how change happens

Book Review: The Power of Positive Deviance

Duncan Green - February 8, 2016

Another contribution to this week’s conference on ‘Power, Politics and Positive Deviance’, which I’m gutted to be missing. I finally got round to reading The Power of Positive Deviance, in which management guru Richard Pascale teams up with the two key practitioners – the Sternins (Jerry and Monique) – to analyse over 20 years of experience in developing the Positive Deviance (PD) approach, building on their …

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What happened when we put a draft book online and asked for comments? Report back on How Change Happens consultation

Duncan Green - December 22, 2015

So the consultation on the draft of my forthcoming How Change Happens book is over, the draft has been removed from the website (if you want to read it, you’ll have to wait til the book comes out next October). How did it go? The draft went live at the end of October, allowing for six weeks of consultation before last Thursday’s deadline. In that …

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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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Is Paris more like Kyoto or Montreal?

Duncan Green - December 16, 2015

Celine Charveriat, (@MCcharveriat) Oxfam’s Director of Advocacy & Campaigns, looks at what happens next and when/why international agreements actually get implemented. As the ink of the new Paris agreement is not yet dry, many are wondering whether this partly-binding package, which is not a treaty, stands any chance of reaching its target of capping global warming at a maximum 1.5 degree increase. After all, its …

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Of MPs, chiefs and churches: Vanuatu’s parallel governance systems

Duncan Green - December 11, 2015

This second installment of posts on my recent trip to Vanuatu covers the country’s dual (or even triple) systems of governance. Vanuatu’s parallel systems came into sharp relief when we left the capital, Port Vila, and headed for the village of Epau, passing the tree wreckage of Cyclone Pam en route. Conversations in the capital had all been about government, parliament and aid; in Epau, they all …

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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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