Postcards from the Edge

of Bangladesh

It’s good to talk

I’ve started doing semi-structured interviews of the office staff here at Moanoghar. Part of the whole organisational development process. First step, find out what people really think/feel. Obvious really. One would think I should know this by now as I’ve been here 4 months already, but perhaps I am just a late bloomer in my placement. Working out here is pretty more complicated, and a lot of the information is initially totally inaccessible to outsiders. Language and different culture aside, people here have seen ‘development’ in action, that has little/no positive impact on their lives so they are naturally sceptical/cautious. So it’s always slow going. Building relationship etc are key before people will feel comfortable opening up and being honest with you. In fact, some of the leading (progressive) thinkers in development believe that you really shouldn’t DO anything for the first 6 months. Well, seems I am keeping to that timeline pretty well aren’t I…

And man, the folks here are proving pretty chatty. Ok, there are quite a few questions, but don’t under-estimate how everyone values a chance to get their views across. And a chance to vent. I’m not sure any of what I am finding out is new/shocking to me (having been here for 4 months and all that) but just the process is quite cathartic for people here. And I think it also makes people feel valued. None of what I’m here to do is to TELL people what they have to do, but rather to extract the right way forward out of them, and then work with that. A decision made by someone else will never have the same power as a decision you make yourself (or an organisation jointly makes).

Anyhoo, so that all means I’m enjoying it here at work right now. Shocks from laptop aside.

In a attempt to add more photos to my blog, I’ve decided to put random pics on posts that have nothing to do with the posts themselves. Maybe I’m just too lazy to write/make something up for the photos or … yes, I am just too lazy.

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Me and Moanoghar's Executive Committee

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My Sainsburys Local

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