Just spent two days sitting in a very unusual but interesting workgroup and again find myself wondering where this is all headed. There were thirteen of us invited and it was facilitated by a very capable local Consultant who is fluent in both English and Khmer. Hired simply to facilitate the process, she had no real history with any of the organizations involved. The programs represented were varied; blindness and disabilities, hypertension and diabetes, social work and counselling, microfinance and insurance, skills training and income generation, patient registration and health insurance, and of course, media.

The only thing we had in common was that we each have funders or partners in the Netherlands. These Netherlands organizations have formed an Alliance which is intending to submit joint funding proposals for money available through the Dutch government’s development program. As there have been a number of limitations to the success of previous programs, a decision has been made that all future proposals must use a “Programmatic Approach”, something none of us had ever heard of before.

Our task was to make recommendations to the Alliance for a strategy and specific target areas on which to focus. It was amazing to talk about the roadblocks each have faced and to watch as our small working group came up with a design for an ideal approach. Those of you who know my passion for CHE will understand my joy as they mapped out a CHE approach and then were delighted to hear that this strategy has already been in use for some time.

Even more delightful is the fact that the proposal that we have written uses a Programmatic Approach, and of course a CHE partnership and this group all want on board. Not sure if this group will ever get together again formally but I am sure we will be calling on each other to share our expertise as we go about our work.