It's OK to Fail: Exploring opportunities for honest communication to improve democracy, human rights and peacebuilding

Session Number: 2157
Track: Democracy and Governance
Session Type: Roundtable
Tags: adaptation, ethics, Failure, human rights, peacebuilding
Session Facilitator: Cynthia Clapp-Wincek [Independent consultant - Alliance for Peacebuilding, Peacebuilding Evaluation Consortium]
First Author or Discussion Group Leader: Giovanni P. Dazzo [Evaluation Specialist - U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor]
Third Author or Discussion Group Leader: Sarah McLaughlin [Deputy Director of Learning and Evaluation - Alliance for Peacebuilding]
Fourth Author or Discussion Group Leader: David Jacobstein [Democracy Specialist - USAID]
Time: Oct 28, 2016 (11:00 AM - 11:45 AM)
Room: L505

Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract: 

Although fail faires, as informal outlets to learn from mistakes, are taking place in the development community, these events are less prevalent in democracy, human rights and peacebuilding—where operating environments are complex, data is sensitive, and mistakes can lead to crises. Because of these challenges, it is perhaps more important to form opportunities for honest sharing, allowing donors and practitioners to learn from one another.

Through examples of feedback systems and questioning why failure is difficult to communicate, speakers from the Peacebuilding Evaluation Consortium, Department of State, and USAID will lead a discussion on:

  • Using buzzword-free communication to show how learning can drive program design, and
  • Effectively suggesting alternatives to donors to improve program logic and funding mechanisms.

This off-the-record session intends to initiate a frank discussion on identifying funding, implementation, and evaluation failures; and, will explore how best to develop a post-conference platform for collaborative learning and action.