From the Blog

If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together.  – African proverb I am sometimes asked which of my past experiences has helped me most in my current work at North Star. I’m not quick enough to give my best answer on the spot, so I usually mumble something…

Making the decision to get tested for HIV can be difficult. For many, it means confronting not only the status of their own health, but their social status within a community as well. Ensuring that every community has access to high quality information, counseling, and medical care is, therefore, paramount to reducing not only the number of new infections, but the overall health and wellbeing of a community.

Mr. Mpumelelo “Mpume” Mbangwa ©Brennan Glansbeek

North Star, which provides basic healthcare to truck drivers and peripheral communities along transport corridors throughout Africa, has taken on veteran cricket personality Mpumelelo “Mpume” Mbangwa as its ambassador to promote the aims of the organisation. Mbangwa, who represented Zimbabwe in the international cricket arena, has become even more well known for his broadcasts from…

Chirundu South

NGO-land has been in the grip of the “business approach” hype for some time now. As it goes with hypes, the interesting or original insights that kicked the whole thing off have become largely obscured under a superficial layer of jargon. Is there anything of substance left? There are two main variants to the business hype: Variant…

Bill Clinton has just delivered his speech at AIDS2010. In his remarks, he referred to the lost hours and dollars spent at non-productive conferences that are a characteristic of the bloated overheads of many Westerns NGOs. President Clinton also pointed out that “healthcare is not only a right, but an extraordinarily good economic investment.” If you consider…

In the 1970s, the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act marked the beginning of the end to corporations shirking responsibility for unsavoury/illegal practices carried out by their suppliers/partners. Since then it has become generally accepted that companies are responsible for the impact of their business activities, including those outsourced to third parties. Thank God we got that one sorted. (Roll film on BP-oil spill debacle.)

Nick Kristof’ recent article on blood minerals in eastern Congo has set off a lot of chatter in the blogosphere (see here, and here). There is a lot of talk about company’s “cleaning up their supply chains”. In the growing maelstrom of indignation, let’s not forget the human components of those supply chains: the transporters…

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”  – African proverb Teamwork. Most of us recognize (intuitively, logically or empirically) the importance and difficulties of building and nurturing good teams. I don’t want to add my personal philosophy to the vast tome of information (example) already available on…

After working on public-private partnerships (PPPs) for the better part of the last seven years, I’m pleased and surprised to see that we’re moving into a new phase, which I’ll call PPP 3.0. Pleased, because of the almost limitless potential of the new paradigm. Surprised, because it seems like only yesterday that 2.0 was released.

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