2002-2004 [latest available].) The CGIAR lab equipment.
can we learn from the $5.5 billion the
U.S. provided as aid to agriculture be-
tween 1980 and 1985?
This article highlights insights from
three investments that are still paying
off: aid to global agricultural research;
building public sector capacity for ag-
riculture; and farmer cooperatives.
The U.S. has supported agriculture in
many other ways over the years, yet
these examples of how we provided aid
could inspire efforts going forward.

Supporting Global Research


USAID was among the founding
supporters of the Consultative Group
on International Agriculture Research
(CGIAR), a network of 15 research cen-
ters spread from Benin and Kenya, Source: Aid measured as Official Development Assistance, from OECD DAC (Development Assistance Committee)
to Mexico, Peru, Syria and the Philip-
pines. Over the years, research by the system is not without faults, of course. According to one academic who par-
CGIAR system has focused on seed va- But instead of stepping back, donors like ticipated in USAID programs in Brazil
rieties and improved farming practices the U.S. should challenge it to meet to- in the 1980s:
for poor farmers. day’s problems of food insecurity. “I think these were some of the most
According to a 2003 report prepared successful programs that USAID has
by David Raitzer on behalf of the CGIAR, Building Research Capacity ever had. The collaborating Brazilian
for every dollar it invested in research, in Countries universities are among the best, if not
an additional $9 worth of food has been Even when the CGIAR produces the best, in Central and South America
produced in the developing world. Con- better seeds and farming practices, for higher education in agriculture.
sider a world without the CGIAR: ac- whether any of this research makes When these programs started, Brazil
cording to a study by Robert Evenson a difference to farmers in Honduras, was ruled by a military dictatorship.
and Mark Rosegrant, developing coun- Mali or Vietnam depends on how those Today, Brazil is one of the 10 largest
tries would have produced 7 to 8 per- seeds and farming practices are adapt- economies in the world and Brazilian
cent less food; feed grain prices would ed to local conditions—hence the need agricultural universities have made
have been 18 to 21 percent higher; per for local research, adaptation and agri- countless contributions to strengthen
capita food consumption would have cultural extension. the agricultural sector through their
declined up to 7 percent in the poorest During the peak, the U.S. was also teaching, research and outreach.
regions, and some 13-15 million more instrumental in helping build the re- “In my opinion, USAID abandoned a
children would have been malnour- search capacity of many developing successful model for institutional de-
ished, mostly in South Asia. countries. This included investments in velopment when it decided to discon-

MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009 29


The Peak

tinue these types of programs in favor of ‘short-term instant cocoa beans. By 2007, El Ceibo represented more than 1,000
success’ programs that later failed all over the world as soon families and produced over 50 cocoa products, including for
as the USAID monies stopped.” exports, with $2.5 million in sales.
These programs have long been terminated. As roughly esti- The IAF (like other agencies providing aid) seems to have
mated from data obtained from USAID, between the mid-1980s been less reflective than one would hope about what worked
and mid-1990s, USAID reduced its funding for national agri- and what failed over the years, and its initial mandate to
cultural research systems by approximately 73 percent and to listen dissipated over time. Yet successes like El Ceibo re-
agricultural universities abroad by approximately 36 percent. flect something extraordinary about the IAF: its agenda (at
least initially) was set by the people it was trying to help, not
Helping Farmers Help Themselves by mandates from Washington. According to a long-timer at
Access to agricultural technologies means little if small- IAF, “We didn’t have an agenda or a budget for each country
holders cannot collectively overcome the disadvantages of going in. We spent time in-country finding out what kind of
small-scale production. Cooperatives are not always perfect. support they needed, from farmers themselves. It was only
But when cooperatives do function, the benefits extend be- then that we’d work on an agenda and got a budget.”
yond that of “scale efficiencies” in purchasing seeds, shar-
ing equipment and having enough volume to attract buyers. The Bottom Line
Cooperatives also foster a culture of participation and col- The U.S. has a rich history in agricultural development
laborative decision-making and often become an important with major accomplishments to be proud of, but which the
voice for otherwise voiceless farmers. current debate seems to ignore. As donors and NGOs redis-
In many farming communities in Latin America, the U.S. cover the potential of agriculture in helping millions out of
supported cooperatives through the Inter-American Founda- poverty and in getting economies moving, I would urge them
tion (IAF), a small, independent, experimental agency that to look back at and recover what we have done well in the
initially assisted grassroots groups in strengthening par- past. It seems that, for starters, during the peak we were:
ticipation and democratic practices. As reported on www. (1) more willing to work multilaterally on global research; (2)
America.gov, for example, in the late 1970s the IAF sup- more committed to long-term relationships that helped coun-
ported many of the cooperatives that went on to form the El tries carry out their own research; and (3) better at listening
Ceibo cooperative federation in Bolivia, helping with every- to farmers and rural communities about how aid could help
thing from production to post-harvesting and marketing of them improve their livelihoods. MD

