CARE Failing Forward
Fail Again. Fail Better.

Fail Again. Fail Better.

November 19, 2020

Fiona Cooper talks about her experience leading the research for round two of CARE's Learning From Failure initiative, and…I know this will surprise everyone…we haven’t stopped failures yet. We do have some hopeful signs that we’re failing better. Fiona talks about the importance of looking internally, acknowledging that everyone fails, and finding ways to be honest about failure in a sector that's not really comfortable with it.

Data in the time of COVID

Data in the time of COVID

November 12, 2020

Clement Bisai from CARE Malawi talks about what he and his team are learning about how to do better remote data collection. Focus, listen to communities, and reflect regularly are his key takeaways. Don't expect to outsource everything. Digital remote data collection may be the best way to work in COVID-19, but we're already learning how to do it better.

Dream Big, But Move Methodically

Dream Big, But Move Methodically

October 29, 2020

Hazem Fahmy from CARE Egypt talks about the journey from being a country office to becoming an independent member of the CARE family. What are some of his key lessons? First, don't spend all your time planning--test out actions and adapt. Second, learn to listen for what people aren't telling you; trust is critical for organizational change. Third, keep your principles firmly in mind as a north star. It can be easy to lose track of why we're transforming in the excitement of growing a business.

Implementers vs. Allies

Implementers vs. Allies

October 14, 2020

Tatiana Bertolucci--CARE's Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean--talks about what she learned closing the CARE Brazil office. We need to engage with curiosity and treat organizations in the global south as powerful allies, not people who merely implement our agenda. We also need to invest in more diverse boards. "There is knowledge everywhere if we will listen to it." Another lesson is "scream for help sooner" when something is not working.

Undocumented and Unafraid: Rethinking Vulnerability

Undocumented and Unafraid: Rethinking Vulnerability

September 30, 2020

Find out why Randy Villegas from UC Santa Cruz is rethinking is definition of vulnerability when it comes to undocumented youth in California. They certainly face extreme challenges, but what he has seen youth organizers do in the context of COVID-19 has Randy wondering, "what if it's elected officials who are vulnerable if youth keep being activist?" Learn more from Randy's work with young people, and lessons like "you need to be there even when it's not an election year," "stop the flyover organizing," and "youth are brutally honest."

The Power of Risk: Contingency Plans, Relationships, and other lessons from COVID

The Power of Risk: Contingency Plans, Relationships, and other lessons from COVID

September 17, 2020

Deyanira Nevarez Martinez from UC Irvine talks about the challenges of doing research in COVID-19, and the importance of contingency and risk management planning. How would you plan if you thought everything might go wrong? What are your alternatives for each step of your process? When COVID-19 turned everything upside down, Deyanira talks about strategies for moving research forward. Deya's research is in California, but she's got advice that can apply for everyone in the world.

Rumors, Trust, and COVID-19

Rumors, Trust, and COVID-19

August 13, 2020

Salah Hamwi from CARE Turkey talks about lessons learned in fighting rumors and misinformation about COVID 19. "We're fighting against time," he says. You have to get good information out first so that rumors don't have the space to grow and spread. Using digital platforms, getting leaders involved, and using evidence to shape your programs are all other key steps.

A Grain of Truth in Opposition: Launching new programs in difficult times

A Grain of Truth in Opposition: Launching new programs in difficult times

July 29, 2020

Ryan Shepard talks about launching CARE's first US-focused project, creating jobs and feeding kids impacted by #covid19. It wasn't an easy lift and "depended on a lot of things all going right at a very uncertain time." What are Ryan's takeaways? Listen for the truth that will make you stronger, even when people's feedback is discouraging. Believe in the core of what must work, constantly refine the details, and make decisions true to your principles.

CARE of 1000 Papers, Part 2: Improving the way we work with partners in crisis

CARE of 1000 Papers, Part 2: Improving the way we work with partners in crisis

June 18, 2020

Puji Pujiono of the Pujiono Center and Victoria Palmer from CARE Canada talk about their paper based on the Sulawesi response in Indonesia.This time, they talk about what organizations can do once a crisis has already started to have better success with partners, and help them achieve their goals rather than hurt them.

CARE of 1000 papers: How our best intentions can hurt local activists

CARE of 1000 papers: How our best intentions can hurt local activists

June 3, 2020

How do international NGOs create problems when they team up with local activists? It's the CARE of 1000 papers, where our processes are so focused on reducing risk that we bury local groups under the weight of our expectations, and don't give them the support they need. Puji Pujiono of the Pujiono Center and Victoria Palmer from CARE Canada talk about their paper based on the Sulawesi response in Indonesia, where we learned a lot about what we can do BEFORE we reach out to local partners so that we're truly helping response and empowering those partners. Stay tuned for part 2, where they discuss what we can do once a crisis hits.

Designing Data Systems in Crisis: Act Quickly, Iterate Fast, and Think to the Future

Designing Data Systems in Crisis: Act Quickly, Iterate Fast, and Think to the Future

April 20, 2020

Jay Goulden talks about designing a data system to collect information on pandemic response in 78 countries--a first for CARE. He says act quickly, iterate fast, and think what your system might need to be in two weeks or a month as the situation evolves. He also talks about reducing burdens on over-taxed staff, streamlining systems, and connecting data collection to data use. Oh--and make it beautiful to look at.

Don’t Jump Straight to Digital: What Ebola Taught Us About Trying to Force New Systems in Crisis

Don’t Jump Straight to Digital: What Ebola Taught Us About Trying to Force New Systems in Crisis

April 13, 2020

Holly Radice talks about how people have limited bandwidth to adopt new things in crisis, and how cash transfers in Ebola failed at digital solutions because of unrealistic expectations. Her recommendations: do everything you can to adapt and expand existing systems to push out cash safely, examine your context very carefully and frequently to see what market approaches work, and start planning now for cash transfers during recovery in a few months. Be empathetic to participants and financial service providers, and respect that everyone is affected. Finally, stay in touch with partners and cash working groups to find solutions that will support everyone.

From Supervision to Empowerment: New Ways to Partner for Sustainability (English Version)

From Supervision to Empowerment: New Ways to Partner for Sustainability (English Version)

April 6, 2020

In this translation from the French Episode, Sandra Georges from CARE Cameroon talks about the CHAMPS project, and how they have had to move from "make others do" to "do together" to "let others do." It involves changing the way we think about partnership, gradually handing over responsibility, and believing local teams and communities about what approaches work best.

Push Aside the Panic: Thinking Bigger than Just a Health Response to COVID 19

Push Aside the Panic: Thinking Bigger than Just a Health Response to COVID 19

March 26, 2020

Alfred Makavore, a key responder in CARE's Ebola response in Sierra Leone in 2014-2015, share's lessons about how to improve our COVID-19 response. "At first, we thought it was just a clinical problem, and we treated it like that." Alfred encourages teams to think beyond a clinical response, to understand what communities are facing, and to build trust. "We have to push aside the panic." Engaging governments, setting up local coordination, and trusting field teams to make decisions are some of his key recommendations.

 

Expect to Fail: Advocacy, Partnership, and Women Workers’ Rights

Expect to Fail: Advocacy, Partnership, and Women Workers’ Rights

March 25, 2020

Daniel Almeida from CARE's Latin America Regional office warns, "Don't lose sight of the real reason you are doing this work." He's talking about how to do advocacy more effectively in partnership with social movements. Do your political economy analysis, have clear communication with partners, invest for the long term, and expect to fail. He tells teams, "not to expect to have results that are 100% things that they showed in the design." Learn more about this work from the recent paper: CARE International Advocacy and Influencing.

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