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#40 Jargon

March 31, 2011

Jargon (not to be confused with acronyms) is a staple of Expat Aid Worker communication.

EAWs live in a complex world. They don’t just work on development programs or write grants. No, no. They mobilize resources to reach their organization’s aspirational goals via multifaceted poverty reduction strategies. They support core interventions that aim to achieve social protection and address issues of multidimensional poverty. They establish partnerships with national counterparts and engage local change agents at the bottom of the pyramid to build capacity for social accountability and inclusive local and national governance within a rights-based framework. They work with rights holders and duty bearers to overcome the inherent difficulties resulting from the  intersectionality of discrimination and vulnerability overlaid with compounding gender-based exclusion. They conduct research on the gender implications of biofuels expansion in low-income and land-abundant countries.

Proper language management is critical for the EAW. It demonstrates thought leadership and exemplifies a robust capacity to join in the global conversation on poverty alleviation in a compelling, meaningful and impactful way.

Capacity strengthening workshops and working groups are good places for EAWs to stay up-to-date on the ever-changing and increasingly complex network of phrases required to engage effectively with their interest area. However, RCTs have shown that it is challenging to remember the multitude of words and phrases available,  so we’ve developed an innovative approach for learning by doing (based on educational strategies employed by primary level educators in institutional learning facilities with target groups of adolescent learners) to help EAWs stay au courant on this year’s development discourse.

Click on the image to download a readable, printable version, and the list of jargon to look for. Words may be horizontal or vertical, forwards or backwards.

We challenge you to find all 75 words and phrases… (answer sheet available on request).

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Melissa permalink
    March 31, 2011 9:53 am

    the 2nd challenge is to figure out how many typos there are in the word search :)

  2. Pierre permalink
    March 31, 2011 11:51 am

    Aw… You’re missing “galvanize”… Maybe we could have a EAW bullshit bingo, handy during conference calls (

  3. Carol permalink
    April 1, 2011 3:15 pm


  4. Zee permalink
    April 3, 2011 3:15 pm

    I’ll be sure to use that first paragraph in my next grant proposal.

  5. Fred permalink
    May 3, 2011 6:09 am

    EAW also like speaking another language almost (but not quite) well enough to do their jobs…and learning the jargon of their duty station in that language…and then being unable to translate it. Sorry, but I just won’t be able to complete this tool unless you make it available in French. I have almost lost my English with all the time I have spent in Francophone Africa.

  6. July 13, 2011 6:07 pm

    “Galvanize” is definitely a good one. Be sure also to check out our CRISIS ZONE SLANG guide, which include a bunch here:


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