Magazine article Foreign Policy

25 Nadim Matta: For Showing That Even]one Needs a 100-Day Plan, Not Just Presidents

Magazine article Foreign Policy

25 Nadim Matta: For Showing That Even]one Needs a 100-Day Plan, Not Just Presidents

Article excerpt

President, Rapid Results Institute | Stamford, Conn.

We all know the effect of a deadline when it comes to a project at work or paying a bill. Nadim Matta sees this power as something much more consequential. Matta is the head of the Rapid Results Institute, a nonprofit that helps poor communities around the world set ambitious goals on timelines so short that they seem unreasonable--just 100 days. Rapid Results then moves in to train locals, who coach their peers to meet the targets: build a school in a Sudanese village, get 700 people tested for Hiv in Addis Ababa, double the number of attended births in a Rwandan town. The driving idea behind the method, Matta believes, is that an often overlooked barrier to development is motivation-that final push to get over the finish line. The work Rapid Results does, he says, is about stepping in and "unleashing local capabilities."

This deadlines-driven approach, developed four decades ago at the management consultancy where Matta also works, was originally applied to Fortune 500 companies. It was Matta who adapted the method for the realm of development--and with impressive results. Since its founding in 2007, Rapid Results has set down roots in more than half a dozen sub-Saharan African countries. …

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