Politics

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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Is ‘fragile and conflict-affected state’ a useful way to describe Myanmar?

Duncan Green - September 16, 2016

After spending ten days there earlier this month, I barely even understand the question any more. Nothing like reality for messing up your nice neat typologies, or in this case, complicating my efforts to finalise a paper with the catchy title of ‘theories of change for promoting empowerment and accountability in fragile and conflict-affected states (FCS)’. That paper defines FCS as ‘incapable of assuring basic …

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Please help sharpen up the World Bank’s theory of change on governance and law

Duncan Green - September 14, 2016

The World Bank is helping us hone our speed reading skills this week, by publishing a draft of its forthcoming World Development Report 2017 on Governance and the Law and asking for comments by Friday. Someone has helpfully put a track changes version online here, comparing the new (‘green cover’) draft with the previous (‘yellow cover’) one, which I blogged about in July, but it’s …

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How do you do ‘Adaptive Programming’? Two examples of Practical Experience help with some of the answers

Duncan Green - September 13, 2016

Helen Derbyshire (left) of SAVI and Elbereth Donovan (right) of LASER share some thoughts on what all the fuss is about. At a glance the two DFID programmes we work on are very different. SAVI (and its successor programme ECP) is a large scale, long-term initiative which focuses on citizens’ engagement in governance in Nigeria. LASER is a modest, shorter-term investment climate reform programme operating in eight …

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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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Is the UN about to agree a new deal for refugees and migrants?

Duncan Green - August 24, 2016

Josephine Liebl, Oxfam’s global policy lead on displacement, looks ahead to the UN Summit in New York in September – and looks back on a heady few weeks negotiating its outcome. The first ever UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants will take place in New York on 19th September. President Obama will host a Leaders’ Summit on refugees the day after. The likely results of …

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Please comment on this draft paper: theories of change on empowerment and accountability in fragile states

Duncan Green - August 23, 2016

Ouch. My brain hurts. I’ve spent the last month walled up at home writing a paper on ‘Theories of change on empowerment and accountability in fragile and conflict-affected states’ (acronym heaven – ToCs on E&A in FCAS). Pulse racing yet? It’s one of a series of inception papers for a big research consortium on E&A in FCAS, which Oxfam is a member of (IDS is …

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How do developing country decision makers rate aid donors?

Duncan Green - August 19, 2016

Had a last minute cancellation of today’s post – ah Oxfam sign off, doncha love it? So here’s the most read new post from the last year. Brilliant. Someone’s finally done it. For years I’ve been moaning on about how no-one ever asks developing country governments to assess aid donors (rather than the other way around), and then publishes a league table of the good, the …

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What sort of trade campaigns do we need around Brexit?

Duncan Green - August 18, 2016

Not all conference calls are as terrible as the one depicted in ‘a conference call in real life’. Had a really good one yesterday with Oxfam/Exfam trade wonks on the impact of Brexit on Britain’s trade relations. Here’s my take. Around the early 2000s, I spent about 7 years as a trade wonk, first at CAFOD and then at DFID. Highlights includewandering through the tear gassed …

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Where are the gaps in the way we campaign?

Duncan Green - August 11, 2016

The summer is a time for relaxed chats in my Brixton office. This week it was with a seasoned NGO campaigner who’s been on a break, and wondering about re-entry into the UK/global development and environment campaign scene at the research-y end. Where are the gaps and potential niches that a bright, reflective, experienced campaigner-turned-researcher could help to fill? Here’s a few that came up, inevitably …

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