Yes We Can: The campaign/proposal writing
You have to get lots of people involved. In fact, the more people who share your vision, the better. You tell the voters/donors what they want to hear. Persuasion and hyperbole can be more important than substance. The popular vote/buy-in of the people served may be irrelevant in the end. You’re happy (though thoroughly exhausted) when the campaign is over/proposal is submitted, but the hard work is yet to come.
Yes We Are: Governing/project implementation
What you face now is inevitably more complicated than what you portrayed in the campaign/proposal. With everyone wanting something from you, there are many competing priorities and it’s not always clear which is the best decision. Are there ever enough resources? Despite the election promises/logframe, the arcane and dysfunctional aspects of the system(s) in which we operate often get in our way.
Yes We Did: Seeking reelection/report writing
Despite what you did or did not accomplish, ultimately people’s perceptions will determine if you are considered successful or not. You highlight what you accomplished and ensure there’s a good explanation for what you didn’t. After four years, you may have a better idea of what you’re doing, but a rapidly changing reality means no election/project can ever be the same.
Most importantly, if you don’t inspire people to believe that a brighter future is possible for everyone, you might as well go home.
This post originally appeared at: http://www.how-matters.org/2012/11/08/aid-projects-like-presidential-elections/