Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Important Communication to All Aid Bloggers Related to the Urgent Need for Better Coordination in the Sector

Dear Stakeholders,

It has come to my attention that there really are too many aid blogs out there, aren't there? That's obviously not good for the aid-blog sector, because as you surely agree there is too much "duplication of effort" and lack of "sharing of lessons learned" and "best practices" and "leverage of knowledge" among the different stakeholders.

Obviously what we need is more coordination.

As a self-appointed leader of the sector HRI is hereby suggesting we start focusing on coordination of all aid-blogging activities across the aid-blogging sector. HRI has already helpfully received an award from The Donor to support with this coordination effort (why would it have been competed? better to "sole-source" these things to the coordination experts) and as we speak a reasonably paid consultant is on the way here and should be shortly in touch with some matrix or other.

What you all need to do now is nominate a focal point (for now - you will need more focal points shortly as we expect coordination activities to start branching out across sub-themes and sub-committees).

The plan is we'll start by having weekly meetings at the heads-of-blogging-agency level and there will be weekly focal point meetings in the coordination task force. Various sub-themes will be then identified (aid, development, M&E, snark, etc.) and Lead Blogs will be allocated to each of these themes.

Sub-committees should be in place ("scaled-up") by mid-October and leading agencies should start reporting regularly to the Task Force and Coordination Group regularly. The Coordination Matrix will be filled in by individual blogs and then reviewed by our consultant. Tool-kits shoudl be distributed in January 2012.

In the following phase, a Communication Coordination Sub-Group will be set up that will be tasked with "clearing" any new post in the aid-blogging sector, to ensure coordinated messages and to avoid conflicting communication. We are also expected to agree on geographical priorities and different countries/ continents will be allocated to different blogs to ensure uniform coverage and "bridging of gaps".

Finally, sometime next year, HRI's M&E consultant will be in touch with a strategy that will prove beyond any doubt the added value of a truly coordinated strategy.

Thanks folks for your cooperation - and I have no doubt that together we'll successfully coordinate the shit out of the aid-blogging industry!

PS: costs will be shared across the sector, please ensure you allocate sufficient resources in your 2012 work-plans for this important activity.


  1. brilliant! You might want to check out the views of a consultant called Hayek, on managing the coordination issues involved :-)

  2. Let me begin by paying you a pretend compliment before putting the boot in.

    Well done for getting yourself funding for an agenda some of us have been bringing up in workshops for, literally, weeks. But what I want to know is how you plan to tackle gender equality among bloggers through this platform. It should be crosscutting but you haven't mentioned it once - I know because although I haven't read your whole post, I did a wordsearch.
    Similarly, I'd feel like I could throw more support behind your initiative if you'd done more to show how you will move from an approach that sees our readers as "beneficiaries", toward one that sees them as true participants in the blogging process. Don't you realise that the more comments we get, the more advert revenue we get?

  3. Our agency fully supports the broad aims of this proposal and congratulates HRI on having taken this initiative.

    However, we feel HRI would be better working in a more collaborative manner, and in particular, supporting our agencies call for a UN-backed multi-disciplinary post-participatory High-Level Summit to take place in appropriately non-western but comfortable golf-course endowed city in late 2014.

    The summit will begin the process of developing a global consensus declaration on aid blogging effectiveness. We suggest HRI contribute by employing it's well regarded blogging expertise to establish a blog on aid blogging to increase discussion in the lead up to the summit.

  4. Dr Kurtz, you are so much fucking better aren't you?

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