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Dealing With Uncertainty: Reflections on Donor Preferences for Pre-Planned Project Models


By William Cole and Lavinia Tyrrel

This paper is the sixth in the Asia Foundation’s Working Politically in Practice Series funded through a partnership with the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. While past cases have studied lessons from particular programs, tools used to aid practitioners, and reflections from those in the field, this paper looks across the ideas emerging from those experiences and explores why they can be difficult for donors to implement. Walking through an honest discussion of perceptions of risk, the need for predictability and other incentives that shape the ability of donors to support flexible and innovative programming approaches, the paper argues that without fresh consideration of what risk means, it will be a challenge for the aid industry to embrace the exciting lessons about, and possibilities of iterative, searching programming approaches.

Posted May 16, 2016
Related topics: Adaptive Development