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Brilliant Failures Award


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The Brilliant Failure
The main goal of the Brilliant Failure Award is to stimulate more transparency, learning capacity and innovation as a core competence in the broad field of International Development Cooperation. The award is an initiative of The Institute of Brilliant Failures in collaboration with Spark and supported by Partos, PSO, Woord en Daad and The winner will receive a honourable award during the Award ceremony (further details will be published on the special award website:

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Brilliant Failures Award

  1. 1. The Institute of Brilliant Failures presents: The Brilliant Failure 2011 award for the best learning moment in Development Cooperation
  2. 2. What is your brilliant failure in development cooperation?
  3. 3. <ul><li>Did you have good intentions? </li></ul><ul><li>YES continue </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Did you prepare well? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>YES continue </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Did you NOT achieve your original goal? </li></ul><ul><li>YES continue </li></ul><ul><li>Did you or others learn something from your failure? </li></ul><ul><li>Congratulations with your Brilliant Failure! </li></ul>When is my failure brilliant?
  4. 4. Successes from last year’s 2010 award
  5. 5. HIV/AIDS Awareness via SMS in Uganda Goal To create and distribute an HIV/AIDS awareness quiz via SMS with Text to Change. Approach Text to Change relied on all prior lessons learned in the area of ICT use in emerging markets. Result On the morning of the campaign launch, TTC was assigned the number 666 by the Ugandan Communications Commission , the code of the Antichrist, the devil. Concerned (Christian) parties wanted to stop the program immediately. After much ado, the number was changed to 777. Lesson No matter how well you prepare, unexpected challenges dwell in dark corners.
  6. 6. Credit for Cooperatives in Congo Goal To provide loan capital to cooperatives for purchasing and gathering crops. Approach 1. Vredeseilanden distributed loan capital to be used at the cooperatives ’ disposal. Initial loans, however, were not paid back. 2. An agent was appointed to visit the cooperatives and distribute the capital onsite. But delivery of the agricultural products was unreliable. 3. An overhauled system of credit was put in place, based on savings, order receipts and repayment on delivery through COOCENKI. Result It worked! WINWIN: an efficient buyback scheme with easy marketing and lowered risks, built on credit and limited costs. Lesson It is possible to construct sustainable, large-scale commercial transations without foreign support.
  7. 7. Solar Energy with the Best Microfinancers in Uganda Goal: To speed up the spread of solar energy systems. Approach: ETC forged partnerships between solar energy companies and the best microfinancers (MFI ’s) in the country. Result: The partnerships yielded no results. However, energy companies working together with weaker financers, yielded more positive, fruitful relationships, and were surprisingly successful. Lesson: Successful cooperation relies on enthusiastic and serious working relationships in the field.
  8. 8. 2010 IoBF Award Ceremony in Amsterdam
  9. 9. 2010 IoBF Award Ceremony in Amsterdam
  10. 10. Please submit your case online at Join us at Linkedin: Brilliant Failures