Politics

What are the politics of reducing carnage on the world’s roads? Great new paper from ODI

Duncan Green - May 25, 2018

There’s a form of casual violence that kills 1.25 million people a year (3 times more than malaria) and injures up to 50 million more. 90% of the deaths are of poor people (usually men) in poor countries. No guns are involved and there’s lots of things governments can do to fix it. But you’ll hardly ever read about it in the development literature, although …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

5 ways to build Civil Society’s Legitimacy around the world

Duncan Green - May 9, 2018

Saskia Brechenmacher and Thomas Carothers, of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, introduce and summarize the insights from their new collection of essays from civil society activists. Pressure on civic space keeps increasing around the world, driven by the toxic mix of rising authoritarianism, growing populism, and wobbly democracy. Battles over legitimacy are central to this trend. Powerholders don’t just attack specific civic groups carrying …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

Why donors ignore the evidence on what works, and transparency and accountability projects are a dead end. David Booth’s Non-Farewell Lecture.

Duncan Green - April 27, 2018

ODI is always innovating, and earlier this week organized a non-farewell lecture for one of its big thinkers, David Booth. As far as I could work out, this was a celebration of them stopping paying him (aka ‘retirement’), while he continues to work for them for free as a visiting fellow. Interesting business model. Anyway, for those that don’t know David’s work, he is an …

Continue reading

Book Review: Can Intervention Work? Rory Stewart and Gerald Knaus

Duncan Green - April 25, 2018

We’ve had some great speakers at the LSE this year, but Rory Stewart was top of the pops, according to the students’ evaluations. He rocked up at LSE, despite having just been reshuffled to Minister for Prisons, spoke without notes, and blew everyone away. Alas, he insisted on it being off the record, so I cheated – I went back to the 2011 book that …

Continue reading
Translate »