Spent two days this week discussing ‘Protracted Conflict, Aid and Development’. I was very much a fish out of water – the conference was mainly for humanitarian and conflict types, whereas I am a long-term development wallah trying to get my head round these other disciplines as part of my new role at the LSE’s Centre for Public Authority and International Development. And it really …Continue reading
Took part in a really interesting discussion about the role of the IMF in fragile states last week. Chatham House rule, so no names, no institutions. The Fund works in fragile states in 3 main ways – it lends money to governments, it trains officials and it tracks and reports on government economic performance (‘surveillance’). Although its lending is often not big compared to other …Continue reading
There’s no way I can come out of this looking good, but I need your help. I’ve been asked to contribute a chapter to a new edition of a Routledge book, Popular Representations of Development: Insights from Novels, Films, Television and Social Media. The topic is…. this blog. So I have put together what can best be described as 5000 words of evidence-based narcissism and …Continue reading
Local thinktanks are natural allies in ‘Doing Development Differently’ so why not support them better?
Just been reading a rather good paper by Guy Lodge and Will Paxton making the case for supporting thinktanks in developing countries. They’ve been doing just that for several years, building on their experience in the UK at IPPR and No. 10 Downing Street respectively, hence the paper. They both now work at Kivu International. The starting point is that thinktanks are natural allies in …Continue reading
This is Albert Einstein’s other great equation: a formula for the survival of the living world and its people. Four sentences, written in 1950. ht George Monbiot Q: How does a government regulate new stuff that it doesn’t understand? A: completely rethink of regulation as a process of iterative partnership with the regulated. New twist on sexism in academia. Women academics are systematically (and unfairly) …Continue reading
The new Gates Foundation aid report: great at human stories; but where’s the power, politics and mess?
I’ve been reading the new Gates Foundation report, The Stories Behind the Data (lots of jazzy webstuff and graphs of bad stuff going down here – and if you dig hard enough, you can even find a good old-fashioned report to read here). On one level it is exemplary, setting out both an optimistic story of progress, and a warning that this could all be in jeopardy, not …Continue reading
As part of thinking about how power operates in fragile/conflict states (for the LSE’s new Centre for Public Authority in International Development, CPAID), I’m doing a bit more reading around the role of different kinds of ‘non state actors’. One of the most influential in many fragile/conflict settings are faith organizations, so I finally got round to reading ‘Bridging the Gap: The role of local …Continue reading
Guest Post by Aoife McCullough, Research Fellow, ODI Many donors work on the premise that a state can move from fragile to ‘stable’ if its legitimacy is strengthened. Accordingly, there’s a broad donor consensus that interventions in fragile states should include a mix of activities likely to contribute to increased state legitimacy – what the World Development Report 2011 calls ‘restoring confidence’. In practice, the …Continue reading
The World Bank wants to become more agile, to speed up its grant/loan-making, be less bureaucratic, leap on the ‘adaptive management’ bandwagon etc. In its rush to change direction, it hasn’t had too many discussions with NGOs, so I thought I’d raise some of the issues on the blog. Perhaps the lack of discussion is because the Bank sees NGOs as a potential roadblock to …Continue reading
Nice cup of Nambian covfefe anyone? Ht Calestous Juma Clickbait and impact: how academia has been hacked, Nice piece on THAT ‘in praise of colonialism’ Third World Quarterly paper Strategic litigation is getting going on climate change: San Franciso becomes the 1st major U.S. city to sue the fossil fuel industry for knowingly causing it. How I lost my past. Beautiful and poignant exploration of …Continue reading