Beads - Passion for Facilitation

Capacity development, learning, change, poverty/power/progress

Blog about learning/change, facilitation, systems: small groups and large scale processes, and poverty/power/progress.


All Blog Posts (74)

Does Aid Still Matter?

The recent report on Aid Effectiveness is now out. Does aid still work? Are they still effective? Get the report…


Added by Edcanela on April 2, 2012 at 18:00 — No Comments

What to do on International Women's Day?

I was checking out events on International Women's Day, next week the 8th of March. Then I remembered that Vietnam has its own National Women's Day on the 20st of October. That day has grown into something like Valentines Day,…


Added by Lucia Nass on February 29, 2012 at 12:30 — No Comments

What is your role in a community of practice?

Over the weekend, I followed a tweet to test your role in a community of practice. It comes just at the right time, when I am preparing to facilitate an online community for the first time in my life. I…


Added by Lucia Nass on February 27, 2012 at 13:25 — 1 Comment

How to build strong relationships with grassroots organizations

Re-posting this series from the early days of

Adapted from: The Barefoot Collective. (2009). The Barefoot Guide to Working with Organizations and Social Change. Cape Town: Community Development Resource Association.


In order to build authentic relationships with grassroots organizations, these qualities,…


Added by Jennifer Lentfer on February 24, 2012 at 5:44 — No Comments

How do you help people to develop? The SNV Way

Most development workers know that development depends on people's own initiatives. Yet, that is easier said then done. How do you then help people to develop? It's a profession! That's why SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, an international NGO, is investing in professional development of its advisors.



Added by Lucia Nass on February 20, 2012 at 6:30 — 1 Comment

M&E and your Cellphones

You guessed it! Project management is discovering more and more uses of the power of the ever present cellphones. Like the internet, cellphones reached the remote rural areas much faster than refrigerators, TV, radio and even electricity did.

Now, cellphones are used in Monitoring and Evaluations…


Added by Edcanela on February 5, 2012 at 10:26 — No Comments

International cooperation anno 2012

The international organisation I am working with at the moment has been succesfully supporting the government with multi-stakeholder sector development. All donors and international technical assistance providers, including the organisation I'm consulting with, have agreed to align within one national program. International consultants have just arrived in the country for step two in the design of a multi-donor supported program.

Yesterday I discovered that the national government…


Added by Lucia Nass on January 10, 2012 at 18:01 — No Comments

Social networks have a life of their own

2011 was the year in which I discovered what social media can do for me. I’m intrigued by how using social media changes me, or rather changes the way in which I work and connect professionally. For the Dutch course I am following on social media and…


Added by Lucia Nass on January 7, 2012 at 19:50 — No Comments

Serendipity: the natural gift for making valuable discoveries

Look for something, find something else, and realize that what you've found is more suited to your needs than what you thought you were looking for. Lawrence Block


There was a week in november that really added to my collection for "Beads". I was getting ready for a big…


Added by Lucia Nass on December 21, 2011 at 11:10 — No Comments

I tweet, so I learn. How to get started?

Last Friday we were out with a group of work-friends to celebrate two weeks of excellent teamwork. Monica, the communications officer, and I had send a tweet into the world to summarize the main insights gained, or rather confirmed in the context of Nepal, and linked it to my earlier blog on the issue…


Added by Lucia Nass on December 19, 2011 at 7:00 — 4 Comments

Social Network Analysis - Revealing network patterns

Last year I was introduced to Organisational Network Analysis (ONA), or SNA - Social Network Analysis as it is more widely known. If you are new to SNA, I can recommend this 5 minute intro to Social Network Analysis by the Stockholm Resilience Center. A whole new world opened for me; I never imagined that you could actually quantify relationships among organisations, and do it with a very short questionnaire,…

Added by Lucia Nass on November 21, 2011 at 18:00 — No Comments

Are you a TED fan yet? Ideas worth spreading!

Ever since I ended my latest fulltime contract in April I have thrown myself into the virtual world. It's amazing what you can do and learn these days from the comforts of your chair. Behind every space I discover, there is a wealth of other hidden spaces. It is so inspiring.

One of the permanent treasures in my google reader (see below) are the TED Talks: videos of under 18 minutes where passionate doers and thinkers give the…


Added by Lucia Nass on November 11, 2011 at 11:10 — No Comments

Mentoring Among Local Organizations—Here’s How!

Following on the interest in my posts on exchange visits between local organizations and oral reporting, here’s another set of guidelines on mentoring relationships for your use and adaptation.


Stronger, more sustainable community-based organizations can contribute to a more effective and participatory civil society…


Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 8, 2011 at 15:30 — No Comments

Capacity Building and Change Management

Imagine this: you are working in your office and the boss comes in with a stranger, someone who is obviously not from your country or culture and says “This is Some Unusual Name and he/she is going to teach you how to do your job.  Make sure you do as you’re told.”  How would you feel?

Sound familiar?   I’ll bet it does – because if you’re in international development, chances are that has happened - except that you were the stranger from another country with the unusual…


Added by Russell Lewis on October 31, 2011 at 8:30 — 1 Comment

Real Impact with Saeed Wame

I always walk away from a conversation with Saeed Wame, founder and director of Namwera AIDS Coordinating Committee (NACC) of Malawi, with a new understanding. Whether he be blowing my concept of “capacity” wide open, or offering a completely new definition of volunteer, Saeed is the sort of community leader whose wisdom and humility always leaves you with much to be mulled over and much to be integrated into your work and life.



Added by Jennifer Lentfer on October 25, 2011 at 14:00 — No Comments

Collaboration is not a marriage!

The title slogan is not mine, but I remember reading in some of the partnership literature that ‘collaboration is not a marriage’. You don’t have to love each other. The whole point of collaboration is that each party has something unique to achieve and needs the other to do it. Of course it does help if the parties like each other. In case collaboration is expected to achieve better results, how can we realize more likability among organizations, especially when they have potentially…


Added by Lucia Nass on October 21, 2011 at 8:09 — No Comments

NEW M&E: Equity Focused M&E Initiative

The push for a stronger focus on equity in human development is gathering momentum at the international level. Its premise is increasingly supported by United Nations reports and strategies as well as by independent analysis. More and more national policies and international alliances are focusing on achieving equitable development results. While this is the right way to go, it poses important challenges – and opportunities – to the evaluation function. How can one strengthen the capacity of… Continue

Added by Edcanela on October 20, 2011 at 17:01 — No Comments

How would you measure the strength of a partnership?

Building on’s earlier posts, “How to build strong relationships with grassroots organizations” (part 1, part 2, part…


Added by Jennifer Lentfer on October 20, 2011 at 16:03 — No Comments

Barefoot: learning among organisations

'It's not the biggest, the brightest, or the best that will survive, but those who adapt the quickest'. Charles Darwin

In June I joined a guided reading of the Barefoot Guide 2: learning practices in organizations and social change. (Download this and other Barefoot resources from here). When I saw the announcement of this initiative I immediately jumped at it. Since last April I am freelancing again,…


Added by Lucia Nass on October 18, 2011 at 9:30 — 2 Comments

PIM: Empowering the Implementers with the HOW

It was fun to watch the reactions of the participants. They discovered that most capacity development initiatives in project management deal with the planning process and the resulting plan. It is as if the project goals have already been achieved as soon as the plan is submitted.


An informal survey of…


Added by Edcanela on October 7, 2011 at 15:00 — 6 Comments

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