WORK WORK AND INNER WORK: How are we doing?

Whatever your current age, one thing is clear: everything is not well with our world.

The time we could say “it’s not my problem” is over. We may try to ignore the wider world – but the wider world does not ignore us. If not today, tomorrow for sure, technological, economic, political, security and social changes will impact on our life. Our personal choices now truly have wider impact.  So we need to ask ourselves how our work, our consumption and our behaviours influence the state of our community, our society, global relations and the sustainabiltiy of our diverse eco-systems.

Such ‘world work’ requires a good level of self- and social awareness, and an ability to see the bigger picture. That often comes with personal development beyond the professional ‘technical-thematic’ development that we mostly get through our formal work environments. It also takes some extra energy, and can be frustrating as we are up against powerful trends and forces. We can’t afford to become pessimistic, let alone burn out. So we also need to find our ways of re-energising and re-source-ing ourselves. We are in it for the long haul.

Read more about how we see ‘world work’ and ‘inner work’ as closely interconnected.

The Finance of Localisation: Is the 25% target a key performance truth?

The Grand Bargain resulted from the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit as a series of strategies to reform the international relief sector. Given a persistent humanitarian financing gap, one important goal is greater cost-effectiveness; allowing local and national responders a greater role in the collective effort one of the objectives to contribute to this. Channelling, by 2020, as directly as possible, 25% of all humanitarian aid to local/national responders has become the central strategy to reinforce their leadership and role.

This GMI Brief examines whether achieving that 25% target is indeed an effective strategy to reinforce local/national responders and to reduce the humanitarian financing gap? Considering the disregard for the financial stability of local/national responders, the likelihood that budgets and financial reports underestimate the true cost of a response operation, and that relief financing is overwhelmingly handled as a recurrent expenditure, the answer is very probably no. The 25% is an input target. What we need is a substantive outcome vision: What will success look like if localisation is achieved? Read more here 

Walking the Talk: Inclusion and Accountability

The Alliance for Empowering Partnerships (A4EP) is a network of organisations committed to rebalancing the humanitarian architecture and practices to enable locally-led responses. This position paper is a contribution to discussions during the ECOSOC meeting and side events from June 24-27 June, in Geneva. It highlights four attention points and makes recommendations for the way forward. Click here to see the full statement.


In this first ‘GMI Insights’ we share some of the insights and learnings from our recent collaborations and contributions e.g. on working with conflict sensitivity; evaluation; partnering; prevention of harassment, sexual abuse and exploitation; individual and team full potential etc. But we also want to convey a more fundamental insight: the value of working with a holistic perspective. All of us, including you, are individuals, within teams, that are part of organisations, which collaborate or partner with others, to effect positive change in a wider world, that itself is evolving significantly. We can have our specific thematic focus, but need to maintain the broader view. Our professional development needs to go together with personal development. And we will give our best if we feel inspired by a higher purpose, and our working environment has a positive atmosphere. Find out more here

CHALLENGES IN PARTNERSHIP GOVERNANCE: Some attention points and tips

The bigger challenges in today’s world are often too complex to be handled by one agency alone, however capable and well resourced. More often than not, we have to collaborate with others to have effective influence and create more significant impacts. Each brings distinctive competencies, legitimacies, connections and understanding, and can take up distinctive roles. Unfortunately, the prevailing mindset and practices are towards organisational competition, with our attention very inward looking to the organisation we belong to. There is an assumption that collaboration, if needed, is no different from ordinary autonomous practice. It is not: collaboration, certainly in a more equitable ‘partnership’ spirit, requires distinctive competencies. Facilitators, partnership brokers and organisational relationship and systems coaches, can help.

Let me share here a few attention points, and tips. When reflecting on them, I have some concrete examples in mind where I played or continue to play a brokering and coaching role. But I am quite confident they have much wider applicability. Judge for yourself. Read on.