Is advocacy only feasible in formal democracies? Lessons from 6 multi-stakeholder initiatives in Vietnam

Andrew Wells-Dang (right) and Pham Quang Tu (left) on how multi-stakeholder initiatives can flourish even in relatively closed political systems such as Vietnam How can NGOs be effective advocates in restrictive political settings? Global comparative research (such as this study by CIVICUS on ‘enabling environments’) often concludes that at least a modest degree of formal…

By Duncan Green April 30, 2014 1

I had no idea that working across disciplines (on innovation, complexity and scale) was this painful, but it might be worth it

I went off to New York last week at the invitation of the UNDP Regional Center in Europe and Central Asia to discuss using complexity thinking to design a new ‘Finch Fund’ to support innovation and scaling up. Most scale-up exercises take successful pilots and just try and replicate them (one of the UNDP organizers,…

By Duncan Green April 29, 2014 10

Understanding the nature of power: the force field that shapes development

I wrote this post for ODI’s Development Progress blog. It went up last week, closing a series of posts on the theme of Political Voice. Women’s empowerment is one of the greatest areas of progress in the last century, so what better theme for a post on ‘voice’ than gender rights? Globally, the gradual empowerment…

By Duncan Green April 23, 2014 1

Why Angus Deaton is (mostly) wrong to attack aid for undermining politics and accountability

Continuing aid week here on FP2P, here’s my response to Angus Deaton’s recent broadside against aid, and his claim that I agree with him. Tomorrow, Angus responds. Nervous, moi? I’m both flattered and alarmed that Angus Deaton has been citing From Poverty to Power (the book, not this blog) in defence of his attack on…

By Duncan Green April 15, 2014 7