30 MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009


biofortification

Breeding Crops for


includes dietary diversification, supple-
mentation and commercial fortification.
HarvestPlus plans to release seven bio-
fortified crops in target countries in Afri-

Better Nutrition
ca and Asia by 2013. When successful,
biofortification provides clear evidence
that investments in agricultural science
can have a significant and sustainable
impact on global health.
Leveraging agriculture to improve global heath. In Uganda, working with NGOs, vil-
By Yassir Islam, Communications Specialist, HarvestPlus lage leaders, farmers, grandmothers
and mothers has paid off: people have

J
ennifer is an African farm- a global effort to improve the nutrient been willing to eat orange sweet potato
er. A widow, she lives with four content of staple food crops eaten by the once they understand its nutritional
grandchildren and one adopted poor with critical micronutrients such benefits. They have also been eager
adult in Kachul village about a as vitamin A, zinc and iron. Its goal is to to try and grow the new varieties that
four-hour drive east of Kampala, Ugan- provide more micronutrients to millions have been bred to be more drought tol-
da. Jennifer is a member of the Kachul of poor people in developing countries. erant, high yielding and early matur-
Agricultural Promoters’ Farmers’ Group This lack of essential micronutrients ing than the yellow and white ones.
that has been field-testing new varieties in the diet can leave children stunted, This last trait means that orange sweet
of sweet potato. However, these varieties reduce their IQ and capacity to learn potato is available to eat sooner than
are orange, unlike the traditional white and make them more vulnerable to ill- the traditional crop and any that is left
and yellow ones that Jennifer, like oth- ness and disease. Adults are also af- over usually finds a buyer at the local
er Ugandans, usually eats. The orange fected, and their capacity to work can market. This on-the-ground research
color is due to beta-carotene, also found be greatly diminished. The irony is that working with NGOs and local com-
in other “orange” foods (such as carrots people only need minute amounts of munities is essential in understanding
and papaya) and dark leafy greens that micronutrients for good health: a small how biofortified crops can be popular-
the body converts into vitamin A. bowl of cooked orange sweet potato, ized among poor farming communities.
Globally, between 250,000 and eaten daily, could provide children with
500,000 preschool children go blind most of their vitamin A requirements. Biofortification
from extreme vitamin A deficiency and
about two-thirds die within months of
However, poor people in developing
countries typically eat large amounts
provides clear evidence
going blind. Children with vitamin A of staple foods, such as rice or maize,
that are poor in nutrients at every meal;
that investments in
deficiency are at increased risk from
common infections, such as diarrheal and they are most likely to suffer from agricultural science can
diseases, and measles. In some parts
of Uganda, nearly one-third of young
a lack of micronutrients in their diets.
Breeding staple foods with higher lev-
impact on global health.
children suffer from vitamin A defi- els of micronutrients has several advan- As for Jennifer, not only does she eat
ciency. A recent study in Mozambique tages. First, as a food-based interven- orange sweet potato for lunch every day,
showed that the new varieties of orange tion, it uses the very foods that the poor she also feeds it to her grandchildren.
sweet potato improved the vitamin A are already eating to deliver the micro- “When I first learned about orange sweet
status of young children. In regions nutrients they need. Thus, biofortified potato, I was excited to hear that it helps
of Uganda where vitamin A deficiency foods are easily integrated into the live- children because I have many grand-
is widespread, people eat sweet pota- lihoods and diets of the poor. Second, it children. I eat it every day at lunchtime.
to throughout the year, so these new is an agricultural intervention targeted My grandchildren also take roasted or-
varieties could be a boon in providing to rural areas where more than 70 per- ange sweet potato to school. I used to
children with much-needed vitamin A. cent of the poor in developing countries buy sweet potatoes but I am now con-
The process of nutritionally fortifying live, and where access to supplements vinced that I will be able to grow what
crops through plant breeding is known and fortified foods is limited. Third, in- I need myself.” With the goal of feeding
as biofortification. Plant breeders can vestment in breeding biofortified crops sweet potato to her family achieved, Jen-
use conventional breeding techniques is cost-effective. Once developed, biofor- nifer has also earned and saved enough
if sufficiently high levels of the desired tified crops can also be freely shared— money, through the sale of orange sweet
nutrient can be found in existing variet- and adapted—to other agroecological potato tubers and vines, to construct a
ies or seed banks. When nutrients levels zones at low additional cost. new home. “I have always had a dream
in parent varieties are not high enough Biofortification could prove to be a of sleeping in a tin-roofed house. So
to reach the desired targets, transgenic sustainable, long-term approach for when we were told that we could also
breeding approaches can be used. Har- providing millions of poor people with at sell sweet potato vines and roots, I was
vestPlus, a research organization that least some of their daily micronutrient convinced that this was the opportunity
pioneered biofortification, is leading requirements, as part of a strategy that for me to realize my dream.” MD

MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009 31


Microfinance

Sustainable
Agriculture Through
Microfinance
New tripartite model increases credit access.
By Nikki Massie, Staff Writer, Lutheran World Relief, and Gretchen King,
International Policy Analyst, Lutheran World Relief

method of providing poor farmers with


capital and credit.
Lutheran World Relief, working closely
with local partners, is pioneering a new
method called the tripartite model of mi-
crofinance: an innovative approach that
gives farmers access to needed credit,
increases CBOs’ ability to support farm-
ers’ efforts, and introduces both CBOs
and farmers to finance mechanisms for-
merly unavailable to them.
Many CBOs support farmers through
traditional microfinance projects, mainly
revolving loan funds that farmers can
access to purchase agricultural inputs,
pay for hired labor and cover other costs
of production. One current debate about
these programs concerns the amount of
interest charged on loans. While some

F
atuma Katumba, of Uganda, believe interest rates should be low to
has grown maize for over 20 encourage repayment and economic
years, struggling to eke out a liv- stability, others argue that the cost of
ing from her small farm.“I have managing small loan funds necessitates
been getting a sufficient amount of food higher interest rates to keep such CBOs
for my family, but very little to sell for viable and enable them to provide other
an income to help me solve my other services, such as technical and agribusi-
domestic problems,” said the 51-year- ness training, to help prepare farmers to
old wife and mother of five. market their products on a larger scale.
For organizations seeking to improve While building farmers’ technical ca-
the lives of smallholder farmers like Fa- pacity is critical, the lack of access to
tuma, one of the biggest challenges is credit remains a major obstacle. Living
being able to support both the farmers’ from one harvest to the next, small-
technical and financial needs: helping holder farmers need credit to lease
them access credit while also teaching land and buy seeds, pesticides, tools
them more effective agricultural meth- and other inputs. Because most banks
ods. Often, community-based organiza- and microfinance institutions (MFIs)
Photo: BrandonPustejovsky

tions (CBOs) in which local villagers are are located in larger towns, opportuni-
members administer micro-loans that ties for credit are rare in rural areas,
assist farmers in purchasing necessary leaving farmers few options but to turn
agricultural inputs. However, debates to informal local lenders charging usu-
over the interest fees and the long-term rious rates. Local CBOs are often in a
sustainability of microfinance programs position to help farmers minimize costs
continue to challenge this promising related to supplies, processing and

32 MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009


Agriculture R&D

No Farmer
marketing. However, limited capacity
and their own lack of access to invest-
ment capital limits the impact of CBOs.
The tripartite model creates a three-
pronged partnership among an inter-

Left Behind
national development agency, a CBO
and a financial institution, which le-
verages the strengths of each partner.
Within this arrangement, the develop-
ment agency, working in collaboration
with the CBO, analyzes the market for
the product to ensure profitability and, Agricultural R&D spending in Latin America.
thus, increase the likelihood of success-
By Samantha Barry, Communications Division
ful repayment of credit. The agency then
International Food Policy Research Institute
funds the capacity-building aspects of

