Founded by DAI and its former CEO Tony Barclay, the Development Practitioners Forum builds on 40 years of practical field experience and learning. We envision a world in which empowered practitioners produce better development results. By “better results” we mean quicker spread of practices that foster long-term sustainability and faster scaling up of successful interventions. We want to make it easier for practitioners to share and leverage their experience with peers, both globally and locally.
Field practitioners are diverse and numerous: several million individuals working in over 150 countries, and spanning many different cultures, languages, disciplines, regions, and organizations. They include project managers and technical staff working for donor agencies, host governments, private companies, or national and international NGOs. Increasing numbers of them come from the global South. They all produce and consume knowledge. Their collective experience contains an immense store of knowledge about what works and what doesn’t. All too often, however, “what happens in the field stays in the field.”
The Forum’s mission is to build and strengthen knowledge networks among practitioners in ways that tap their knowledge, preserve it, and put it to practical use. In their most efficient form, these networks rely on person-to-person exchanges that bridge geographic distances, cross language barriers, and fit the cultural norms of network members.
To overcome this challenge, the Forum has begun testing an interactive website that features Q&A exchanges and is actively recruiting a diverse membership for this online community. We are also launching country chapters in 2010 in Kenya and Liberia, to create mechanisms for person-to-person interaction that complements what happens online. Our web presence (www.devprac.org) supports both of these initiatives.
The Forum welcomes voluntary donations from individuals and organizations. Our status as a tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) organization has been approved by the Internal Revenue Service. We will promptly acknowledge all donations and confirm their tax-deductibility. You can make a donation to the Forum through PayPal:
Tony Barclay President, The Development Practitioners Forum