3TT: For the community – Not for scrutiny

A lot had changed since my last support visit to _Utarpradesh– the project team had now fully embraced the feedback mechanism. They were thriving: listening and being responsive to community questions, suggestions and concerns. A stark contrast to my first visit, where I’d left feeling in a spin, overwhelmed by the diversionary tactics that thwarted my scheduled plans to help the team set up a feedback system.

3TT: Questions, Not Plans

In today’s complex world strategy needs to be built around questions, not plans. Plans are fine when you already have all the answers and it’s just a matter of organizing resources to execute. But we do not have answers for many of the complex questions we face in aid and philanthropy. Closing feedback loops means accepting we do not have all the answers. And to do that, we need new approaches.

3TT: Tension in the Field

Market development programmes operate in highly complex environments. This isn’t new insight. We spend countless hours and resources analyzing markets. We attempt to create systemic change through behaviour change. We meticulously monitor our progress and (usually, always) prematurely demand results. We acknowledge the need to experiment – to learn better about what is happening ‘on the ground’ and adapt our interventions accordingly.