America Magazine, October 2016
“This short book is packed with valuable insights for anyone engaged in service. It is a must-read for students or adults seeking to ‘do good’ either locally or overseas. Newton and Early do not discuss religious convictions, but their guidelines are completely consistent with what one finds in the Jesuit Refugee Service’s practice of accompaniment and the ethic of ‘kinship’ of Greg Boyle, S.J.” – Stephen J. Pope, professor of theological ethics at Boston College
“Doing Good … Says Who? is must reading for anyone who is looking to deepen the impact of community service whether domestically or internationally. It is an outstanding resource for all who want to make the world a better place because its approach is experiential, illuminating successful ways to tackle the complexities of doing good well.” – Maureen Curley, former President of Campus Compact
“Doing Good … Says Who? is a book to put in the hands of anybody who wants to make a difference in another culture — church leaders partnering with villages, small giving clubs, do-gooders with a yen for travel. It’s a quick read but long on afterthoughts.” – Mary Ann McGivern
REVUE Magazine, May 2016 (pg 22)
“Doing Good…Says Who? is an easy-to-read handbook for those who have participated in missions, are about to go on a mission or are considering such a trip in the future, or are presently in short-term or long-term ‘helping’ roles. Doing Good…Says Who? will foster thought and discussion that will certainly help the volunteer to ‘Do Good.'” – Diane Carofino
Spirit in Action, August 2016
“When I read Doing Good..Says Who? by Connie Newton and Fran Early, I immediately recommended it to all of SIA’s Board members. This book, which came out of interviews with 430 Guatemalans and non-Guatemalan aid workers and volunteers, features stories that clearly demonstrate the importance of listening to community members and trusting local knowledge. I came away more sure than ever that that is the only way to create lasting change.” – Tanya Cothran
May 25th, 2016 book discussion in Martha’s Vineyard. Fran and Connie had a lively discussion with local panelists Gloria Morris, John Sundman, and Pam Benjamin at the Vineyard Haven Library. Check out more from the event below:
Additional Praise for Doing Good…Says Who?
Doing Good…Says Who? is a must read for people who care about development. It demonstrates how hard it is for people of different cultures to understand each other unless we build relationships. The reader experiences successes and failures in that struggle through real life stories that are compelling. If I’d had this book sooner, it might have helped head off some volunteer problems. For example, we had a volunteer whom we thought we’d prepared really well for her six-month assignment in a remote village, but she only lasted two weeks. It turns out she had expectations we never could have imagined. Among other things, she expected specific guidelines for her every step even though we’d talked about the priority of building relationships. Now I’ll use this book to generate in-depth discussion about expectations and also to provoke thinking about important questions such as:
What is the difference between humanitarian aid and intentional building of relationships for development?
What should we be doing to achieve real “development”?
When is a community developing? How can we know?
Kenneth Chomba, Co-founder of Tatua Kenya
“Doing Good…Says Who? is required reading for anyone involved in mission service or cross-cultural experiences in the U.S. or across the globe. The authors gracefully lead readers through profound stories that provide cultural understanding by lifting up real-life lessons of power and privilege, mutual respect and trust-building.
I highly recommend this book to short-term mission trip groups, individual mission or service volunteers and church mission committees that want to dive deeper into what it means to do mission in partnership with all those they serve.”
Ellen Sherby, Coordinator, Equipping for Mission Involvement
When wisdom speaks, we would do well to listen. Sixty years of combined, on the ground experience in a poverty culture gives Doing Good…Says Who? authenticity and authority that are rare in the hyped-up world of contemporary missions. The authors have earned the right to tell it like it is – and this they do with candor, color and sensitivity. Essential reading for every group, who aspires to do effective mission work.Bob Lupton, urban ministry veteran and author of Toxic Charity
The stories ring true and are great at developing the core principles for volunteer service. This teaches people how to not only “do no harm” but really learn from and work with communities in need. It is as important for donors as students and volunteers.
Ruth Messinger, President, American Jewish World Services
This book should be required reading for all who seek to improve the lives of the very poor. It teaches by compelling stories that lasting gains can only be achieved by respecting, learning from, and working with those-in-need. Visiting occasionally in a Land Rover to tell people with very different life experiences what they should do or to give them charity simply does not work.
Richard Schmalensee, Dean Emeritus, MIT Sloan School of Management
These tales from the field remind us that ‘doing good’ is often harder than it seems. However, these stories and honest reflections shine a light on a more effective and dignified path to helping others. This book should be required reading for anyone with a compassionate heart and an inquiring mind.
