Tacit approval for "Operation Voucher" indicates a healthy level of support for the actions government is finally taking to define what the free wheeling NGOs and faith-based groups can and can't do inside Brazil.
It's more than a bit disconcerting to look at the low level of the African famine relief response -- especially when you've been around long enough to remember the 1984 Ethiopian famine and its massive tug on the hearts of the world.
The youth of Chongwe offer an instructive story - not just one of self-sufficiency and innovation, but of sowing the seeds of opportunity and growing them into the fruits of hope. The kind that can change lives. For good.
The NGO model has proved relatively sturdy but has also inhibited experimenting with other approaches to promote social change. As we move into new regions and issues, we must develop fresh ways of engaging with local actors.
In the real world, decision-making is based on imperfect information. Decisions are time dated. Complete information is preferable, but tomorrow relentlessly produces countervailing facts and perspectives, not to mention Monday morning quarterbacks.
Nearly every donor country has a similar set of priorities: improve agricultural development, train the police, develop the energy sector, improve health care -- and, quite frankly, many are tripping over each other as they attempt to help Afghans.
The rain is adding fuel to an open flame of cholera. Health experts are registering an increase in cholera cases; in Carrefour, the cholera clinic saw an average of 300 per day this week, when it had been 300 cases per week.
I am in Nairobi for seven weeks to do creative work with young women who are refugees. But that's all I know; of paramount importance to this work is a willingness not to define it too clearly going in.
"Who can be troubled to read financials? I have to admit, I didn't until this whole thing broke open. Basically, people are saying, 'Don't trouble me with facts and numbers, I like Greg, and I like the story.'"
Over the years, we have seen a marked increase in the focus on accountability in what is now a $10 billion a year industry. But there is no systematic approach to assessing humanitarian operations through the eyes of recipients.