The Inepd Way

All our about our Inepd approach

First Mission an Inepd Story

Just about to head into Soho with my friend Cassandra from Cleo. We have some great charity events lined up with some A-list celebrities, such a refreshing end to the year. To be honest the last few months on the charity circuit have just been hideous. I have even moved out of the “just passing by backgrounds” of many a Hello and OK magazine photographers shots recently. I just couldn’t bear to be associated with the B-list. Thank god we still have Tyra Banks and Phil Collins as Inepd Good will Ambassadors. I have even seen some charities courting Theatre and Musical stars; certainly brings a touch of class but absolutely no revenue potential. You’re better off going for the weather presenter!

Now where was I. Oh yes, this post is really about something exciting that has been happening in the charity world recently. Last month I made a post about the incredible work of Warchild with their superb film premier The Silent Army or Wit Licht. Through 2009 Inepd International has been involved in an Inepd film project of our own Green Light. The plot centres around a plucky development worker who saves a village from starvation through mainstreaming gender. Phil Collins plays a sceptical country manager who in the end supports the young(ish)first mission Inepd field worker played by Tyra Banks in her struggle to mainstream gender against incredible odds. We have had a few delays in production mainly due to Phil and Tyra’s problems in mastering Swahili, but we hope to release the film in February.

I also criticised MSF in the same post for failing to get behind the gold standard bearer for humanitarian drama Beyond Borders. It was so disappointing to see an organisation such as MSF fail to grasp such a unique opportunity which would have put them years ahead of the competition. Well MSF has an amazing move called First Mission  coming  out in March 2010(see trailer above). Part of me is so angry with this production. It appears that our Inepd Logistician and Inepd Nurse, Shane and Shirley’s story of their first mission has been taken up by an unscrupulous producer. We rejected the script last year as we felt many elements at the time were pure fantasy. Shane had put on paper the story as a tribute to Shirley and the breaking of their relationship due to their conflicting humanitarian impulses. In retrospect, getting to know and follow the antics of this pair and their renewed romance recently. It does seem that that the script about their first mission together was completely plausible. I feel a little silly that I pushed so hard against taking an option on the script. In the end the decision was made by our Inepd film committee and I can’t be held responsible.

I just wanted to say congratulations to MSF for once again pushing the boundaries of humanitarian marketing and communications. Inepd International also is looking forward to competing for Box Office supremacy with these fantastic Poverty Development dramas on the big screen.

Lastly, wherever you are on this amazing planet I hope you have a happy and safe 2010!
Posted by mercedes on 01/01/2010 01:00 AM 0 comments

An Inepd Christmas Appeal

And so this is Christmas and I sit looking over a cold and grey London night from my studio apartment sipping my cocoa.  I have started to reflect on what a magical as well as fraught year 2009 was. In 2009 a plucky little charity, Inepd International, started to gain real traction in the poverty development market place. Inepd International’s brand in the last 6 months started to become widely known and recognisable and I have been so proud to be Inepd International Marketing and Communications Director. To see this great organisation grow and mature has been a privilege. This growth has been, to some extent due to our experiment in opening our organisation’s heart and mind to the public through twitter. We have become a leader in openness and transparency showing the world the challenges and joy of enabling poverty development through every tweet.

At this special time of year for Christmas appeals we wanted to share our Inepd appeal to all thinking and financially solvent men and women around the world. In this festive season when we come together with our families for a few precious hours and then spend the rest of the holidays with friends and people we care about; we should not forget those less fortunate than ourselves. People struggling under crippling financial pressure just to stay afloat and to retain their last ounce of dignity. People battered by unforeseen circumstances that have turned a happy carefree fast paced city lifestyle into a life of networking at B-Class charity events and Tika Masala lunches with small donors.

It’s too easy to point the blame when we face one of lifes hurdles. It would be too easy to point the finger at Shane and Shirley for some of Inepd International’s financial problems. To blame them for the near destruction of the Inepd International office, when Shirley suspected still unconfirmed cases of Mexican Flu and quarantined all our staff for one week. We could blame them for losing seven of our largest donor due to the expected negative media attention of Shane and Shirley’s 400m tunnelling project into the Copenhagen Climate summit. However, pointing the blame doesn’t help us to retain the premier status of Inepd international in Poverty Development circles. It’s at times like these that we have to look to the future.

I look towards 2010 with so much trepidation but also with so much hope. I am looking forward to working more with Phil Collins our Inepd International goodwill ambassador and travelling with him to the field to see enabling poverty development in action. After we get back from the field it will be then time for the Humanitarian Couple of the Year Awards. If Shane and Shirley manage to get back to London we have a really great chance to win the event this year.

Inepd International is a survivor and although we have a difficult storm to weather I know we can make it through 2010 to a brighter future. So wherever you on this beautiful planet, I hope you stay safe and have the happiness and life you deserve for the last little bit of 2009 and the new year.
Posted by mercedes on 12/24/2009 04:04 AM 0 comments

“Dream Jobs in all the Wrong Places” or “Instead of working in the field why not work in the Capital or HQ”

Jobs in the Charity/ Non Profit Sector
In the last few weeks while on leave, I was reading through various forums and their advice on how to get jobs in the humanitarian and development sectors. I compared this to route that colleagues and friends have taken. There seemed to be a big gap between reality and the advice given. So I thought it might be interesting to take a more realistic and practical look at the various approaches that don't involve lots of study, learning languages and doing a course in International Development studies. So here are a few tips. This is part 1 in my 2 part series: “Dream Jobs in all the Wrong Places”, or “Instead of working in the field why not work in the Capital or HQ”

Ok so here are some tips:
1. Being married to or in a relationship with someone in the UN or an INGO can lead to that foot in the door. If you are hanging around the office a bit there will always be a job that no one can be bothered to make up a job description or place an ad for. This works equally well for the UN or INGOs and once you have your foot in the door you can easily keep getting that short term contracts until you are eventually indispensable.

2. Go to Charity events. You can make some great contacts and you get to dress up as well. I got my job at Inepd International by auctioning off my Geri Halliwell signed copy of Hello magazine to the Executive Director of Inepd International. I had just be on a great package holiday to Mykonos staying at an absolutely delightful and exclusive resort. It turns out the Executive Director had stayed at exactly the same resort on a recent field visit. It was too much of a coincidence and he just had to have me as the Marketing and Comms Director.

3. Don't have an opinion!! Many interview candidates make the common mistake of having a position on a range of issues. Especially for developmental jobs this is a key indicator that you will be unsuitable for the job. If you give an opinion in a job interview it can really unsettle HR and the generalist manager types. Having an opinion is threatening especially when it is a woman voicing it. Many managers in NGOs and the UN have built careers on not having an opinion so don’t ruin the status quo and your chances for that dream job. Just remember a few simple phrases instead of giving an opinion like; “It is such a complicated issue” and  “There are no simple solutions”.

4. If you are going for jobs interviews in the programmes section don't wear a suit . It is best to wear jeans, sandals if your a woman, old brown leather shoes if your a guy and a t-shirt with some poverty development slogan on it. Women can also wear a traditional clothing accessory like a handbag or shawl from a developing country which seems to go over well with programme types.

So good luck on getting that great poverty development job.
Posted by mercedes on 12/12/2009 04:10 AM 0 comments