My colleague Kate Raworth includes this gem in her presentations on research methods. It illustrates the tendency for policy papers to endlessly expand their remits – ‘just add it to the terms of reference’. Sharp, focussed initial ideas come to resemble Christmas trees decorated with everybody’s particular passion. From working on many Oxfam papers over the years, I feel a terrible sense of affinity with the donkey. And I’m sure it could be used for any number of other aid industry failings (suggestions welcome). Have people got any other all-purpose visual metaphors they can send over to enliven all our powerpoints? If so, send them over to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll stick the best ones up here.