12 to watch in 2012

I know, I know. I’m supposedly on a self-declared shut-down, but I couldn’t resist sharing my top 12 people, trends, sites, and organizations to watch in 2012!!

In no particular order…

  1. @InnovateAfrica – About to unleash the philanthropic and intellectual capital of the African Diaspora for collective social investment on the continent!
  2. Re-Action – A private-sector endeavor to change the way we look at monitoring and evaluation in our sector.
  3. USAID FORWARD – A reform effort by Raj that we’re all watching closely. (And yes, I someday hope Dr. Shah and I can be on a first name basis.)
  4. The Broker Online – Sound thinking on the future of aid from an independent international magazine on globalization and development.
  5. The Listening Project from CDA Collaborative Projects – They’ve got data on listening exercises with over 6,000 people in societies on the receiving end of aid. So they’ve got lots more to say!
  6. WiserEarth.org – helps the global movement of people and organizations working toward social justice, indigenous rights, and environmental stewardship to connect. I love to watch the number groups registered on their site grow! At last count, now up to 113,740.
  7. hiiDunia – Where do all of those research papers that were written for professors or donors go after they’re submitted? No longer just to the dusty shelf but to hiiDunia! They’ve got a really comprehensive blogroll as well.
  8. Mathare Valley Blog – I’d love to see more and more sites like this one in the coming year and see more of the power of web 2.0 tools in action at the community level.
  9. Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg of Can? We? Save? Africa? – Her organization, Akili Dada, is (dare I say?) putting Oprah’s school to shame!
  10. whydev.org – Want to know why I’m hopeful about the future of aid work? Just take a look at this thoughtful and reflective site created by and for students, graduates and young professionals in development work.
  11. Sparks Microgrants – A great example of locally-responsive aid. Appropriate scale. “Beneficiaries” as change makers.” This is what is possible, folks. And finally…
  12. This space right here – It’s the time for how-matters.org to up its game. Stay tuned for future opportunities to join in! Exciting stuff ahead in the new year!


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  1. With such company Jennifer, I do not think whydev.org deserves to be in this list. It is a great honour and indicative of the quality of contributions we received in 2011 (including from yourself).

    I am looking forward to following all of these people and spaces in 2012.

    Thank you!

  2. Thank you for mentioning WiserEarth.org. Just so your readers know we are a free social network for activists and professionals interested in social justice and the environment. We have free online groups for organizing along with a host of other tools. Hope to see you there. Best, Angus

  3. Jennifer, I think you should have entitled this, “12 I hope to see succeed in 2012” because you use terms like, “love to see” in the case of Mathare Valley. Thank you for your ideas. Let’s hope for the best in 2012.

  4. Pingback: New Beginnings? « Engaging Internationally

  5. It is an honor to be on your list and we hope to shed more light on what people who are supposed to benefit from aid efforts think about the “industry” and what can be done to make a real difference in their lives. Stay tuned for the final publication from this phase and KEEP LISTENING in 2012!!

  6. What a great list, Jennifer! Thanks for taking a break from your self-declared shut-down to share. Some I am familiar with, others not — a combination that makes for a great list of recommendations. I look forward to exploring and learning more about these.

    And now, back to your Internet intermission — I hope it’s a productive and renewing time for you! Happy New Year!

  7. Tim Shorten

    Hi Jennifer. Thanks from Re-Action too! It’s great to be included on a list of exciting and ambitious ‘projects’. We’re undergoing a period of significant transition – hence the current website ‘hold’ page – but we’re looking forward to an interesting year in 2012. All the best.

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