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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Links I Liked

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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What difference do remittances and migration make back home?

Duncan Green - September 8, 2015

Reading the Economist cover to cover is an illicit pleasure – it may be irritatingly smug and right wing, especially on anything about economic policy, but its coverage on international issues consistently goes way beyond standard news outlets. This week’s edition had everything from the changing face of Indian marriage to the spread of pedestrian and cycling schemes around the world to (for science geeks) …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - September 7, 2015

For the data geeks: Spurious Correlations. Absolutely wonderful geek humour. [h/t Alan Beattie] A data revolution is underway. Will NGOs miss the boat? Myth-busting on China and development: Data on Chinese investment in Africa show its nothing like the giant, resource-sucking caricature The new China-dominated Asian International Investment Bank (AIIB) is to offer loans with fewer strings attached than conventional aid donors like the World …

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Is it useful/right to see Development as a Collective Action Problem?

Duncan Green - September 4, 2015

The Developmental Leadership Programme is producing a good series of bluffer’s guides Concept Briefs. The latest is on Collective Action (previous ones on Political Settlements and State Legitimacy). They’re just 3 pages, including further reading, and are ideal for anyone who wants to impress in a meeting by bandying around the latest jargon. According to the paper, written by Caryn Peiffer, ‘ A collective action …

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