The secret test used by experts to decide if you deserve their time

Posted on Posted in communication, community development, update

I am heading out to the DRC this weekend. While I am there, I am helping to build capacity for an ERDO project with CFGB and CIDA funding for a variety of program participants including OVC’s and  IDP’s.  In case you were wondering, the FBO or NGO we are working with is CEPAC.

Are you lost yet?

Additionally, today I was on the CDC site to check out what vaccines I might need to catch up on.  If you are a traveler, you should know the CDC site is a great resource.

Photo Credit: antony_mayfield via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: antony_mayfield via Compfight cc

Confused with all of the lingo? What if I told you it was intentional, and for a very good reason [at least in some people’s minds].

The last time I was on the field I had a meeting with a local leader from a big NGO. I had just dropped in to enquire about the nearby community, and we talked shop. We compared notes. Checked to see if we knew mutual friends. And we used a lot of acronyms. Why? They speed up the conversation? Sure.

More importantly they are insider language.

All communities use insider language. It’s the best, subtle, way to check the credentials of the people you find yourself with. Do they really know what they are talking about, or are they simply posing? The simple test is to throw a few insider terms their way and see if they follow you.

Relief and development workers are notorious for their acronyms. Learn them if you don’t want to look like a total noob…

What is your favourite acronym? BRB…

Mark Crocker

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