Development 2.0, the Gift of Doubt and the Mapping of Difference: Welcome to the Future

Just came across this great post by the ODI’s Arnaldo Pellini, summarizing a recent talk by Michael Woolcock, the World Bank’s Lead Social Development Specialist. Michael is one of the big brains pushing the ‘Doing Development Differently’ agenda. What struck me in particular is the emphasis on the importance of ‘the mapping of variation’, which goes […]

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Is power a zero sum game? Does women’s empowerment lead to increased domestic violence?

I’ve been having an interesting exchange with colleagues at Oxfam America on the nature of power. They argue that empowerment is zero sum, i.e. one person acquiring power means that someone else has to lose it. In a new post, OA’s Gawain Kripke sets out their case. ‘The development community should recognize that women’s economic […]

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Embracing Complexity – a good new book on systems thinking (and action)

Jean Boulton is a regular both here on the blog and in the corridors of Oxfam. She’s a onetime theoretical physicist turned consultant, and one of her passions is complexity and systems thinking, and their implications for how organizations, including development agencies, go about their work. Now she’s teamed up with fellow lapsed physicist Peter […]

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When did you stop receiving email notifications of this blog?

I know this is a bit like saying ‘raise your hand if you can’t hear me’, but we have a problem. This blog has amassed some 5000 email subscribers who should get an email with each new post, which is great. Unfortunately, a lot of them have been getting in touch to say they no […]

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5 trends that explain why civil society space is under assault around the world

In the 1980s and 90s civil society, and civil society organizations (CSOs) came to be seen as key players in development; aid donors  and INGOs like Oxfam increasingly sought them out as partners. So the current global crackdown on ‘civil society space’ is particularly worrying – a major pillar of development is under threat. Ross […]

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Links I Liked

Apologies for the interruption in normal service, but I’ve been away at the wonderful, parched-hinterland-restoring Edinburgh fringe (8 days; 30 shows of every genre from comedy to misery, with some ventriloquism and photography thrown in – highly recommended). Apologies too for the problems with the email alerts – we’re working on fixing that. Anyway, here’s […]

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Why Al Jazeera will not say Mediterranean ‘migrants’

  The whole piece is powerfully written and well worth reading (h/t Craig Valters) “The umbrella term migrant is no longer fit for purpose when it comes to describing the horror unfolding in the Mediterranean. It has evolved from its dictionary definitions into a tool that dehumanises and distances, a blunt pejorative. It is not […]

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Authoritarianism Goes Global: the rise of the despots and their apologists

The World Bank’s Sina Odugbemi is a stylish and impassioned writer. He also set up a deal to repost the occasional FP2P piece on the Bank’s governance blog, so I thought I’d return the compliment on his latest piece. Wish he’d write more often. Norms, especially global norms, are exceedingly fragile things…like morning dew confronting […]

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Unilever opens a can of worms on corporate human rights reporting

This guest post comes from Rachel Wilshaw, Oxfam’s Ethical Trade Manager Hundreds of millions of people suffer from discrimination in the world of work. 1.3 billion people live in extreme poverty, surviving on less than $1.25 a day. 34 nations present an ‘extreme’ risk of human rights violations. Nearly 21 million people are victims of […]

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Low-fee private schooling: what do we really know? Prachi Srivastava responds to The Economist

Prachi Srivastava is one of the experts on ‘low-fee private schooling’ who was interviewed for last week’s remarkably one sided Economist Paean to the Private (my words not hers). She wants to set the record straight. I have been researching low-fee private schooling for nearly a decade and a half. In fact, the term did […]

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Links I Liked

Well, the blog makeover has been met with a fine blend of approval and indifference – heart-warming stuff. The world is getting a lot better in lots of ways, and Max Roser has a graph for all of them The US is getting a bit of a pasting from assorted economists: Jo Stiglitz thinks it’s on the […]

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Obama’s Afro-mance: A personal reflection by Irungu Houghton

Irungu is an old mate and a redoubtable activist (this post came in late because he ‘Was off school protecting‎’ – how cool is that?). He was also two seats away from The Man during Obama’s visit to Kenya last week. Here are some thoughts. The excitement began at least three months before Airforce 1 […]

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