Links I Liked

Duncan Green - December 5, 2016

Despite being on the road in US flogging books, a couple of things caught my bleary jet-lagged eye. Delighted that How Change Happens makes it to the top of ‘Thoughtful Campaigner’s’ Xmas book recommendations for development wonks. Whole list is worth a look. Lots of stuff on aid Characteristically contrarian MSF critique of the localization agenda in humanitarian response. Does ‘Political correctness’ gloss over the …

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Doing Data Differently: Lessons from the Results Data Initiative

Duncan Green - December 2, 2016

Guest post from Dustin Homer, Director of Engagement and Partnerships at Development Gateway Development folks see magical possibilities for data-driven decision-making. We want data and evidence to improve our work—to help us reach marginalized people, allocate budgets effectively, and see which activities work the best. And it’s not all buzz; we’re getting serious about investing real resources into this development data revolution. So here’s the …

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Are we heading for another debt crisis? If so, what should we be doing?

Duncan Green - December 1, 2016

Just when you thought life couldn’t get more retro (Leonard Cohen on the radio, post-Brexit trade negotiations, impending nuclear war), here comes another debt crisis. Probably. Had a good briefing from some key wonks in Development Finance International and the Jubilee Debt Campaign, two small but vital watchdogs that play a vital role in maintaining capacity on important issues when they drop down the policy …

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Are these the worst aid agency road-side signs ever? Send in your candidates

Duncan Green - November 30, 2016

Jonathan Tanner is communications manager at the Africa Governance Initiative (check out their new ‘art of delivery’ paper). Here he calls out some truly dire communication by aid agencies I was recently in Sierra Leone and Liberia to record a series of podcasts for AGI. The things I saw ranged from the jaw-dropping beauty of dawn on the road out of Freetown to the gut-wrenching destitution …

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What role for local actors in system change? Fighting climate change in the UK

Duncan Green - November 29, 2016

Ruth Mayne, Oxfam’s senior researcher on the effectiveness of influencing, reflects on some personal influencing she was involved with before (re)joining Oxfam. In the development world we often emphasise the importance of strengthening community action but is it really possible for local, rather than national and international, actors to contribute to system change? And if so, why and how does this happen, and under what …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - November 28, 2016

In the US for next two weeks (Washington, New York and Boston). Here’s a list of public events if you want to come and discuss How Change Happens (seems pretty relevant right now, huh?) What is a Muslim? Funny, smart and very effective 3m video. Best/Worst charity ads of the year. Rusty Radiator awards now open for voting – get stuck in. Background here Two …

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Friday rant: ‘development’ is not the same as ‘aid’. Got that?

Duncan Green - November 25, 2016

A recent headline in my RSS feed flicked my ‘Activate Rant’ button. ‘This Video from Uganda Highlights Everything Wrong with Global Development’ it shouted. I knew what the video was about – some young white American missionaries getting into trouble for ‘dressing up native’ and singing ‘get your mission on’ provoked outrage in various quarters. I hadn’t found it interesting enough to blog or even …

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Payment by Results in Aid: What’s new?

Duncan Green - November 24, 2016

Development Economist Paul Clist discusses some of the ideas from his new paper (Link to paywalled article version, link to free draft version) Payment by Results (PbR) is a fairly new idea in aid, where a donor decides how much money to disburse on the basis of how much a recipient has achieved against a target. For example, a donor could pay an NGO for …

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Is it time to move on from Stats and Numbers to Metaphor and Narrative?

Duncan Green - November 23, 2016

Post Brexit and US elections, I’ve been doing some thinking about how we talk to people. It seems to me that, along with much of the aid and development sector, and quite a few other social change movements, we have been in thrall to the power of numbers and evidence. Everyone is a policy wonk these days. The trouble is, as this year’s political events …

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Where has the Doing Development Differently movement got to, two years on?

Duncan Green - November 22, 2016

The DDD crew reassembled in London last week, two years on from the Harvard meeting that really got the ball rolling. Unfortunately I could only attend the first session and the next day’s post mortem, so other participants, please feel free to add your own impressions/put me right. DDD is evolving fast into something approaching a big tent movement. At its core are principles of iteration, …

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