I
the project such as strengthening of n the struggling global For example, the ASTI report cites ag-
agricultural technical skills, market economy, developing nations are riculture as dominating over one-fifth
analysis, feasibility studies, business increasingly pressured to priori- of Guatemala’s gross domestic prod-
planning, investment in marketing, tize. From education to infrastruc- uct (GDP) and over one-fourth of the
value addition and institutional capac- ture, areas that formerly coexisted in Paraguayan GDP. Yet agricultural R&D
ity building. The agency also helps the comfort now compete for smaller and investment in impoverished nations of-
CBO establish a relationship with a mi- smaller pools of public and private fi- ten makes up a small amount of agri-
crofinance institution, which provides nancing. cultural spending.
the capital needed to give farmers ac- According to a recent report focus- “Substantial empirical evidence sup-
cess to credit via their CBO. There is a ing on Latin America and the Carib- ports the argument that investment
range of options for leveraging MFI sup- bean (LAC), agricultural research and in agricultural R&D has contributed
port in this way: from creating a loan development is one area that countries to agricultural development, economic
fund with the MFI, to providing a loan cannot afford to ignore. Released by growth and poverty reduction in both
guarantee, to a simple collaborative the International Food Policy Research low- and middle-income countries in
agreement. Accrued interest is then di- Institute’s (IFPRI) Agricultural Science Latin America as well as the rest of the
rected to project operations. and Technology Indicators (ASTI) ini- world,” says Gert-Jan Stads, program
The tripartite model has benefits tiative, the new report, entitled Public coordinator of the ASTI initiative and
for each party—the MFI, the CBO Agricultural Research in Latin America co-author of the report.
and the development agency. For the and the Caribbean: Investment and Investing in agricultural R&D within
MFI, which has more stable funds Capacity Trends, takes a close look at a country translates into helping farm-
and is able to make larger and longer- uneven agricultural research and de- ers in many ways, from increasing how
term loans, the tripartite relationship velopment (R&D) spending in the LAC much they produce to protecting their
creates a new connection to clients region and discovers a troubling trend: crops from pests, drought and disease.
through the international development agricultural R&D is being pushed to ASTI’s report lists a number of essen-
agency’s CBO partners, which were the fringe in certain LAC countries. tial benefits that come from R&D. En-
previously excluded due to their pov- hancing sustainability, decreasing food
erty level, lack of capacity or other ac- Why Agricultural R&D Spending? prices and improving producers’ access
cessibility issues. Their capital base is Approximately 510 million people to markets will help save farmers mon-
also expanded, as well as their sustain- live in the LAC region, many of whom ey. Present investments in agricultural
ability, through interest earned. practice subsistence or commercial R&D also will increase social returns
The CBO benefits from the newly farming. Of this population, about one- in the future, such as stimulating job
formed relationship with the lending third lives on less than two dollars per opportunities for female researchers.
institution, which would not have been day and over 5 percent survive on less
possible before. The organizations can than one dollar per day. This is a re- Spending Stratification
access funds in the form of loans that gion in which the wealthiest 20 percent A significant spending gap has devel-
they can then provide to smallholder possesses 60 percent of the region’s oped between low-income and middle-
farmers. These funds increase the ca- total income, while the poorest 20 per- income LAC countries when it comes
pacity of the CBO to manage funds and cent receives only 3 percent. The ma- to agricultural R&D. The report reveals
develop a credit history. jority of the region’s rural population the tendency of poorer LAC countries
For the international development lives under the poverty line, a situation to neglect agricultural R&D spending,
agency, the tripartite model frees up that has only further deteriorated over whereas middle-income LAC countries
spending on credit management pro- the last two decades. have made significant spending com-
grams, which is then used to invest in Agriculture constitutes a significant mitments. Of the nearly $3 billion (in
continued on page 37 portion of many poorer LAC economies. 2005 purchasing-power parity dollars)

MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009 33


Agriculture R&D

the region allocated to agricultural tries such as Argentina, Brazil and these technologies from elsewhere.
R&D, about three-quarters came from Mexico, research is conducted through While importation is a regular occur-
only three countries: Argentina, Brazil a vast web of national agencies. In rence in trade, it makes a country more
and Mexico. The situation is mirrored smaller nations, systems are much dependent on R&D developments in
in the employment of agricultural re- simpler. There is also a large degree other parts of the world.
searchers—the human resources of variety in the way agricultural R&D Despite the temptation to neglect
backbone of R&D. Seventy percent of is financed. For instance, the Agricul- research and development practices
LAC’s total 19,000 full-time equivalent tural Research Institute of Panama re- in an economic crisis, ASTI’s report
(FTE) agricultural researchers came ceived 94 percent of its funding from concludes that agricultural R&D is,
from Argentina, Brazil and Mexico; the national government, while com- in fact, essential to pulling the world’s
Chile, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela modity taxes on the sale of production poor out of poverty. By developing new
each contributed between 4 and 6 per- or exports have become popular in fi- technologies that increase and protect
cent; and the remaining 20 LAC coun- nancing agricultural R&D in countries production, farmers in Latin America
tries accounted for just 14 percent of like Colombia and Costa Rica. Donor and the Caribbean can help shield
the total number of FTE agricultural funding still plays a relatively impor- themselves from economic and natural
researchers. tant role in some of the poorer nations disasters alike. MD
“The reasons for these cuts in low- of Central America. ASTI’s new report, “Public Agricul-
income countries are manifold,” says tural Research in Latin America and the
Stads. “Reduced donor support and a Agricultural R&D and the Caribbean: Investment and Capacity
lack of political priority to allocate gov- Global Economic Crisis Trends,” as well as additional informa-
ernment funds to agricultural R&D are Investment in agricultural techno- tion about the program, can be found at
two key reasons.” To help lift poorer logical advances increases a nation’s http://www.asti.cgiar.org/pdf/LAC_
LAC countries out of poverty, both ability to remain competitive in the Syn_Report.pdf. A translation of the re-
public and private donors must realize global market. Without independent port in Spanish can be found at http://
the need to prioritize agricultural R&D. research facilities and skilled staff www.asti.cgiar.org/pdf/LAC_Syn_Re-
The complexity of research networks teams, developing LAC nations are port_Es.pdf. More information on ASTI is
reflects varying levels of commitment forced to either trail behind in develop- available at http://www.asti.cgiar.org/
to agricultural R&D. In larger coun- ing innovative technologies or import index.aspx.








 


• 
•  • 
•  • 
•  
•  
•  • 
•  
•  
 




34 MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009


Career

Stand Out the


People accepting applications are
getting lots of them. Even before the
economic crash, it was common for
a job advertisement that was posted

Way You Want


for three weeks to garner at least 100
applications. It is tempting to put as
much information as you can in your
resume, but being concise and saying
more with fewer words will increase
Tips to strengthen your non-profit job applications. your impact. Keeping it to two pages or
By Margaret Christoph, Senior Administrative Associate for Policy & less and listing bullets with the top two
Communications, InterAction or three skills you used in each job will
allow the person reading applications

I
think we have all accepted to spend more time on what you say. If
that even if the economic downturn you are applying for different jobs that
is bottoming out, a full recovery will require different skill sets, then tailor
still take time. In the meantime, we separate resumes (and cover letters)
are all concerned for our organizations for each application. Highlight on-the-
and our jobs, and the number of people ground experience if you are applying
already looking for a job is high. Unfor- for a nonprofit, even one that does not
tunately, InterAction member organi- have field programs. It can be paid or
zations have not been immune. voluntary, but it is an important ex-
When we apply for jobs, we all hope perience that will shape your work. It
the person reading our application will is also something you can flag in your
jump for joy at having found someone cover letter, but don’t dedicate your en-
so perfect for the job, but we have all tire cover letter to it—it is more useful
been rejected before too. With so much to expand on it in the interview.
competition in the job market, how can
you make sure your application stands 4. Double check the submission guide-
out from the rest? Here are a few simple 2. Proofread, proofread, proofread! lines before you send your application.
but important starting points that will Your written application is the foot The submission guidelines are usu-
help your application shine, but which that gets you in the door, so it must ally at the end of a job advertisement,
a surprising number of people ignore. be spotless. Spell-check is both your but they are crucial. We all get inun-
friend and foe: if you run it, it will dated with e-mail, and these days
Preparing Your Application catch most of your errors and simplify that is how most job applications are
1. Keep your cover letter concise and the rest of your proofreading, but you accepted. If the advertisement has in-
crisp, without being terse. still need to proofread the text yourself structions on what to put in the sub-
The cover letter can be the hardest as well. If you don’t run a spell-check ject line follow those instructions to
part of the application process. How and send your application in Microsoft the letter; they are there to keep your
long should it be? What should it in- Word format, then the first thing the email from getting lost in the shuffle—
clude? Be concise, but remember that person reading your application sees is or worse, in the spam filter. Again, this
concise is not necessarily the same the red and green squiggles underlin- is particularly important for nonprof-
thing as short. You want to promote ing your mistakes. If you are worried its—for those with human resources
yourself, expand on one or two things in that you have read it so many times departments, the recruiters might have
your resume that you think qualify you that you are seeing what you expect multiple similar jobs advertised, and
for the job. Or if you don’t have the work to see and might have missed a typo, that will direct your application to the
experience point out a few qualifications ask a friend to look it over. Even more appropriate opening. For those with-
(about five) you have that might not embarrassing than submitting an ap- out human resources departments,
have a place on a resume, such as good plication with typos is submitting one it helps them collect all the applica-
written and oral communication skills, in which one of those typos is the mis- tions in one place for the person who
hard-to-find computer skills needed in spelled name of the person who will be is taking the hiring process on. More-
the job or the fact that you speak mul- reading it. You should also remove all over, failing to follow the application
Photo: kreefax - Fotolia.com

