April 9, 2018

Daniel Honig, Assistant Professor of International Development, Johns Hopkins SAIS

Drawing from his career as a practitioner in international development, Professor Daniel Honing shared insights from his new book, "Navigation by Judgment" in a discussion at the Washington, DC campus. 

Honig argues in the book that tight controls and narrow focus on reaching pre-set targets can prevent front-line workers from using their skills and creativity to solve problems on the ground, undermining the performance of foreign aid projects. His research uses a novel database of over 14,000 discreet development projects across nine agencies and various qualitative studies to make this case. Furthermore, the book stresses how pressure to demonstrate results can undermine performance, particularly in unpredictable environments where it is difficult to accurately measure task performance.