Aid

Gender, disability and displacement: Reflections from research on Syrian refugees in Jordan

Duncan Green - May 24, 2018

This guest post is by Bushra Rehman (right), a Research Officer with the Humanitarian Academy for Development, which is the research and training arm of Islamic Relief Worldwide. The post is based on her prize-winning Masters dissertation. It is mid-afternoon in Jordan and the weather is stiflingly hot. I arrive at a derelict building in Irbid, a city located 20 km south of the Syrian border, …

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Can ‘Doing Development Differently’ only succeed if aid donors stay away from it?

Duncan Green - May 22, 2018

Another day, another seminar on Adaptive Management/Doing Development Differently/Thinking and Working Politically (let’s save words by just calling the whole thing DDD). This one was held under the Chatham House Rule, so no names or institutions. There was an interesting mix of academics and contractors – private companies who increasingly run the big contracts for DFID and other donors, and a few lightbulb moments in …

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Book Review: How to Rig an Election, by Nic Cheeseman and Brian Klaas

Duncan Green - May 18, 2018

A lot of the power of a successful book is in its ‘big idea’ – the overall frame that endures long after the detailed arguments have faded in the memory. On that basis, ‘How to Rig an Election’ looks set to do very well indeed. The authors are both top political scientists (Cheeseman at Birmingham and Klaas at LSE) but also good writers – the …

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Which is better: a guaranteed job or a guaranteed income?

Duncan Green - May 17, 2018

Guest post from Eleanor Chowns of Bath University Martin Ravallion (former Chief Economist of the World Bank, now at CGD) published a useful paper this week asking exactly this question.  As he says, there’s no simple answer – which is why the question is so interesting. Both ‘the right to work’ and ‘the right to income’ aim to secure a more fundamental right: freedom from …

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Illicit economies, shadowy realms, and survival at the margins

Duncan Green - May 16, 2018

Guest post by Eric Gutierrez, Senior Adviser on Tackling Violence and Building Peace at Christian Aid After the fall of the Taliban in 2001, poor landless farmers in the most conflict-affected areas of southern Afghanistan started migrating in increasing numbers to the relatively more insecure rocky desert areas. With the help of loans worth a few thousand dollars (typically provided by drug traffickers), they built …

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How to decode a UN Report on Global Finance (and find an important disagreement with the World Bank on private v public)

Duncan Green - May 15, 2018

A giant coalition of UN-affiliated aid organizations (3 pages of logos!) recently published Financing for Development: Progress and Prospects 2018. These big tent reports are a nightmare to write, and not much easier to read. Anything contentious is fought over by the participants, and the result tends to be pretty bland. I’m not sure how many people read them, tbh. But on this occasion< I …

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Insurance hits peak hype in the aid & development biz – but what do we really know?

Duncan Green - May 10, 2018

Guest post from Debbie Hillier, Oxfam’s Senior Humanitarian Policy Adviser There is a lot of enthusiasm for insurance right now in a range of different sectors humanitarians are particularly excited, hoping this is a quick win to fill the aching chasm in humanitarian aid climate change experts hope it will be an easy fix for the problems of Loss and Damage and polluting countries hope …

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If you want to persuade decision makers to use evidence, does capacity building help?

Duncan Green - May 4, 2018

This guest post comes from Isabel Vogel (independent consultant, left) and Mel Punton (Itad) Billions of pounds of development assistance is being channelled into research and science, with the assumption that this will help tackle global problems. But in many countries, decision makers don’t turn to evidence as their first port of call when developing policies that affect people’s lives. This problem has sometimes been …

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The Economist comes out in support of Universal Health Care – here are the best bits

Duncan Green - May 3, 2018

This week’s Economist magazine leads on the case for Universal Health Care, worldwide. That’s a big deal – the Economist is very influential, can’t possibly be accused of being a leftie spendthrift, and the case it makes is powerful. A couple of non Economist readers asked me for a crib sheet of the 10 page report, so here are some of the excerpts that caught …

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