tiple languages. The overall tone of your change tracking before submitting your submission guidelines may be viewed
cover letter is also important. If you are documents. Usually you can do this by as another form of carelessness much
anxious, it may show in your letter. Be- using the “accept all changes” function. like typos.
fore you write a cover letter take a deep
breath and write it with a smile on your 3. Think of your resume as a set of high- 5. “No phone calls please.” What does
face. That can often help calm your tone lights, interview talking points or a that mean?
and make you sound more confident. fact sheet. We’ve all seen this on job advertise-

MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009 35


Career

ments, and it can be incredibly frus-


trating. Why do organizations looking
There are countless too, just in case you need to budget
even more time.) If you get hit with hor-
for quality candidates want to take organizations that rible traffic, you have built an extra 15
minutes into your schedule. If it looks
away one of your methods for follow-
ing up? One thing that it could indicate work in international like you will be delayed by more than
is that you are applying somewhere
without an official human resources
development, but that, make sure you bring the inter-
viewer’s phone number with you and
department. The reason I have men- your strategy may call from a cell phone. If your interview
tioned this possibility several times is will be held in a government office or
that it is such an important distinc- be different for a other facility with security check-
tion, particularly for nonprofits where
people regularly take on a full work-
nonprofit as opposed points, consider adding an additional
10 to 15 minutes to your cushion time
load: not only is the person handling to a government and make sure you bring government-
the hiring process doing so in addition issued photo identification. For inter-
to their regular duties, they are also organization, a for-profit views in such locations, always ask
working in an office that is currently
short-staffed. If you want to follow up
contractor, a foundation someone in the front office how much
time they think you should allow to get
but face the “no phone calls” clause, or a large corporation. through security and to allow for your
send an email to the application ad- escort to arrive if necessary. (In some
dress instead. Unless they are entirely Each organization is different. Some buildings, someone from the office will
inundated with applications (which places have dedicated human resourc- need to come down to meet you and
could very well be the case), you will es departments that handle schedul- escort you to your interviews after you
most likely get a response confirming ing all interviews. Some people will ask clear security.)
whether or not they have received your an assistant to take care of it. Some
resume. However, if you get called in places have staffs so small that who- 4. You’re never fully dressed without a
for an interview, at that point it’s okay ever is reading the applications also smile.
to follow up by phone. does the scheduling and interviewing. If you are nervous it will show, so
When you are settling on an interview take a deep, relaxing breath before you
Preparing for an Interview time, it is always a good idea to ask the walk in, and smile. More importantly,
If you do manage to clear that first person scheduling it, “How many peo- be yourself. If you are comfortable in
hurdle and get the interview, there’s a ple will I be meeting with? Will you be your own skin, that will show, too.
whole new set of issues to consider. one of them?” It will help you be more
prepared for your interview. Once you 5. Follow up with a thank you letter.
1. Refresh yourself on the organiza- know the number of people, be sure to Hiring for a position takes a lot of
tion’s “stats.” bring enough copies of your resume effort on top of peoples’ already full
It is just as important to know the and cover letter plus one or two extras. workloads. Taking the time to follow
type of organization to which you are They are going through a lot of appli- up promptly with a thank you note
applying as it is to know the kind of cations, so it will help them focus on may seem old-fashioned, but the fact
work they do. There are countless or- yours if you have a spare copy of your that you are acknowledging their ex-
ganizations that work in international materials on hand that you can offer tra effort and the fact that they have
development, but your strategy may be them if they do not have one when you seen something in your application to
different for a nonprofit as opposed to walk in. differentiate it from the other 100 ap-
a government organization, a for-profit plications they have reviewed will raise
contractor, a foundation or a large cor- 3. Plan to show up 15 minutes early. you just that much more in their es-
poration. If you cannot find that infor- You never know what traffic will be. timation. E-mails are fine, but hand-
mation anywhere in your research, see If you are like me and constantly get written notes are often more likely to
if you can find the contact information hit with Murphy’s Law, it is a good idea get noticed.
for the front desk and ask (this is also to pad your arrival time by about 15 I know these steps seem simple, and
a legitimate exception to the “no phone minutes. If you show up 15 minutes they are. But inevitably, people miss
calls” clause). You may be prepar- early, you will make a good impres- one or more of them, and you have a
ing multiple applications at once, so sion and show you are serious about better chance if you show you can do
be sure to keep this information filed wanting this job. It will give you time the simple first. If your application
somewhere easily accessible. It is al- to stop by the restroom and make sure stands out, you are far more likely to
ways a good idea to refresh yourself on you are put together, or grab a quick get an interview and to be able to stand
it the night before an interview. drink at the water fountain. Your pro- out in person. Following these steps
spective employer may even have some helps make sure you stand out for the
2. Ask with whom you will be meeting. paperwork they need you to fill out. (It reasons that you want to stand out,
It may not be the person who is doing is always a good idea to check on this and not because you didn’t show your
the scheduling. when you are scheduling the interview, best. MD

