Duncan Green

This is a conversational blog written and maintained by Duncan Green, strategic adviser for Oxfam GB and author of ‘From Poverty to Power’. This personal reflection is not intended as a comprehensive statement of Oxfam's agreed policies.

What kind of evidence might persuade people to change their minds on refugees?

Duncan Green - November 7, 2017

Oxfam Humanitarian Policy Adviser Ed Cairns reflects on using evidence to influence the treatment of refugees Who thinks that governments decide what to do on refugees after carefully considering the evidence? Not many, I suspect. So it was an interesting to be asked to talk about that at the  ‘Evidence for Influencing’ conference Duncan wrote about last week. When I think what influences refugee policy, …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - November 6, 2017

The power of league tables to incentivise behaviour change (see right). If you’re in Canada, check out this week’s speaking tour (me + Shirley Pryce, President of the Jamaica Household Workers Union (JHWU), Julie Delahanty, Executive Director of Oxfam Canada, and local women’s rights activists) Find Out Some (But Not All) The Secrets of China’s Foreign Aid The reverse advent calendar. One item per day in a …

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Is there a new Washington Consensus? An analysis of five World Development Reports.

Duncan Green - November 3, 2017

Alice Evans earns my undying admiration (and ubergeek status) by casually revealing that she has read the last 5 WDRs on the day of their publication. Here she summarizes what they show about the Bank’s evolving view of the world. A new Washington Consensus is emerging… It recognises complexity, context, learning by doing, politics, and ideas. Hitherto fringe perspectives have become mainstream – embraced by …

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Is inequality going up or down?

Duncan Green - November 2, 2017

My Oxfam colleague and regular FP2P contributor Max Lawson sends out a weekly summary of his reading on inequality (he leads Oxfam’s advocacy work on it). They’re great, and Max has opened his mailing list up to the anyone who’s interested – just email max.lawson@oxfam.org, with ‘subscribe’ in the subject line. Here’s his latest effort – a long, but excellent overview on the latest debates …

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How is evidence actually used in policy-making? A new framework from a global DFID programme

Duncan Green - November 1, 2017

Guest post from David Rinnert (@DRinnert) and Liz Brower (@liz_brower1), both of DFID Over the last decade there has been significant investment in high-quality, policy-relevant research and evidence focussed on poverty reduction. For example, the American Economic Association’s registry for randomised controlled trials currently lists 1,294 studies in 106 countries, many of which have yielded insights directly relevant to the SDGs; there is an even …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - October 31, 2017

The rich are getting richer; the poor not so much. Japan, South Korea are the exceptions. H/t The Economist Last week was ‘Open Access Week’ and there’s some good news: The number and proportion of freely available articles is growing; reaching 45% of the literature published in 2015 Influencing for social justice: nudge, shove, show or shout? New Oxfam blog series on advocacy Brilliant from …

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Is it time to get personal on tax dodging?

Duncan Green - October 30, 2017

The people who read this blog tend to be rationalists and progressive, so they won’t need much convincing that tax avoidance is a big (and lethal) deal. Oxfam calculates that just a third of the $100bn [approx. £78bn] tax that companies dodge in poor countries annually is enough to cover the bill for essential healthcare (vaccinations, midwives and diarrhoea treatment) that could prevent the needless …

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How Change Happens one year on – the stats, the suffering and the power of Open Access

Duncan Green - October 27, 2017

It’s a year to the day since How Change Happens was published (I made the mistake of putting ‘narcissistic peak’ in my diary, and my wife Cathy saw it – never heard the end of it). Here’s what’s happened since. First the stats: the headline figure is that in the first year, the book has had approximately 40,000 readers. Of these roughly 6,000 bought paper …

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How can NGOs get better at using evidence to influence governments and companies?

Duncan Green - October 26, 2017

This week I attended an ‘Evidence for Influencing’ conference in the Netherlands. A couple of Oxfam colleagues had started planning it as a small event, and then found such interest in the topic that it mushroomed to 150 people over 2 days, roughly divided between Oxfammers and others (NGOs, media, academia). My overall impression was that campaigners, academics and governments are all struggling with the …

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