Postcard from Flores – Signed, a concerned project evaluator

Postcard from Flores: on food Flores is one of my favorite places on earth – a small tropical island in Eastern Indonesia with cool weather, amazing mountains and scenery, fabulous beaches, abundant greenery with things to pick and eat everywhere! One never goes hungry in Flores – or so I thought. In Flores, my favorite … More Postcard from Flores – Signed, a concerned project evaluator

The Exit Strategy

I wrote these words during my tenure as projects coordinator for the Australian Red Cross in Aceh following the tsunami in 2004. I was concerned that none of the interventions managed by most aid organizations had an exit plan, something I thought would be devastating to the already devastated communities we were supporting. You cannot … More The Exit Strategy

A Day in Delhi

Our first full day in Delhi, we three gals flagged a pedicab to take us from our hotel in the touristy area of town over to Connaught Place, the old, but ritzy shopping district. We knew the general direction as well as knowing how long it should take and the general cost. The rest was … More A Day in Delhi


I am in the middle of evaluating a Human Trafficking project in a large Asian country. The well-known international organization I am evaluating has made some great improvements in combatting this awful problem. But I have faced a massive dilemma in evaluating the victim ‘protection’ projects I was taken to see because of what I … More RESCUED?

The Ragged Edge of Paradise: Postcard from the Banda Islands

One mustn’t look into the abyss, because there is at the bottom an inexplicable charm which attracts us. Gustave Flaubert   Serene, quaint, calm, are the words that come to mind in describing the Banda Islands, a small group of ten islands in the Eastern Indonesian province of Maluku. Banda Naira, the administrative center of … More The Ragged Edge of Paradise: Postcard from the Banda Islands

My Vindication Song

Gender inequality, elitism, and ivory tower protectionism all succeeded in weeding me out of my academic career twenty years ago, but only now do I have the words to explain or even understand how and why this happened. From the start, I must emphasize how much I wanted that academic career. Unlike most of my … More My Vindication Song

Untold Stories

It was already quite late on the last night of the fasting month of Ramadhan, 1993. I was sitting on the bottom bunk bed along side Sari and her youngest brother Atong. She had asked me to come and sit here because she had something to tell me. We were staring at the old ceramic … More Untold Stories