This week I read a fascinating article which was written by a former high-level DFID individual named Rosalind Eyben.  The title of the piece is, “Hiding Relations: The Irony of ‘Effective Aid.’” It can be found in its entirety [here][2]. [2]: This article spoke to me in a way that not many pieces have recently.  Perhaps it is my transition from an aid receiving NGO worker to the other side of the coin as a private sector social entrepreneur, and the conjunction of the transition with my reading of the article.  Or maybe I am trying to continue to understand a world and a profession which on the surface seems straight-forward (go to Somalia & help) but underneath is complicated, political, and stifles lots of creativity for no reason. There are many varied reasons for the underlying complications.  Some of the reasons come from other annotated readings that I have put up in the past.  Some of the reasons come from the complications of running world-wide operations with thousands, if not millions of associated partners – not to mentions the hundreds of millions of people involved in the entire operation from politicians, to top-level administrators, to top-level NGO workers, to country-level NGO workers, all the way to the purported beneficiaries of a project.  So, in short, this is a complicated undertaking and requires people who understand complexity theory (an annotated reading which is in the works) and who understand relationships. The main gist of the piece is that aid should value the relationships which are developed between a recipient population and those individuals mandated with the delivery of the project.  I have always felt that this work requires a complex understanding of the context in which the project is undertaken, and I have always valued the relationships which I have built along the way.  Indeed, the value which I place on those relations is one of the driving forces for my new ventures (see [here][3] and [here][4]).  While I have placed value, as an individual human, on these relationships, I always had this odd feeling whenever I would talk to others within my organization or in donor communities that this was some sort of a remote control SimCity game that had less to do with human beings and more to do with numbers and metrics which never had any application at least in my specific context here in S’land. [3]: [4]: That said, I have always been impressed when meeting face-to-face with those in my old organization and in the donor community.  On many levels they are bright, well-intentioned individuals.  So I could never quite put my finger on this divergence.  This piece has filled in many of the gaps for me.  So without further introduction, here is the piece. [![][6]][6] []: [![][7]][7] []: [![][8]][8] []: [![][9]][9] []: [![][10]][10] []: [![][11]][11] []: [![][12]][12] []: [![][13]][13] []: [![][14]][14] []: [![][15]][15] []: [![][16]][16] []: [![][17]][17] []: [![][18]][18] []: [![][19]][19] []: [![][20]][20] []: [![][21]][21] []: ~ # ~