October 2015

A nice example of how government-to-government peer pressure can lead to innovation

Duncan Green - October 29, 2015

Guest post from John Hammock of the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative In your thought-provoking blog ‘Hello SDGs, what’s your theory of change?’ you rightly identify peer pressure as a potentially very effective means of governments coming to internalise the SDGs in their domestic processes and influencing others to follow suit. Let me give an instructive case study based on our experience at OPHI. …

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Of Sasquatches and Flexible Programming: A genuine sighting

Duncan Green - October 28, 2015

Lisa Denney, Research Associate at the Overseas Development Institute, goes in search of an elusive development beast. Much has been written recently on the need for more flexible and adaptive development programming. This area has spawned considerable research attention across sectors, multiple workshops and communities of practice – but such ways of working in practice remain a little like the mythical sasquatch – reportedly existing …

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The Joy of Blogs (and Tweets): Why Academics should take Social Media seriously

Duncan Green - October 27, 2015

This is an edited version of a piece I wrote for the LSE International Development Blog Before I started teaching at LSE in January, I had the impression that the academics and researchers around the school were totally social media savvy – prolific tweeters like Charlie Beckett and top blogs like LSE Impact are high up on my follow list. It turned out the impression …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - October 26, 2015

Top geek cartoonist XKCD supports World Polio Day, while managing to satirise innovation fetishists On the other hand, for all the tech sceptics out there, here’s the price of light over the last 700 years, from Max Roser Where to go for reliable gender stats, including that 2/3 of the world’s illiterate adults are women: the UN’s new The World’s Women 2015: Trends and Statistics …

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The Politics of Data – the bit the geeks forget?

Duncan Green - October 23, 2015

Had a really thought-provoking conversation with Dustin Homer of Development Gateway last week. Development Gateway was originally set up inside the World Bank, then spun off as an independent tech organisation, and focuses on helping governments and international organizations make better use of data in their decision-making. So far, so technocratic, but Dustin got in touch because he read my piece on the politics of …

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Can we afford the super rich?

Duncan Green - October 22, 2015

Max Lawson, Oxfam’s Head of Global Campaigns and Public Policy, unpacks the political implications of the recent Credit Suisse report on global wealth. At the beginning of this year the Economist, a right leaning newspaper, criticised Oxfam for predicting that by 2016 the world’s wealthiest 1% would hold more net wealth than the other 99% put together, calling our projection ‘simplistic and arbitrary’. Last week, …

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How will the SDGs differ from the MDGs?

Duncan Green - October 21, 2015

This piece, written with my Oxfam colleague Takumo Yamada, went up on the International Growth Centre blog earlier this week Will the SDGs be bigger, better and more universal than their predecessor, or a bafflingly complex mishmash of issues that fail to generate traction on decision making? They could go either way. Now that the list is finalised, most of the SDG circus will declare …

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How to use ‘Systems Thinking’ in practice: good new guide

Duncan Green - October 20, 2015

This was posted by John Chettleborough on Oxfam’s Policy and Practice blog today, and I really liked it, so here you are Ever wondered what connects Buddhism, climate change, improved governance and a flexible approach to decision making? If so….read on. Currently if you work in the international development sector it is difficult to escape from the term “systems thinking”. It is talked about as …

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Do we need to think in new ways about gender and inequality?

Duncan Green - October 20, 2015

Following on from last week’s post by Naila Kabeer, Jessica Woodroffe, Director of the Gender and Development Network, argues for a change in the way we think about gender and inequality The recent launch of Oxfam’s Gender and Development Journal issue on Inequalities got me thinking about the much heralded ‘leave no one behind’ agenda in the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This concept essentially commits …

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