February 7, 2011
Ed Batista's Double-Loop Learning diagram
Nothing like a Sunday afternoon curled up in a chair with a coffee and a book on monitoring and evaluation… In the latest IDS Bulletin, I came across this graphic, attributed to Ed Batista, a blogger who talks about “Double-Loop Learning”.
I thought that the picture was also quite relevant to our own learning loops within IDE, and the goals of iQ – our internal evaluation and learning initiative (our “organizational intelligence”). Read the rest of this entry »
January 28, 2011
Pop Quiz: What do a treadle pump and an aspirin have in common? If you are like most normal people, you probably answered “not much” (although an enterprising sales rep offering pumps on credit might tell a potential customer, “Take two and call me in the morning”).
But for a group of researchers gathered in Washington DC last week for the Agricultural Technology Adoption Initiative (ATAI), we will not make real headway with the introduction of pumps or other agricultural technologies until we test them as rigorously as we would a medical treatment: something like an aspirin for poverty. Read the rest of this entry »
May 10, 2010
Gable's take on Bob Geldof for the Globe and Mail
If you haven’t yet seen today’s issue of the Globe and Mail, you should check it out. Bono and Bob Geldof guest edited the edition, with a focus on the potential of Africa. This is an attempt to build momentum for public discussion of poverty and investment in Africa ahead of the G8 summit being held in Ontario at the end of June.
One might well wonder why two pale Irish men are editing an African edition of Canada’s National Newspaper. Read the rest of this entry »
February 12, 2010
This is the final instalment of Stu Taylor’s presentation to Aqua Books’ ideaExchange, entitled: “Totally Pumped: Creating Income Opportunities for African Farmers or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Capitalism.” See previous posts for the remainder of the talk. Enjoy!
Coming back to Canada in 2006, I reflected on what I would say to friends who would ask how they could make a difference in Africa. My initial response would be: If you are really serious, go there and start a business. Lacking the capital and the courage to do that myself, I did the next best thing. I joined IDE. Read the rest of this entry »
February 10, 2010
This is Part 3 of Stu Taylor’s presentation to Aqua Books’ ideaExchange, entitled: “Totally Pumped: Creating Income Opportunities for African Farmers or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Capitalism.” I am publishing the transcript in instalments this week. Enjoy!
Too many within the international aid community seem ambivalent or even negative about the role of business in development. I would like to share with you my journey toward embracing business as the best way to offer income opportunities to people in some of Africa’s poorest areas.
When I was six, my imaginary friend Kenny went to Africa. One day, my mum noticed that I was no longer speaking to Kenny or playing trucks with him in the back yard. “Where’s Kenny?” she asked. “Oh,” I replied nonchalantly, “he went to Africa.” Perhaps the choices I have made have been informed in part by a search for my long-lost imaginary friend. Read the rest of this entry »
February 8, 2010
Stu Taylor – Executive Director of IDE Canada – gave a presentation to ideaExchange at Aqua Books in Winnipeg this past weekend: “Totally Pumped: Creating Income Opportunities for African Farmers, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Capitalism. An audio file will be posted soon on the Aqua Books site. In the meantime, I am posting the transcript of his talk in a few digestible instalments. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »
February 1, 2010
Normally, IDEalists extol the virtues of a free market as the best way to offer real value to customers – poor and wealthy alike. However, I have just been reminded that businesses can often treat customers with about as much respect as any two-bit tinpot dictator.
Traveling through Vancouver airport last week, I popped into the Olympic Store to pick up some mascot-themed trinkets for my kids. I was prepared for the platinum-plated prices, but was a little taken aback to see the signs everywhere saying, “We are proud to accept only Visa.” Read the rest of this entry »
February 1, 2010
- The FAO’s Jacques Diouf takes calls from his temporary hunger strike “office”
Over at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, someone has suggested the radical idea that investing in small-scale agriculture may combat hunger in the developing world.
In an unusual move for a top UN official, the FAO’s Director General Jacques Diouf commenced a 24-hour hunger strike on the eve of the November World Summit on Food Security. Read the rest of this entry »