People now talk of ‘mainstreaming climate change’ and rolling out AusAID’s new Child Protection Policy. They ask me for my ‘theory of change’. When I look gob-smacked, they begin to suspect I have not undergone the p-shift. What is a p-shift? Why, thinking in programmes now rather than in projects!
…About nine years ago, as a young pup, I recall meeting a Programme Director from another organisation. Having just come back from years in a field office, she was gaunt from tropical diseases, and wrinkled and weathered from years of sun exposure. Her clothes looked like they were from another decade. She wore no jewellery and no make up. She spoke slowly and deliberately, using simple words and short sentences. No jargon. No sophistication. Plain speaking. Every few minutes, she would pause and check that you got her point. I recall another colleague saying derisively, “You can tell when they have been in the field too long. They lose touch”. I recall that now. And realise, with some pride, I too have lost touch.