Inequality: what difference does it make to NGOs' work?

admin - March 23, 2011

What difference does an inequality ‘lens’ make to the way we think about development and advocacy at national level? I’ve just been reading ‘Time for Equality: Closing Gaps, Opening Trails’, an excellent paper by the UN’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean – one of the most innovative and interesting bits of the UN system, in my experience. ECLAC (more commonly known by …

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Land grabs: what's in the contracts? And an Indian land grab in Ethiopia

admin - March 22, 2011

One of the problems with so-called ‘land grabs’ is secrecy. Most of the contracts that seal such deals are hidden from public scrutiny, which makes it very hard to establish what is really going on. The International Institute for Environment and Development, which is rapidly becoming the ‘go to’ thinktank on a whole range of resource and development issues, has managed to dig up 12 …

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Getting Better: Why Global Development Is Succeeding. Review of Charles Kenny's new book

admin - March 21, 2011

Getting Better: Why Global Development Is Succeeding—And How We Can Improve the World Even More, published this month, is an exercise in ‘framing’ – trying to shift the way we feel, as well as think, about development and aid. It does it rather well. Two big frames: 1. Lives are getting better everywhere, including in Africa. People are healthier, live longer, lose fewer children, learn …

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Arab uprising update; Wellbeing v GDP in China; IMF analyses cricket; aid reality checks in Bangladesh; India's cyber-city; DFID and India; another aid satire: links I liked

admin - March 18, 2011

Arab Uprising Update: Alina Rocha Menocal assesses Egypt’s transition to democracy. Is the Arab Revolution a women’s rights revolution? Yes argues Soumaya Ghannoushi – Exhibit A:  International Women’s Day in Cairo’s Tahrir Square [h/t Caroline Sweetman]. And protests in Burkina Faso – is the ferment spilling over into sub-Saharan Africa? Rich in misery? Wellbeing v GDP in China Not only has the IMF acquired a redistributive urge …

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So where have we got to on Value for Money, Results etc?

admin - March 17, 2011

Great posts, great comments. My head is now spinning as I try and disentangle some of the different threads that have emerged over the last two days. First: horses for courses. Some aid work is akin to Ros’ bathroom problem – linear, measurable, and suitable for a logframe + results approach. Other areas are emergent and unpredictable and a results approach would struggle. Say you …

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If not results, then what? The risks of not having a results agenda

admin - March 16, 2011

The ODI’s Claire Melamed replies to yesterday’s guest post from Ros Eyben: “Ros Eyben suggests that instead of a results agenda, we should rely on good relationships to deliver good aid.  And indeed, if all relationships were good, and all the people involved in making decisions about aid were thoroughly well-informed, open to new ideas, flexible in their approach, lacking in ego, adept at dealing …

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‘Stuff happens’: the risks of a results agenda. Guest post from Rosalind Eyben

admin - March 15, 2011

A few months ago, I blogged about the risks associated with the aid industry’s current overriding obsession with audit/value for money/results (pick your term). Since then, that debate has been swirling around both on this blog and (more importantly), in aid and development circles in many countries. So to help it along a bit I’ve asked two people who think about this a lot more …

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7 steps from autocracy to democracy

admin - March 14, 2011

From a recent speech by International Crisis Group’s deputy president Nick Grono, Alex Evans has distilled 7 very plausible lessons on how to ensure a successful transition from autocracy to democracy. 1) Reform has to happen quickly before impetus runs out – which it will, quickly. “If reforms don’t happen almost immediately, the opportunity is soon lost. Not full democratic transition of course, but enough to …

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Food and the G20; tackling soot; Mauritius' miracle; GM bananas; healthcare in Ghana; women's voices; Fate of the World as a computer game: links I liked

admin - March 11, 2011

Olivier de Schutter, the UN’s hyperactive (how often do you see those words in the same sentence?) Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, sets out his set of policy asks on food and the G20 The Economist reckons other ways of attacking climate change, by tackling soot or non-CO2 greenhouse gasses, may be easier (though not an alternative) to the stalled Kyoto talks What …

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