This Week: Remembering the Three Cs When Working Internationally

Context, culture and customs. These three C’s keep projects and programs from being completely “replicable” from country to country. It often means two other “C words”- customization and often some confusion when things don’t go as expected. This is why the answer to why “I Paid A Bribe” failed in China is so (wait for it…) complicated. TechPresident highlights some of the context, customs and culture in China that lead to such a different IPAB result from neighboring India.

While keeping the “Three Cs” in mind, it’s also not surprising to run into similar issues across the globe.  I heard it time and time again last month at Development Gateway’s Aid Management Platform Best Practices Workshop that brought together 13 different countries using the AMP, “we have that same problem, how have you handled it?” That’s why networks such as the newly founded Open Policy Network headed by Creative Commons can be so catalytic. The OPN will focus on supporting institutions and governments seeking assistance on how to implement open licensing, development materials, and strategies for open policies.

If you’re looking for a network and support in implementing systematic feedback methodologies, check this Webinar out on January 16. Speakers include Keystone’s CEO, David Bonbright, and the webinar is offered by PerformWell.

I now want to focus on one of our three Cs - Context. Chris Blattman recently commented on Bill Easterly’s assertion that when “development economists talk only about what can be tested with a small randomized experiment, they confine themselves to the small aid conversation and leave the big development discussion to others…” I would have to agree with Blattman, Easterly seems to be forgetting that there are different contexts that both aid and development can be relevant in. Both are important.

While teaching a hungry man to fish, will you not provide him with sustenance during the longer venture to self-sustainability?

Development is pivotal for the long-term end to poverty, but there are people who are hungry today, and, for that, we need aid.

P.S. We hope we’ll see you in Montreal later this month for the Open Data for Development Challenge, keep an eye out for @owenscott22 (don’t forget to bring your made-over map!)

Weekly updates are written by Taryn Davis of Development Gateway; email her your tips for next week's update to get a shout-out in the post.


Tags: open dataAid Management Platformopen policy networkdevelopment gatewayChina