CARE Failing Forward
Efficient, Effective, or Inexpensive: Looking at Cost Efficiency for Impact, Not Just Savings

Efficient, Effective, or Inexpensive: Looking at Cost Efficiency for Impact, Not Just Savings

January 11, 2022

Nour AlSaaideh and Heba Abu Deyak reflect on what they learned doing cost efficiency analysis with the Dioptra tool. When they look at Conditional Cash Transfers for Education, cost is one metric, but it's not the only--or maybe even the most important one. Learn more about how we can focus on effectiveness AND efficiency so that when we lower costs, we don't compromise on impacts. Focusing on just cost runs the risk of creating programs that reach a lot more people without providing useful impacts in their lives. Do it well, and with some structure, can you can learn a lot about improving your programs.

Get Beyond Your Own Assumptions

Get Beyond Your Own Assumptions

October 12, 2021

Holly Radice reflects on 3 years of cash and voucher programming at CARE, where we've grown, and where we need to invest more. Working with cash and vouchers to ensure that we're supporting gender equality and reducing risks of GBV is possible, but it's also a challenge. Here are some places that we need to strengthen: get participants more involved in design, listen to feedback, and understand that you've always got different levels of skills and experience are some of her big recommendations. She also says we need to be patient with ourselves, and always learning more.

Study, analyze, adjust quickly: the Bihar Technical Support Program’s concurrent measurement and learning approach

Study, analyze, adjust quickly: the Bihar Technical Support Program’s concurrent measurement and learning approach

January 19, 2021

Dr. Tanmay Mahapatra and Dr. Shridhar Srikantiah from CARE India’s Bihar Technical Support Program explain how they use data to catch failures and make adjustments in real time with their Concurrent Measurement and Learning approach. Learn more at: bihar.care.org

We are not immune: unlearning white supremacy in international development

We are not immune: unlearning white supremacy in international development

December 7, 2020

"If you are not uncomfortable, you are not having the right conversations." Andres Gomez de la Torre from CARE talks about what we have to do in our work to be actively anti-racist. From the big changes to the small habits, from the individual to the organization, we need to accept that our work is built on a history of colonialism, and we all have to do the work to change our ideas about what it means to support social justice. "It's not just an HR issue. Thinking that is a mistake." We have to make changes across all parts of the organization, and do the work as individuals."

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.

Soyez Courageux et Realiste: Le lecons pour la creation des projets qui marche

Soyez Courageux et Realiste: Le lecons pour la creation des projets qui marche

August 28, 2019

Yawo Douvon et Barbara Jean Claude de CARE Haiti discute l'importance d'avoir le courage de dire quelque chose ne marche pas. Il faut du courage pour expliquer que les objectives ne sont pas realiste, et que nous risquons de ne pas tout accomplir. Avoir l'analyse du context--meme dans les cas d'urgence--le renforcement des rapports avec les bailleurs, la suivi des indicateurs, et la communcation sont tous les outils qui peuvent vous aider.

Be Bold and Realistic: Creating space for project plans that will work

Be Bold and Realistic: Creating space for project plans that will work

August 22, 2019

Yawo Douvon and Barbara Jean-Claude from Haiti talk about the importance of being bold when it comes to admitting that something won't work. It takes courage to point out that goals and expectations are unrealistic, and that we might not get everything done. Getting good context analysis--even in emergencies--building solid donor relationships, carefully monitoring data, and being proactive in communications when something goes off track are all tips that can help you through a rocky project implementation. (French version will be coming the week of August 26th.)

Digital Projects and the Danger of Expertise

Digital Projects and the Danger of Expertise

February 13, 2019

Mark Malhotra from CARE’s Innovation team talks about the process of designing digital solutions, and the danger of trusting experts when it seems like they aren’t delivering what you need. Human centered design, frequent check ins, and setting clear expectations with consultants all feature as tips to make your next digital experience easier. Tip: just because someone else in an expert, it doesn’t mean you’re wrong.

Processes and Privilege: How to prioritize innovative local partners in market solutions

Processes and Privilege: How to prioritize innovative local partners in market solutions

February 6, 2019

Bob Rabatsky from Fintrac discusses his experiences as the Chief of Party for Feed the Future’s Partnering For Innovation, and what it teaches us about working with the private sector and market based solutions. Re-setting application processes to prioritize qualified local businesses, focusing on setting good milestones, and overcoming resistance to private sector solutions are some of his key takeaways.

Mistake Money, Premortems, and other ways to incentivize talking about failure

Mistake Money, Premortems, and other ways to incentivize talking about failure

December 13, 2018

Susan Davis of Improve International talks about how we can incentivize talking about failure so we can make new mistakes rather than continuing to make the old ones. She also talks about how we can resolve problems as we find them in the Guidelines for Resolving Problems with Water Systems. Some tools she suggests are the Nakuru accord, pre-mortems, and innovative financing mechanisms—what she calls “Mistake Money”. What's the key? Getting communities involved in the conversation.

Fourth Quarter Failure: How we got the FY18 budget wrong, and what we’re doing now

Fourth Quarter Failure: How we got the FY18 budget wrong, and what we’re doing now

October 31, 2018

Michelle Nunn discusses how CARE's FY18 budget missed the balance between audacious goals and operational excellence. She ends with a call to all staff to err on the side of candor and speak truth to power.

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