“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

Getting the right people, making them effective and creating the conditions under which they can have impact is at the core of what we do.

At every level, our work depends on eight sets of skills. We look for these skills in people we recruit and help them develop them further after they join.


Eight Skills


During our recruitment process, we ask candidates how they would tackle problems similar to the ones we work with every day.

We follow a three-step recruitment process:

1. Shortlist – Candidates submit applications online. Unfortunately, we receive large numbers of applications, and therefore we cannot interview everyone. We therefore screen and shortlist applications based on six criteria:

  • Evidence of problem-solving ability
  • Experience of working in teams
  • Evidence of interest in social issues
  • Evidence of taking initiative
  • Motivation to join our organization
  • Quality of communication

2. Test – In some cases, shortlisted candidates are invited to take an initial written test which assesses ability to: understand and use data, think through issues logically, draw conclusions, synthesize information and to write clearly.

3. Interview – Successful candidates attend two to four interviews each having two parts: Personal experience (Candidates are asked to relate an example of a time when they demonstrated a particular competency in relation to professional or personal life) and Case study (Candidates are given examples of problems we deal with in day-to-day work  and are asked about how they would approach them). Examples of the types of problem we work on can be found below.

Teacher attendance

Teacher attendance in district Fullanabad is 80%, compared to 91% for the state as a whole. You have been asked to investigate.

  1. What are the possible reasons why teacher attendance is lower in Fullanabad than in the rest of the state?
  2. What would you do while visiting the district? How would you conduct the investigation?
  3. One suggestion is that absence is high because of extra duties imposed on the teachers. How would you test this?
  4. The head of the district is reluctant to share information with you. What are the different approaches you can use to ensure you get the support you require?
  5. Your work shows that 20% of the teachers account for 50% of all absences. If absence among these teachers could be reduced to the average of the remaining teachers, what would the overall attendance rate be?
  6. How could you ensure that the district implements your recommendations?

Immunisation coverage

Immunisation coverage in a province is 60%. You have been asked to design a plan to raise immunisation coverage.

  1. What are the possible reasons why immunisation coverage in the province is low?
  2. What steps would you take to identify the most important reasons?
  3. The initial analysis shows that vaccination coverage is good in towns and large villages, but much lower in small villages and distant areas. What steps could be taken to better cover these areas?
  4. A pilot is launched to increase the number of areas covered by vaccinators. The vaccinators call a strike. A senior official calls you to ask for help in dealing with the situation. What would you do next?
  5. The province is divided into three areas: A, B and C. The overall immunisation rate is 60%. The population of  children in areas A, B and C is in a ratio of 3:7:2. Area A has an immunization rate of 40%. What would be the overall immunisation rate for the province if the immunisation rate of Area A is increased to 80%, keeping immunization rates for the other areas the same?