I lived with my family as members of a poor community in a small town in West Java, Indonesia for 7 years from 2000-2007. I am fluent in Bahasa Indonesia and having been part of community life along with my family understand much about the culture, and how things are usually done. In particular, how community development programmes might best be planned and implemented to work within rather than against local cultural constraints.
In Aceh, after the tsunami of 2004 I was frustrated to see how often well meaning organisations, running programmes which failed to take into account the local culture created distortions in the local economy which had far-reaching implications. I was able to offer insight and advice to other NGOs, in particular Oxfam, based on my experiences of living in Indonesia in just the sort of community they were working in.
There is a huge difference between the cultures of various countries in the developing world, but I strongly believe that deeper understanding of one specific culture gives a level of insight into a completely new culture that can not be gained through a series of shorter visits to different settings. I don’t claim to know everything in any given setting, but I am familiar enough with cross-cultural work to appreciate what I don’t know!
Positive Outcomes Consulting can bring insight backed with experience to your own overseas work. Whether this is a desk-based review of work you sponsor, or on-site visits of projects in developing countries, please get in touch through the form on the Contact page to discuss how I can best support your work.
I have an ever increasing network of partners, with experience in a variety of different countries. If you have need of consultants with particular languages or cultural knowledge then I might be able to assist in finding the right person for a particular role. Please get in touch…
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