a fresh perspective on international development

“ We believe that the international development sector is changing. The public is demanding more accountability. Financial flows have dried up. We believe new and out of the box approaches are necessary to combat these challenges. We offer fresh perspectives to renew thinking in the International Development sector. These include out of the box consulting by primary school children, quick tools to analyze alliances and the application of Big Data. ”

A fresh perspective is needed

Fundamental changes in the nature of the international development sector are leading to a growing need for partnerships between public and private sectors and a growing need for efficient and result-based financing.
To combat these challenges, we believe there is a need for fresh perspectives, inspirational ideas and new approaches. To tackle the complex organizational and social issues the developing cooperation sector in a different way.
As indeed, we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them..

How we work

We believe the International Development sector could benefit more from creativity, cooperation and data.
We work with our partners in three different manners :

Meet our team

Aid alliances

 Increasingly public and private organizations seek partnerships. Yet, almost half (48%) of these alliances is not meeting its expectations. Partnerships fail to take off successfully, cease after a while, or lead to a loss of flexibility, efficiency and grip.

Even though partnerships fail often, they are essential in dealing with the complex issues of today’s world. Performing alliances are able to solve unexpected problems and handle unforeseen events and controversies. It takes effort to keep alliances agile and effective. Everything that gets attention prospers, so does a partnership. Like a good marriage it needs attention, fuel and a regular health check.

We believe it is essential to gain insights in the key elements of successful partnerships. Why is it important to work together? Why do we fail to succeed in partnerships? Why are we dissatisfied when it comes to cooperation?


Together with our network, we build and reshape the AllianceScan.

Talking about alliances is not enough. We give the right example ourselves. We look actively for partners we can work with and learn from. At this moment, we work closely with ConsultingKids and Big Fellows. We work together because we have a shared belief: fresh perspectives are essential for solving issues in today’s complex world.
We work together, because we believe that each of us has its own strength and expertise. We learn and reflect from our own experiences in alliances to help others do the same. And at the same time, we are always looking for new partners who recognize our mission. 

 

Consulting Kids

Let us explore together

Isn’t it a great idea to let kids in both developing and developed countries help unlocking the greatest wealth creation opportunity of our generation? To let children have a say in the complex issues the International Development sector is facing?


What we do in a nutshell…

SWITCH works together with ConsultingKids in approaching organizational and societal issues in the International Development sector from a completely new perspective. ConsultingKids and SWITCH believe that children – rather than most adults – possess the valuable gift of creativity. For this reason, we involve children in problem-solving processes, allowing them to tackle relatively complex, organizational and social issues by adapting them for a child’s world. We use their unspoiled way of thinking, lack of inhibition and natural honesty to uncover refreshing and innovative ideas. Ideas that may help organizations and our society overcome challenges and at the same time provide children an unique experience.

The common thread throughout the project is a relatively complex, regional issue that we adapt for a child's world. The story may read as a fairy tale, but it contains all the key elements existing within the regional issue or challenge. We use a lot of examples, interactive activities, and audio-visual elements, and ensure there's plenty of opportunity not only to learn, but to have fun too. We assign an experienced ConsultingKids consultant to the project who runs the day's activities and who awards all the children a 'Junior Consultant' certificate at the end of their day's fun and work. We use methods and techniques developed by leading consultancy firms, specially adapted for working with children.

Topics could range from exploring market access in various countries to solutions for waste management. By no means typical children’s topics! We work with children aged 8 to 11 in developed countries as well as developing countries. Being part of a project offers them an unforgettable experience – a day in which they get to let their imaginations run wild and learn to solve real-world problems. In doing so they develop skills that children and their school profit from the rest of their lives. In our approach we apply methods and techniques developed by leading consultancy firms, specifically adapted for working with children. Our out-of-the-box approach could be very suitable to tackle a broad range of topics. Click here for more about the vision and experiences of ConsultingKids.

 

 

Big Data

Appliance of data offers multiple ways to maximize performance of organizations in the development cooperation sector. Over the last years, increasing public awareness in donor states resulted in a growing demand for transparency and accountability for non-profit organizations. This has caused in an enormous growth of open data accountability systems. Besides the use of data in these monitoring processes, data could also have a more predictive value.

The volume of data is growing exponentially. On the one hand, this is resulting from a growing citizen created content (think: Twitter, Facebook, etc.). On the other hand more data as they are increasingly linked to primary processes ‘The Internet of Things’. This increases also the predictive value of data. As the volume of data in developing countries is growing rapidly, we want to maximize potential for the development cooperation sector by a smart application of data.

In doing so, we combine our knowledge of the development sector with the expertise from Big Fellows, an innovative company, specialized in the application of big data in public organizations.

 

 

Cases

Hier kan weer een intro tekst komen zoals : We're an agency born out of a passion to make great products. We help companies and startups from all over the world materialize their ideas into great projects

Funding and partnering

Throughout the years we have developed many proposals for funding a great diversity of programs. Organizations we worked for vary from EU, national funds, World Bank, UNICEF to the Netherlands Water Program.
We brought together partnerships, offered insights in the programs and wrote proposals. We did so, mainly in the health care and water and sanitation sectors.

Connecting the Dots: learning through a well-constructed Theory of Change

SNV West Central Africa requested us to do an analysis of their programs and to look for gaps and opportunities to further improve these programs in line with Measurement for Results (MfR) standards. In general we found that many MfR standards may be found as loose ‘dots’ through the assessed programs. Importantly, these dots need to be connected to tell a coherent story and to enable learning. Critical in here was that there should be a link between a well-constructed Theory of Change, which is informed and continuously improved by evidence.

A guideline for performance in the Health Care sector
SNV asked us to develop a guideline to describe SNV’s efforts to improve the performance of health governance systems in five countries between 2007 and 2010. The guide provides practical tools and lessons for improving the efficiency and equity of health services by focusing on capacity building of critical actors within the governance system. In 2007 SNV entered the Primary Health Care sector in five countries in West & Central Africa: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Mali and Niger. The national poverty reduction strategies of these countries encompass ambitious objectives related to access to and quality of primary healthcare. Access to quality healthcare is also central to human development and forms the heart of the Millennium Development Goals. We have experienced increased attention for harmonization of the part of developing partners, working through national systems. Yet, in many countries in West and Central Africa, people living in poverty can still not access or afford basic health services.
Result Based Financing: lessons from 4 years
Results Based Financing has attracted much attention in last years. Erected as a strong response to years and years of input-based funding, the approach offers tools to change the thinking about funding in development cooperation. In Mali and Ghana, we worked with and implemented this approach. We summarized our experience in this chapter in the book ‘Capacity-building for knowledge generation.’
Drinking water in Ghana

In Ghana we evaluated an urban drinking water program, funded by the European Commision.

This program is led by Vitens Evidens International, with a focus on improving water quality.
Our evaluation provided clear recommedations, used to improve the collaboration between partners, in order to sustain the program and its effects.

Contact

We’re always looking for people and partners that share our vision.  Feel free to contact us if you’re interested in what we do. We’re always willing to meet up for a coffee.