How can UK aid pursue development and British National Interest at the same time?

Duncan Green - October 9, 2015

The British aid programme is in an interesting place right now. The British chancellor (finance minister) George Osborne is overseeing a tense spending review in which aid is protected thanks to the government’s commitment to spending 0.7% of national income on aid, but most other departmental budgets are being slashed. On the Andrew Marr TV show last month Osborne said: ‘The question is not just how does our …

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What are governance advisers missing with ‘Political Economy Analysis’? How can they do better?

Duncan Green - October 8, 2015

From a restaurant in Jakarta, David Hudson & Heather Marquette with some new thinking on power, politics and governance What advice would you give to a novice governance advisor working for a bilateral donor going into the field for the first time? Want to know how some of the top governance experts, advisors, researchers and academics would say? Well, wonder no more. In a welcome …

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‘Thanks, but the truth is I hate being a refugee’: a young Syrian introduces Oxfam’s new briefing

Duncan Green - October 7, 2015

  The arrival of tens of thousands of Syrians at Europe’s borders in recent weeks has been a sharp reminder of the tragedy engulfing the people of Syria. Today, Oxfam publishes its latest briefing on the country’s continuing conflict. Dima Salam (not her real name), a young Syrian refugee now working for Oxfam in the UK, introduces the new paper. Today Oxfam has published a …

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Where has the global movement against inequality got to, and what happens next?

Duncan Green - October 6, 2015

Katy Wright, Oxfam’s Head of Global External Affairs, stands back and assesses its campaign on inequality. The most frequent of the Frequently Asked Questions I’ve heard in response to Even it Up, Oxfam’s inequality campaign. is “how equal do you think we should be?” It’s an interesting response to the news that just 80 people now own the same wealth as half the world’s population …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - October 5, 2015

Why people are fleeing Syria – fear of Assad government is given four times more often than fear of opponents. New Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index ranks governments on their political commitment to tackling hunger and undernutrition Women in Bangladesh are taking charge – from grassroots up to government. Good overview on women’s rights, education, politics Going to use this Dilbert argument in my next …

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ICYMI: This summer’s posts on theories of change, systems thinking and innovation

Duncan Green - October 2, 2015

Still dripfeeding in catch-ups on the most popular posts from June-September, when the blog’s email alert system collapsed and some wasters actually went on holiday. There were some good discussions and lots of traffic on how change happens, which bodes well for future book sales. The most read was actually a 2013 post on Theories of Change, but this one, from Oxfam’s James Whitehead, came a close …

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Is the International Humanitarian System hitting a tipping point on ‘going local’?

Duncan Green - October 1, 2015

Marc Cohen, Senior Researcher at Oxfam America, is excited about the new World Disasters Report Over the past two years, a boatload of reports and studies has pointed to the need to shift to greater local leadership of disaster prevention, preparedness, and response. In part this is driven by mounting humanitarian needs and the growing gap between those needs and the aid actually provided. There …

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Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities use 65% of the World’s land; how much do they actually own?

Duncan Green - September 30, 2015

Andy White, the Coordinator of the Rights and Research Initiative (RRI) introduces a new report. A new, unprecedented legal analysis has revealed that despite using and inhabiting up to 65% of the world’s land, Indigenous Peoples and local communities—a population of about 1.5 billion—possess legal rights to barely 18%. That’s a huge gap. And it’s a gap that explains a lot of widespread disenfranchisement, poverty, …

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Hello SDGs, what’s your theory of change?

Duncan Green - September 29, 2015

As Jed Bartlett would say, what’s next? Now the SDGs are official, there will be big discussions on financing and a geekfest on metrics and indicators. Both are important. But to my mind the big task is to collectively think through what the SDGs are meant to change and how they can best do so – in other words a theory(ies) of change. Here are …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - September 28, 2015

Dilbert does the World Bank (h/t Makarand) Interesting stuff on Ebola Fascinating example of positive deviance. Why were 284 villages with community-led total sanitation Ebola-free, despite being close to the centre of the outbreak? How West African governments fought the epidemic. Report from the Africa Governance Initiative reinforces Doing Development Differently on national systems and PDIA (Problem-Driven Iterative Adaptation) Gender Inequality Tackling the gender gap …

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