36 MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009


Events
June 5-9 July 31 July
InterAction Annual Forum: OCHA/InterAction
23-25 June 25th Aniversary Monthly Meeting
45th UNHCR Standing Committee Crystal Gateway Marriot UN Secretariat Building
Meeting Arlington, VA New York, NY
United Nations Office of Geneva Contact: sramachandran@interaction.org Contact: lpoteat@interaction.org
Geneva, Switzerland
5-9 July August
24 June Global Conference on Global Warming
Report Launch: Improving Ministry Istanbul Grand Cevahir Hotel 27 August
of Health and Ministry of Finance Istanbul, Turkey OFDA/PRM/InterAction
Relationships for Increased Health www.gcgw.org Monthly Meeting
Funding National Press Club, 7th Floor
Woodrow Wilson Center 7 July Washington, DC
www.wilsoncenter.org Congressional Reception and Exhibit Contact: ebellardo@interaction.org
Rayburn Foyer, Rayburn House
25 June Washington, DC 28 August
OFDA/PRM/InterAction Monthly Contact: fhailemichael@interaction.org OCHA/InterAction Monthly Meeting
Meeting UN Secretariat Building
National Press Club, 7th Floor 9-10 July New York, NY
Washington, DC International Aid and Trade 2009 Contact: lpoteat@interaction.org
Contact: ebellardo@interaction.org Crystal Gateway Marriot
Arlington, VA Promote your upcoming events!
26 June www.aidandtrade.org/event2009 Send event details to:
OCHA/InterAction Monthly Meeting publications@interaction.org
UN Secretariat Building 13-14 July
New York, NY International Conference on
Microfinance
Contact: lpoteat@interaction.org Diaspora for Development
continued from page 33
Washington, DC
26 June Contact: splaza@worldbank.org other programming to strengthen the
Latino Immigrant Civic Engagement capacity of the CBO. The cost and la-
Trends 15-17 July borious nature of credit management
Woodrow Wilson Center Pandemic Preparedness require many resources that can be
Washington, DC Regional Meeting directed toward the long-term sustain-
www.wilsoncenter.org Pretoria, South Africa ability of the CBO and its ability to
Contact: ebellardo@interaction.org provide a full range of critically needed
27 June services to smallholder farmers.
International Development Career 16-17 July Fatuma’s life has improved thanks
Fair in London 4th International Conference on to the tripartite model used by the CBO
London School of Economics E-Learning to which she belongs. She has received
England, UK University of Toronto technical and marketing training to
www.devex.com Toronto, Canada support her movement from subsis-
academic-conferences.org/icel/icel2009/ tence agriculture to a marketing-based
28-30 June icel09-home.htm approach. The loan she received, made
World Bank: possible by the Lutheran World Relief
Fifth Urban Research Symposium 19-22 July partnership with a local MFI and her
Marseille, France IAS 2009 local CBO, enabled her to secure the
Contact: info@promosciences.com Cape Town, South Africa inputs needed to increase her maize
www.ias2009.org harvest. Fatuma now intends to market
July her product, through her CBO, to local
30 July schools. The money she earns, Fatuma
2-3 July OFDA/PRM/InterAction Monthly says, will help her family greatly.
Global Ethics Forum Meeting “I will use the money to pay back
United Nations Office of Geneva National Press Club, 7th Floor part of my loan, reinvest in three acres
Geneva, Switzerland Washington, DC of maize and pay school fees for my
www.globalethicsforum.org Contact: ebellardo@interaction.org children and grandchild.” MD

MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009 37


MONDAY Developments

EmploymentOpportunities
Network Administrator Supervisor Vice President
Arlington, VA Arlington, VA
Oversee/manage IT for nonprofit in US/Ethiopia inclu. assist Amharic cli- U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), an Arlington,
ents. FT 35hrs. Requird: Amharic fluency. MS Comp Sc. or rel. degree + 1 VA not-for-profit national organization dedicated to addressing the needs
yr exper. manage databases websites Window systems & Networks /OR and rights of refugees and immigrants, is seeking a highly motivated prov-
Bach. degree in comp field + 5 yrs progrssv exper. 1 yr exper.inclu: MS en leader to serve as Vice President. Responsibilities include oversight, im-
Windows 2003 environment & web develpmnt Dreamweaver Photoshop plementation, and accountability for quality of programs and delivery of
HTML XHTML CSS JS networkng w/ CISCO SONICWALL VPN Access Pls. services. The Vice President reports to the President and CEO and works as
Any suitable combo of educ. trainng or exper acceptble. Reply:emailw/ part of the Senior Management Team. Strong and significant experience in
ltr resume to Ethiopian Community Development Council ArlVA at program growth, development of proposals, project design, implementa-
hr@ecdcinternational.org tion and management, is required. He/She will have budget, fundraising
and supervisory responsibilities. For a more detailed job description and
application process please visit job openings at www.refugees.org
Chief Financial Officer
Arlington, VA
U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), a not-for-profit Director Public Sector Business Development
national organization dedicated to addressing the needs and rights of ref- Baltimore, MD
ugees and immigrants, is seeking a Chief Financial Officer. This position is The International Youth Foundation is a nonprofit organization that
responsible for the overall fiscal management of the organization and in- prepares young people to be healthy, productive and engaged citizens.
cludes supervision of the Finance, MIS and Loan Collection Departments. The position is responsible for securing resources from public sector
Under the Direct supervision of the President and CEO of USCRI, the CFO is sources, both bilateral and multilateral, for development of new pro-
responsible for the full range of financial functions of the organization, in- grams that support IYF’s strategic priorities. Requirements: Strong pro-
cluding finance, budget, accounting and audit, procurement, loan collec- posal writing, editing, & budget development skills for USAID & other
tion management, computers and technology systems, inventory and risk bilateral & multilateral donor agencies. 7-8 years experience in fundrais-
management. Bachelor’s degree and minimum of five years senior-level ing, program development and/or program management in the interna-
accounting and supervisory experience required. Experience should in- tional development sector. Strong network of relationships with USAID
clude direct responsibility for non-profit financial accounting, investment and other bilateral and multilateral development agencies. Advanced
and budget functions. For a more detailed job description and application degree in a relevant field. Second language fluency preferred. To apply
process please visit job openings at www.refugees.org go to: http://www.iyfnet.org/ and click on the Jobs link.

38 MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS July 2009 To advertise, call 202-667-8227 ext 548 or email publications@interaction.org
Job Openings Deputy Director,
Contracts and
Grants
Arlington,VA

Local Governance
Coordinator
Baghdad, Iraq

Deputy Director,
Infrastructure
Arlington,VA

International
Water Rights
Advisor
Kabul,
Afghanistan

1621 North Kent Street For more information,


Fourth Floor contact Christine
Arlington,VA 22209 Dalpino at
P: 703.248.0161 703.248.0161 or visit
F: 703.248.0194 www.ird.org and
www.ird.org click on “careers.”
1400 16th Street, NW, Suite 210
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 667-8227
Fax: (202) 667-8236
publications@interaction.org
www.interaction.org

InterAction is the largest alliance of U.S.-based international


development and humanitarian nongovernmental
organizations. With more than 170 members operating in every
developing country, we work to overcome poverty, exclusion
and suffering by advancing social justice and basic dignity for all.