American or British?

The English language has far too many differences in each region. If you utilize American English then your organization or center works extremely hard and put in lots of labor to run programs. But if you utilise British English then your organisation or centre works extremely hard and puts in lots of labour to run programmes. What does that mean for a development organization?

If you live and work in a country where English is not the first language then you don’t have an official national English dictionary, and therefore either of those options could be correct. But what would be incorrect would be to mix American and non-American English in the same document or sentence. This may seem boring but to an NGO working with partners and donors around the world it is remarkably important.

Development organizations are constantly stuck in this middle-ground, with no ‘official’ English in the country of operation they must constantly switch between different regional versions of English and this means tailoring each document to the donor or audience. This is hard enough to do if English is your first language, but even harder if its your second or third.

As much of my job involves editing and reviewing documents I get to spend a lot of time up close and personal with the oddities of the English language and this has made me more aware of how to properly tailor your writing to your audience. If your donor is British do not write a document full of the letter z or words ending in or. If your donor is American use the letter z all you want, don’t end words in our. This stuff matters a lot. Using the wrong language or the wrong grammar will make sentences and documents look ‘wrong’ to a reader and can very well be the different between FUNDED or BROKE.


Why Study International Development?

Why Study International Development?.

My program and what I’ve invested 3 years (so far) of my life in learning about. It’s refreshing to see and hear the importance of international development defined and outlined so well from someone outside of my class.

‘Revolutionary’ Idea: Use Local Suppliers. . .

As you can imagine, I was pretty shocked when I saw that organizations were just beginning to use local products. . .

I would have thought that using local products would be integral to the sustainability of the programmes, as well as maintaining cost effectiveness. Not to mention using culturally appropriate food!

Hasn’t this local food movement been happening around the world for decades? Why is it JUST spilling into the world of international development?

Maybe everyone was like me and just assumed that it was common sense to use local products?