I don't use a walking stick. I would become too dependent on one. When you learn to become dependent on something, not having that "thing" makes whatever task you are facing immensely harder, mentally.
Haiti's challenges are enormous and there are no easy answers. However, a two-pronged strategy --- registration and monitoring of NGOs and a governmental and donor focus on "core governance" -- may be a good start.
With greenhouse gas emissions hitting record levels, a new group of Chinese activists traditionally silenced by an authoritarian government is making its voice heard at the United Nations climate talks in Durban, South Africa.
Key decisions about the sector cannot be left to undemocratic, non-transparent institutions. Civil society groups have started to pry open the echo chambers of the G20 and its cooperation with other powerful actors.
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.