A masterclass on cash transfers and how to use High Level Panels to influence Policy

Duncan Green - March 10, 2017

One of the things I do in my day-a-week role at LSE is bring in guest lecturers from different aid and development organizations to add a whiff of real life to the student diet of theory and academia. One of the best is Owen Barder, who recently delivered a mesmerizing talk on cash transfers and the theory of change used by his organization, the Center …

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I just found a place where smart people take time to discuss books and ideas, and then you can walk in the snow

Duncan Green - March 9, 2017

Spoke at my first literary festival this week – ‘Words by the Water’ in Keswick. I’ve no idea if it was representative of other such events, but it was fascinating. About 100 people showed up to hear me bang on about How Change Happens. They were probably the most un-aid wonk audience I’ve spoken to so far; they were also the oldest – the demographic …

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What do we know about when data does/doesn’t influence policy?

Duncan Green - March 8, 2017

Josh Powell, Chief Strategy Officer at the Development Gateway weighs in on the Data and Development debate While development actors are now creating more data than ever, examples of impactful use are anecdotal and scant. Put bluntly, despite this supply-side push for more data, we are far from realizing an evidence-based utopia filled with data-driven decisions. One of the key shortcomings of our work on …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - March 7, 2017

A little humour ahead of International Women’s Day. It’s the manbun that does it. A lot of chat about the idea of a Universal Basic Income: the New York Times gave a glowing review of a UBI experiment in Kenya (h/t Josh Williams). Chris Blattman and Berk Ozler provided the bah humbug/’much more complicated than that’ response. An initiative to fill the funding gap left by …

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It’s not what you know but who: How social relationships shape research impact

Duncan Green - March 6, 2017

James Georgalakis, Director of Communications and Impact at the Institute of Development Studies, introduces a new collection of pieces on knowledge for development If knowledge for development is a social process why do we continue to expect technical approaches alone, such as research methods, websites and policy briefs, to get evidence into action? While it has been easy to share significant successes of getting research into …

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The Economist profiles Gender Budgeting ahead of International Women’s Day

Duncan Green - March 3, 2017

There appears to be some kind of feminist cell operating at the Economist. Without ever mentioning International Women’s Day (next Wednesday), they slipped in a wonderful tribute to Diana Elson and her work on gender budgeting, with the header ‘TAX is a feminist issue’. Here it is, (I’ve added a few links). Hope I haven’t blown their cover. Why national budgets need to take gender …

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WDR 2017 on Governance and Law: great content, terrible comms, and a big moral dilemma on rights and democracy

Duncan Green - March 2, 2017

Spoke yesterday at the London launch of the 2017 World Development Report on Governance and The Law. Although Stefan Kossoff did a great job in summarizing the report on this blog a few weeks ago, I thought I’d add a few thoughts from the discussion. The current debates on governance, of which the WDR is part, bear some of the hallmarks of a paradigm shift: widespread …

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How can media inspire accountability and political participation? Findings from massive BBC programme.

Duncan Green - March 1, 2017

A recurring pattern: I get invited to join a conversation with a bunch of specialists on a particular issue (eg market systems). Cue panic and some quick skim-reading of background papers, driven by the familiar fear of finally being exposed as a total fraud (some of us spend all our lives waiting for the tap on the shoulder). Then a really interesting conversation.  Relief! Last …

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What does the rise of Digital Development mean for NGOs?

Duncan Green - February 28, 2017

  Matt Haikin, an ICT for Development (ICT4D) practitioner, summarizes a new paper on digital development in East Africa reports, and the challenges for Oxfam and other international NGOs I’d been living in Nairobi for a couple of months, meeting all the interesting ‘tech for good’ types I could find (and there are a LOT for one city!), when an opportunity came up to conduct …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - February 27, 2017

A long Links I Liked this week – reading at the top, videos at the bottom War Defence budgets. 2016 update from the International Institute of Strategic Studies. The top 10 now spend a total of $1.1trn (8 times the global aid budget). The US is still top but the balance of spending is moving to Asia. DFID & the EU are going large on …

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