by Charles Vincent

Whether a humanitarian or development worker, how many times have we experienced that awful feeling that we are spending too much time...

-   in meetings? 

-   preparing or reviewing reports on communities and beneficiaries that we rarely see and interact with?

-   responding to HQ queries, feeding its bureaucracy and other bureaucracies

Bottom line:  focused on everything BUT the one thing we came to do - help and support beneficiary communities?

Touching a raw nerve?

I used to say to my colleagues:  "If you think of the beneficiaries and the beneficiary communities, you may make mistakes but they will never be very serious ones."

This is a call to stop being distracted by fruitless interagency disputes (which I got caught in as well), sterile intellectual discussions about policy which have nothing to do with beneficiary communities and all to do with the bureaucracies we are working in.

This is a call to reflect for 3 minutes on what you CAN do differently, focusing exclusively (even if it is only for 3 minutes) on beneficiary communities and the people you serve (no, not the bureaucrats in capital but the people supposedly to be impacted by the MDGs or the "HAP")?  

Write on a piece of paper two things that you are going to do today, tomorrow or within a week to implement that great idea that you have.

Let's share these ideas so that others may jump on the "right focus" train!!!