Why/how should corporates defend civil society space? Good new paper + case studies

Duncan Green - October 19, 2016

I saw some effective academic-NGO cooperation last week, and even better, it involved some of my LSE students. The occasion was the launch of Beyond Integrity: Exploring the role of business in preserving civil society space, commissioned and published by the Charities Aid Foundation and written by Silky Agrawal, Brooks Reed and Riya Saxena, three of last year’s LSE Masters students. They researched and wrote …

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Is Advocacy becoming too professional? A conversation with World Vision and Save the Children

Duncan Green - October 12, 2016

I was guest ranter at an illuminating recent discussion on advocacy with Save the Children and World Vision. They were reviewing the lessons of their ‘global campaigning on the MDG framework’ on maternal and child health (MCH) (here’s a powerpoint summary of their findings global-campaigning-within-the-mdg-framework-sci-wvi). Some of the conclusions were painfully familiar (quotes from the briefing for the meeting): ‘There is little evidence that global institutions’ …

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Ebola: How a People’s Science Helped End an Epidemic

Duncan Green - October 11, 2016

Guest book review from Anita Makri, an editor and writer going freelance after 5+ years with SciDev.Net. (@anita_makri) I’m sure that to readers of this blog the Ebola epidemic that devastated West Africa a couple of years ago needs no introduction (just in case, here’s a nice summary by the Guardian’s health editor). So I’ll cut to the chase, and to a narrative that at …

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Ten Quick Ways to generate a Blog Post

Duncan Green - October 7, 2016

I’m running a ‘blogging for beginners’ session at LSE today, so thought I’d post this to coincide. Whenever I try and get evangelical about blogging, the anguished cry goes up ‘where do I find the time?!’ I admit I’m spoilt – blogging takes up 30-40% of my 4 days a week at Oxfam. But at five posts a week, that still only works out at …

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Why is it so hard for academics and NGOs to work together?

Duncan Green - September 29, 2016

I attended the annual awayday of the LSE’s International Development Department last week (I’m on its books for a day a week as a ‘Professor in Practice’). It was actually surprisingly interesting (am I allowed to say things like that?). I was asked to talk about how academia can do better in forging partnerships with INGOs. Its an oldie-but-goodie, and I’ve written about it before …

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Once every 20 years the UN focuses on cities, but the wrong people will be there

Duncan Green - September 28, 2016

Urbanization guru David Satterthwaite raises the curtain on next month’s big Habitat III conference.   Surprising though it may seem, I once got mistaken for the mayor of London. I was at a conference for mayors in Latin America and not realising the mistake, for half a day I had all the most prominent mayors greeting me like a brother and asking my advice. It …

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Do we need to rethink Social Accountability? Thoughts from Myanmar

Duncan Green - September 27, 2016

The main reason for my recent visit to Myanmar (apart from general nosiness) was to take part in a discussion on the role of social accountability (SA) in the rapidly opening, shifting politics of a country in transition from military rule. It got pretty interesting. The World Bank defines SA as ‘the extent and capability of citizens to hold the state accountable and make it …

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How do you critique a project proposal? Learning from the Experts

Duncan Green - September 21, 2016

A confession – I’m not a programme person. I’ve never run a country programme, or spent aid money (apart from squandering a couple of million quid of DFID’s during my short spell there). So I really enjoyed a recent workshop in Myanmar where a group of real programme people (and me) were asked to critique an imaginary (but not that imaginary) project proposal. It was a great …

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The world’s top 100 economies: 31 countries; 69 corporations

Duncan Green - September 15, 2016

The campaigning NGO Global Justice Now (formerly World Development Movement) have done us all a favour by updating the table comparing the economic might of the largest countries and corporations. Headline finding?  ‘The number of businesses in the top 100 economic entities jumped to 69 in 2015 from 63 in the previous year’ according to the Guardian’s summary. The last such table that I know …

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What I’m doing in Myanmar – first vlogged installment

Duncan Green - September 5, 2016

Just spent 3 days in Kachin state in the North, trying to get a slightly better understanding of the nature of Myanmar’s conflicts, and implications for trying to improve governance and accountability. Fascinating, but I won’t write anything just yet, as we have a 3 day conference on that topic this week, so will wait a bit longer before blogging. In the meantime, here are …

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