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When Things Go Sideways…

In 2012 Plan was awarded a large grant to improve government delivery of basic services in a war-ravaged region in Africa.  Plan, although one of the world’s oldest international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) operating in 72 countries and with a large diversified funding base – mostly from individuals donating via almost two dozen countries – was not built for managing large institutional government grants.

Built for the dying - Now it’s bringing new life

How one Ebola treatment center underwent a dramatic change of purpose

Sam Holder led us up a narrow bush path towards John Logan Town, a small city deep in the forests of Grand Bassa County in northern Liberia. It took two hours driving to get here from the main road, along a deeply rutted and often flooded dirt track. Eventually the water was too deep for even a Land Cruiser to get through and the only passage was on foot, using slippery logs to cross the swollen streams.

We're Not Done Yet: The Road to Eliminating Mother to Child Transmission of HIV

Less than a decade ago, HIV positive women like Martha Cameron from Kitwe, Zambia, had little hope of having healthy children. Today, Martha and others like her are not only staying healthy, but also having healthy babies.

Instability and assault on the poor require us to respond

In his clarion call to action on climate change, Pope Francis echoes the statements and sentiments of many religious leaders and church bodies.

Refugee crisis: We must not forget where needs are greatest

We have all seen the heartbreaking imagery of refugees desperately trying to escape war and persecution for the safety of Europe. Some, like the now infamous photograph of Syrian man Laith Majid in tears clutching his two children just off the Greek Island of Kos, have ended happily. Others, notably the lifeless body of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi on the shores of Turkey, ended tragically.

An Opening and an Opportunity in Central America

Ambassador Daniel Speckhard, president & CEO of Lutheran World Relief, wrote this op-ed that was published by The Hill on Sept. 3, 2015.

Scaling NGO Impact Through Collaborations and Mergers

The theme of collaboration topped Bridgespan’s 2015 Nonprofit Management Tools poll of nearly 500 CEOs on how best to grow their organizations’ impact. And it makes sense: the right sort of collaboration can help small organizations spread their evidence-based solutions across NGO partners with greater reach; and it can help big NGOs avoid reinventing wheels. 

InterAction Forum Inspires New Thoughts On Development

The InterAction Forum, held recently in Washington, D.C., explored solutions to improve the lives of the world’s poor and marginalized. I was able to participate as a panelist on the session, “Mind the Gap: Creating Economic Opportunities for Youth.”

As a consultant who works on youth employment issues for FHI 360’s Workforce Connections project, spending time with like-minded peers from the development community helped me to gain a fresh perspective on my work.

Rising to the Challenge of Local Ownership: Are We Adapting Fast Enough?

When it comes to local ownership and local solutions, we are well past the point of asking whether we can or should do this.  As USAID’s Counselor to the Agency Susan Reichle has said, for USAID to remain a leading development agency, “we have to put partnering locally front and center.”

From the Frontlines: Lessons from Ebola

As the Ebola outbreak in West Africa appears to have receded from the deadly highs of the past year, there are many lessons that we can all learn from this tragedy -- from the need to strengthen health systems, to the importance of coordinated responses at all levels, from the local to the international. But for me, from my experience spending the last year on the front lines against the disease, the lessons of the past year are far more simple.

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