22 May 2007

IVD 2006 in Ethiopia

IVD 2006 in Ethiopia
Originally uploaded by IVD Coordinator.

Example of a good photograph: a clear action (injection/immunisation) and a clear interaction between the volunteer and the participant (doctor/patient). It is obvious what is happening, and that there are skills involved and benefits being delivered. Okay, the photographer's thumb got in the way, but still the photo is useful: the framing and subject was so good it still works.
However it is not always easy to find an original angle, especially if a subject has not already been well illustrated (that's why you see so many shots like this!). How do we effectively demonstrate town planning? How can we visualise gender programming?

16 May 2007

Alphabet Soup - what do those acronyms mean?

CAP - Consolidated Appeal Process;
Contracts, Assets and Procurement
APEC - Asia, Pacific, Europe and CIS
ARLAC - Arab States, Latin American and the Caribbean
CCA - Common Country Assessment
CD - Country Director
CIS - Common Information Space
COT - Country Office Team
Civil Society Organization
CSU - Common Services Unit
DBS - Direct Budget Support
EMS - Evaluation and Measurement Services
ExCom - Executive Committee Agency (UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, WFP)
HACT - Harmonized Approach to Cash Transfers
HRBA - Human Rights Based Approach
ISS - Information Support Services
JAS - Joint Assistance Strategy
JSM - Joint Strategy Meeting
M&E - Monitoring & Evaluation
MD - Millennium Declaration
MDGR - Millennium Development Goals Report
MDGs - Millennium Development Goals
MSU - Management Support Unit
NDP - National Development Plan
NGOs - Non-Governmental Organisations
OEC - Office of the Executive Coordinator
PCRG - Partnerships, Communications and Resources Mobilization Group
PDOG - Programme Development and Operations Group
PDRU - Partnerships, Donors and Resources Unit
PFM - Public Financial Management System
PRS/PRSP - Poverty Reduction Strategy/ Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper
PM - Programme Manager
PO -
Programme Officer
- Programme Officer Empowerment Mechanism
PS -
Programme Specialist
Peer Support Group
QSA - Quality Support and Assurance
RBM - Results Based Management
RC - Resident Coordinator
RR - Resident Representative
SMART - Specific – Measurable – Achievable – Relevant – Time-bound
SWAP - Sector Wide Approach
SWOT - Strengths – Weaknesses – Opportunities – Threats
TRAC Funds - Target for resources assignment from the core
UNCT - United Nations Country Team
UNDAF - United Nations Development Assistance Framework
UNDG - United Nations Development Group
VPPRs - Volunteer Programme Periodic Reports
VRU - Volunteer Resources Unit

See also:
United Nations 3-letter country codes (e.g. USA):

UN Glossary of Standard Terms (classification, nomenclature)

UNDP Glossary

09 May 2007

Communicating the MDGs, part 1

Q: What are the Millennium Development Goals?

The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are a blueprint for development. The eight goals are to be reached by 2015. They are based on the Millennium Declaration which was agreed by all countries of the world and all of the world’s leading development institutions. The MDGs have galvanized unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the world’s neediest people.

The goals are:

MDG 1: halve the number of people who suffer from hunger and whose income is less than US$1 a day.

MDG 2: halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other major diseases.

MDG 3: eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education.

MDG 4: reduce by two thirds the mortality rate among children under five.

MDG 5: reduce maternal mortality by three-quarters.

MDG 6: halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other major diseases.

MDG 7: halve the number of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water.

MDG 8: develop an open, non-discriminatory trading and financial system, which deals comprehensively with the debt of developing nations.

For more, see:

08 May 2007

Opening up - profiling your team

Q: I want to introduce the people in our team and publish their profiles in a question and answer format. They are interesting people, from all around the world. But boring questions produce boring answers. What do you suggest?

A: the best result will still require you to add a little value through editing. By all means ask your colleagues to describe their mission and role, and then edit it down; or tell them to do it in 100 words.

Their name and title are the best way to start, plus their country of origin (or nationality).
I suggest you also list their age - it is sometimes a cause of hysteria, but it can add some flavour!
The next questions are where you want them to open up a little and be more colorful. There are all sorts of ways to approach it. I have listed some suggestions.

Some people will answer all of your questions, but if you are worried about a lack of response, you could suggest that they pick and choose those they are more comfortable with. Or you can send them a selection of questions from a larger list.

You can also choose to publish only the answers that you find most interesting.
Newspaper columns use this approach. Readers think the questions change each week, but really the editors are just choosing the most interesting answers from a long list of standard questions.
Asking personal questions will be more revealing. Sometimes the trick to get people to open up is to ask the question in a more humorous way or encourage them to make a clever remark (those who have seen funny responses in the past will tend to follow the pattern, so start by profiling the joker in your pack).

Here are some ideas for questions, in no particular order.
In brackets are explanations of the questions; these are not for the recipients, but you could provide some comments, if needed.
  • What was your scariest moment so far? (i.e. give us a story from your experiences here)
  • How do you relax? (i.e. tell us about your personality)
  • What gets you out of bed in the morning? (some may quip: 'the alarm', or 'breakfast' etc.)
  • What don't you understand? (maybe they won't understand the question!)
  • Why did you sign up? (motivations)
  • Did you think it would be like this? (possible negative reflections)
  • What do you do when everything seems to be going wrong (i.e. tell us something that would inspire others).
  • What or who has been the most helpful to your work? (i.e. colleagues, tools, institutions)
  • What's your favourite book / movie / website? (i.e. sources of inspiration)
  • Who was the greatest role model in your life? (e.g. 'my mother')
  • Who do you think would inspire others? (who is a great role model? e.g. 'Mother Teresa')
  • What do you think of the local food? - or - What food do you miss from home? (explores cultural differences)
  • How do you keep in shape? (or 'keep healthy')
  • Who have you left at home? (who is in your family/significant others, etc.)
  • What will you do when you are finished here? (plans for the future/ambitions)