Worst practices

We talk endlessly of best practices in development, peacebuilding, business. You name it. I heard an excellent idea at a conference last week: why don’t we write more about worst practices?

His example: “In Liberia we thought it was a great idea to let ex-combatants choose their own training program. Then ten percent chose computer skills training in a country with no electricity. That was a bad idea.”

Yes, it turns out that 22-year olds sometimes make bad decisions, even when it’s participatory.

Kudos to him for being so candid. We need volumes and volumes on worst practices. Some initial suggestions: “When microfinance fails,” “How to royally screw up election monitoring,” and, “101 ways not to reform your schools.”

Please, someone steal this idea.