Some cautionary thoughts on this week’s SDGs summit

Duncan Green - September 22, 2015

The crescendo of discussion and debate over the successor to the Millennium Development Goals reaches its climax this weekend in New York, with the Sustainable Development Summit. The Guardian has a good scene setter. I’ve ploughed a contrarian furrow on the SDGs so far, so why stop now? Here are some things you might want to keep in mind over the next few days, with …

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Duncan Green - September 21, 2015

[Welcome back email subscribers – and heartfelt thanks to the IT wizards who sorted out the glitch. More on this tomorrow] Europe’s refugee crisis: The cartoonists are having a field day [h/t Helge Torvund]  The Onion has a satirical go with an 11 step guide to how migrants reach Europe (step 6: Trudging; Step 10: Angela Merkel bestows each migrant with their new German name) …

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How are disasters linked to inequality? Review of ‘The Disaster Profiteers’

Duncan Green - September 18, 2015

[The IT guys tell me they’ve finally found a fix on the email notification problem. If you get an email about this post for the first time in months, please either leave a comment, or vote in the poll to the right, to tell us it’s working] Debbie Hillier, Oxfam’s Humanitarian Policy Adviser  reviews The Disaster Profiteers: How natural disasters make the rich richer and …

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What are the key principles behind a theory of change approach? Top new ODI paper.

Duncan Green - September 17, 2015

Craig Valters of ODI is consistently incisive on Theories of Change, cutting through the flannel surrounding one of the aid business’ favourite new(ish) fuzzwords to identify what is genuinely significant. His new, crisply written paper is a must read for anyone interested in how change happens, doing development differently, or the results agenda. Some excerpts: ‘The development industry is unbalanced in a number of ways. …

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How can INGOs get better? A surprisingly interesting conversation with some Finance Directors

Duncan Green - September 16, 2015

Spent an afternoon with a bunch of NGO Finance Directors this week. I was presenting Fit for the Future (memo to self, never write another paper about the future of INGOs – their thirst for navel-gazing is limitless). The discussion was more interesting than you might think – money is the lifeblood of the aid business, and FDs have the best overview of how that blood …

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Aid and Development: A Brief Introduction. Book review of handy new bluffer’s guide

Duncan Green - September 15, 2015

One of the best things about Aid and Development: A Brief Introduction, by Myles Wickstead, is the user-friendly format: a 90 page basic introduction to the aid system from World War Two to the SDGs, followed by a 65 page compendium of 20 ‘key words and concepts’ from aid effectiveness to the UN system. Another plus is the author: Myles is a charming UK government …

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Duncan Green - September 14, 2015

The main global Diabetes hot spots are in Middle East and Latin America – not Europe or US. [via Conrad Hackett] I’ve never met a meeting I couldn’t sleep through [h/t Chris Jochnick, zzzz] Dani Rodrik argues that economics is a craft not a science: why economists should stop arguing about which is the ‘correct’ model and learn to apply different ones according to circumstances …

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The Paradox of Britain’s role in Yemen’s unfolding disaster. Guest post by Mark Goldring

Duncan Green - September 11, 2015

While all eyes are on Syria, a humanitarian disaster is fast unfolding in Yemen, and the UK government’s role is ambiguous. Here Mark Goldring, Chief Executive of Oxfam GB, explains why it is challenging the government on the ‘paradox’ of the UK’s approach and introduces a new report, released today. Twenty one million people in Yemen are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. This year the …

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What are the drivers of change behind women’s empowerment at national level? The case of Colombia

Duncan Green - September 10, 2015

Just read a new case study of women’s empowerment in Colombia, part of ODI’s Development Progress series (summary here, full paper here). What’s useful is the level of analysis – a focus on the national rather than global or a project case study enables them to consider the various drivers of change at work. Some excerpts: Signs of Progress: Colombia is home to the longest …

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How are countries treating their over-60s? New Global Agewatch Index

Duncan Green - September 9, 2015

[nb the elves tell me they think they may have fixed the email notification problem – if you’ve received an email for the first time in months, linking to this post, cd you say so in comments or in the poll, right?] The 3rd annual Global AgeWatch Index (28 pages) is published today, ranking 96 countries on how they treat their older people. The index …

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