how change happens

What does the public think about inequality, its causes and policy responses?

Duncan Green - March 29, 2018

Irene Bucelli, (left) of the LSE and Franziska Mager, of Oxfam GB, summarize the results from an Oxfam volunteer research project When it comes to inequality, a growing body of evidence shows that people across countries underestimate the size of the gap between the rich and poor, including their wages. This can undermine support for policies to tackle inequality and even lead to apathy that …

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What is really stopping the aid business shifting to adaptive programming?

Duncan Green - March 23, 2018

Jake Allen, Head of Governance for Sub Saharan Africa at the British Council, left such a well argued, sweetly written comment on Graham Teskey’s recent post that I thought I’d post it separately “For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” (HL Mencken said something similar to this, just not as pithily) With each piece that I read on the …

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Bruised but better: the stronger case for evidence-based activism in East Africa

Duncan Green - March 22, 2018

Wrapping up Twaweza week, Varja Lipovsek (left) and Aidan Eyakuze reflect on the event that has provided the last week’s posts It was a stormy couple of days in Dar es Salaam. First, it is the rainy season, so the tent in which we held our meeting flapped and undulated over our heads like a loose sail. More importantly, we crammed the tent with more …

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Can religion play a role in evidence-obsessed governance strategies? Lessons from Tanzania

Duncan Green - March 21, 2018

Next up in the Twaweza series, Aikande Clement Kwayu reflects on the development sector’s blind spot with religion When it comes to social change, religion is a double-edged sword. It can be both a force for good and/or for bad. The world-wide positive contribution by religious organisations in providing public services such as health and education is undisputed.  The role of religion in areas of …

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When does Tech → Innovation? Here’s what 178 projects tell us

Duncan Green - March 20, 2018

Next up in Twaweza week, a realists’ guide to tech and development. I’m basically a grumpy old technophobe who can’t even manage Excel, and whose hackles rise whenever geewhizz geeks pop up and claim that the latest digital gizmo (blockchain, clicktivism or whatever) is going to usher us all into the promised land. I dislike the implicit individualism, the blind eye to issues of power …

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Which Citizens? Which Services? Unpacking Demand for Improved Health, Education, Roads, Water etc

Duncan Green - March 16, 2018

Next up in the Twaweza series is this post from Ruth Carlitz of the University of Gothenburg. Please read and comment on the draft paper she summarizes here. Clean water. Paved roads. Quality education. Election campaigns in poor countries typically promise such things, yet the reality on the ground often falls short. So, what do people do? Wait for five years and “throw the bums …

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How can researchers and activists influence African governments? Advice from an insider

Duncan Green - March 15, 2018

One of the highlights of the Twaweza meeting was hearing from Togolani Mavura (left), the Private Secretary to former President Kikwete (in Tanzania, ex-presidents get a staff for life, not like in the UK where they have to hawk themselves round the after dinner speaking circuit). Togolani has worked across the  various policy levels  of the Tanzanian goverment, and his talk reminded me a similarly witty …

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Can Evidence-based Activism still bring about change? The view from East Africa

Duncan Green - March 14, 2018

Spent last week defrosting in Tanzania, at a fascinating conference that produced so many ideas for blogs that, even if all the promised pieces don’t materialize, we’re going to have to have a ‘Twaweza week’ on FP2P. Here’s the first instalment. I’m buzzing and sleep deprived after getting back from an intense two days in Dar es Salaam, reviewing the strategy of one of my …

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From sexual harassment to everyday sexism  – a feminist in Oxfam reflects on International Women’s Day

Duncan Green - March 8, 2018

This guest post is by Nikki van der Gaag, Oxfam’s Director of Gender Justice and Women’s Rights This International Women’s Day feels different to any other for many working in the aid and humanitarian sector. Normally, it is a day where, like so many others, we celebrate women’s individual and collective achievements. But the reports of the appalling sexual exploitation of Haitian women by Oxfam …

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I’m helping run a summer school on Adaptive Management. In Bologna. Interested?

Duncan Green - March 6, 2018

This could be a lot of fun, I’m working with two of the smartest minds in Oxfam: Irene Guijt (head of research) and Claire Hutchings (head of Programme Quality) to design and deliver a one week summer school course on ‘Adaptive Management:  Working Effectively in the Complexity of International Development’. Between us we are going to try and really combine the theoretical hand-waving stuff with …

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