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Listening to People on the Receiving End of Aid

Posted by howmatters 
Listening to People on the Receiving End of Aid
September 02, 2010 11:00AM
An important series on the work and findings of the Listening Project began today at the Harvard Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations’ Humanitarian & Development NGOs Domain blog.

Thought your followers might be interested in this cross-posting of the Listening Project's initial findings on my blog. I urge everyone involved in international assistance to stay tuned as they continue to be shared. Barefoot Economics’ recent post also demonstrates a wonderful example of what we can learn when aid recipients can provide their genuine feedback.

Background on the Listening Project

The Listening Project is a comprehensive and systematic exploration of the ideas and insights of people who live in societies that have been on the recipient end of international assistance efforts (humanitarian assistance, development cooperation, peace-building activities, human rights work, environmental conservation, etc.).

The Listening Project has organized over 20 Listening Exercises in various contexts and geographical regions since late 2005, including Aceh (Indonesia), Afghanistan, Angola, Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia, East Timor, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Kenya, Kosovo, Lebanon, Mali, Mindanao, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Thai-Burma border area, US Gulf Coast, and Zimbabwe. More than 130 international and local organizations have participated and contributed more than 400 staff members to the Listening Teams that held conversations with nearly 6,000 people.

These teams listened to the experiences and reflections of a wide range of local people in recipient societies (community members and leaders, government officials, civil society and religious leaders, teachers, health workers, business people, academics, NGO and CBO staff, women, youth, etc.) to gather their perceptions of international aid efforts. Each Listening Exercise produced a report (available on the CDA website) that captures what people have said as they shared their experiences and thoughts on the cumulative effects of international assistance on their lives and their societies.

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