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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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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Low-fee private schooling: Prachi Srivastava responds to The Economist (ICYMI + other summer posts on private sector & development)

Duncan Green - September 24, 2015

Continuing the catch-up series for those who’ve been away/not been receiving email notifications, the 2nd most read post from the last 3 months was this great response to a particularly one sided Economist piece. Prachi Srivastava is one of the experts on ‘low-fee private schooling’ who was interviewed for last week’s remarkably one sided Economist Paean to the Private (my words not hers). She wants to …

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The Politics of Results & Evidence. Most read post from this summer (ICYMI)

Duncan Green - September 23, 2015

OK, Oxfam’s IT whizzes finally seem to have fixed a really frustrating problem – several thousand people who had signed up for email alerts about new FP2P posts haven’t been receiving them for the last 3 months. Many of them assumed Oxfam had finally got round to sacking me and/or I’d got fed up with blogging/gone under a bus. Sorry to disappoint – I’ve been …

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Some cautionary thoughts on this week’s SDGs summit

Duncan Green - September 22, 2015

The crescendo of discussion and debate over the successor to the Millennium Development Goals reaches its climax this weekend in New York, with the Sustainable Development Summit. The Guardian has a good scene setter. I’ve ploughed a contrarian furrow on the SDGs so far, so why stop now? Here are some things you might want to keep in mind over the next few days, with …

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How are disasters linked to inequality? Review of ‘The Disaster Profiteers’

Duncan Green - September 18, 2015

[The IT guys tell me they’ve finally found a fix on the email notification problem. If you get an email about this post for the first time in months, please either leave a comment, or vote in the poll to the right, to tell us it’s working] Debbie Hillier, Oxfam’s Humanitarian Policy Adviser  reviews The Disaster Profiteers: How natural disasters make the rich richer and …

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Aid and Development: A Brief Introduction. Book review of handy new bluffer’s guide

Duncan Green - September 15, 2015

One of the best things about Aid and Development: A Brief Introduction, by Myles Wickstead, is the user-friendly format: a 90 page basic introduction to the aid system from World War Two to the SDGs, followed by a 65 page compendium of 20 ‘key words and concepts’ from aid effectiveness to the UN system. Another plus is the author: Myles is a charming UK government …

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The Paradox of Britain’s role in Yemen’s unfolding disaster. Guest post by Mark Goldring

Duncan Green - September 11, 2015

While all eyes are on Syria, a humanitarian disaster is fast unfolding in Yemen, and the UK government’s role is ambiguous. Here Mark Goldring, Chief Executive of Oxfam GB, explains why it is challenging the government on the ‘paradox’ of the UK’s approach and introduces a new report, released today. Twenty one million people in Yemen are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. This year the …

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What are the drivers of change behind women’s empowerment at national level? The case of Colombia

Duncan Green - September 10, 2015

Just read a new case study of women’s empowerment in Colombia, part of ODI’s Development Progress series (summary here, full paper here). What’s useful is the level of analysis – a focus on the national rather than global or a project case study enables them to consider the various drivers of change at work. Some excerpts: Signs of Progress: Colombia is home to the longest …

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