Month: February 2015

8 myths about non-violent activism (from a movement that overthrew a dictator)

I’m still catching up on the email backlog after returning from holiday, but while I’m doing so, here’s something I should probably do more of – a straight lift from a really interesting article. I recently signed up to the New York Times ‘Fixes’ column (‘solutions to social problems and why they work’). On a…

By Duncan Green February 25, 2015 2

What happens if we apply doughnut economics to single countries, starting with the UK?

Katherine Trebeck (@ktrebeck), Oxfam policy adviser and all round well-being guru, reports on a new effort to apply doughnut economics at a national scale, starting with the UK   Every so often, a simple idea catches people’s imagination. Complex concepts get distilled into a mantra or image that elicits an ‘a ha’ moment. World views…

By Duncan Green February 19, 2015 2

Links I Liked

Livestock demography: where do the world’s 1.4 billion cows, 19.6 billion chickens & 0.98 billion pigs live? Here’s the cows Tolkien’s ‘one ring to rule them all’ as a parable for the attractions and perils of new technologies UK aid watchdog criticises DFID for its efforts to expand work in fragile states, but accepts real…

By Duncan Green February 16, 2015 3

What do we know about the politics of reducing inequality? Not much – it’s time to find out

Spent a fun day at the Developmental Leadership Program annual conference in Birmingham yesterday. I was on a panel pitching an idea for a research programme that has got me very excited (along with David Hudson and Niheer Dasandi from University College London). Here’s my pitch. One of my formative influences as a policy wonk…

By Duncan Green February 13, 2015 5

If annoying, talking down to or ‘othering’ people is a terrible way to influence them, why do we keep doing it? (research edition)

I’ve been thinking about how we criticize/critique people, groups and ideas recently. It started with a conversation with my pal Chris Roche who first expressed surprise at the snarky tone of my post on a paper on NGOs (What can we learn from a really annoying paper on NGOs and development?) and then pronounced himself…

By Duncan Green February 12, 2015 20

Why making an assassinated Archbishop into a Saint is a great victory for social justice (and not just for Catholics)

No-one does long term campaigning better than faith groups – the Quakers led the anti-slavery struggle for 50 years in the early 1800s. As for the Catholics, when your institution is a couple of thousand years old, you tend to take the long view. I thought of this last week, as I cycled past ‘Romero…

By Duncan Green February 11, 2015 2

What are the implications of ‘doing development differently’ for NGO Campaigns and Advocacy?

I’ve been having fun recently taking some of the ideas around ‘Doing Development Differently’ and applying them to INGOs, building on the post I wrote last year on ‘You can’t take a supertanker white-water rafting’. The Exam Question is: Given complexity, systems thinking and the failure of top down approaches, what future, if any, is…

By Duncan Green February 10, 2015 0

Links I Liked

Never make predictions, especially about the future: 42 predictions by futurologists from c1960 (some correct – driverless cars) [h/t Tim Harford] Flurry of posts on life and love in the aid biz: How not to get a job in development. Some painful examples of pressing the self destruct button ‘Your mother will love the fact…

By Duncan Green February 9, 2015 0