Zachary Vinyard from the One Acre Fund talks about how digital projects in Rwanda failed because of too many assumptions about what worked for farmers. His team has a new report on Digital Innovations, and how to get better. Key tips? Break inward. Design experiments so if they fail, the organization bears all of the extra risk and extra work, and the farmers you serve don't have to take it on. Also, don't assume just because the code works that it will work for people. The benefits we care about are to farmers, not to functional code.
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Get Beyond Your Own Assumptions
18:03Holly 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.
Treat the System, Not the Disease
20:17Amani Idfonce from CARE Tanazania talks about how reinforcing the whole health system--especially with community health workers--makes it possible to get an even better COVID response than focusing on the disease alone would have done. How did they manage it? They worked on aligning with existing priorities, thinking about infectious diseases more broadly, and remembered to keep regular services running. Read more about the project here.
We are not superior: lessons on working authentically with local organizations
20:25Mona Sherpa from CARE Nepal reflects on lessons learned in responding to emergencies in true collaboration with local partners. "We are not superior. Learning has to go both ways," she says. It's not just about your plans on paper or your commitment to principles, but also your actions and your systems.
Breaking Inward: Digital Failures and Who Bears the Risk
21:05Zachary Vinyard from the One Acre Fund talks about how digital projects in Rwanda failed because of too many assumptions about what worked for farmers. His team has a new report on Digital Innovations, and how to get better. Key tips? Break inward. Design experiments so if they fail, the organization bears all of the extra risk and extra work, and the farmers you serve don't have to take it on. Also, don't assume just because the code works that it will work for people. The benefits we care about are to farmers, not to functional code.
Don't Try to Win: Lessons from innovation failures in the humanitarian sector
19:58"Don't try to win for yourself. Try to win for impact." Rahul Chandran talks about what he terms the catastrophic failure of innovation in the humanitarian sector, why importing the Silicone Valley model of innovation and scale doesn't work, and how collective action and anti-racism are the only solutions. "Scale isn't about big" is just one of his provocations to the sector at large.
Where White Feminism has Failed: Linking women's empowerment with anti-racism
19:20Allison Burden, CARE International's Head of Programming, reflects on where white feminist traditions have failed at anti-racism, what that means for white feminists to improve their own behavior (hint: listening and humility are two big tips), and what that means for the system of international development where we're working towards equality, human rights, and decolonization.
Study, analyze, adjust quickly: the Bihar Technical Support Program's concurrent measurement and learning approach
26:36Dr. 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
23:10"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."
Fail Again. Fail Better.
20:54Fiona 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
17:39Clement 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.