Here are what international development practitioners are saying about our work and specifically what they have gotten from participating in our workshop:
From our most recent Working Session of January 19-20, 2012:
“This working session can help management to establish an organization where people feel they can speak up, and their opinions and work matter and are a contribution. The concepts can help manager leaders to establish a working vision (rather than tasks); this will give people at all levels the ability to “move the ball forward.” — Manager, major USAID contractor.
“I am more aware of my actions and understand that my actions directly influence the people around me. The working session reaffirmed that I need to be true to my convictions through direct action. This training would make sense for the leadership of development organizations and also for training of donor programs in the field.” – Manager, major USAID contractor.
“The tools and methodology presented were of value to me and shifted how I have been thinking and communicating. To be effective in moving the international development industry up a notch, the scale (of the IDEA sessions) needs to move up to reach hundreds of industry players.” — Director, medium USAID contractor.
Comments from previous working sessions:
“The working session gave me two days away from the office for reflection and discussion within framework provided. I came away from the session with a stronger commitment to investing time and resources in developing a new practice that could lead to a transformation of development assistance.” – CEO, major USAID contractor.
“My new context, after pondering the concept and my situation, is definitely one where I can create change in my organization. I have a fresh perspective that those who have been working there for a while no longer have and I can use that to create change. Basically, it has been a realization of my strengths and discovering how I can use those strengths to create change.” — Project Administrator, international non-profit organization
“The [IDEA] workshop allowed me to verbalize some of the ideas I have about international development and also gave me an opportunity to develop a clearer picture of what I want to achieve in the next three years.”—Managing Director, major International Development organization
“This [IDEA] workshop has the potential to develop a sense of empowerment among development professionals and non-professionals alike based on the support and encouragement it provides to individual participants to “take a stand” for what they believe in and want to achieve in their work—former CEO and Vice President of International Development consulting firm
“I’ve gained the perspective that the constraints we face in the industry are less real, and more manageable, and there are ways around them, and most of those ways stem from my individual outlook. That was critical.”—Vice President, International Development consulting firm
“I feel energized during and after my participation [in the IDEA workshop]. I got more inspiration to initiate and implement what I am planning to do when I go back to [home country]. I also realized that it is never late to start what you believe right and beneficial for others in development.”— Project Manager, International Development consulting firm
“From my participation in the IDEA workshop, I have both a new capability developed in myself of believing in the power of networking and learning by doing and on the other it reinforced some of my existing belief that everything starts from yourself, and as development leaders , it is us who should take the lead.”– Project Manager, International Development consulting firm
“The field of International development requires new ideas and initiatives, and I think this workshop equips people with those kinds of skills.” Senior Manager, International Development consulting firm“The [IDEA] workshop definitely left an imprint on everyone involved, inspiring us to seek the change that is needed, and realizing that it is possible to do so.”—Graduate Student seeking Master’s in International Development
“From my participation in the workshop, I am aware of my ability to make a difference in the world of development.” –Consultant, International Development consulting firm.
“It would be great to engage colleagues in developing countries in this process and try to figure out ways that all stakeholders can routinely become leaders in their respective organizations working for the common good, not individual gain. This workshop nurtures that vision through encouraging a sense of empowerment (“I can do it!”); as was noted at the end of the workshop, how to give people “a voice and a choice.”–free-lance International Development Consultant
“From my participation in the workshop, I am aware of my ability to make a difference in the world of development. I was inspired from the session, and am more excited about entering the field than I was previously. I realized that I have the potential to develop new approaches, and do not need to follow the existing framework if I feel that it is not working.”–Graduate Student in International Relations Master”s Program
“I have resolved to only take assignments that align with my ethical values.” –free-lance International Development Consultant