Politics

Drought in Africa – How the system to fund humanitarian aid is still hardwired to fail

Duncan Green - April 13, 2017

Guest post from Debbie Hillier, Oxfam Humanitarian Policy Adviser Nearly 11 million people across Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya are facing alarming levels of food insecurity. In Somalia, deaths as a result of drought have already been recorded, and as its next rains are forecast to be poor, famine is a real possibility. But why are we facing the threat of famine yet again in Somalia? …

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Tortoise v Hare: Is China challenging the US for global leadership? Great Economist piece

Duncan Green - April 12, 2017

Back from Australia and I’ve been catching up on my Economist backlog. The 1st April edition exemplified the things the magazine does really well (I don’t include its naff geek-humour April 1st leader supporting a tax on efficiency). There were the customary great infographics – here’s the map showing the extent to which countries export/import air pollution through their trade in goods (i.e. importing dirty …

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Building State Capability: Review of an important (and practical) new book

Duncan Green - April 5, 2017

Jetlag is a book reviewer’s best friend. In the bleary small hours in NZ and now Australia, I have been catching up on my reading. The latest was ‘Building State Capability’, by Matt Andrews, Lant Pritchett and Michael Woolcock, which builds brilliantly on Matt’s 2013 book and the subsequent work of all 3 authors in trying to find practical ways to help reform state systems …

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Shakespeare, the Bible, Einstein et al on Doing Development Differently

Duncan Green - April 4, 2017

Just finishing ‘Building State Capability’, a wonderful new book from the Doing Development Differently crew. Review on its way tomorrow, but in the meantime, sit  back and enjoy these wonderful epigrams, which open the book: Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your …

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So is ‘Doing Development Differently’ a movement now? And if so, where’s it going?

Duncan Green - March 30, 2017

Guest post by Graham Teskey, Principal Global Lead for Governance, Abt JTA, Australia and all round aid guru The fourth meeting of the ‘Doing Development Differently’ movement (as one of its founders, Michael Woolcock, calls it) was held over two days in Jakarta a couple of weeks ago. Jointly hosted by the Government of Indonesia, the World Bank and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and …

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A new case must be made for aid. It rests on three legs.

Duncan Green - March 28, 2017

Guest post from aid guru Simon Maxwell Is the tide turning on aid? Famine in Africa has rekindled both media and public support.  By 20th March, the UK’s Disasters Emergency Committee had raised £24m from the public in only six days for its East Africa Crisis appeal. Red Nose Day on 24th March provided another opportunity to demonstrate support. And on aid more generally, the …

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On Populism, Nationalism, Babies and Bathwater

Duncan Green - March 23, 2017

A couple of Oxfamers were over from the US recently so ODI kindly pulled together a seriously stimulating conversation about life, theuniverse and everything. More specifically, how should ‘we’ – the aid community broadly defined – respond to the rising tide of nationalism, populism, and attacks on aid. It was Chatham House rules, so I’ve already told you too much, but here are some of …

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The Power of Data: how new stats are changing our understanding of inequality

Duncan Green - March 15, 2017

Every Saturday my colleague Max Lawson, who’s Oxfam’s global inequality policy lead, sends round an email entitled ‘Some short reading for the weekend if you fancy it’. This week was particularly good, so I just lifted it: This year has already been good for the improvement in data availability on inequality, with the launch of the Wealth and Incomes Database (WID) in Paris in January. …

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What do we know about when data does/doesn’t influence policy?

Duncan Green - March 8, 2017

Josh Powell, Chief Strategy Officer at the Development Gateway weighs in on the Data and Development debate While development actors are now creating more data than ever, examples of impactful use are anecdotal and scant. Put bluntly, despite this supply-side push for more data, we are far from realizing an evidence-based utopia filled with data-driven decisions. One of the key shortcomings of our work on …

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It’s not what you know but who: How social relationships shape research impact

Duncan Green - March 6, 2017

James Georgalakis, Director of Communications and Impact at the Institute of Development Studies, introduces a new collection of pieces on knowledge for development If knowledge for development is a social process why do we continue to expect technical approaches alone, such as research methods, websites and policy briefs, to get evidence into action? While it has been easy to share significant successes of getting research into …

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