What does ‘pure research’ on international development look like? Speed-dating at the LSE

Duncan Green - September 30, 2016

Following on from yesterday’s musings about NGO-academic collaboration (or the lack of it), here, for my NGO colleagues is a taste of what my LSE colleagues get up to, published earlier this week on the LSE International Development blog Speed dating rocks. Don’t worry, this isn’t going to get icky. I’m talking about a session at LSE’s International Development Department where each researcher was given 3 …

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Why is it so hard for academics and NGOs to work together?

Duncan Green - September 29, 2016

I attended the annual awayday of the LSE’s International Development Department last week (I’m on its books for a day a week as a ‘Professor in Practice’). It was actually surprisingly interesting (am I allowed to say things like that?). I was asked to talk about how academia can do better in forging partnerships with INGOs. Its an oldie-but-goodie, and I’ve written about it before …

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Once every 20 years the UN focuses on cities, but the wrong people will be there

Duncan Green - September 28, 2016

Urbanization guru David Satterthwaite raises the curtain on next month’s big Habitat III conference.   Surprising though it may seem, I once got mistaken for the mayor of London. I was at a conference for mayors in Latin America and not realising the mistake, for half a day I had all the most prominent mayors greeting me like a brother and asking my advice. It …

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Do we need to rethink Social Accountability? Thoughts from Myanmar

Duncan Green - September 27, 2016

The main reason for my recent visit to Myanmar (apart from general nosiness) was to take part in a discussion on the role of social accountability (SA) in the rapidly opening, shifting politics of a country in transition from military rule. It got pretty interesting. The World Bank defines SA as ‘the extent and capability of citizens to hold the state accountable and make it …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - September 26, 2016

Beta version of How Change Happens website now live – need your feedback please (and delighted to hear from the accompanying poll that you aren’t sick of me going on about the book – at least not yet. Give me time…..). How corporates & NGOs might collaborate to promote tax transparency. Ethical Tax Initiative anyone? 17 rage-inducing bits of aid jargon (robust, circle back, buckets, …

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How Change Happens – need your help with the website and promo tour

Duncan Green - September 23, 2016

Sharp-eyed readers of this blog will have noticed that I have a book coming out (that’s irony, people). 27th October in is the UK publication date, and 1 December in US (don’t ask). First copies are just back from the printer (see pic). Over the coming weeks, I will be trying to maintain that fine balance between British reserve and authorial desperation – I’m relying on …

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Why the World Bank needs to ask Jim Kim some tough questions in his Job Interview

Duncan Green - September 22, 2016

Guest post from Nadia Daar, head of Oxfam’s Washington DC office Preparing for an interview is often traumatic – by this point I’ve done a few and believe me, Oxfam doesn’t make things easy! And I’ve heard the World Bank doesn’t either. Yet for the position of president, there is a widespread feeling that Jim Kim’s upcoming interview with the Board of Directors this week …

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How do you critique a project proposal? Learning from the Experts

Duncan Green - September 21, 2016

A confession – I’m not a programme person. I’ve never run a country programme, or spent aid money (apart from squandering a couple of million quid of DFID’s during my short spell there). So I really enjoyed a recent workshop in Myanmar where a group of real programme people (and me) were asked to critique an imaginary (but not that imaginary) project proposal. It was a great …

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Is Trust the missing piece in a lot of development thinking?

Duncan Green - September 20, 2016

I have a kind of mental radar that pings when a word starts cropping up in lots of different conversations. Recently it’s been ‘trust’, which surfaced throughout my recent trip to Myanmar, but also during a fun brainstorm with Andrew Barnett and Louisa Hooper, two systems thinkers from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. The search for trust drives a lot of economic behaviour. Enforcing contracts in …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - September 19, 2016

Politicians’ medical reports aren’t what they were [h/t Amol Rajan] Unleash your inner geek – introducing Real Geek, Oxfam’s new blog on monitoring & evaluation High Level UN report criticises pharma industry, abuse of intellectual property laws and calls for rethink. Props to Oxfam’s Winnie Byanyima and Mohga Kamal Yanni for their influence. Gig economy heads South. Uber-type apps for domestic workers (maids, cooks, gardeners) …

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