How can the international community help put women at the heart of bringing peace to South Sudan?

Duncan Green - November 9, 2016

Oxfam’s Shaheen Chughtai reports back from a recent conversation at the UN Once in a while, the shroud of coded, diplomatic language that envelops discussions at the United Nations Security Council is ripped away by reality. On 25th October, it was the words of a women’s rights activist from conflict-ridden South Sudan, Rita Lopidia, which gripped the chamber. “I meet many South Sudanese women, and …

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Climate Change: Meeting sea level rise by raising the land

Duncan Green - November 8, 2016

  As the COP 22 meeting on climate change gets under way in Marrakech, Joseph Hanlon, Manoj Roy and David Hulme introduce their new book on climate change and Bangladesh Community groups in coastal Bangladesh have shown that the land can be raised to match sea level rise. Their success has been hard fought, initially contested by aid agencies, engineers and the police. But they …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - November 7, 2016

Waiting for stuff is such a pain isn’t it? From the Boston Globe Irresistible listicle, especially the nuclear powered vacuum cleaners: 10 predictions for the future that got it wildly wrong Smoking kills more people in low- and middle-income countries than TB, malaria and AIDS combined. Taxing tobacco is the obvious and best solution, so why doesn’t it happen? COP22 will be the nerdy friend …

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Why systems thinking changes everything for activists and reformers

Duncan Green - November 4, 2016

This week, the Guardian ran a very nicely edited ‘long read’ extract from How Change Happens covering some of the book’s central arguments, under the title Radical Thinking Reveals the Secrets of Making Change Happen. Here it is: Political and economic earthquakes are often sudden and unforeseeable, despite the false pundits who pop up later to claim they predicted them all along – take the …

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Is Good Advocacy a Science or an Art (or just luck), and how can we sharpen it?

Duncan Green - November 3, 2016

Helen Tilley (h.tilley@odi.org) , is a Research Fellow, Josephine Tsui (j.tsui@odi.org) a Research Officer, and Hannah Caddick (h.caddick@odi.org) a Communications Officer, in the Research and Policy in Development Programme at the Overseas Development Institute. ‘There is an art to science, and a science in art; the two are not enemies, but different aspects of the whole.’ — Issac Asimov In a recent blog, Duncan wrote …

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Why aren’t ‘Diaries of the Poor’ a standard research tool?

Duncan Green - November 2, 2016

I’ve been having lots of buzzy conversations about diaries recently. Not my own (haven’t done that since I was a teenager), but diaries as a research method. The initial idea came from one of my all-time favourite bits of bottom-up research, the book Portfolios of the Poor. Here are the relevant paras from my review: ‘A financial fly-on-the-wall account of how poor people manage money. …

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10 Frontier Technologies for International Development

Duncan Green - November 1, 2016

Ben Ramalingam, leader of the Digital and Technology research group at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), introduces their new report on new and emerging technologies, and how international organisations can capitalise on their potential. New and emerging technologies have often underpinned and enabled significant development progress over the decades – from vaccines to mobile phones to the internet. The UN has recently called for …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - October 31, 2016

Closed, repressed, obstructed, narrowed or open? Tracking civil society space. New interactive tool from CIVICUS, including country ratings and a searchable database Michael Spence argues that by rebalancing power relationships in the world’s democracies, digital technology is partly responsible for the increased focus on inequality Seven useful tips for new development masters students, especially on not obsessing about your grades Brilliant and thought provoking. If …

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Big new research programme on empowerment and accountability in fragile settings gets under way – can you help choose its name?

Duncan Green - October 28, 2016

Whatever happened to resting on your laurels?  The book’s just published, and I’m onto the next thing – a five year research consortium on empowerment and accountability in fragile and conflict settings (FCS). Spent 3 days recently with some sharp minds from an alphabet soup of project partners – IDS, ITAD, IDEAS, CSSR, PASGR and ARC, wading through a stack of initial analyses, including my …

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Can Publishers survive Open Access? We’ll find out when How Change Happens is published today

Duncan Green - October 27, 2016

It’s Open Access Week and How Change Happens is officially published in the UK today, as both a book and an open access pdf. The process has been pretty exciting. The traditional author descends from the mountain of scholarship clutching a rather expensive tablet of stone, in which his/her wisdom is set out to a suitably grateful but largely passive public. Think of force-feeding geese. …

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