February 2016

Links I Liked

Duncan Green - February 29, 2016

Huge thanks for all the votes, comments (and even some alternative designs by email!) on the short list for book covers. If you haven’t voted yet, please do so – will discuss the results with the publishers later this week. Early zeppelins were made from beaten & stretched cow intestine. 250,000 cows were needed per airship. Germany and its allies had to abandon sausage production in …

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Which of these 3 How Change Happens covers do you prefer? Vote now!

Duncan Green - February 26, 2016

Many years ago, around the time of the invention of the printing press, interweb, I worked in a small publisher and was given a ‘guide to handling authors’. One passage stayed with me – publishers should expect authors to throw a hissy fit when they first see roughs for the cover design. It’s their first chance to vent their anxieties and blame someone else for …

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Trying to promote reform in fragile and conflict states: some lessons from success and failure

Duncan Green - February 25, 2016

Reading the ODI’s prodigious output is starting to feel like a full time job. A lot of it is really top quality, even if their choice of titles is sometimes a bit bland. One example is ‘Change in Challenging Contexts’, a name that doesn’t exactly set the pulse racing – a shame, as it’s a fascinating set of papers. The papers (a 54 page whopper, …

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Doing Problem Driven Work, great new guide for governance reformers and activists

Duncan Green - February 24, 2016

One of the criticisms of the big picture discussion on governance  that’s been going on in networks such as Doing Development Differently and Thinking and Working Politically is that it’s all very helicopter-ish. ‘What do I do differently on Monday morning?’, comes the frustrated cry of the practitioner. Now some really useful answers are starting to come onstream, and I’ll review a few of them. …

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Why we should be interested in the rise of the Pentecostals

Duncan Green - February 23, 2016

Maybe it’s my Latin America background, but I’ve always been fascinated by the rise of evangelical Christianity, and its potential social and political impact. Religion in general is an inexcusable blind spot for a lot of the aid business, and activists are particularly alarmed by the kind of happy clappy Protestant churches who go in for guitars, ecstasy, speaking in tongues etc. But they play …

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Where are the ‘Digital Dividends’ from the ICT Revolution? The new World Development Report

Duncan Green - February 22, 2016

OK, book done, back from recuperative holiday, time to get back to daily blogging. Earlier this month I headed off for the London launch of the 2016 World Development Report, ‘Digital Dividends’. The World Bank’s annual flagship is always a big moment in wonkland, and there has been a lot of positive buzz around this one. Here’s how the Bank summarizes its content: ‘What is the …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - February 9, 2016

I’m off for a holiday, so this is the last blog for a couple of weeks. Back after that. Let’s make 2016 the year when we try and stop people unthinkingly hit ‘reply all’ and clogging up our inboxes. Next time someone does it, why not send them this photo? In Kerala, Pembillai Orumai—Women’s Unity, an organization of Dalit tea workers won a strike, and …

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Book Review: The Power of Positive Deviance

Duncan Green - February 8, 2016

Another contribution to this week’s conference on ‘Power, Politics and Positive Deviance’, which I’m gutted to be missing. I finally got round to reading The Power of Positive Deviance, in which management guru Richard Pascale teams up with the two key practitioners – the Sternins (Jerry and Monique) – to analyse over 20 years of experience in developing the Positive Deviance (PD) approach, building on their …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - February 1, 2016

Happy Monday morning everyone. Here’s Dilbert on meetings Busy week for tax geeks: A Eurodad analysis of the European Commission’s Anti-Tax Avoidance Package IDS tax guru Mick Moore on the links between the flawed new OECD tax agreement on TNCs, aka the BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) recommendations and the Google (non) tax scandal? Although Maya Forstater doesn’t think the UK’s Google tax deal …

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