Thought Leadership and NGOs: What is it? How can we get better at it?

Duncan Green - April 21, 2016

Here’s today’s 2 minute vlog summary for the incurably lazy/visual The aid business specializes in baffling, slippery concepts, often adopted as the latest management fuzzwords (like buzzwords, but fuzzy). One recent example in Oxfam was a brainstorm on ‘thought leadership’ – What is it? Does Oxfam do it? Do we want to do more of it? If so, how can we do it better? My …

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Michael Jacobs on how civil society and others achieved the Paris Climate Agreement

Duncan Green - April 20, 2016

A brilliant analysis by Michael Jacobs of the success factors behind last year’s Paris Climate Agreement appeared in Juncture, IPPR’s quarterly journal  recently. Jacobs unpacks the role of civil society (broadly defined) and political leadership. Alas, it’s over 4,000 words long, so as a service to my attention deficit colleagues in aid and development, here’s an abbreviated version (about a third the length, but if …

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What have 3 years of campaigning on Big Food achieved? What still needs to happen?

Duncan Green - April 19, 2016

Erinch Sahan, acting head of Oxfam’s private sector team, looks back on 3 years of trying to get the world’s food giants to clean up their act, the subject of a new Behind the Brands report. The captains of the food industry have come a long way over the last few years. The “Big 10”, the world’s 10 largest food and beverage companies, have moved from …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - April 18, 2016

In China, kids improve their dad’s passport photo (he was turned back at the airport). Fascinating round up of mutants/positive deviants in aid and development and how aid agencies need to respond Last week saw a flurry of discussions on mental health in aid and development saw good pieces by on OECD Insights and CGD. Let’s hope the spotlight stays on this seriously neglected issue. …

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Book Review: Branko Milanovic’s brilliant take on Global Inequality

Duncan Green - April 15, 2016

Some of my favourite development economists are nomads, people with feet in different regions, which seems to make them better able to identify interesting patterns and similarities/differences between countries. Ha-Joon Chang (Korea/UK), Dani Rodrik (Turkey/US) and now Branko Milanovic (Serbia/US), whose latest book Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization is a brilliant and thought-provoking essay stuffed with enough graphs to satisfy …

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Why should large aid organizations spin off more start-ups? What kind?

Duncan Green - April 14, 2016

Here’s vlog number 3 – they’re turning into kind of lazy exec sums for blog posts. And a chance to study my kitchen…. I’ve been thinking about the idea of Oxfam and other large aid players deliberately ‘spinning off’ start-ups as independent organizations. The idea came up when I was writing ‘Fit for the Future’ last year, on the way INGOs need to adapt to …

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Women and Power: final report of excellent research project + top recommendations for aid agencies

Duncan Green - April 13, 2016

ODI have just wrapped up an excellent two year project on ‘Women and power: overcoming barriers to leadership and influence’ with a final synthesis report that is well worth reading. It’s an intelligent discussion, informed by the thinking in the ‘Doing Development Differently’ network (which is in need of a stronger gender focus). It combines some ‘well duh’ obvious stuff (‘elite women are most able …

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Payment by Results take 2: what I learned from the response to last month’s rant

Duncan Green - April 12, 2016

A couple of weeks ago I posted a fairly polemical piece about the hype around ‘payment by results’, which prompted quite a response, including a piece by CGD’s Nancy Birdsall and William Savedoff, and an excellent set of comments from a bunch of people who are much more on top of the issue than I am (not difficult, I know). Nancy argued that the problem with …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - April 11, 2016

Refuge, 2016 version [h/t Laurie Adams] Tax wonk Alex Cobham recommends this as his one thing to read on tax havens We have a sexist data crisis. Ruth Levine and Mayra Buvinic on need to improve data on women and girls May have to start a new roundup of ‘infographics I enjoyed’, like this from Global Justice Now, on double standards in policing benefit fraud …

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Blogging’s getting a bit old – what’s next? Plus, my first pitiful attempt at a vlog.

Duncan Green - April 8, 2016

It’s quiet in the blogosphere. Too quiet. (In Westerns, saying that invariably means you’re about to get an arrow in the head). I’ve been blogging on FP2P for 8 years now and for the last few of them, have been wondering what comes next. There are few new entrants to the blog world, and some of the original development bloggers have fallen by the wayside …

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