This blog – and my writing in general – is starting to get more public attention, so I think it’s a good time to remind everyone of something. I’m not special. This is not false modesty or some self-esteem issue. It’s a fact, and it’s a fact that makes me happy. I like working with brilliant people. I don’t know anything that everybody else who has worked in development for ten years or so doesn’t. When other people who work in this industry read the blog, they’re not amazed by my insight or any such. Mostly, they nod in agreement. (That’s why the comments section is so friendly.)
I am the person who has the time and inclination to write down the stuff that everybody knows. I’m not ashamed of that. Codifying accepted wisdom is a useful role. It helps outsiders understand the system, and helps insiders find their common ground. It gives everyone a clear, shared view, and that can catalyze change and system improvements.
In health systems, I believe that the people already in the system – doctors, nurses, patients – already have most of the information they need to make the system better. That’s the core of continuous quality improvement. In our international aid system, I believe that the people who actually implement projects hold a lot of valuable information. I am proud to be part of bringing it out and recording it.
I’ve got the time to write this blog, and I think that writing it makes me better at what I do. It’s a constant examination of my work – the assumptions behind it and the impact it has. I benefit from that, and I think that the projects I work for also benefit. I hope that reading this is useful to other people. But don’t mistake this for something unique.
People who work in development are amazing people. They think about their work all the time, obsessively. They try to figure out how to do as little harm as possible, and they search all the time for ways to improve their impact. Most of them are smarter than me, and know more. Most of them are too busy doing their work to want to blog about it. I’m the one who likes to write. That’s all.
photo credit: tellumo
chosen because it’s a truly awesome disclaimer