Josine Stremmelaar is Coordinator Knowledge Program at Hivos, The Netherlands.
What do you do when the phone rings? You pick up, or let people leave a message on your voicemail and check it soon after. The phone has been ringing for a long time now in the development sector.
What do you do when a caller starts conversing? You talk back – if only to say you’re going to hang up. We talk a lot in the sector.
What do you do when the caller starts shouting? You hang up, even if the other person has a valid reason to shout. In the development sector, we don’t like shouters. We often hang up.
What do you do when the phone doesn’t ring? You don’t exist – at least according to others. In short: you have become irrelevant.
The Dutch government proposes to reform its knowledge policies of development cooperation. The intention is to create four knowledge platforms on the themes of security and the law, water, food security, and sexual and reproductive health and rights, with possibly one more general, overarching platform. A clear vision seems to be lacking though.