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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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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The Global Politics of Pro-Worker Reforms

Duncan Green - March 1, 2018

Guest post from Alice Evans, Lecturer in the Social Science of Development at King’s College, London Politically smart, locally-led collaborations are all the rage in international development. Through iterative adaptation and experimentation, states can improve their capabilities and learn what works for them. So sings the choir. But we also need to recognise that governing elites will experiment in ways that further their priorities, as …

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5 common gaps and 4 dilemmas when we design influencing campaigns

Duncan Green - February 27, 2018

I’ve just read the initial proposals of 30+ LSE students taking my one-term Masters module on Advocacy, Campaigning and Grassroots Activism. Their two main assignments are to work as groups analysing past episodes of change (more on that later in the term) and individual projects where they design an influencing exercise based on their own experience and the content of the course (power analysis, stakeholder …

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What makes Adaptive Management actually work in practice?

Duncan Green - February 27, 2018

This post by Graham Teskey, one of the pioneers of ‘thinking and working politically’, first appeared on the Governance Soapbox blog  It’s striking how important words are. USAID calls it Adaptive Management, DFAT calls it Thinking and Working Politically, DFID calls it Politically Informed Programming, and the World Bank just ignores it altogether. More seriously – what is at issue here? At heart, I would argue that this …

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Why the Aid Community needs to step up on Fragile/Conflict States

Duncan Green - February 16, 2018

Everyone in the aid biz is talking fragile and conflict affected states these days (FCAS – I’ve given up on trying to get everyone to adopt FRACAS….). That’s partly because that’s where poor people will predominantly be in a couple of decades time, as more stable places grow their way out of extreme poverty, and partly because of the link to the security agenda that …

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