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Ian Thorpe
Works at United Nations Development Operations Coordination Office
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Ian Thorpe

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[new post] Organizational lessons from youth advocates

      A couple of days ago I listened to an interesting webcast organized by UNICEF in its “Activate” series of talks – in this case on innovative approaches to advocate for child rights. In a refreshing style, rather than asking some seasoned experts on…
      A couple of days ago I listened to an interesting webcast organized by UNICEF in its “Activate” series of talks – in this case on innovative approaches to advocate for child ri...
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[new post] World Bank TL;DR

I know I’m a bit late commenting on the discussion of a recent World Bank paper that found that a third of all World Bank reports are never downloaded (I just switched jobs), but I’m fascinated by some of the challenges of use of evidence that it brings…
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[new post] Making the United Nations fit for the post-2015 world

  While the consultations and negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda and the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) are ongoing, inside the UN discussion is already moving to whether or not the UN is ready and able to support this new agenda. This…
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Sharing an interesting book from my field of work "The tyranny of experts" by Bill Easterly of NYU.
Although it's about the limitations of conventional top-down, "big solution" thinking in international aid it has a lot of lessons for society in general - in particular how many problems are not best solved by "experts" but by having individual freedom to think and experiment 
http://williameasterly.org/books/the-tyranny-of-experts/
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'many problems are not best solved by "experts" but by having individual freedom to think and experiment'

Excellent advice:)

#buildingintellectualcapital  
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 #KM
 
We're looking for a knowledge management specialist to work on interagency knowledge sharing on human rights - deadline 19 February - apply now!
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[new blog] The World in 2014: selected predictions relevant for the well-being of children and UNICEF

Continuing the tradition from 2013 and 2012  - this guest post is a fabulous overview of 2014 forecasts and predictions from the world of development and aid from former colleagues in UNICEF, who have kindly agreed to allow me to share it with all of you.…
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Agree, we need a change in organizational culture to be more open to share such things with the outside world. I for one am sharing as much as I can via social media, and I hope more will join me.
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Have him in circles
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Ian Thorpe

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I like this. Perhaps a little harder in the UN than in some environments but worth a try.
 
Dare to be different. Leaders don't blend in, they step up, stand out and make a difference.

#bealeader #makeadifference  
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Yeah blending in has never worked for me!
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[new post] Scaling up: how to spread good ideas

Yesterday I had an interesting conversation with colleagues at UNDP who are organizing an event about “scaling up”. The idea of scaling up successful pilots or innovations has long been one of the holy grails of aid work, and it seems we’re still quite…
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[new post] Show me the impact!

Last week we ran a session in our office on “Building the evidence base, and evidence based reporting” which was identified as one of our priority areas of work for this year. The purpose was to unpack a little what we mean by “evidence“ in UN…
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Dear Ian,
#Impact stems from #linear (input > throughput > output > outcome > impact), physical (I have a hammer so give me nails) thinking / working. Known is we seek #solutions within the framing we use. If we frame #development  as a #game or struggle or market or jungle, we get #winners and a lot of losers. If the frame is 'linear', we probably will only find solutions 'non-linear' - something like #learning by small chance. I think development is potential and use of humans' capabilities. Most programs / cooperation / aid / assistance attribute - perhaps only on individual level - here.
So, a good proxy for UN orgs is hard cash spending; on admin, on marketing, on global meetings, on bribes, on innovation, on locals or in 'the West'? Where? And how much of the dollar reaches out to the ground? And than benchmark and reflect. Perhaps we need KMonthreedollaranhour :-)
Best, Jaap
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[new post] Imported solutions, local leadership

A few days ago Dave Algoso posted an excellent blog (Who’s afraid of imported solutions) which looks at whether outside knowledge and models are useful for development (versus home-grown solutions) and considers how issues of power affect the exchange of…
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System developers needed to implement a new online reporting system on coordination from UNDG - come help us report better on the UN's work (procurement notice) 
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Have him in circles
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International Civil Servant (UN)
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  • United Nations Development Operations Coordination Office
    Team Leader, Knowledge Management, present
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Knowledge manager, international development worker, suburban dad. Whatever I share represents my views, not my organization's etc.
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