September 2014

Why I love the UN, aka the battle between policy space and trade/investment agreements

Duncan Green - September 30, 2014

Being a fan of the UN is always a bit of a mixed blessing. Various bits (UNDP, UNICEF, UN Women and many more) churn out some really useful research. For many years, they provided the sole islands of sanity resisting the market fundamentalism of the Washington Consensus. But all too often their publications sink without trace, their use of social media is often lamentable, and …

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Links I liked

Duncan Green - September 29, 2014

My favourite image from the global climate protests around last week’s UN meeting: Australian Campaigners Salute the Government’s Climate Change Strategy [h/t Jim Harris] According to Pope Francis, ‘the corrupt should be tied to a rock and thrown into the sea’. Any chance that could become a new Oxfam policy recommendation? People had a lot of fun with India’s frugal (and successful) Mars mission, which …

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After New York, how should climate change campaigners approach Paris? (aka Naomi Klein vs the New Climate Economy)

Duncan Green - September 26, 2014

Oxfam head of policy for food and climate change Tim Gore reflects on what happens next after the euphoria of New York (and asks you to vote, right) First, the good news. After the Copenhagen hangover, the international climate change movement is back. Over recent days in New York, we’ve seen the emergence of a new people’s climate movement, broader than anything that has gone …

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Measuring academic impact: discussion with my new colleagues at the LSE (joining in January, but not leaving Oxfam)

Duncan Green - September 26, 2014

From the New Year, the London School of Economics International Development Department has roped me in to doing a few hours a week as a ‘Professor in Practice’ (PiP), in an effort to establish better links between its massive cohort of 300 Masters students (no undergrads) and ‘practitioners’ in thinktanks, NGOs etc. So with some newbie trepidation, I headed off this week to meet my …

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So you’ve written the research report: what else do you need to do to ensure people actually read it?

Duncan Green - September 25, 2014

Remember the old days when you wrote a report, published it (perhaps with some kind of executive summary), did a couple of seminars and then declared victory and moved on? Social media have changed that game almost beyond recognition: to maximize impact, any new report more closely resembles a set of Russian dolls, with multiple ‘products’ (hate that word) required to hit different audiences and …

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How Change Happens: Great new case studies + analysis on ‘Politically Smart, Locally Led Development’

Duncan Green - September 24, 2014

The research star of the show at last week’s Thinking and Working Politically event was a great new ODI paper from David Booth and Sue Unsworth. Politically smart, locally led development seeks to identify the secret sauce behind 7 large and successful aid programmes: a rural livelihoods programme in India; land titling and tax reform in the Philippines; disarmament, demobilization and reintegration in the Eastern …

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Thinking and Working Politically update: where have aid agencies, consultants etc got to?

Duncan Green - September 23, 2014

Spent an engrossing couple of days last week at a ‘Thinking and Working Politically’ (TWP) seminar, organized by a group of donors, thinktanks and consultants (sorry, Chatham House Rules, so that’s as much as I can say about them). Their common ground is that aid needs to get beyond its technocratic comfort zone, and take politics and power more seriously. It’s a new initiative, and …

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Links I liked

Duncan Green - September 22, 2014

Your weekly excuse to delay reading your Monday morning emails, drawn from last week’s @fp2p tweets Let’s start with Scotland (obvs) Nobody can accuse CNN of not giving it 110% [h/t @DanaHoule]   Hilarious and deeply odd. Taiwanese animated explanation of the vote, featuring a strong candidate for the world’s worst Scottish accent [h/t Alex Renton]   Back to Development (broadly defined): Nice piece on …

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Gallup’s global Well-Being Index. Great data, shame about the (lack of) analysis.

Duncan Green - September 19, 2014

Gallup has just published its Global Well-Being Index, based on a survey of 134,000 adults in 135 countries – i.e. a big exercise. The methodology is rigorous, presided over by Angus Deaton, who also contributes a glowing foreword. The index includes five elements of well-being: purpose, social, financial, community, and physical. Here’s what it finds for the BRICS, for example (headline message, it’s great to be Brazilian, …

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The future of DFID, partnerships, aid and INGOs, c/o Alex Evans

Duncan Green - September 18, 2014

Alex Evans always gives good bullet point. A former SPAD (special adviser) to DFID, turned academic/consultant at the Center for International Cooperation, last week he gave some NGOs a whirlwind tour of his big picture thinking on development, based on a recent submission (with Owen Barder) to the UK parliament’s International Development Committee. Here are some highlights. On DFID: Next year is DFID’s 18th birthday, …

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