No 1: “We can’t shift the power without localising consultancy” by Rick James [Read Now]

As part of our celebrations of INTRAC’s 30th anniversary, we published a series of blogs on the topic of shifting the power through organisational development (OD). Principal consultant Rick James wrote this piece on the longstanding and still-pressing need to “[get to] grips with addressing the bottleneck of quality local consultants”. Rick also suggests that “civil society ecosystems brimming with a healthy supply of national facilitators” will be a clear sign that power truly has shifted.

Further reading: the project page for shifting the power through OD features links to all five blogs in the series, and all the outputs from our March 2022 event on the topic attended by around 140 people.

No 2: “Reimagining monitoring, evaluation, and learning through African folklore” by Gervin Chanase [Read Now]

The second phase of our 30th anniversary celebrations focused on shifting the power through monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL). For his intriguing guest contribution, Gervin Chanase focused on the topic of expressing MEL through local cultural forms – specifically, African folklore. By using this framework, Gervin suggests, “communities can be supported to tell their stories in a language that resonates with or reflects their context and dynamics”.

Further reading: the project page for shifting the power through MEL links to all four blogs in that series, and to all the outputs from our July 2022 event, which attracted over 200 participants.

No 3: “To what extent does feminist MEL shift the power?” by Elanor Jackson and Kanwal Ahluwalia [Read Now]

In another entry in our MEL blog series, guest authors Elanor Jackson and Kanwal Ahluwalia reflected on their understanding of feminist MEL practices. They placed the need for feminist MEL within a wider view of what they see as a “flawed” system rooted primarily in the global North. In order to help shift the power, they say, “MEL activities should be empowering for participants and for project staff, and centre communities’ and women’s and girls’ own narratives.”

Further reading: For more discussion of the international MEL system, and the ways in which it is strongly rooted in the global North, see Rod MacLeod’s blog “Abuse of power? How M&E systems really operate”.

No 4: “How can the shift the power process better reflect the unique insight of young people?” by Willemijn de Bruin, Timothy Kisuule, Lily Maćków-McGuire, Marina Raoilimanantsoa, and Alastair Spray [Read Now]

Young people and their contribution to development projects has been another focus for INTRAC in recent years, particularly through The Development Alternative (TDA). This unique blog is a small sample of three wide-ranging conversations on this topic which INTRAC hosted with five young people working in development. While all five are connected through TDA, the discussion covered many issues at the intersection between young people, power, and civil society.

Further reading: For the full, in-depth conversation read our dialogue paper titled “The unique insight of young people – youth, development, and shifting the power”. Also, you may be interested in The Development Alternative Cookbook for Youth Accountability.

No 5: “Shifting the power while strengthening the resilience of CSOs in Ethiopia” by Lucy Morris and Sosena Lemma [Read Now]

Currently, INTRAC is working together with AGAR Development Partners Consulting on CSIF, a new programme to support civil society in Ethiopia. This piece focuses on an earlier collaboration between our organisations, an unusual “capacity strengthening for exit” initiative that ran from February 2020 to October 2021. It takes the form of a conversation between INTRAC principal consultant Lucy Morris, and AGAR Managing Director Sosena Lemma, who discuss what made this work successful in shifting the power.

Further reading: For more information about the CSIF Ethiopia programme and our collaboration with AGAR, see the relevant project page.

2023 will see many more blogs published on our site, both written by our staff and by members of our global network. In the meantime, here are five other blogs from 2022 which you might have missed:

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