Aid

Why the Aid Community needs to step up on Fragile/Conflict States

Duncan Green - February 16, 2018

Everyone in the aid biz is talking fragile and conflict affected states these days (FCAS – I’ve given up on trying to get everyone to adopt FRACAS….). That’s partly because that’s where poor people will predominantly be in a couple of decades time, as more stable places grow their way out of extreme poverty, and partly because of the link to the security agenda that …

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The Perils of Male Bias: Alice Evans replies to yesterday’s ‘Sausagefest’

Duncan Green - January 11, 2018

Yesterday’s post on Stefan Dercon‘s lecture got a lot of hits, but also some slaps for its perceived male bias. In response, Alice Evans (@_alice_evans, who memorably described Stefan’s list of top development thinkers as a ‘sausagefest’) put together this corrective account of women’s scholarship on development. Across the world, we tend to venerate men as knowledgeable authorities. These gender stereotypes are self-perpetuating: by paying more …

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10 top thinkers on Development, summarized in 700 words by Stefan Dercon

Duncan Green - January 10, 2018

One of the treats of my role at LSE is luring in some great development thinkers to lecture on Friday afternoons, and then sitting in to enjoy the show. Stefan Dercon came in just before the Christmas break and was typically brilliant, witty and waspish. Particularly enjoyable from an outgoing DFID chief economist (as well as Prof at the Blavatnik School of Government and Director …

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$15bn is spent every year on training, with disappointing results. Why the aid industry needs to rethink ‘capacity building’.

Duncan Green - January 5, 2018

The most read posts from 2017, in reverse order. Number 3 is a guest post from Lisa Denney of ODI. Check out the original if you want to read the comments. Every year a quarter of international aid – approximately US$15 billion globally – is spent on capacity development. That is, on sending technical assistants to work in ministries or civil society, running training programmes, conducting study tours or exchanges, or …

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Aidspeak: some of your best/worst responses to my call for examples

Duncan Green - January 3, 2018

I’m on holiday for the first week of 2018, trying to see the Northern Lights in Norway. In the meantime, here are the most-read posts from 2017, in reverse order starting with number 5. Here’s the original if you want to read the comments Well you took a few hours to get started in response to Tuesday’s post, but then the floodgates opened and an avalanche …

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After 6 years and 100+ impact evaluations: what have we learned?

Duncan Green - December 12, 2017

Longer projects don’t generate better results; women’s economic empowerment doesn’t seem to shift power imbalances in the home. Just two intriguing findings from new ‘metanalyses’ of Oxfam’s work on the ground. Head of Programme Quality, impact evaluation champion and all-round ubergeek Claire Hutchings explains. On this blog in 2011 we first shared our approach to ‘demonstrating effectiveness without bankrupting our NGO.’  A lot has happened …

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How Data Analytics can Unlock the Knowledge in Development Organisations

Duncan Green - December 6, 2017

Guest blog by Itai Mutemeri (@tyclimateguy) is Head of Analytics at London based Senca Research In September 2017, I headed up to the Oxfam head office in Oxford to present our research paper: Big Data Opportunities for Oxfam – Text Analytics. Like all good research titles, it’s a mouthful.  The paper explored the potential application of text analytics in response to Oxfam’s call for proposals …

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Vote now for the best/worst charity ads of 2017

Duncan Green - December 5, 2017

Every year, the ‘rusty radiator’ site runs a poll on the year’s best/worst aid agency ads. Let’s start with the good ones. My favourite has to be War Child’s batman video – very moving The others are a smart Save the Children US take on children and Christmas gifts, a very knowing Below the Line film on aid stereotypes and a human trafficking film that I can’t …

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How Oxfam and Save changed US aid on local ownership: nice case study in influencing

Duncan Green - November 30, 2017

I do love it when NGOs are taken by surprise in a good way – getting results in unexpected ways, rather than grinding through the plan. A neat example came up at Oxfam’s recent Evidence for Influencing conference. Here’s what happened. Oxfam America and Save the Children wanted to persuade USAID to do more on ‘local ownership’ of aid. It’s a bipartisan issue in the …

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