accountability

Governance for Development in Africa: Solving Collective Action Problems: Review of an important new book

admin - October 23, 2013

The last year or so has been a bit quiet in terms of big new books on development, but now they are piling up on my study floor (my usual filing system) – Angus Deaton, Deepak Nayyar, Ben Ramalingam, Nina Munk etc etc. I will review them as soon as I can (or arm-twist better qualified colleagues to do so). But I thought I’d start …

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When we (rigorously) measure effectiveness, do we want accountability or learning? Update and dilemmas from an Oxfam experiment.

admin - October 18, 2013

Claire Hutchings, Oxfam’s Global MEL Advisor, brings updates us on an interesting experiment in measuring impact – randomized ‘effectiveness reviews’. For the last two years, Oxfam Great Britain has been trying to get better at understanding and communicating the effectiveness of its work. With a global portfolio of over 250 programmes and 1200 associated projects in more than 55 countries on everything from farming to gender …

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Should you keep innovating as a programme matures? Dilemmas from (another) ground-breaking accountability programme in Tanzania

admin - October 16, 2013

Certain countries seem to produce more than their share of great programmes. Vietnam is one, and Tanzania appears to be another. After the much-blogged-on Twaweza workshop in Tanzania last week, I headed up North to visit the Chukua Hatua accountability programme. It’s one of my favourites among Oxfam’s governance work, not least because it has a really top notch theory of change (keep clicking) I often …

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Last word to Twaweza: Varja Lipovsek and Rakesh Rajani on How to Keep the Ambition and Complexity, Be Less Fuzzy and Get More Traction

admin - October 11, 2013

Twaweza’s Varja Lipovsek, (Learning, Monitoring & Evaluation Manager) and Rakesh Rajani (Head), respond to this week’s series of posts on their organization’s big rethink. That Duncan Green dedicated three posts on Twaweza’s ‘strategic pivot’ may signal that our work and theory of change are in real trouble, but we prefer to take it as a sign that these issues are of interest to many people …

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The war for Twaweza’s soul: the hunger for clarity and certainty v the demands of complexity

admin - October 10, 2013

This is the last in a series of three posts on Twaweza, a fascinating NGO doing some pioneering work on accountability in East Africa, whose big navel gaze I attended last week. Post one covered Twaweza’s theory of change and initial evaluation results; yesterday I got onto the critique of its thinking and action to date. Today I’m digging deeper into some of the underlying …

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So what should Twaweza do differently? How accountability work is evolving

admin - October 9, 2013

Yesterday I sketched out the theory of change and initial findings on the first four years of work by an extraordinary East African NGO, Twaweza. Today I’ll move on to what some NGO people (but thankfully no-one in Dar es Salaam last week) insist on calling ‘the learnings’ about the flaws and gaps in its original theory of change (described in yesterday’s post). First, there’s …

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Twaweza, one of the world’s cutting edge accountability NGOs

admin - October 8, 2013

Rakesh Rajani is an extraordinary man, a brilliant, passionate Asian Tanzanian with bottle-stopper glasses and a silver tongue. The persuasive eloquence may stem from his teenage years as an evangelical preacher, but these days he weaves his spells to promote transparency, active citizenship and the work of Twaweza, the organization he founded in 2009. Rakesh is a classic example of a hybrid social movement leader, …

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Making All Voices Count – promising new initiative (and source of funding)

admin - September 27, 2013

A big new initiative on citizen voice, accountability etc was launched this week. OK it’s a bit obsessed with whizzy new technology, and light on power analysis and politics, but it still looks very promising, not least because it is being run by three top outfits – Hivos, IDS and Ushahidi. It is also a potential source of funding for work on accountability, whether programmes, …

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Ups and downs in the struggle for accountability – four new real time studies

admin - September 5, 2013

OK, we’ve had real time evaluations, we’ve done transparency and accountability initiatives, so why not combine the two? The thoroughlybrilliant International Budget Partnership is doing just that, teaming up with academic researchers to follow in real time the ups and downs of four TAIs in Mexico, Brazil, South Africa and Tanzania. Read the case study summaries (only four pages each, with full versions if you …

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When do Transparency and Accountability Initiatives have impact?

admin - September 4, 2013

So having berated ODI about opening up access to its recent issue of the Development Policy Review on Transparency and Accountability Initiatives (TAIs), I really ought to review the overview piece by John Gaventa and Rosemary McGee, which they’ve made freely available until December. The essay is well worth reading. It unpicks the fuzzy concept of TAIs and then looks at the evidence for what …

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