best practice

Best practices

CDA has supported thousands of people in their pursuit of better aid practice. From CDA we have learned the importance of carefully analyzing our actions and behaviors in every context. We’ve learned that “doing no harm” means we must think before we act.

We have also learned that listening and engaging with those we seek to help is a necessary component to building trust and developing respectful relationships.

These lessons were specifically designed with aid practitioners in mind, but they are much more widely applicable.

Having learned about concepts such as “dividers” and “connectors”, I find that I cannot stop myself from thinking in these terms. Similarly, my understanding of the importance of listening has changed the way I engage in conversations and led me to focus more on listening, rather than speaking. These are practices that I cannot “turn off” and I find myself drawing on these skills in both my work and personal life.

This is my last week working for CDA. Working here has been a life-altering experience and I know that the knowledge I’ve gained—from both the organizational lessons and my colleagues—will forever shape the way in which I think and understand the world.

In my next career as a nurse, I will be sure to keep the lessons of CDA close at hand. In many ways, working as a health care provider in a hospital is very similar to working with local people in a developing country. There will be issues around communication, transparency, respect, and of course, “do no harm.” I feel prepared to take on these new challenges and know that I am well equipped in the best practices for all of these areas.


By Candice Montalvo, CDA Do No Harm Program and Listening Program Associate

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