5Ps – Five factors influencing policy

It’s been a while since I updated this blog.  Here is one of the things I produced during the past few months: a diagram that made it to the final version of a report for AusAID.  This shows how NGOs can influence policy in Laos.  Five groups of factors were identified in the study: Presence, Partnerships, Power, Pragmatism and Professionalism.  These factors help to explain why one NGO has  done a particularly good job at developing practices that were subsequently adopted by the National Government.
Factors affecting influence

Lao-Australia NGO assignment

LANGOCA02I am currently studying the policy outcomes of the Lao-Australia NGO Cooperation Agreements (LANGOCA) program.

Last week I conducted interviews and focus group discussions for the sub-projects managed by CARE in Sekong Province and OXFAM in Salavan Province.  Still to come is Save the Children in Sayabury and World Vision in Khammouane.


Each of these NGOs is integrating disaster management or UXO clearance into broader livehoods assistance. There is no doubt that they are doing importand work at the village level and helping build capacity at the District and Provincial levels.  But have there been any higher level outcomes on policy and practices across the country?

That’s what I am hoping to find out.

Water, Land and Ecosystems meeting

It was challenging at times, but I think most people were happy with the outcome of the consultation that I facilitated in Addis Ababa last week for the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems.

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Some of the participants had attended the previous consultation I ran in Accra in May, but I had some new activities for them.  My favourite was getting researchers to do some ‘blue sky thinking’, by imagining they were time travellers from 2113 who had come back to give us some advice.

Family Farmers can Feed the World

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 14.15.52 PMHere is a great article from researchers at The Food Tank, recently published in the Vietnamese press.

Small family farms carry the potential to nourish the hungry, stimulate economies, and protect the environment. With these sorts of impressive returns, donors, nonprofits, and governments must focus their attention more on family farmers and invest in programs and infrastructure that empower them.

Farming systems analysis

I just completed a review of the ecological farming programme of SWISSAID in Myanmar. Here is a set of diagrams I used in the workshop with partner organisations in Yangon. The review coincided with the 25th anniversary of  8888 uprising, so it seemed like a suitable number to work with.

I also took loads of pictures during the field visits to Shan and Kachin States, which can be seen at one of my other websites.