Lindsay Coates's blog

Citizen Engagement Forms the Backbone for Good Development

A democracy truly founded on participation requires strong citizen engagement and feedback. In many contexts, civil society organizations are the most common conduits to include the voice of citizens. Citizen engagement, when it works, encourages greater transparency and accountability and may reduce corruption. NGOs, which often have a strong history of working in communities, are crucial in this endeavor.

The Gold Friends

When I was 8 years old, my grandmother decided that I needed to learn to cross stitch. She treated everything as an opportunity to improve me, so I was not allowed to pick the motto for my sampler myself, as I might not have chosen a worthy lesson. It said, “make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold,” and when I finished, it was framed and hung on my bedroom wall.

Development: Beyond Governments to Communities

Recently, a friend who is a former diplomat and academic asked me a question about U.S. foreign assistance and its role in driving economic development and leading to better lives and greater stability. He asked, if two countries are candidates for aid but one has a better government and policies, do you work with the former, even if the inadequate country is more in need of stability and its people in need of better lives?

Why President Obama's Peace Corps is relevant

**Originally posted by Lindsay Coates in the Huffington Post

This month, my daughter left for Morocco, an eager volunteer in the Peace Corps, a U.S. program created exactly half a century ago by President John F. Kennedy with the goal of spreading peace and friendship.

About 200,000 volunteers have served in 139 nations and my daughter, Helen Rose Patterson, is one of more than 8,650 people this year who are working in 77 countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and elsewhere.

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