I am closely following the UN Conference on Financing for Development happening now in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and I am thinking of the potentialities and the (hopeful) opportunities that a conference of this caliber can have on a global scale, making a meaningful impact on the lives of millions of people in developing countries.
What do they really want? That's the question everyone is asking about both the Germans and the Greeks. Aspirations explicit and veiled circulate. But recent events -- negotiations, stalemate, trash talk, referendum, shutdowns -- have moved many options off the table. A thunderous "no" vote in Greece drowned out the more pointed "no" from Germany. Both these negatives were expressions not of will but of weakness. Yes, that's correct, German weakness, too. Is this something Alexis Tsipras can exploit? On such a field of increasing obstacle and impediment is where the next battle will play out. Politics is like this.
Whether you're asking your boss for a raise, or you're talking to your partner about where to spend the holidays this year, effective negotiating skills are important. Limited self-awareness about when you're being too pushy and when you're not speaking up enough can wreak havoc on your relationships.
The meaning of practice needs to be reinterpreted. The focus on cognitive thinking and technical skills underlying this problem-program-implementation-assessment action-framework needs to give space to a skill-set capable of actually building lasting trust and reciprocal altruism between key development actors.