Capacity building: helping build better CVs for the ‘capacity builders’, with minimal risk of actual support to grantee organisations.
Passion: the alternative currency that is supposed to compensate for the lack of a living wage for development sector professionals.
Unrestricted grant: a great idea that each funder supports in theory, but is reluctant to commit to themselves.
Disruptive technology: my organisation has an app with 52 downloads on iOS and Google Play (combined).
Theory of change: using flowcharts, arrows and jargon with 5X consulting person-hours leading to significantly increased complexity (output) leading to minimum questions from the board & 10X increased chances of funding (outcomes) – because no one wants to say “I don’t get it”.
Diversity: taking on children of multiple funders and would-be funders as interns, not just one.
Diversity take 2: taking on graduates of multiple US liberal arts colleges.
In-kind contribution: advice (that may or may not include actual volunteering) from donors that you have to say yes to, even when you’d rather just get cash.
Founder-driven: we love opinions, as long as they are exactly in line with ours.
Multi sectoral programmes: what funders love to talk to each other about, but never actually partner to make happen because you know, causation over correlation.
Sustainability: every single programme in this country will work through the government in the next three to five years.
Annual report: a report that comes out long enough after the year in question that no one looks at it carefully.
Social innovation: I have a food delivery venture, but with a social motive – I make negative profits, but I provide healthy, organic food to the world (hipsters are so reluctant to pay).
Exit strategy: determining the right time to cash out of my food delivery venture with a social motive – just before people discover I have no concept of unit economics.
Want more? You can find another set of decoded development jargon here.