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This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Friday, October 17, 2014

A five-letter word which sends shivers around the world

One of my closest friends has been working in Sierra Leone for the past 18 months – as Team Leader of a civil service reform project in Freetown. He is back home in Brussels at the moment but scheduled to fly back in a few days – to take up a project extension of 12 months.
Remember that this is the country in the eye-storm of the Ebola pandemic where deaths are doubling every month – as set out in this powerful piece in the current issue of LRB

I remonstrated with him but he had a powerful argument. He has earned the confidence of senior civil servants there – and they need the unique blend he has of experience, common sense and  analytical skills. I don’t anyone in my line of work who is able to come up so readily with “stories” which make so much sense about the perversities which are perpetrated by the leaders of modern organisations (whether private or public). I worked – very briefly – in The World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1990/91 and was generally very impressed with how much its European Office (in Copenhagen) was able to achieve with minimal resources. But it had its weaknesses – a few of its nationals appointed (on patronage) were disastrous and that, according to a leaked report in today’s Guardian, seems to be the case for its African desk.

I remember his (unrepeatable) comments from our skype conversation a couple of months ago.
I salute a brave man
And wish him a safe return.......

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