• Whitney

Notes from Humentum 2018


Every year the Humentum (formerly InsideNGO) conference is an excellent opportunity to connect with peer organizations and learn from each other to improve the international development industry.

As always, there was a lot to capture, but I want to take a minute to recap some of the key messages coming from USAID about how they are viewing what we can see as top trends in the industry.

1. Digital is still king

Integrating data and technology into projects is moving from a competitive advantage to a necessity. The curve is moving, and organizations need to be ready to keep up.

2. Think outside the box for private sector engagement

Exploring partnerships is going to stay important, but as we have built more relationships with some big players, looking to engage new industries (advertising agencies, gaming companies, local industry) as USAID partners is appealing.

3. Design must be adaptive

Both in terms of looking at capture more flexibly and in adaptive and agile management processes.

4. Evidence-based thinking isn't going anywhere

Along with integrating tech being normalized, so is use of data. Up your evidence game, particularly when it comes to benchmarking and feeding back into adaptive management and design.

5. Build a narrative

Engaging communications teams and design experts to build a strong capture strategy and project design will help your team build a more competitive and compelling project - both at the proposal stage and when telling success stories.

Finally, USAID challenged us to look at how having "customers" instead of "beneficiaries" would change how we think about project design and implementation. There's a lot to unpack there, so if you want some more thoughts on that shoot me an email!

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