They do a lot of thinking at think tanks, or so we’ve been told, but they also offer useful suggestions once in a while.
In the book “Tapping Philanthropy for Development” edited by Lorna Michael Butler and Della E. McMillan, Butler and Robert Mazur present several recommendations offered by an external think tank, actually a two-day workshop to discuss the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL) program, a public-private partnership meant to address the root causes of rural poverty in Uganda.
The think tank offered the several recommendations. They are:
* Plan in advance for the permanent things that will be left behind.
* Move Africa to the top of the list; South Asia is also appropriate.
* Look for a “rising star” — a country that is moving forward.
* Look for an existing program, organization or partner that has shown evidence of success and commitment.
* Go where no one else is working, not a country or region inundated with development programs.
* Consider partners that bring strength not available at – in this case, Iowa State University; it could be almost any entity.
* Look for conducive government policies and initiatives.
* Take into account that a set of interventions will be more useful than one major focus.
* Look for program leadership from the selected country or region; have someone on the ground who can listen to the community.