Aid effectiveness

An effort to make delivery of aid more efficient and effective.  These were international processes on aid effectiveness largely led by donor countries (see for more information).


Oppression is the use of power to disempower, marginalize, silence or otherwise subordinate one social group or category, often in order to further empower and/or privilege the oppressor. Social oppression may not require formally established organizational support to achieve its desired effect; it may be applied on a more informal, yet more focused, individual basis. Anti-oppression work seeks to recognize the oppression that exists in our society and attempts to mitigate its effects and eventually equalize the power imbalances in our communities. (Source.)


An alternative word for ‘at-risk,’ a term often applied to youth, that reminds us that there is much more promise and possibility in each young person than there is risk.


The giving of time, money or other resources to benefit others in need. (Can be viewed as a vertical relationship. See Solidarity.)


A collaboration is an informal relationship between like-minded organizations to achieve specified goals, rarely requiring a formal agreement.

Development effectiveness

As a response to the concept of ‘aid effectiveness’, development effectiveness rejects the idea that better delivery of aid would automatically lead to better development results.  An international process called the Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness engaged civil society organizations (CSOs) in working together to improve development practice. This process led to the development of the Istanbul Principles.

Disaggregated data

Disaggregating data involves delving more deeply into a set of results to highlight issues that pertain to individual subsets of results and/or outcomes of aggregated data. Collective or ‘aggregate’ data can be broken down or ‘disaggregated,’ for instance, by: gender, urban/ rural location, income, socio-cultural or ethnic background, language, geographical location, political/administrative units, or age groups. (Source, page 2.)

Gender equality

Refers to the equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities of women and men and girls and boys. Gender equality does not mean that women and men will become the same. It means that women and men enjoy the same status and have equal opportunity to realize their full human rights and potential to contribute to development.

Gender mainstreaming

A strategy that aims to integrate gender equality in a public engagement initiative that has a different area of focus (such as food security, environment, private sector development, access to water, etc.).

Global citizen

Oxfam Great Britain defines a global citizen as someone who:

  • Is aware of the wider world and has a sense of their own role as a world citizen
  • Respects and values diversity
  • Has an understanding of how the world works
  • Is outraged by social injustice
  • Participates in the community at a range of levels, from the local to the global
  • Is willing to act to make the world a more equitable and sustainable place
  • Takes responsibility for their actions.


An indicator quantifies and simplifies phenomena and helps us understand complex realities.

Istanbul principles

A series of eight principles for Development Effectiveness developed through extensive international consultation with civil society organizations (CSOs) through the Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness (,067).

Monitoring & evaluation

Monitoring is the process of tracking progress in the achievement of a program’s objectives. Evaluation is the systematic assessment of that progress,or lack thereof, in relation to goals.


An outcome is a change amongst beneficiaries that is attributable to an organization. These outcomes are often associated with changes in awareness or skills (immediate outcomes), changes in behaviours or practices (intermediate outcomes), and substantial changes of state amongst beneficiaries (ultimate outcomes). Ultimate outcomes are “the highest level of change that can be achieved, a change of state for the target population” (CIDA 2013).


A deeper form of collaboration that is often more formalized than a collaboration. It may involve prolonged joint efforts to achieve mutual goals, or shorter-term relationships that are required to be formalized for various reasons (such as funding restrictions).


Public Interest Research Groups are student-funded, student-directed, not-for-profit organizations providing resources and avenues for students to engage with environmental and social justice issues.

Public engagement

Public engagement is the practice of inspiring, supporting and challenging people and groups in dynamic cycles of learning, reflection and action on global issues. It is a transformative process that works towards more equitable social, economic, environmental and political structures.

Quantitative & qualitative

Evaluation methods and the data they produce are grouped into two basic categories – quantitative and qualitative.  At the most basic level, data are considered quantitative if they are numbers and qualitative if they are words.  Qualitative data best explain the why and how of your program, while quantitative data best explain the whatwho and when.  Visit the Center for Civic Partnerships for more information, including techniques, strengths and limitations.


The idea that individuals or groups will respond in-kind to the actions of others. In a reciprocal relationship, both individuals or groups act for the benefit of the other.

Rights-based approach

An approach to development practice that aims to change the power relationships of charitable giving. Instead of framing development in terms of a giver and receiver, a rights-based approach works with the rights-holders (who do not experience their full rights) and the duty bearers (institutions that have the obligation to fulfill the holders rights). Using a rights-based approach means working to build the capacity of both groups to achieve fulfillment of rights.


A term that names the growing tendency of people taking small feel-good acts in support of an issue or social cause, that have little or no practical effect other than making the individual feel good.


Actions taken among equals to support another individual’s or group’s struggles.  These actions can include material support, political advocacy or moral support.  (Can be viewed as a horizontal relationship. See Charity.) “Solidarity,” feminist and postcolonial theorist Sara Ahmed observes, “does not assume that our struggles are the same struggles, or that our pain is the same pain, or that our hope is for the same future. Solidarity involves commitment, and work, as well as the recognition that even if we do not have the same feelings, or the same lives, or the same bodies, we do live on common ground.”

Theory of change

A theory of change is “the description of a sequence of events that is expected to lead to a particular desired outcome” (Rick Davies 2012). Developing a theory of change is extremely valuable in project planning, monitoring and evaluation, as it can help ensure that what is measured relates directly to the desired changes and outcomes.