The big theme for me this January has been coalitions; building them, strengthening them and looking for any likely or unlikely actor that can become the missing piece to a development puzzle.
I read this on DevEx recently and it resonated with me. “A venture capitalist, high tech whiz or food executive may not think of him or herself as a global development professional — or even understand what that term means, even if their work is essentially contributing to the global goals. These outside actors can move quickly, too. They have their own funding and aren’t tied to government procurement schedules and red tape. This underscores the importance of engaging and partnering with nontraditional groups; they are forging ahead with or without the development community, and you don’t want to get left behind.” See full article What Global Goals Mean.
Don’t get me wrong, nothing beats a clear target, partnering with the end user or beneficiary from the start and good adaptive project management. But sometimes (okay, way too often) I feel my clients need the presence of another actor to break the political deadlock they find themselves in. The public sector is often left behind because they find themselves politically trapped.