Ricardo Fuentes wants you to apply for his job as Oxfam’s Head of Research – here’s why

Duncan Green - July 21, 2015

Ricardo Fuentes-Nieva  (@rivefuentes) is leaving and his  job as Head of Research at Oxfam GB is being advertised (deadline July 30). I’m inviting you to apply for a job whose highlights include: You get to exchange blogs with Martin Ravallion. You get to have the first citation in Joseph Stiglitz’s new book. You get to have Barack Obama misquote your work (min 4:25). You get to be …

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Is the era of flagship publications (HDR, WDR) coming to an end?

Duncan Green - October 15, 2014

Had an interesting chat with some UNDP types last week in the Brixton cafe that is fast becoming my second office. In the same week as UNDP was named top donor on transparency (ahead of the UK and US), they were evaluating the UNDP’s flagship publication, the Human Development Report (HDR). Over the long term, I am a huge fan of the HDR, which is …

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Why is economic orthodoxy so resistant to change? The art of paradigm maintenance.

Duncan Green - September 17, 2014

Ever wondered why it’s so hard to shift big institutions (and the economics profession in general) on economic policy, even when events so graphically show the need for change? I’ve just come across a fascinating 2006 paper by Robin Broad, ‘Research, knowledge and the art of ‘paradigm maintenance’: the World Bank’s Development Economics Vice Presidency (DEC)’, summary here. Full paper here. It must be about …

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‘How DFID Learns’. Or doesn’t. UK aid watchdog gives it a ‘poor’ (but the rest of us would probably do worse)

Duncan Green - April 4, 2014

The UK Department for International Development’s independent watchdog, the  Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI), has a report out today on ‘how DFID learns’. Or doesn’t. Because the report is critical and gives DFID an overall ‘amber-red’ assessment, defined as ‘programme performs relatively poorly overall against ICAI’s criteria for effectiveness and value for money. Significant improvements should be made’. I’m not gloating here – in …

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How to challenge short term thinking in development and research?

admin - September 3, 2013

Over the next few days this blog will be even more scattergun than usual as I’ve just arrived in Australia for a 3 week tour (including New Zealand). Got in on Sunday evening after weeping my way through all 8 episodes of Broadchurch (hope I didn’t alarm fellow passengers). It’s a fantastic crime drama with the extraordinary Olivia Colman (David Tennant wasn’t bad either). Please …

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Why are NGOs and Academics collaborating more?

admin - August 8, 2013

August is a good month for getting people to step back and take stock – those who are not on holiday have fewer meetings, and so are more relaxed and available for shooting the breeze. And so I found myself at the London International Development Centre this week in one of those periodic soul searchings about how to get NGOs and researchers to work together …

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What is the evidence for evidence-based policy making? Pretty thin, actually.

admin - February 27, 2013

A recent conference in Nigeria considered the evidence that evidence-based policy-making actually, you know, exists. The conference report sets out its theory of change in a handy diagram – the major conference sessions are indicated in boxes. Conclusion? ‘There is a shortage of evidence on policy makers’ actual capacity to use research evidence and there is even less evidence on effective strategies to build policy …

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Book Review: Knowledge, Policy and Power in International Development: A Practical Guide

admin - January 4, 2013

This review appears in the Evidence and Policy journal, where it is now available free online (after I protested about the scandalous, rip-off $30 they were charging). Or you can just read it here. Note to self: in future, I will not write anything for journals that are not open access (thanks to Owen Barder for that suggestion). In recent years, the public and policy debate over climate …

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Do’s and don’ts on research -> policy and the state of Development Studies in Ireland

admin - September 10, 2012

Spent a couple of enjoyable if tiring days in Ireland last week (they always look after visitors well….). I was there to speak to Ireland’s Development Studies Association on “What’s changed in development in the last five years, and how do we respond?” (here’s the powerpoint). It coincided with the first copies of the new edition of From Poverty to Power coming back from the …

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