Invisible Children

Working in Silos

A widely accepted school of thought, is that socioeconomic growth can best and most quickly be accomplished through infusions of money that support programs crafted by institutional thinkers.  Most of this financial and programmatic support is from the “top-down”, that is, governed and implemented by the donors ostensibly for the benefit of the recipients.  Yet years of this approach have still left vast millions of young people underserved and in jeopardy. 

With limited resources and focused attention, organizations tend to work in silos, conscripted by their specific issues.  Consortia work around single themes.  NGOs may work effectively in a defined geographic area, but success seldom informs public policy or goes to scale.  Donors choose to work within certain issue areas – health, education, the environment, etc. – but find it difficult to reach across sectors for deeper, more holistic solutions.  While the specialization of these efforts has a certain logic, some measurable results and definable benefits, the end result is a fragmented development landscape.  Invisible Children investigates how this siloing diffuses the impact of approaches to children’s issues and leaves millions of children out of reach. 

Chapter 5: Boxed in by Good Intentions