Tori Hogan, Author of Beyond Good Intentions: A Journey Into the Realities of International Aid
Most people think of volunteers as idealistic, generous and courageous. Are we really? What do the so-called beneficiaries say? This book is a unique opportunity to hear the beneficiaries’ voices and help us understand, through some very vivid experiences, some of the challenges of humanitarian work. Here is food for thought for all of us.
Daniela Abadi, Doctors Without Borders (MSF), midwife and project coordinator
If you take missionary work seriously this book is a must read. If you take cultural exchange seriously then this is the book for you. The stories invite you to understand more clearly what it means to live the gospel at all times and use words only when necessary. The authors teach us what it means to begin doing what is good, true, and beautiful which is as important at home as it is abroad. Take off your shoes when you read this book, you are reading on holy ground.
The Rev. Mark Bozzuti-Jones, former Jesuit missionary to Brazil and Priest for Pastoral Care at Trinity Wall Street
As I read Doing Good…Says Who? it was as though the questions, worries and challenges in my head were brought to life in an insightful and understandable way! As a fundraiser, donor and board member, the book has helped clarify my priorities and encouraged me to ask deeper and tougher questions of myself and others. The notions of ‘partnerships and surprises’ will help to keep me grounded and inspired in both problem solving and strategic planning.
Bev Reed, Retired VP of Resource Development, Pathfinder International
Finding experiences for our students where they can both begin to understand a different culture while serving its people in productive ways is a complex challenge for the very reasons explored in this book. The stories are real and thought-provoking. I strongly commend the read to educators and students alike.
Larry Schall, President, Oglethorpe University
When I was working with a group of Mixtec weavers in Oaxaca a leader in the group looked at the board and said, “Don’t tell me you have a solution if I haven’t told you I have a problem.” The authors really get this as the key to successful development.
Judith Lockhart Radtke, The Circle of Women
Doing Good…addresses a major gap. Although there are many critical academic studies of humanitarianism and volunteerism that document unintended—and sometimes downright harmful—effects, these studies are generally not accessible except to the specialist audience. Doing Good gives us an approachable, general audience treatment of these important themes. It should be required reading for all volunteers planning long or short-term global engagements. I intend to recommend it to physicians and medical students who are considering participating in global health missions and research projects.
Peter Rohloff, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Physician Global Health Equities, Medical Director, Wuqu’ Kawoq, Maya Health Alliance
Connie and Fran have written a remarkable book about the ways in which well intended philanthropic and development efforts in other countries often have the opposite impact. They’ve been watching this play out in Guatemala for several decades and as practitioners on the ground have also developed some powerful principles that maximize the possibility that development efforts will have a positive and lasting impact. In addition to being able to step back and draw on lessons, these two women are really good storytellers.
Larry Dressler, author of Standing in the Fire and co-founder of a non-profit working in Guatemala
Doing Good…Says Who? brings insightful, real life narrative to the challenges, opportunities, and truths of navigating cross-cultural relationships. Because I have taken groups to Guatemala for more than twenty-five years, I am thrilled that there is now a book that provides a real life insider’s view and practical tools to create healthy sustainable relationships/projects. The authors have both lived and learned by listening to the people and powerfully merging the complex realities of these many perspectives into a solid and truthful narrative. This will be my go-to-book for the people I take to Guatemala and all those I know in the not-for-profit and business arenas who want to “do good” with others.
LeeAnn Heinbaugh, MA, Journeys In Living, Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala
After a first trip to the developing world, enthusiasm is high to “fix things.” It seems so easy and with few resources necessary. This is when Doing Good…Says Who? becomes a must read. So much under the surface needs to be thought through, and this book helps tremendously with this. I recommend it as an indispensible resource for generous hearts.
Rev. Gerald J. Osterman, Co-founder, St. Boniface Haiti Foundation
The writing is so lively, interesting, and well organized–so worthwhile for many. I could never imagine how you were going to put all the stories you had heard into a book–and how you would present the material without angering a lot of people who’d organized charitable efforts. You have done it splendidly.
Ann Cameron, author of The Most Beautiful Place in the World and many other books.
It is laudable that you are making the investment of time and effort to share your rich field experiences with others. Too often experiential learning remains locked up and so others do not benefit from mistakes and successes.
James E. Austin, Emeritus Professor and Co-Founder of the Social Enterprise Initiative at the Harvard Business School, Co-Author of Creating Value in Nonprofit – Business Collaborations
Doing Good…Says Who? speaks with directness, wisdom, and humor to the quandary we ministers face all the time — how in trying to do good, we inadvertently hurt or harm or hold back those we want to help. The book mainly focuses on foreign outreach, but the lessons here are applicable in many, many areas.
