Lost in translation: the alienation of the development worker

I’m writing this flying over Afghanistan, on my way back from India (blog flurry to follow). The air is extraordinarily clear, so that even from 30,000 feet, I can make out individual fields, clusters of mud-coloured houses, nestling among the serrated, snow-topped mountains and winding river courses. At the same time, I’m reading ‘Lost in […]

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China’s African road; Euro-governance failures; patronage -> accountability; building fragile states; Blattman needs you; grey planet; toxic development; why people cheat: links I liked

The colonialists never built a road around the West African; they only needed extractive roads and railways ‘like the fingers of a hand’, from coastal ports into the interior. But now China is building one. So maybe it isn’t so colonialist after all? http://www.chinaafricarealstory.com/2012/10/china-to-build-west-african-coastal.html ‘From the perspective of Europe or the United States, hesitation and […]

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How can a post-2015 agreement drive real change? Please read and comment on this draft paper

The post-2015 discussion on what should succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is picking up steam, with barely a day going by without some new paper, consultation or high level meeting. So I, along with Stephen Hale and Matthew Lockwood, have decided to add to the growing slush-pile with a new discussion paper. We want […]

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Why the World Bank is wrong (so far) on large land deals

You’re getting a lot of guest posts this week, not least because I’m in India – expect a spate of India posts next week. Here’s Hannah Stoddart, Oxfam’s Head of Economic Justice Policy, responding to the World Bank’s response to Oxfam’s call for a freeze on large land deals. Oxfam’s land grabs campaign, launched on […]

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Getting evaluation right: a five point plan

Final (for now) evaluationtastic installment on Oxfam’s attempts to do public warts-and-all evaluations of randomly selected projects. This commentary comes from Dr Jyotsna Puri, Deputy Executive Director and Head of Evaluation of the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) Oxfam’s emphasis on quality evaluations is a step in the right direction. Implementing agencies rarely make […]

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What do DFID wonks think of Oxfam's attempt to measure its effectiveness?

More DFIDistas on the blog: this time Nick York, DFID’s top evaluator and Caroline Hoy, who covers NGO evaluation, comment on Oxfam’s publication of a set of 26 warts-and-all programme effectiveness reviews. Having seen Karl Hughes’s 3ie working paper on process tracing and talked to the team in Oxfam about evaluation approaches, Caroline Hoy (our […]

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Why are international conferences so bad, and what can be done about it?

Last week I attended the OECD’s 4th World Forum on Measuring Wellbeing. Actually, I sampled it, ducking out to look at Oxfam programmes in Delhi, meet people and give a couple of lectures in local universities. Lots of people do this, so it ought to have a name – conflirting? Condipping? Any better suggestions? My overall […]

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Deconstructing resilience; savage v fragile; China's flashmob breastfeeders; Africans in the Diaspora; I'm a (Welsh) prof; Why Tories love aid; hierarchies of misery: links I liked

OxfamAmerica wonk Gawain Kripke unpacks the latest devt fuzzword, resilience http://politicsofpoverty.oxfamamerica.org/2012/10/19/thoughts-on-resilience-as-organizing-focus/ For ‘savage’ read ‘fragile states’. Changing development terminology 1821->2012 http://nyudri.org/2012/10/18/new-historical-discovery-the-change-in-development-terminology-from-1821-to-2012/ Flashmob breastfeeding in China (inspired by a similar action in Manchester), take on bottlefeeding + caesarean culture http://www.danwei.com/the-year-of-the-breastfeeding-flash-mob-in-china-a-fathers-account/ Project Umubano – is this the reason the Tories have stuck to the UK’s aid promises? […]

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To close the energy poverty gap, we need ideas, investment…and natural gas. Todd Moss responds to Hannah Ryder

CGD’s Todd Moss responds to Hannah Ryder’s critique of his ‘let them burn fossil fuels’ line on energy poverty Thanks to Hannah for raising some good questions about my proposal that the US agency OPIC partially exempt the world’s lowest-income, lowest-emitting countries from the greenhouse gas cap. I think we both agree that 1.3 billion people […]

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Why high carbon energy is the wrong solution for low income countries

DFID staff break their duck as guest writers on FP2P with this post from Hannah Ryder (right), a regular blogger on the DFID site and Senior Economist specialising in climate change and low carbon growth Economists have a reputation for being sceptical – there is even a book called “the Skeptical Economist”. This has a […]

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Can you help promote 'From Poverty to Power'? This won't take long…..

OK, out of consideration for your sensitivities, I’m going to try and condense all the humiliating, grovelling self promotional authorial thing into a single post (OK, I’m lying, but the other promo will be less blatant). The second edition of From Poverty to Power is published on the 23rd October, and as you doubtless know, […]

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Tackling the jobs crisis: new thinking from the World Bank and UNESCO

Oxfam’s head of research, Ricardo Fuentes (right) reviews two big reports on jobs from the World Bank and UNESCO Youth unemployment is making headlines everywhere – and with good reason. One in eight people between 15 and 24 are unemployed and the problem affects rich and poor countries alike. In Spain, almost half of young […]

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