EnCompass Insights

June 30, 2015

Then Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton watches as President Barack Obama signs a Presidential memorandum, "Coordination of Policies and Programs to Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women and Girls Globally," in the Oval Office, Jan. 20, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The 4th of July holiday presents an opportunity for all Americans to pause and think about what we are truly celebrating: whose freedom, whose independence, whose rights?  Recent discussions among EnCompass staff about the events in Charleston reveal the many different feelings and experiences among our staff about what it means to be an American. And those in EnCompass whose identity is in other nationalities and live in the United States, or in other countries, have yet a different set of experiences of this country. There are many things to celebrate on the 4th of July; to name a few: the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1990, President Obama signing of the Violence Against Women Act...

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June 10, 2015

We often hear the term “value engineering” in reference to health care or the construction industry. While the term has sometimes seemed synonymous with cost cutting, at its heart, value-engineering is meant to enhance the value of a product, system or service by taking a function-oriented, systematic, team approach that results in the biggest bang for money spent.

Value engineering aims to figure out how exactly to provide quality services within constrained environments.  Caroline Heider, Director General of the Independent Evaluation Group of the World Bank, calls it “value for money” evaluation. In a blog post on this topic, Heider adds “for whom?”, and urges clients and implementers of evaluation to...

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May 19, 2015

This is International Coaching Week and the coaching world certainly has a lot to celebrate.  In twenty years, executive coaching has grown from a poorly understood practice to one that is in ever greater demand as an effective tool for helping staff to perform at their best. The International Coaching Federation describes the role and affect of coaching as follows:

Professional coaching is a powerful experience that is shifting corporate culture from command and control to collaboration and creativity. Coaching is developing stronger leaders, better communicators, more productive employees and increasingly positive people." -...

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April 13, 2015

Biomarker specialists visit a Ugandan laboratory as an experiential activity.

Note: This post was originally published by The DHS Program.

In January, 2015, 11 biomarker specialists from eight countries met in Uganda to participate in the first-ever South-to-South DHS Program Biomarker Workshop. Participants all had previous experience with DHS surveys, either as consultants or as in-country staff. The objectives of the training were to emphasize mastery of technical biomarker content and training materials, strengthen consultants training and facilitation skills, and to pilot test the newly designed DHS Program Biomarker Curriculum. Ultimately, it is hoped that many of the participants from...

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March 18, 2015

South African President Jacob Zuma

Mothers in ancient Sparta washed the newborn with wine to ensure it was strong.  Later the baby was brought by its father to the elders, who inspected the newborn carefully. If they found that the child was deformed or weakly they threw it into Kaiada, the so called Apothetae, a chasm at a cliff, of the mount Taygetos. (See http://www.sikyon.com/sparta/agogi_eg.html)

Based on recent media reports, South African President Jacob Zuma has reinterpreted these ancient Sparta practices. According to a media statement released by South African civil society organizations, in...

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