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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A Caring Economy: What role for government?

Duncan Green - March 12, 2018

Anam Parvez (left), Oxfam’s Gender Justice Researcher and Lucia Rost, research consultant, introduce their new paper on gender equitable fiscal policies. In economics we are taught that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Even if something appears to be free, there are always costs – to you and/or society. What is striking is that mainstream economists fail to recognize that this applies just …

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Challenging humanitarianism beyond gender as women and women as victims

Duncan Green - March 9, 2018

Dorothea Hilhorst (right), Holly Porter (centre) and Rachel Gordon (left) introduce a highly topical new issue of the Disasters journal (open access for the duration of 2018). This post first appeared on the ISS blog. At the United Nations (UN) World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in May 2016, ‘achieving greater gender equality and greater inclusivity’ was identified as one of the five key areas of humanitarian action. The WHS …

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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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How poor countries like Mongolia may be losing millions because of corporate tax practices and legal loopholes

Duncan Green - March 7, 2018

Sarah McNeal is an Extractive Industries Policy Assistant at Oxfam America. This was first posted on its The Politics of Poverty blog When oil and mining companies extract resources in developing countries around the world, tracking the so-called “extractive industry” financial transactions can, at times, feel like a trip through Wonderland. Between the convoluted ownership structures and dead-ends created by corporate confidentiality, following the chain …

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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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Where does political will come from?

Duncan Green - March 2, 2018

Claire Mcloughlin and David Hudson from the University of Birmingham’s International Development Department summarise the Developmental Leadership Program’s recent 10 year synthesis report, Inside the Black Box of Political Will.  When reforms fail, people often bemoan a lack of ‘political will’. Whether it’s failure to introduce legislation promoting women’s rights, not getting vital public services to rural communities, or weak implementation of anti-corruption measures, the shorthand …

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