Could this video could also be about international aid? Hmmm…do you think? (HINT: Yes!)
In the international aid context, the squares of the future (donors and INGOs) must also focus on building their own skills to accompany and support blobs (local groups, community leaders, and grassroots initiatives), rather than overpower or co-opt them. A deeper understanding of the challenges blobs face in serving vulnerable families and communities in the developing word is key to unleashing their potential.
Squares continue to refer to the absorptive capacity needed to implement large-scale programs and as such, blobs are implicitly coerced to develop such capacities in order to gain access to squares’ resources. Instead, we need sound organizational development initiatives that will increase blobs’ responsiveness and resourcefulness, rather than distract them from their constituency. A new set of fundamental skills is necessary for those working in the square institutions–the ability and penchant to understand and work with blobs of any size or type can and should become a core capacity of squares.
Aid squares, how are you restructuring and revising your processes, rather than asking your blob “partners” to change?