Rev. Stephen Kendrick, minister and author
This is the kind of book I’ve always wanted to write. A lot has been written about us volunteers, but not so much about the people we live and work with. Development takes time and the patience to understand them. Knowing what people in a different culture are really thinking is a huge challenge, because they are often shy, polite, and aim to please. It’s a wonderful experience but not a quick fix.
Brownie Lee, Peace Corps Volunteer at its inception with a career in education and development in West Africa and Jamaica, now retired and living in Benin.
Doing Good…Says Who? reminds us that helping should be less about intention and more about attention – including attention to the unintended consequences of our ‘caregiving.’ This book serves as a caution to those of us privileged enough to escape the negative impacts of development decisions that have more to do with funding and branding bureaucracies than the learning, compassion and healing that can enable more stable, peaceful communities.
Robert Zuber, Ph.D, Global Action non-profit consultant at the United Nations
This book questions long-held assumptions and raises important questions on how to engage issues of global poverty. Most good sustainable development initiatives start with an asset based community development framework that holds up local knowledge and resources and empowers people to do for themselves what needs to be done. This book re-enforces that fundamental truth.
Rob Radtke, President, Episcopal Relief and Development
Gracias de Corazon por todo el sacrificio y le agradesco al Director de Transcito que les dió sabiduria para lograr publicar este libro. Gracias de Corazon a nombre de las mujeres que protagonizaron en cada letra de este libro. Gracias.
Hilda Mendoza, Guatemalan NGO staff
Cracara’ xajni xuban ch xyictajpa jawra xicxij wuj chuxee’ ruchlew jn tzijona tzrij jun chee’, ja chiee’ nq’uiya, ntzijana y xuya rwach, ncrac’ara ch crara´nquik’jomsajwa jbel tak chcop jnquixicana jnquitaj rwach chiee’, jchee’jara wuj rxin xiqxic, jrwach jara’ nak’ rq’an wuj rxin xiq’xic y chcop jnquixicana je’ra’wnak jnquito’na chrlok’xic.
Nicolas Chavez Sojuel, Maya Tzutujil Atitlaneca, escultor, historiador, guía spiritual
This work is important and needed. The stories point to specific problems in mission that people need to be aware of as they deal with cross cultural challenge. Fran and Connie have named them well. For example, the story about Lucy and the medical clinic, and the various experiences of people related to the clinic, both the locals and the missioners, are spot on and highlight significant challenges in mission work.
Rev. Dr. Ted Geiser, Missionary/Director of Mission Development, Episcopal Diocese of Colombia, President of Global Episcopal Mission Network
The value of humility can be difficult to grasp, especially for idealistic students hoping to create positive impacts on communities. Through the book’s illustrative stories, readers can understand the importance of multiple perspectives, respecting the knowledge and experience held by community members. It will be equally useful for students working across cultures whether at home or abroad.
Mindy Nierenberg, Senior Director, Tisch College Programs, Director of Leadership Studies, Tufts University
Impressive. Just in the Introduction a lot of major points ring true from my personal experience volunteering as a teenager and leading missions to El Salvador over the past three years. Working with young people, I’ve found that stories are the best way to invite them to engage challenging topics and question what they think are the “correct” answers.
Sam J. Gould, former Director of Youth Ministry, Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts
I really like the book. It should be required reading for all volunteers. When I was reading it I thought about the groups of kids on a mission from somewhere, whom we always see on the plane when we go to Guatemala. Each of those kids should have a copy.
Ruth Kasle, Board Member, Namaste Foundation
The authors offer fresh and nuanced personal accounts of international volunteering, a sector that has been booming in recent years. Doing Good…Says Who? provides intimate volunteer stories that move past the ubiquitous yet inaccurate dichotomies presented by the majority of literature in this field; it is an authentic read which highlights the successes and challenges of working across cultures. Over fifty years, our own organization has evolved from a direct assistance “hand-out” approach to one that works ceaselessly to create a culture of collaboration in which a shared future is at stake. This book is a great testimony and must read for all individuals and organizations in this sector.
Sara Nathan, President & CEO, Amigos de las Americas
This book does a lovely job of breaking down the principles and embedding the cautionary tales in positive stories so the reader can see what doing good would really look like. It is definitely something I will teach in my class. It hits home through very concrete, specific stories on many theoretical issues. I loved your use of multiple points of views. It really helped being let into all the aid workers heads and their dilemmas.
Emily Bauman, NYU Faculty, Liberal Studies Program