Blog

The limits of resilience

Sometime during a recent PEXForum conference, I wrote on my notepad that resilience has become the development sector’s new buzzword. Others have made the same discovery. PSJP’s new paper, Building Resilience in International Development lists a raft of references to the term in the later literature of development and it seems that multilateral organisations, foundations,…

Beyond Us and Them

This blog post is prompted by the provocative article entitled Institutional Philanthropy and Popular Organising in Africa: Some Initial Reflections from Social Movement Activists by Halima Mohamed which draws on the experiences of activists from 13 different movements across Africa. I am part of one of those movements. Social movements are proof of ordinary people’s…

Unearthing secret excel spreadsheets – why measuring what matters, matters

“What’s on your secret excel spreadsheet?” This was the question posed to a room of Brazilian civil society practitioners, who had been convened by Candid in 2019 to discuss the topic of measurement in their work. Over 2018 and 2019, the GFCF had similarly coordinated a separate learning group of 15 community philanthropy partners to explore the…

Bleak prognosis for Indian civil society following new foreign funding bill

The Government of India passed the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020 on 23 September, less than 72 hours after it was tabled without any prior consultation, taking both civil society in India and the international donor community by surprise. The President gave his assent on 28 September, despite nationwide outcry from civil society and condemnation from the…

The problem with resilience as we know it

What builds community resilience? In this article posted on the India Development Review, Ruchita Chandrashekar, a behavioural health researcher and independent psychologist focusing on trauma and post-violence recovery offers important lessons for development and philanthropic organizations in their attempt to support communities through difficult times. As elements that are integral to building community resilience, she…

Between Hypervisibility and Invisibility: Sex workers strive for space

Sex workers are a hypervisible population — in popular imagination, in media, in sketches of the ‘bad woman’, but strangely they are also completely invisible — in government policies, the healthcare sector, etc. This hypervisibility/invisibility means that sex workers are viewed through the lens of criminality, morality or victimhood while finding themselves on the periphery…