Aid

How to ensure increased aid to fragile/conflict states actually benefits poor people?

Duncan Green - December 18, 2015

Following the UK government’s announcement of an increase in spending on aid for fragile states, Ed Cairns, outlines Oxfam’s experience in fragile states and the potential lessons for the future. The announcement that the UK will spend 50% of its aid budget in fragile states was made in the aftermath of the terrible atrocities in Paris, Beirut and Bamako. But it’s also the latest step in development agencies …

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Will the Sustainable Development Goals make a difference on the ground? Lessons from a 5 country case study on the MDGs

Duncan Green - December 17, 2015

I’ve long been baffled/appalled by the lack of decent research on the impact of the MDGs at national level. Sure there’s lots of data gathering, and reports on how fast access to education or health is improving or poverty is falling, but that’s definitely not the same thing as finding out whether/how the MDGs in particular are responsible for the changes (rather than, say, economic …

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How on earth can you measure resilience? A wonk Q&A

Duncan Green - December 15, 2015

Resilience is one of today’s omnipresent development fuzzwords, applied to individuals, communities, businesses, countries, ideas and just about everything else. But how can it best be measured? To plug their new paper on the topic, Oxfam’s measurement wonks Jonathan Lain (left) and Rob Fuller (right) argue with their imaginary non-wonk friend…… So they’ve let the beancounters loose on resilience now. Do we really have to …

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China’s rise, Cyclone politics and extreme patronage: Impressions of Vanuatu

Duncan Green - December 10, 2015

As part of their support for the How Change Happens book, the Aussie government is also giving me a crash course in development in the Pacific. Last year, they took me to Papua New Guinea (blogs here), then last week, I headed for Vanuatu (small island archipelago, 270,000 population, best known – at least in the UK – for one island’s baffling reverence for Prince …

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How assets + training can transform the lives of ultra-poor women: new evidence from Bangladesh

Duncan Green - December 9, 2015

People are often very rude about ‘big push’ approaches to development – the idea that you can kickstart a country (or a millennium village) by simultaneously shoving in piles of different projects, technical assistance and cash. The approach hasn’t got a great track record, but now a kind of micro Big Push, targeting the ‘ultra poor’ in a range of countries, is showing some really …

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Have those hard-won accountability reforms had any impact?

Duncan Green - December 8, 2015

I hate gated journals, but Kate Macdonald (left) and May Miller-Dawkins (right) have kindly offered to summarize the main points from some recent contributions to the Global Policy Journal on the impact (if any) of accountability reforms in aid Many readers of this blog may have spent part of the 1990s and 2000s campaigning for increased transparency and accountability from the World Bank and other development banks.  …

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Four Years On, The World Has Changed on Disability

Duncan Green - December 3, 2015

Tim Wainwright, CEO of ADD International (& also chair of BOND), finds much to celebrate today Four years ago I wrote a blog, expressing my concern about how I felt that mainstream development was largely overlooking a large and highly excluded group: persons with disabilities. [Quick note on terminology: we use the term ‘persons with disabilities’ to reflect the UNCRPD terminology, but we recognise that disability …

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How will the Paris attacks affect the outcome of the Climate Change talks?

Duncan Green - November 30, 2015

When British Prime Minister Harold MacMillan was asked what he most feared in politics, he replied ‘Events, dear boy. Events’. The official sherpas and their political masters preparing for the global climate change talks in Paris, which start today, must be feeling much the same way, their already complicated task further beset by concerns over security, following the appalling attacks on Friday 13th. Beyond questions …

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The Adaptation Gap (and how to deal with it)

Duncan Green - November 27, 2015

Ben Ramalingam, newly appointed leader of the Digital and Technology cluster at IDS, and author of Aid on the Edge of Chaos, shares some thoughts on ‘adaptive management’. Over the next few weeks, Duncan has agreed to run a series of posts by participants in the recent USAID-IDS workshop on adaptive management, to share their ideas, insights and suggestions. As co-designer and facilitator of the workshop, …

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What’s changed since Copenhagen? Curtain raiser for the Paris climate talks  

Duncan Green - November 25, 2015

Tracy Carty, Oxfam Climate Change Policy Adviser, with an excerpt from its Paris media briefing, published today The last time leaders got together to agree a global climate deal it ended in multilateral meltdown.  Copenhagen was widely condemned as a failure – a failure that still haunts the climate negotiations, and one that governments meeting in Paris next week will not want to repeat. Six …

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